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Take It or Leave It

If you have enough time before you move, sort through your belongings. You may be able to lighten your load. To help you decide what to take and what to let go of try this Yes-No-Maybe method. Sort things into three piles:

Pile #1 is for the 'absolutely yes' items that you know, without question, are going to your new home.

Pile #2 is called 'absolutely no.' You can let go of these things. Plan to give them away, sell them at a garage sale or call the Goodwill.

The 3rd pile is 'maybe,' the undecided assortment.
The #3 group is really interesting. Sift through it again, creating three piles. It will be more obvious this time what is to stay and what can go. Do this one more time.
Anything remaining in the maybe pile can be packed in its own box and labeled 'maybe.' In your new home you can reevaluate the 'maybes' with a new perspective.

Where in the World are the Forks?

A shortcut many people take when packing is in the labeling process. Harried and rushed, it seems a temptation to jam things into boxes and mark only with destination labels- 'Kitchen', 'Family Room'. This will be good enough to help the movers get the boxes out the door and into your new location. But now comes the problem.

What if you have 30 boxes all marked 'kitchen'? One of them holds the toaster, which you need desperately, the dog food is God-knows where, you had counted on using the big spaghetti pot to cook dinner tonight and you can't even find the can opener. Save yourself an unpacking nightmare! Take time at the beginning of your packing to set up a system for cataloging and labeling your boxes.

Create a catalog list. Run a list of numbers down the left side of a page, one number for each box. As you pack, note on your list what is going into each box. Mark the corresponding number on the box. List the contents on the outside of the box. List the room destination on each box so that the movers will know where everything goes. Put bright red 'Fragile' stickers on things that truly are.

When you move, keep the catalog list handy. Now comes the pay off for your time and care. As you begin to unpack use your catalog list to locate the specific boxes you need. You discover that your warm pajamas are in box #17. Box #42 holds your socks, belts and scarves. Boxes #12 and #57 hold guest room sheets and towels and don't have to be unpacked till next week.

Cross the boxes off your catalog list as they are opened and emptied. Maybe you never will get around to unpacking #34 & #35 because they contain old jig-saw puzzles and books on macrame. But you can easily locate your computer software and 'Scrabble'. Now you and your family can kick back, relax, and know that everything will be located and opened in its own good time, without a frantic search.

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