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08.01.2005

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in the box how to pack for a big move 
by
Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

packing tips
Once you've amassed the requisite moving supplies, you're ready to dive into the packing. Don't procrastinate. You'll want to start boxing up your stuff as far in advance as possible, even if that means just doing a couple of boxes a night. Packing's one of those jobs that always takes way, way longer than you expect, and if you leave it to the last minute, you'll be a total stressball.

But where to start? The idea of having to empty out your entire apartment can be kind of intimidating; suddenly, every little item seems absolutely essential for your day-to-day life, and you can't imagine surviving the next few weeks without it readily accessible. Concentrate on packing up one room at a time, starting with lesser-used items first of course. Focusing on a single room keeps the chaos confined to one space in your apartment; moreover, it means all the stuff from a given room will be in the same set of boxes, thus making it easier to unpack once you've schlepped everything over to your new pad.

Before you start stuffing any goods into your boxes, check to make sure that the boxes don't have any huge gaping holes and that the bottoms are taped up securely. Then make sure to grab the right size box for your items. Light items like linens and clothing can go in big boxes (for the latter, keep an eye out for wardrobe boxes that let you hang clothing in the box - they definitely make transferring the contents of your old closet to your new one way easier). Heavy items like books, on the other hand, should go in small boxes, to ensure that once that box is packed full, you can still lift it without killing yourself in the process.

As you pack, keep in mind that heavier items should go towards the bottom of the box, lighter items on top; label the box with an arrow to indicate which way is up. For fragile stuff like dishware, glasses and picture frames, start with a good solid layer of padding on the bottom of the box (crumpled up newsprint or packing paper works dandy for this, but you can also use sheets, towels, pillows and the like). Wrap each item individually in paper or bubble wrap. As you slide the wrapped goods into the box, try to pack plates, record albums, picture frames and similar items so they stand on an edge rather than lie flat; they'll be less likely to break in this vertical position. You'll also want to make sure to pad in between wrapped items, and top with a generous final layer of padding to keep stuff from moving around in the box. Slightly overfill with this final topping of padding; the padding will press down when you tape up the box, keeping all the contents snug and secure. (Refrain from filling too much, though, or your box will be in danger of bursting.)

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