Marita A. Orton, Virginia
In today’s world, we’re often on the move. But the excitement and anticipation of moving somewhere new are often overshadowed by all the work that lies ahead: the sorting, packing, and heavy lifting. To make things easier for ourselves, as well as for anyone who is helping, there’s much we can do ahead of time. Here are some tips on how experienced movers often handle the job.
De-junk. Start by sorting through drawers, cupboards, closets, and the garage. Sell or donate excess items; don’t move junk from one house to another.
Rent needed equipment. Assess your furniture-moving needs ahead of time and reserve dollies or other equipment to help you move the big items.
Ask for help. Enlist family and friends to help with packing and loading. If more help will be needed, you can ask the elders quorum president for help from quorum members to load your packed boxes and furniture.
Get lots of packing materials. Find or purchase plenty of boxes. You’ll also need sticky labels, marking pens, newspaper or other filler, and packing tape. You may also want to have old blankets on hand to keep furniture from getting scratched. Gather everything you need ahead of time, and put it where your helpers have access.
Label. Write on or color-code your packing boxes. Colored, peel-off stickers, available at office supply stores, can indicate at a glance where a box belongs. Red could be for the kitchen, blue for the den, and so on. If you like, you can label the boxes according to where they will go in the next house.
Prepare personal items. Use your car to store toiletries, medicine, and other personal items you will need during the move. You might also want to keep plastic utensils, cups, and paper plates on hand.
Pack valuables. Don’t delegate this task; only you know how your valuables should be treated.
Pack the walls. Take down pictures, decorations, and curtains—anything that’s not screwed into the wall or part of the home sale.
Unplug. Before anything is moved, unhook cords and cables that might get lost or disorganized. Neatly coil and label them before packing.
Feed the crew. The day of the move, have simple food and drinks on hand. This does wonders to keep everyone energized and in good spirits.
Set aside cleaning supplies and equipment. Once everything is out of the house, you’ll be able to clean quickly if you’re well stocked and organized. Maybe a good neighbor will loan you a broom and vacuum if yours are already packed or if you want to double up and get the job done even faster.
Organize help on the other end. If you need help unloading in the new location, ask the local ward leaders in advance. Make sure they have a phone number where you can be reached.
If we do all we can ahead of time to prepare for a smooth move, others will gladly lend us a hand. In return, we can be quick to help others when they are in need.
The Snuggle-Time Solution
Cindy Jepson, Arizona
Awhile ago, my husband’s job required him to travel a lot. We knew it wouldn’t be permanent and that he was doing what needed to be done to support our family, but our girls and I missed him. I prayed for help to get through this time period.
While listening to talk radio one day, I heard an idea that was new to me about parent-child relationships. I learned that bedtime is a good time to connect with children because most will do anything to stay up a little longer. Although my fuse was often pretty short at night, I decided to give it a try. I’d spend 10 to 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each of our girls. While I was visiting with one, the others could lie quietly in bed and look at books, waiting their turns. I began to enjoy this quiet time snuggling with each one in my rocking chair. We talked about anything that was on their mind. I often had opportunities to talk about the gospel and share my testimony with them.
Snuggle time helped to fill some of the void we felt when my husband was traveling. The prompting to focus on each child individually was an answer to my prayers.
Family Home Evening Helps
Cathy Ambrose, Utah
When I was invited to give a talk in church about family home evening, I used my dad’s notebooks as a resource. You see, when I was a child, my dad took notes during our weekly family nights. While reading more than a decade of entries, I laughed and cried as long-forgotten memories flooded my mind. Thanks to my father’s foresight, I now have a treasury of family records. I’m pleased to say that I’ve continued the tradition with my own family.
We use a basic spiral notebook and an archival pen. With those simple supplies and a few abbreviations in mind, you can make the note taking easy. In our journal, the opening song and prayer, for instance, are abbreviated OS and OP. Then I write down the song title and who said the prayer. A few more ideas include MET (most exciting thing: family members share weekly highlights); L (lesson topic and comments); FSST (family scripture study time); and CS and CP for closing song and prayer.
I also leave space to jot down noteworthy items like current events and family milestones. The best thing about this tradition is that it will serve our family for years but only takes a few minutes each week. Imagine your children a decade from now, reliving your Monday nights through the pages of these simple family records.
Left: illustration by Joe Flores; right: illustration by Beth Whittaker