Moving Food Without Losing Your Mind

Moving?  Read This Guide To Moving (or Getting Rid of) Your Food.

moving food

It’s time to move houses and you booked a mover, packed the furniture and knick knacks, but what about moving your food?     Moving food is a pain!   There’s that awkward week or so before moving where you just don’t know what to do.

Fear not, you’re not alone.

We have tips to help you with moving that food!

Prioritize Your Food

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Before you do anything, assess what you have and its value. That box of weird Japanese cookies that no one dares touch can probably go. The expensive balsamic vinegar your aunt gave you will be hard to replace, so keep that.

It doesn’t hurt to do an inventory of everything in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Now, go over the list with an eye to value and portability. Obviously, if you’re moving across the country, transporting frozen steaks won’t give you that romantic dinner you hoped for upon arrival.   You can replace a half-empty box of cornflakes in a jiffy for a few bucks.

Items that you need to use or discard before your move include:

  • Frozen items
  • Refrigerated items
  • Opened condiments
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Items that expire within the next few days
  • As you look at all your food, you’ll have some items that you obviously want to keep. Set those aside. You can pack this food and move it, along with your furniture.

Once you figure out what is most valuable and needs to go with you, you’ll have food that is hard to transport. You’ll also find food that simply isn’t worth the effort. That’s what you’re going to be dealing with in the days leading up to the move and we’re here to tell you how.

Stop Buying Food

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This point may seem a little obvious, but you may purchase something small for lunch thinking it’s only one meal. That’s a bad idea, because each item you buy is one less thing you’re getting rid of at home.

Skip buying food for at least a week before leaving and use up what is in your pantry. It requires getting creative, but it’s worth it when you have less to deal with later. Meal planning is your friend at this point.

Use Up Perishables

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Everything that is already opened or will go bad needs to be gone by moving day. Whether you eat it or toss it or give it away, get rid of these things. This includes pretty much everything in your fridge.

Since moving is rarely a surprise, you have time to do a little meal planning! Design your last meals in your home to use up those perishables.

To meal plan effectively, you need to know what you have on hand. Refer to the inventory list you took at the beginning of this article. Pair off the foods that go together to create meals. If you have open pasta sauce, cheese, and potatoes, you can make nacho baked potatoes. Frozen ground beef makes a hearty meal when added to the potatoes and a salad on the side makes for less to pack.

Make a simple calendar for the days until your move. Now add a meal you’ve come up with, using only pantry items, to the calendar. You’ll want one meal for each slot, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For your last home-cooked meal before moving, try making soup. Heat broth and add everything that is still hanging around to it. My mother used to call this “clean the fridge soup” and it’s a great way to use up leftovers.

Throw a Party

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While you might not want to try this if you’re struggling to pack in time, a farewell party is a great way to use up food. Not only do you get some quality time with friends, you eliminate a problem.

Dig out the frozen and refrigerated food and dust off the grill. Meat, fish, and seafood can all create a tasty buffet that your friends and family will enjoy. Add in the remaining vegetables from the fridge. You instantly have a smorgasbord of great food that means no moving food that will perish.

This is the perfect time to offload anything you want other people to take home, as well. Let them know in the invitation that they’ll be taking a can or box on their way home.

Donate, Donate, Donate

 

Take a good look at your pantry. Do you really want to lug all those cans and boxes with you? Probably not! Fortunately, there are tons of people who will take that food off your hands.

Food pantries and homeless shelters are often happy to receive non-perishable items. If you prefer, you can give the items directly to others. Talk to your local church about who might be in need of some extra nourishment. Some seniors may find it tough to get to the store, so you can save them a trip.

Contact your movers before you get too far into planning. If they’re part of Move For Hunger, they can actually take care of your extra food for you. It’s a good option if you prefer to let someone else handle the distribution.

Grab a Garbage Bag

So, you’ve eaten and donated as much as you can, now what? What do you do with the remaining odds and ends that no one wants?

You have two options. Pack the odds and ends and keep them kicking around your new house, or toss them. The second is your best option. Grab a sturdy garbage bag and dump everything that is leftover after packing and eating. This can all go to the garbage dump and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. After all, a new home is a fresh start and no one needs ten bags of food with half a serving left in them.

It might feel wasteful to throw food out. When you have already done all you can with the rest of the food, it’s best to cut your losses.

Moving Food You Still Want

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You won’t want to get rid of everything, which means you need to pack it. Moving food can be tricky if the packages aren’t sturdy enough. For example, a bag of flour could burst if anything heavy is on top of it.

The simplest way to avoid issues is to put everything into hard plastic boxes. You can find these at any storage store and they work well to protect your food. The plastic will also prevent any spills from leaking to the other items in the moving truck.

If you must package food in cardboard boxes, make sure you seal everything first. This may require using zippered plastic bags to contain any leakage. Packing tape can also be helpful for keeping opened bags closed. Put tape over the tops of spice containers and salt and pepper shakers to stop spillage, as well.

