How to Pack Up Your Kitchen

moving your kitchen
The kitchen can be headache central if you attempt to pack it without a plan. It really doesn’t matter what the size of your kitchen is — the process will take a lot of preparation and careful handling.  You’ve got the fragile items, tables, chairs, major appliances, minor appliances, and more. If the thought of all of this makes you stressed, read the tips below.  You can actually turn the dreaded kitchen pack into a fairly simple process.

Glasses and Breakables:

The very first step is to take care of the drinking glasses and other major breakables, like plates and bowls. Get really familiar with bubble wrap — you’ll want to thoroughly wrap everything in it. There’s really no shortcut to the number of boxes you’ll use — you don’t want to cheap out by trying to stuff everything into only a couple of boxes. If you do, your stuff will end up broken. My best advice is this: get boxes with compartments and pack the fragile items carefully. Glass items go in their own boxes, plates and bowls in their own boxes. Remember that bowls can carry other items in them. When you’re done, mark the boxes as fragile and get them out of the house.

Drawers and Shelves:

If you have a lot of drawers and shelves in your kitchen, you probably have a lot of stuff you don’t use. Now is the time to grab the trash can and throw things away. If you have a ton of non-perishable food that you know you’ll never use, get it in a box and donate it to your local food bank. There’s no sense in having it all sit in your next home for another 10 years!

Silverware can be tricky to pack. Make sure all the silverware is pointing the same way, and wrap it up before you pack it in a box.  If you have a silverware box instead, use it!

Appliances and Large Items:

Life in the fridge.
Smaller items like toaster ovens and microwaves are fairly simple to move. Put each item in a padded box and move it out — that way you won’t be killing yourself with really heavy boxes later. But what about the fridge, dishwasher, chairs, table, etc.? You’ll want to use the proper moving dolly. Make sure you go through the right process to moving any appliance. You’ll want to clean it thoroughly, defrost it, etc. And if you’re lifting heavy items, you’ll want to read this.

Miscellaneous Items

You might have a kitchen with random items you’re unsure how to pack. These are three of the most common items I come across: cleaning supplies (Windex, floor cleaner), wine, and storage containers. The first thing I do is use any containers to my advantage. Put items in them because it will save you space. For wine and liquor, use a divided box and wrap the items very well. For cleaning supplies, chuck what you never use. Then give the remaining items their own box. You wouldn’t want your plates and silverware to stink of cleaning supplies.

As with anything moving related, the better you plan, the better your move will go. Good luck!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

How to Properly Use a Dolly or Hand Truck

movinghandtruck
Dollies and hand trucks are extremely useful tools for moving. There are many different kinds of each device, but they all serve the same purpose – moving those heavy items more easily! We all know lifting items can be hard on your back, and a dolly or a hand truck will help relieve that stress. Both dollies and hand trucks have certain advantages. Read below for tips on how to use each device:

Dollies

Dollies come in different shapes and sizes. Some dollies have 4 wheels, some have 8. Some dollies are circular, some are rectangular. The options go on and on. You can use them to move everything from a 5 gallon pail to a dresser. If your item is small enough to fit on one dolly, have one person use proper lifting techniques to hold the item, until another person can slip the dolly underneath. If the item is very large and heavy, you will need two dollies. Simply have one person tilt the heavy object, as another person slides the dolly underneath one side. Do the same thing for the other side.

Hand Trucks

Hand trucks are a must-have for any professional mover. When using hand trucks, it’s very important that you don’t stack uneven objects. Use boxes if at all possible. Classic aluminum hand trucks are great because the plate that holds your boxes is already sitting on the floor. Simply have one person tilt your heavy box back, and have another person push the hand truck until it is underneath the box. Set the box down on the hand truck, and use proper lifting techniques to stack more boxes. Heavy boxes should always be at the bottom. Don’t stack the boxes too high – it only makes the process more dangerous. Move slowly forward and keep the hand truck in front of you while pushing. The only time a hand truck should be behind you is when you’re going up a hill. Most of those rules apply to a four wheeled hand truck as well. Always make sure your load is balanced. Always push the truck, unless it has a handle and a fifth wheel that is specifically designed for pulling.

For both hand trucks and dollies, injuries can almost always be avoided by working slowly and safely. Try to avoid operating these devices if your hands are wet or sweaty. Uneven surfaces should also be avoided if possible. Lastly, use moving straps everywhere you can.  You won’t need to worry about all of your boxes toppling over. Good luck!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Tips for Lifting Heavy Objects

LiftingHeavyObjects
We all have to lift something heavy once in awhile. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 182,270 work-related injuries to the back each year. Back problems are nothing to joke about. Often ignored for long periods of time, back injuries can develop into an extremely painful, even disabling experience. It’s no surprise that a lot of back injuries come from lifting. Twisting or bending the wrong way while lifting, attempting to lift something too heavy, etc., will increase your chances of a back injury. One bad moment can change your life. Read below for some tips for lifting heavy objects.

Before Lifting:
Be prepared to take your time with any lift. It’s worth the extra few seconds. Before you even start lifting, you should be checking a for few things. Clear the walkway and make space around the heavy item. Then, make sure your box is packed correctly. If things are moving around, you’re more likely to drop it. Gripping the box or object before a lift will help you get an idea of how heavy the object will be. If you need to, get a mechanical assist or a co-worker to help.

