Maria Sansone Gets Organized - New York News

Maria Sansone Gets Organized

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Over the weekend I moved into my new house, now that was the exciting part, but the packing and organizing part - not so much. I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin so I called in the expert. 

Shara Koplowitz from O.P.E.N. (stands for Organizing People's Everyday Needs.) came to help.

Now that I'm all settled, getting organized before-hand really made it so much faster.

O.P.E.N. Moving Checklist & Tips

  1. Weed out as much as you can before moving. As you are packing get rid of things you don't need, never use or are broken. Don't hold on to anything that you wouldn't love to see in your next house. And when you unpack get rid of a few more things. Less to pack and less to put away
  2. Pack your stuff for their destination room.  
  • Assign a color to every room, and mark the boxes with coordinating stickers so you and the movers will know where each one should go.
  • When coding furniture, be mindful where you affix stickers.
  • Use different colored duct tape to pack moving boxes to keep them organized or assign a color for each family member or room..
  1. Label and list the main items in each box.
  2. Ritual. Some people like to burn sage as a way of starting fresh in a new space. That might be too airy fairy for you, but whatever you decide, try adding a ritual to moving. It could be getting the kitchen set up first so that you can have a first meal your first night at home, or it could be having friends over for a glass of wine. It could be sitting quietly in the one of the empty rooms and imaging your life there, or baking cookies for the neighbors. Rituals help mark important moments in life and moving often represents change and possibility.
  3. If using a moving company take all of the items you don't want them packing (underwear, financial stuff), box yourself and set aside. If you have things you are taking with - set in an area where they won't get in the way.
  4. Take the loose items in all of your drawers and put them in a zip lock to bag. Then label the bag and put it back in the drawer if you have a moving company.
  5. Pack heavy items like books in small boxes, and lighter items like blankets and pillows in larger boxes. While your packing keep in mind that your going to have to lift that box.
  6. Pack clothes in suitcases, they are easier to lug around!
  7. Keep a moving journal with all of the phone numbers you may need. This includes all of the phone numbers to people you may need to contact for change of address, and moving company phone numbers…In that journal keep a list of all your credit card companies, utilities, and bank accounts. Have the phone number and account number with them for ease of switching everything.
  8. Get as many boxes as you can all the same size! The boxes take up much less room this way since you don't have that random small box that's throwing off your stack of boxes
  9. Upon arrival, put the beds together first.
  10. Create a Last-Out, First-In Box
  11. Pack your day-to-day necessities so that they're together in one place, including bedding, towels, toiletries, toilet paper, basic tools, cleaning supplies, medications, a camera (to document anything broken in transit), snacks, a few dishes and utensils, and a coffeepot -- plus coffee and mugs. Take the box with you in your car.
  12. Instead of taking ALL the boxes inside designate the garage as moving central. Divide it into different areas of your house (kitchen, bath, bedrooms) and place all like boxes together. That way instead of tripping over boxes you can just unpack one and then get the next from the garage
  13. Take photos of every room and plan beforehand where each piece of furniture will go, using the pictures as a guide!! It saves time and you know to tell the movers exactly where to put each piece on moving day!
  14. Make a moving kit and get prepared with the proper moving supplies.
  15. If you need to disassemble your beds before moving; place all the hardware in a small plastic bag and tape it to the rails or headboard
  16. Keep valuables with you.
  17. Conduct a room-by-room survey to determine what you plan to keep, sell, and donate.
  18. Document Valuables-Have items such as artwork and antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph or videotape them, and upload the images to your computer. Also save them to a CD, and store it with your small valuables.
  19. Notify Utility Services -Request that your utilities and phone and Internet service be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the day before you arrive.
  20. Arrange to have the locks in your new home changed on moving day, or earlier if convenient.
  21. Hire a Cleaning Company - Consider having housekeepers scrub both of the spaces -- so you don't have to -- preparing the new house in the morning before you arrive and tidying up the old one after you have left.
  22. Two weeks before your move Change Your Address-To have your mail forwarded, complete a change-of-address form online <> or at the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and notify banks and credit card companies.
  23. Add Handles -If your moving boxes don't have pre-punched grips, make a set of your own. Using a box cutter, create inverted triangles on opposite sides of an empty box. The top edge of each triangle should be wide enough to accommodate all hand sizes. Take care not to overpack your boxes, as they'll be more difficult to maneuver, with or without handles.
  24. Protect Glass-Make a masking-tape X across mirrors and framed artwork. While this technique won't prevent shattering, it will help absorb shock and hold the glass in the frame should the item be dropped. Pack objects in a tightly fitting box clearly marked "fragile" on all sides. Make sure the corners are well-padded, so the objects won't slide around.
  25. Wrap Furniture-When transporting anything with doors or drawers, such as bureaus, cabinets, or large appliances, wind a few layers of plastic wrap around the item to secure it. This eliminates the need for tape, which can damage delicate surfaces, and helps safeguard against scratches. Plastic wrap can also protect upholstered furniture against dirt.
  26. Prepare Your Moving Papers-Print an information sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions, and your cell phone number. Have a cashier's check or a credit card (if accepted) on hand, plus cash for a tip.
  27. Arrange for someone to be at your new home when the movers arrive to oversee them and answer questions. Check items off the inventory list as they're unloaded.
  28. Inspect for Damages-Photograph relevant objects before signing the release, also known as the bill of lading.
  29. Start to Settle In-Test faucets, toilets, utilities, phones, smoke detectors, and security systems. Turn on the water heater, if necessary. Begin to unpack, discarding anything that no longer serves you. Flatten boxes to recycle, or store them for next time.
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