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Get packing: tips on how to have a fairly painless move - Part 1

It's moving season in the big city, and we want to be sure your move doesn't result in parking tickets, undue stress or injury. So we've compiled some helpful pointers from the team to make your move as smooth as possible. Sarah, Brian and Danielle will each have their say over the next few weeks, but for now, our most recent mover, Sarah, shares her wisdom... Spring is in the air. Trees are in full bloom. Baby birds are chirping. And cheery early-morning joggers fill the parks and streets of New York City...while I double-park with a truck I shouldn't be allowed to drive, cross my fingers as I abandon a few boxes on the side of the road, and look for my building's superintendent who has my new key. Sigh. It has to be easier than this! Here's what I recommend when making the big move...

Sarah's tips:

1. Ask your friends and family to help with your furniture - not your stuff As much as I love my close ones, I don't love them messing with my stuff. Yes, that sounds mean, selfish and a little rude. That being said, moving is stressful enough - not being able to find your keys or your make-up the next morning in all of your piles because someone moved them to the WRONG pile just makes it 1,000 times worse. Figure out which stuff you need to be in charge of, and keep it in a "hands-off" corner.

2. Actually pack your stuff. Like, "put it in a labeled box" pack, not "that grocery bag will do" pack I think we justified this glorious decision because we only moved about a mile or two away from our old place, reusable grocery bags have handles, and let's face it, we have plenty extra lying around the House Party office with all of the Party Pack samples. But, over-packed grocery bags also break from the abuse, don't catch leaks very well, and spill all over the back seat since they're malleable. End result for us: couldn't find anything, lots of picking up stuff off the floor, lost jewelry, and an un-move-in-able second bedroom. The floor was completely covered in bags since they don't exactly stack gracefully. Do yourself a favor. Take the time to find boxes, organize and actually pack. I can't emphasize this enough. Most supermarkets, big chain stores or drug stores will be happy to give you theirs after they get shipments in. Once empty, these are more of an inconvenience to them, so take advantage of the free supplies!

3. Purge your closet starting two months before you move I say two months because you KNOW you're going to want to "keep that dress for just a little while longer" or you'll swear that "you'll wear that sweatshirt when fall comes" on the first pass. Trust me - on moving day, you won't care about either of those articles of clothing. By getting the purging process started two months ahead of time, you'll have plenty of time for a second round a month before the big day.

4. If you can afford it, try to overlap your lease by at least a week Every time we've moved in the city, we've overlapped our lease for a month. Yes, this ate a sizable chunk of our savings (say goodbye to that tax return...), but the peace of mind and flexibility is worth it. That's part of the reason we keep savings, right? Making life a little more comfortable? I've never regretted making this move.

Come back next week for Brian's tips!

Cooking with Larry: Sweet & Savory

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