MOVING, OUT AND IN
Getting Rid of the
Ah, moving day... creator of so much junk!
Well, and continuing on as you unpack. But you'll be glad you set up a
system for dealing with all the debris right away (because you will
generate some of it from the get-go).
So, here are some tips on handling moving day,
and later, trash (and treasure)...
- Get set up for a deluge of cast-offs:
Especially if you had to add in boxes once or more during the packing
process, you'll be amazed at how fast gigantic piles of broken-down boxes
and liberated cushioning materials will accumulate as you unpack.
Right away, select a good-sized corner in which to house these. Hold
out a few sturdy giant-sized boxes in which to stand the boxes to be broken
down. Large garbage bags can readily store the bubble and foamy wrap
and the styrofoam peanuts.
- One man's trash is another man's treasure:
As mentioned in the page on Packing,
there's plenty of still-usable packing material left after sorting out the
trashed matter after a move - and someone else may want it. Someone
else may even be glad to pay something for it. ...But even if not, having a
donee take it away can save you labor and/or trash removal
Moving into an apartment complex or co-op housing of some sort? - put up a
sign, ask around. How about a sign at the senior center, if there's
one nearby? Realtors are in a good position to link you up with someone who needs your
discards - or put a sign out on the street (or stop by the houses of people
with "for sale" signs in their yards?). Or take it to a
recycling center - where even if it isn't on the list of recyclables,
someone who's moving is bound to turn up looking for boxes and gratefully
grab the bags!
By the way, professional unpackers will probably offer
to get rid of the residue as part of their service.
- How to get rid of what remains:
If you haven't hired unpackers who will take it all away, there will be, at
the very least, a lot of garbage for a single household. In some areas
where trash pickup is a free service, you can arrange to just put it all out
at the curb, or to have it all hauled away for free. Most recycling
centers take all kinds of paper for free. And then there's a possible
trip to the dump, where it may or may not be free to dispose of trash in
bulk. (Have some fun whirling the last of it into the dumpster
- "Yay!, it's over!!") At the least, you ought to be able to pay for it all to be
hauled, by a garbage service or an individual. How lovely it will be
to be free of it at last!
- Or keep it?: No, not all the
boxes... But here's an idea for storing a useful portion of the light
stuff: hang it in the garage. Assuming your garage ceiling is
tall enough to accommodate a big garbage bag or two without your banging
your head into them, hoisting them up with a rope and pulley, or into a net
strung high, is a good way to get them out of the way below. (As you
may have discovered to your dismay during the packing process, that stuff is
expensive if you have to buy it. I always keep some around.)
- Whatever, do it soon: Get the
junk out of the way as soon as you're able so you can feel like
you're moved in. Find two families who need the discards, or
one that's willing to come get them a few times as you build them up. You
might think you can get used to looking at stacks of moving detritus, but it saps your
spirit on the sly. Free yourself!
What you'll need:
- Things you can't do without: Box cutters -
don't rip apart when you can just zip a blade through the tape. (I
like the retractable little ones that slip into your pocket.) You might need a big taper - because you'll open some
boxes (to refresh your memory about their contents?) and want to close them
up again (not what you were hoping for! - or, you're going to repack stuff
from two or more emptied boxes). Scissors might come in handy - if
you're into saving the good portions (though prepping to that extent would
take too much time if you're in a hurry). You'll be glad you had ready a supply of big garbage bags
for the actual trash (and some still-usable bags might get freed up as you
- A sorting system: Decide now on
what you'd like to set aside, to keep or make usable for others.
Unwrinkle and fold the once-flat stuff before bagging. If you're going
to go the all-trash route, you're free to stuff and stamp on it all into
boxes to compact it as much as possible.