When you pack your boxes, don't list on the outside of them what's in them. Instead, just write a number, the room it goes into in the new home, and if it's fragile. Have a master list on a clipboard that has details of what is in each of the boxes. Keep it with you. This will help prevent theft. My Mom had stuff stolen by some people working for the moving company(!) when she moved...electronics equipment.
And, if you have people helping you load and unload, it just makes things a little safer with them not knowing what's in your house. When we had people unloading us here, we were warned the mover picked guys up off the street to help, and to be sure to change our locks when we moved in. We noticed a set of keys missing from the mantel where the realtor had left them, and did just that.
Also, don't forget to just leave the clothes in the dresser. They can be moved as is. And other clothes can be used for packing material as well.
Good point about numbering the boxes, I never would have thought of that. Since you're moving to hurricane territory, I'd budget for hurricane preparedness, since the season starts in June I think. Also make sure you have flood insurance if you are buying a house. Good luck on your move, and welcome to Florida!
PS, don't move any more than you have to. If you can sell/give away some stuff in Ohio, do it! You won't regret it.
I moved from Oregon to Pennsylvania a while ago and have to say: Don't waste time packing ANYTHING you no longer need/really want. It's such a waste of time and space on both ends. But I'm sure you figured that already. Just don't allow yourself to get in a crunch and throw everything in boxes.
First step is to declutter. As an Army family we have moved alot. What we do is print up a list on the computer of everything that goes in a box. Then we put a copy of each in each box and keep a copy in the folders. Also if you are having mover pack you, video tape it. That way with the lists and video tapes if things are broken and the moving company says they did not break it you have proof. If you are driving to your new home then I would take all important papers and pack them in a box and take them in the car with you as to cut down on your risk of identification fraud.
Now is the perfect time to declutter, it makes no sense to move alot of unwanted/unneeded stuff.
Pack the kids stuff last, have it on the back of the moving truck and unpack their stuff first.
We have moved around so much that I can tell you Penske (if you will be moving your own stuff instead of using movers) is cheaper when you are going south, and uhaul is cheaper when going north.
When we moved from Florida to NC last summer we used a Pod. They drop it off at your house, you load it, they come back and pick it up, move it to your new house. You then unload it and they come and get the pod. We chose that option because it was about $300 cheaper then doing a truck with the cost of gas factored in. Using the pod we did have to get rid of alot of stuff because it doesn't hold as much as a truck would. We were able to move all our furniture, except dressers and all the kids stuff. What we didn't move was all the fluff (decorative items), weight room stuff, deep freezer and not even sure what else.
Pack with you a box of basics you will need when you get there, toilet paper, personal care items, first aid stuff.
From my own experience living in Tampa, if you shop at Sams club don't go to the one on Dale Mabry, there is a newer much cleaner one up Bruce B Downs, can't think of the name of the road you will turn on off BBD, but their is a red light you will turn left, on the right is a JCpenny, a gas station and I want to think it was a Publix. Speaking of Publix the one that is at the intersection of BBD and Tampa Palms Blvd. when we were there they had the freshest fresh produce. Though if you are up for the drive if you take highway 4 east to Plant City, think it is exit 17 you want there is an awesome produce stand there. If you are a Walmart shopper, the walmart on Bruce B Downs was always clean when I was in there and never long lines at registers. The one on Dale Mabry/Bearrs Ave was always a mess.
If you have school aged kids, and not sure where you are living at, I would try and us the school choice thing and get them in Chiles Elementary school. That school is awesome and the teachers were great.
All I can think of to say right now, if you have any more questions about the Tampa area feel free to PM me.
I have friends that will argue with me, but personally, I think buying boxes from the movers (like U-Haul) is a waste of money. The two best places to get free, AWESOME boxes are grocery stores and liquor stores. I inquired about boxes at a liquor store near my house, and they took me out back to an entire SHED full of boxes and then thanked me for taking some off their hands! I also asked about apple boxes in the produce section of my grocery store every week for about two months before I moved. The boxes didn't have handles in the sides, so I cut my own and they are some of the best boxes ever! (In fact, I saved them in my basement for when I move again!)
First, declutter, declutter and declutter. In fact it isn't all that bad. Now is the time to get rid of that ugly sweater that your aunt gave you and that you keep out of obligation.
Second word of advice that will save you loads of headache. After you call to cancel/relocate all of your utilities, phone ect... Do call back within a couple of days to CONFIRM your request. Time spent doing that simple task will save you hundreds of minutes and dollars.
Inform or much better gather medical information to take with you before the move. Along the same line, if you are so organized, find out 3 of your insurance approved dentist and doctors in the radius of new home.