During the Lift:
When you’re about to lift an object, make sure you’re not reaching! You want to get as close as you can. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart, and get down and bend your knees so you’re squatting. Your posture should resemble a baseball catcher and your body should be over the box. When you extend your arms to pick up the box, they should be almost vertical to start.  When you pick the item up, get a good grip and lift as you straighten your body. You want to make sure you’re never bending at the waist. You can slightly bend your hips, knees, back, and arms. The old saying really is true – lift with your legs. Do not lift with your back!

Setting the Item Down:
When you’re setting the item down, make sure you follow a motion similar to how you originally got down to get the item. If you get lazy with setting items down, you’re still putting yourself at great risk. Remember, it always helps if items are easy to get to. If possible, make sure you’re not keeping heavy items on the floor or above the shoulders.

Hopefully you found this guide helpful. If you’ve been lifting things the wrong way for a long time, the right way may not feel right at first. It takes time to get used to. Nobody is immune to back problems, so lift your heavy object the correct way!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Tips for Moving with Kids

"We're Moving!"
Everyone knows moving can be tough.  For many people it’s not an option.  Whether you’ve accepted a new job or need a change of life, moving can be even more stressful for your kids than you.  They’ll have to say goodbye to old friendships and become the new kid in school.  And if you’ve ever had to go through that, you’ll remember just how nerve wracking it was.  If you’re mindful of your children through the whole process, you’ll have an easier transition to your new life.

Telling The Children
Telling your kids is the hardest part of the move.  Tell them you’re moving as soon as the plans are finalized, and tell them why the move is necessary.  Holding out will do no good.  Your children will most likely be upset anyway, so give them time to cope and tell their friends.  If you have control over the time you can move, try to do it in the summer.  It’s easier to start at a new school fresh in the fall.

If your child is upset, you can do a few things to ease the pain!  Let your kids open up to you.  Let them share their feelings, and you can bounce thoughts off of each other.  Kids ease a lot of their pain by talking to adults, and on the flip side, you can try to get them excited.  Tell your kids the advantages of the new area, and show them pictures of new places around your house.  If you can get tickets or a membership to a fun place around your new town, let your kids know.  It will give them something to look forward to.

Preparing For The Move
Make sure your child is a help in the whole moving process.  Moving is difficult, and everyone is dealing with stress!   Nobody in the family should get to sit out on the couch while work needs to be done, but be sure to take nice breaks.

Moving is an excellent chance to get rid of all the junk.  Have your kids help you go through all of the stuff you don’t need, but let them hang on to certain things they really care about.  Give your child a special box and let them pack all of their favorite things into it, such as stuffed animals and games.  When you arrive at your new house, make sure this box comes out first.  It’ll provide your child with comfort.

At some point before hitting the road, make sure your children get a chance to see their friends.  Arrange a time for them to do something fun, perhaps on a weekend.

The New Home
When you arrive at your new home, let your child have a say in the decoration of their new room.  Get their rooms arranged first.  When you’re getting more settled in, try to get involved with the community to keep their mind off the move.  Try having family over to see the new place.  Once you’ve been living in your new house for awhile, try to take a trip back to your old neighborhood (if it’s within driving distance.)  Your kids will be ecstatic to see their old friends.  Hopefully you found these tips helpful.  Good luck!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

5 Tips for Moving Cross Country

ROAD TRIPAre you getting ready to move across the country? While the opportunity is exciting, there are certainly a lot of obstacles standing in your way. In order to make your big move a little easier, here are five tips for your upcoming cross country relocation:

Plan Ahead

You’re moving out of state, which means you most likely cannot visit beforehand. For that reason, you will want to plan ahead. Use the Internet to search for apartments or houses online. Luckily, certain apartment complexes will allow you to apply for a lease directly online. If you’re moving blindly, I would suggest you sign a short-term lease for three or six months.

Give yourself time to pack

Moving across the country is a pretty big venture. For example, you cannot just drive back if you forget something to move. On the same token, you will most likely have to the move everything in one trip. You should allow yourself enough time to pack. This includes deciding which items should be brought in the car or moving truck and which items can be shipped. Take your time, this step is important!

Look at a map

The best way to learnDirection your way around a new city is by starring a map, seriously! Start to familiarize yourself with the main streets and how you can reach them from your new home. You should also highlight important locations located near your new place, such as laundry mats, grocery stores and gas stations. While you’re looking at a map, try to figure out the best possible route for your cross-country move. If you have to stay over night, plan where you will be stopping and make a list of hotels within that area. Lastly, make note of all the gas stations along your route.

Hire professionals

You’re moving across the country, which means you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Hiring professional movers can make your move easier. They will transport your items and unload them for you. However, if it’s not in your budget, compare doing it yourself vs. paying for movers. Or, you can save the cost of hiring professionals altogether by renting a moving truck.

Wear comfortable clothes

While this should go without saying, wear comfortable clothes. You will be in the same outfit for hours on end. If you get cold, you will want a sweater accessible. On the other hand, if you anticipate hot weather, try to wear something lightweight or that can be taken off. Also, when you’re moving to a new location it’s important to wear shoes that are comfortable and protective of your feet, such as sneakers.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!