Wednesday, June 22, 2011

unsolicited wedding advice wednesdays : how to ship

Like I said before I was a moving bride from CA to IL.  Our engagement period was a short 6 months so I basically had half a year to plan a wedding and prepare to move to IL.  If you've ever moved out you'll understand how surprised I felt when I started to realize how much STUFF I actually owned.  I actually flew to IL so I had to ship most of my belongings during our engagement.  The last resort was checking in baggage on the plane because it's expensive and there's a greater chance of damage.  Here's what I did:

1. PURGE.  Give away, throw away, or store away things.  Be ruthless and try not to be too sentimental with your belongings (this was SOO hard for me).

2. ORGANIZE.  Once you've thinned out your stuff and have decided what you're going to move get organized.  Organize by category (clothes, kitchen, books, etc etc) and then by like-size.  If you're using boxes this will help your fill them efficiently.  Fold clothes to similar dimensions so stacking items will be easy.

3. BOX.  I used cardboard boxes that I got from work.  I talked to our warehouse supervisor and asked him to save certain size boxes for me and I began to hoard bubble wrap from like a mad woman.  Wrap fragile items with bubble wrap (newspaper is no good) and eliminate empty space inside your boxes.  If your items have a chance to move around there will be a great chance for breakage.  It's also a good idea to line your box with bubble wrap.  Try to keep fragile items in the same box and heavy items in the same box...try not to mix items.  If you're shipping kitchen items like pots, fill the empty cavity of the pot will smaller items and then cap with the pot top then seal it shut with plastic wrap.  Always mark fragile or heavy boxes as such and draw arrows to indicate which way is up.

4. SHIP.  I have found that UPS was the cheapest option for me because of the large size and heavy boxes I was shipping.  If your boxes are smallish (less than 20" cubed) and are less than 40lbs it might be cheaper to go with USPS media mail.  Both have websites that will let consumers calculate cost before shipping.  If your work will let you ship through your warehouse and pay back the company this is the best option.  Shipping rates for businesses cost substantially less so take advantage of it!

5. TRACK.  Be sure to email yourself the tracking information and cost (if you're paying your company back).  This will help you communicate with whoever will be receiving your shipment and will give you a way to keep track of which shipments you have already paid for.

6. RECYCLE.  Before you recycle your boxes in your new locale maybe check to see if anyone in your new area is moving and is need of boxes.  It's really expensive to move so wouldn't it be nice to give a new friend a helping hand AND your box a second or third life!

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