I have been hinting at our move to Seattle for some time, waiting until the last moment to share our plans with you because frankly it seems like only yesterday I was talking about packing up our London kitchen and moving to Arizona. Over the past 8 years we have moved 4 times, partly due to my passion for remodelling old homes and partly due to our bold choice to leave our London lives behind and move across the pond to embark on the American dream. If I have learned anything in those 8 years it is how to pack a kitchen, and that some of the best adventures in life come when you have more dream than sense to lead the way.
This past week we saw our dream become a near reality and made an offer on a ‘forever home’ in the Seattle area, the urban voice you have come to know is going to get a bit more country…. begging the question, can a city girl live survive outside the city? And how crazy of a dream is it to want to spend my mornings with chickens and foraging for wild berries? If anyone had told me 10 years ago when my domestic life involved collecting dry cleaning and sipping cocktails in Chelsea, that I would settle in the country side and be excited about out-buildings, I would have raised an eye brow and assured them they had so much to learn about me. But here I am, packing for a new life in the country and looking forward to never having to pack my kitchen again.
7 steps for stress free kitchen packing:
- De-Clutter your kitchen: The moment you know you are moving, start looking at your kitchen possessions and ask “Do I really want that in my new kitchen?” And when the answer is “no“, create a donate or a discard box for those unwanted items. Be warned this is also the time you accept that you do indeed have a hoarding problem…for me, I appear to have a tendency to collect tiny bowls, a love made even more clear when I decided to pack them all.
- Purchase your packing materials: Our movers from London to Arizona taught me the value in not over packing, and to use plenty of packing paper and bubble wrap. Like a delicate summer berry, your kitchen items need not be crammed into boxes. Give them plenty of room and pack them well by using packing paper to cushion movement. Strong tape to seal the box and a medium point marker to label the box will go a long way to securing your sanity when you start to unpack.
- Inventory your items and label your boxes: I keep a moving log that highlights the contents of each box. Giving each box a number and assigning that to a room (the kitchen, for example) helps you know exactly what is in each box. No one has time to read endless contents listed on a side of a box when you are searching for that one item you need in a hurry.
- When and how to pack your heirloom and entertaining service: Pack your non essentials first. This allows you to gradually embark on the moving process without disrupting daily life. Packing these items 3 weeks before you move will give you plenty of time to check, repair or clean your cherished items before you pack them.
- When and how to pack your non essential cooking equipment and dishes: When you start to pack up your kitchen equipment, even the non essentials, you will have to coordinate your meals with military precision which is why I suggest doing this 2 weeks before your move. Employing your packing log is essential at this stage (if not before) because that one item you have not used for months, may be the one item you are looking for when your boxes finally arrive at your new destination. Try to keep like items in the same box, filling your box with packing paper to avoid that one odd item floating around your box will ensure that your sanity is preserved on the other side of the move.
- When and how to pack your pantry and bar: Start living out of your panty 3 weeks before your move, this allows you to reduce your pantry bulk, making packing that little bit easier. Be diligent with your inspection — spices, opened dry goods, flour from last Christmas and similar items should not be packed. Instead focus on canned goods, sealed containers and pantry items that have another 6 months of living to do. When packing your bar, consider how much space you have and what items are important for you. Bubble wrap and crate your special bottles and stemware, and plan a party or play the part of a “booze fairy” by giving away those bottles that won’t travel well.
- When and how to create a go-to box with everyday essentials: A few days before your move, create a box that will help you ease into your new kitchen. Items like cutlery, a few dishes and glasses, a pot, a pan, wine opener, kitchen towels, and other essentials should be clearly marked so you can spend your first night enjoying your new kitchen rather than unpacking it. When your essential box is packed, pack up the rest of your kitchen.
· Moving Checklist to Facilitate your Next Move
· Call Movers or Do-It-Yourself? Know Your Moving Options
· Tips For Getting Rid of Unwanted ItemsBefore Your Move
· Ideas for Making Your Move Easier On You and Your Family
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