If there’s one thing I’ve discovered about this #LifeOnTheLam it’s that organization is KEY!!! And, for an insanely organized gal, I’ve been anything BUT together.
To paint a picture of the insanity of just my car: I’ve been driving around the city streets of LA with 25 pounds of carpet & tile samples for a design client, 17 pounds of dirty laundry (because the boat “caught on fire” and my entire smoke stuffed wardrobe needs to be laundered!) AND an old toaster that “dings” every time I make a left hand turn! You can’t make this shit up, people.
The one place in my life that IS spectacularly organized is my storage unit. Maybe I should be staying there instead of living out of my car?
Over the next few blogs, I will be doling out my 101 Tips (if I can muster that many) for effective moving & storing. Today we’re talking boxes! Well, I AM married to the guy who started UsedCardboardBoxes.com, so I DEFINITELY know a thing or two about boxes.
Preface: Item #2 will seem laborious! And, it IS! But, if A) you have a ton of belongs and/or, B) you’re not immediately going to unpack, you’ll never ever remember what’s in each box and thus your unpacking will be much less maddening as you search for that red, ceramic bull if you follow Aunt Tracy’s tried ‘n true packing tips.
- Keep a concise legend of what is in each box. HOW? WARNING: this is going to be BORING, so unless you really want to be hyper organized, skip #7 where the fun stuff begins)
- Label each box per room, i.e.
- K for kitchen,
- L for living room,
- G for garage.
- But, when you get to the bedrooms, of which there could be many (such as Johnny & Sally Sue each have their own), begin to letter & number, i.e.
- B1 for Johnny’s room,
- B2 for Sally Sue’s room
- Within each room, number the boxes and note on your legend what’s in each box, i.e.
- K1 = glass serving pieces,
- K2 = dinner & salad plates.
- You can get super fancy if you like when you get to the bedrooms where more than one person sleeps (such as Marty & I). Here’s the trick to keeping it organized:
- BM1 (Bedroom, Marty) = shoes,
- BM2 (Bedroom, Marty) = undershirts,
- BT1 (Bedroom, Tracy) jeans,
- BT2 (Bedroom, Tracy) = sweaters.
- This sounds crazy confusing but once you begin you’ll realize how easy it is especially if you keep a piece of paper (onto which you write down everything ) taped to the wall in each room.
- Keep the legend in each person’s car who might go to the storage unit.
- Keep a legend IN the actual unit… you never know when you might be with a friend and need to stop by the unit to pick up that thingamathingthing.
- Each person who may visit the storage unit should keep a storage unit key on their key ring. Nothing worse than showing up and not having the key.
- Tape it! Do NOT, I repeat do NOT “who-ji-whats-it” the bottom of the box flaps. Tape the flaps together. Shit WILL fall out if you don’t tape the bottom well.
- Don’t be a cheap ass with your bubble wrap. Protect Grandma’s honey jar by going around that extra time! The extra $25 in bubble wrap you’ll spend to protect your precious pieces is worth the peace of mind. Put it this way, if you’re actually going to spend the time wrapping things, may as well make sure they make it there in one piece.
- If you have enough space in your storage facility, stack boxes around the perimeter, then create walkable rows between the stacks of boxes in the middle. This way you can get to everything without having to move a bunch of boxes… because you KNOW the one item you need will inevitably be in the bottom box that’s tucked into the furthest corner.
- Keep a flashlight in your storage unit. Some units have lights, some don’t. For the ones that don’t, and for finding stuff deep in a box, a flashlight is a bright idea.
SIDEBAR: You know you’re visiting your storage unit too often when the folks working there know the floor you’re on and YOU DON’T. That’s the truth, ya’ll!
Tweet me @tracymetro pix of your storage units and I’ll show you mine!