Packing order is also important. Put your heaviest items at the bottom of the boxes. This prevents heavy items crushing the lighter and more delicate foods.

Keep in mind that glass bottles are more likely to break than plastic bottles. It’s best to skip them altogether, but you can wrap the bottles in newspaper if need be.

Your Last Supper

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The final meal before a big move is usually a haphazard one. To make life a little simpler, plan to finish using up your perishables before this. Then, for your final meal, order takeout.

Takeout food lets you enjoy a fortifying meal without worrying about cooking. You’ll need your strength for moving the next day! It also allows you to pack up the last of your dishes and utensils. Everything you need comes with the meal.

When you are sick of leftovers and the pantry is empty, takeout will seem like a blessing.

Make Moving Day Easier

Moving food may actually be one of the toughest parts of moving (along with knowing how much to tip movers). It ranks right up there with sorting through your important papers, deciding which to keep.

If you have packed everything properly, you shouldn’t have too many issues with leaks and spills. However, be sure to label your food boxes in big letters. This makes it simple to sort them out so you can eat once you arrive in your new home. It also lets the movers know that the boxes contain food items.

Not going too far? If you are only moving across town, you can get away with taking a cooler along. Put that jar of opened caviar and a few condiments in it. We don’t recommend this for longer trips, of course. Make sure you add ice to the cooler!

Finally, be sure to have some packaged food and drinks on hand for moving day. You’ll get hungry at some point and it’s easy to grab a bag of peanuts or a granola bar to munch on. There’s no need to leave any of your regular food out. Just have a tote or small box with snacks to keep you going.

Once you’ve moved, it is time to unpack everything, including your food. If you’ve prepared well, you only moved the best food and are ready to start your new life with a clean pantry.

Prepare For A Smooth Start At Your Next Home

coffee on moving day

The first couple days after a move can stress even the calmest people out. You can plan ahead to make those first whirlwind days easier. Scout out new delivery restaurants by your new home on GrubHub, find some highly rated restaurants on TripAdvisor, and consider setting up food delivery if you can. If you’re a coffee lover/addict, consider a coffee subscription (Javaya is a good choice) and think about your home coffee brewing choices if you want to upgrade to a higher level off coffee happiness. For regular food delivery, check out InstaCart or Amazon Fresh to see if they service your area. Prep like this gives you one less thing to worry about after the move!

6 Ways for Kids to Stay in Touch With Friends After Moving

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Moving to a new home, town and school can be difficult for children, especially if they are leaving friends behind. Below are six ways your kids can stay in touch with friends after moving into a new neighborhood, whether that’s in Fort Worth, Sarasota, or Evanston. Use these tips to make the transition to your new town as seamless as possible.

1.) Pen pal 2.0: Setting up an email account for your child is an easy way to help them stay in touch with friends. If you’re not ready to give them full Internet freedom, use a kids’ email application like Tocomail to monitor their emails and contact list.

2.) Get social: Letting your child use social media is a big step for any parent. Take baby steps by creating a profile for your child on Yoursphere or KidzWorld. These kid-friendly social networks allow you to monitor your child’s online activity and lets them share updates with their BFF back home.

3.) Start new traditions: Creating new traditions post-move is a great way for your kids to maintain long-distance friendships. For example, your child can share photos of their life in your new home by using Postagram (iOS, Android/Free) to send a postcard of any photo to their friend for $0.99 cents.

4.) Digital study sessions: Help your child and former classmates reconnect through their school work. Use Google Hangouts to set up weekly chat sessions where they can discuss their upcoming science fair projects or summer reading lists. Tip: This idea works best for in-state moves where the curriculum is similar from school to school.

5.) Work with their teacher: Moving mid-school year can be stressful on younger children who have bonded with their classmates. Work with your child’s former teacher to set up a Flat Stanley project so they can keep in touch with every classmate in a fun way. After the project is completed, use an app like Polagram (iOS, Android/Free) to print each student’s Flat Stanley photo on a poster for your child to hang in their room as a keepsake.

6.) Plan a trip: If you are close enough, arrange time to visit with old friends. Use the Roadtrippers app (iOS, Android/Free) to find a point of interest between your old town and new town that both families can enjoy.

Moving with kids is never easy.   For more tips and strategies to make your move with kids successful, check out our guides on moving with kids under 10, and moving with teenagers.   Kerry Brown, a well-known child psychologist wrote both articles, and each offers actionable advice to make your kids adjust to the move and your new home more easily.

If you’re looking for ways to further settle into your new home checking out our 5 Ways to Decorate Your New Home for Less.   It comes chock full of tips on how to settle and decorate your new home on a budget.

Don’t forget tipping your mover on your move day.  We interviewed over 20 movers and wrote a definitive guide on how much to tip movers, give it a read before your move day so you’re not left scrambling trying to figure out a tip at the last minute.