Short story. I had packers that came and moved us. There were 4 of them 1 of me. They stole from us big time. Not all big ticket items. I couldn't touch them because I discovered everything only after we were moved. Jurisdiction prevailed here at the new location (and they knew it). So another suggestion is this. Listen to your gut. (Which I didn't because I thought it was having moving jitters)
Tell the movers up front that you have concerns that you don't want things broken or stolen ask how they/you are going to prevent it. Insist on knowing full names and who/how to reach them after the work is done. Take it personal.
Ill poke around and see if I can find my more detailed master list.
I moved from Md to Pa two years ago and due to an unforeseen family crisis our "relocation" ended up being extended - we were 'homeless' for 4 months. Here's the things I learned:
1. Get multiple moving company quotes - and ask hundreds of questions of each company. We chose the "nicest guy" quote - and were very sorry in the end because we had lousy service.
2. Use your linens for packing materials - I used all my towels, sheets, blankets, and even pillows, etc. to wrap and cushion stuff - this saved on quite a bit of bubble wrap!! But don't skimp on the bubble wrap or newspapers - it's worth the extra protection to have your precious belongings arrive safely.
3. If you have pets make sure you keep your medical records with you - just as you would keep all the other important documents for your family.
4. If possible, scan important family photos and burn to CDs before you pack them away. Keep those Cds with you. You never know if the family photos will be the box that gets lost.
5. This may not apply to you, but we knew we'd be "on the road" for a while before we found & moved in to our new home - so we used one of those Mail Box centers to redirect our snail mail. Unfortunately, the one we chose went out of business a couple weeks later so we had to notify everyone all over again of a new address and we did end up losing some mail.
And I agree with those who've advised not to purchase boxes from the moving company. You might need to buy the bed boxes - keeps your mattresses cleaner - and you might even need to buy the special boxes for paintings/art work. Other than that - get the sturdy boxes from liquor/grocery stores.
Get rid of any winter clothes that you dont care for. YOu wont need them in Tampa.
Declutter is the word. Trust me get rid of as much as you can stand to purge and them get rid of one more thing. We moved less than a year ago. I cleaned out and cleaned but still wished I had tossed more.
Thanks so much for all the great ideas and well wishes.I have sold alot of things, decluttered and freecycled alot. Still got to go through all the clothes yet. I know I will be getting rid of alot of winter items especially since my daughter owns 6 winter coats. Tshirt and flip flops woo hoo.
Make sure you keep one winter coat for next year. You won't have very many but there will be a few mornings when the temps are freezing. Then if your dd is anything like my kids she won't bring the coat home, because when they leave school it will be in the 70s.
Living in Tampa, I'd like to echo what justpeach92 said with a bit of expanding. Make sure you keep some of your winter clothes. While it doesn't get cold here, it does get rather cool and with the humidity here 50F heres feels colder than 50F in other parts of the country. (My husband is finally understanding what I mean when I say that now that he's traveling to northern states these past few months.) And there are actually a few days every year when we have :surprise: FROST on the cars in the morning! It may seem silly, but I'd recommend you keep some of your lighter weight gloves, ski/skull caps, and scarves until you've gone through at least one winter here.
As for which is the best Sam's, Publix, and other store locations, I think that will depend on where in Tampa you'll be living. The Publix mentioned by... umm... someone earlier, I forget who (sorry!) is a great Publix, but if you're living on the other side of town it's not a very practical place to shop. I can tell you this now, though, so far I've found that the cost of a gallon of 2% cow milk is cheapest at Sam's, and last week it was $2.65.
And welcome to the city! When you get here, that is.
We moved from PA to just north of Tampa a little over 2 years ago. The best thing is to get rid of anything that you haven't used in the last 6 months! Also, don't get rid of all of your winter clothes thinking that you won't need them! Once you get accustomed to the heat, you'll be cold if it gets below 70. Keep some sweaters, and coats! If you need any more advice feel free to PM me!
Purge, purge, purge! The less you move, the less it costs to actually move it and then to store it.
Use freecycle.org to help you get rid of items that may seem unlikely donatable elsewhere (such as a lawnmower with stubborn wheels, older but highly usable gas grill, boxful of soccer and baseball cleats, 20 clay pots) but are still in decent shape. We gave away TONS of stuff this way when we moved 20 months ago, and figure it saved us about $1000 in dumpster and hauling fees. People come and get it from you -- you don't have to take it anywhere!
Best of luck!
(P.S. We're moving again in 2 weeks, but this time it's just across town. We're still doing the purging; haven't acquired much to freecycle since we've been in a rental while our house was being built and we actually behave ourselves for the most part.)
A note on clothes. Keep at least one winter coat for that trip back home during the holidays! I've seen more posts on the local freecycle of folks going home in the winter needing clothes they gave away.
I'll echo the reports on Publix and the I-4 veggie stand.
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