Let’s cut to the chase — Invest in ziplock bags. You will need them in all shapes and sizes: extra-large vacuum seal bags for storing seasonal clothing and linens, giant zipper-seal baggies for checked luggage, sandwich bags for containing all of the little bits and bobs that live in the kitchen drawers…
My friend Grace told me a story recently about her last move. She was grateful that the packers assigned to her were willing to pack her spices — some companies are a little weird about packing spices, as they are with cleaning supplies, foodstuffs, etc — and let the experts do their work in her kitchen and elsewhere. Her stuff arrived at her new place and everything seemed fine until she and her husband were unpacking the kitchen boxes. Grace opened one seemingly harmless box and was greeted by a noxious cloud of Cajun seasoning, released into the air in a puff once the seal was broken on the box. Unfortunately, the packers had thrown all of the individual spices into a large box, left to shake around precariously in the mix with pots and pans, a Keurig coffee machine, the likes of which have only recently stopped smelling like gumbo. Poor Grace would try to make a cup of coffee in the first few days after the incident, and it would taste like so much etouffee.
Lesson learned: store all of the small things in ziplock bags in the same way that you would take caution with toiletries in a carry-on bag. Anything that could leak or spill, anything that could get lost in the expanse of a big box, anything that could scratch a larger object needs to be in its own container.
I have designs to corral all of my office supplies — pens, printer ink, paper clips — in bags, along with rogue cookie cutters, medicines, candles, serving spoons and everything else that I would rather have in coordinating batches and not smelling like one of my many spices.
Not only does this protect your property, but it makes unpacking that much easier. All the silverware is in one baggie, wrapped in a dishcloth? So easy. All of the gadgets are in another bag? When you need the can-opener on your first day in the new house, you’ll know exactly where to look.
And you’ll thank me later.