Are you a mover looking to get more free moving leads?   Claim your profile, add your licensing info, upload some great pics and information about yourself, get some reviews and start the flow of high quality, free leads.   We only send leads to licensed moving companies and make it our mission to connect consumers with the highest quality movers.

5 Fun and Crafty Uses For Leftover Moving Boxes

You moved. And unpacked. Hooray!

Give yourself a pat on the back because the hard part is over. Now what do you do with all those pesky moving boxes cluttering up your garage?

You could break them down and recycle them. Or even give them away. But if you’re crafty, not afraid of a little elbow grease and feeling somewhat adventurous, give these ideas a spin…

1. Turn Them Into Moving Announcements

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2. Entertain Your Kids And Encourage Their Imagination

A cardboard castle fit for any ‘lil prince or princess

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A rocket ready for takeoff!

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Wearable art

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3. Create Storage To Keep Your New Place Organized

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4. Pin memos and announcements with a DIY bulletin board

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5. Showcase your fave moments with cardboard photo frames
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Have other box inspiration ideas or photos of your finished products? Share them in the comments!

 

How to Befriend Your New Neighbors During the Holidays

Moving is difficult no matter when you choose to relocate, but it’s made even harder during the winter months for an assortment of reasons. The slick and stormy weather makes carrying heavy boxes more dangerous, and the cold tends to keep people indoors – meaning you might not meet your neighbors until the Springtime thaw.

However, if you want to celebrate the holiday season by making friends with the residents in your area, you can employ a few of these great tricks to break the ice.

Don’t be shy. Say hi!

The great thing about trying to befriend your neighbors is that you’re very likely to run into them. The yuletide season is a busy one, and the odds are good that you’ll bump into a neighbor or two while walking the dog or returning from shopping. When this happens, make sure you say hello. Introduce yourself and tell them you’re new to the area. Ask them for some local recommendations, like what cafe serves the best coffee or where the best brunch place is. Your neighbors will be thrilled to share their area expertise, and you’ll come away one acquaintance richer.

Bribe them with food

Of course, waiting to encounter your neighbors leaves a lot up to chance. You can skip the waiting part and just go knock on their doors and introduce yourself – but it helps if you have something to give them when you stop by. Bake some festive cookies or a delicious casserole and bring it to give away when you make your introductions. Your neighbors will enjoy the goodies, and you’ll get the opportunity to socialize with them. Bonus points if you give them a dish that needs to be returned to you!

Host a small holiday get-together

Now’s the time to seal this friendship deal. Once you’ve chatted up your neighbors a few times, you should be ready to up the ante and invite them over to your place for coffee, tea, or other beverages. This is a great chance to be hospitable, get to know them better, and demonstrate your eagerness to be a part of the community.

5 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes Made With Moving Boxes

Moving takes its toll on your life, from the general chaos it causes in your home, to filling up your space with boxes, to forcing you to eat pizza for a week because your kitchen utensils are packed away. Moving during the fall season can also detract time from creative endeavors, like making fun Halloween costumes for you and your kids.

Don’t despair if you haven’t had the time to put together those All Hallow’s Eve get-ups yet. You can use your leftover moving boxes to create some fun, fantastic, and super-simple homemade costumes that will be ready for trick-or-treating in no time!

1. Candy Boxes

The only thing less crucial than finding a great Halloween costume is the sweet, sweet candy swag you receive for the effort of dressing up. Use those leftover moving boxes and a bit of clever painting to let your kids advertise the kind of candy they want most. Then head off to collect as much of those sugary treats as possible.

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2. Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, and Ghostly Crew

With some imaginative cutting and spray painting, you can dress the whole family as Pac Man and friends. The colorful video game ghosts are certainly more fun that the traditional white sheet ghosts, and there’s the added bonus of being able to chase each other around in homage to the vintage video game. Just don’t forget to add eye-holes to these clever costumes, or you’ll be running blind!

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3. Fish Tank

If you’re looking for a box costume that requires less artistic dedication, look no further than this fish tank ensemble. Just cut a hole in the top and front of the box, purchase a plain blue sweatshirt for the costume-wearer, and tape a few cute sea critters and bubbles to the sweatshirt. Voila! A costume that’s both simple and cozy for colder temperatures.

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4. X-Ray Vision

Were you craving some spookier moving box attire? This excellent X-Ray costume should do the trick. Paint a box black and add arm and head holes. For those who aren’t so artistically-inclined, you can simply print out a picture of the torso bones and glue or tape it directly to the box. No drawing required!

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5. Crayola Crayon Box

Of course, if you love to draw, then perhaps this Crayola Crayon Box is the right disguise for you. With some clever box-coloring and the use of bright paper cones, the only costume question you’ll be left to ponder is: should you also include that built-in crayon sharpener?

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What’s your favorite DIY Halloween costume? Share in the comments!