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Temporary Housing During Home Construction: Packing And Storage Tips

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Moving into a new home can be stressful, especially if the home is still in construction or needs major renovations. If you've already sold your former house, you may find yourself living in smaller digs while waiting for your new home to be move-in ready. What do you do with a houseful of furniture when you have to temporarily downsize? These tips can help you survive this short-term inconvenience.

Tip 1: Check Out Your Amenities

Deciding what to bring and what to store depends on what amenities are provided at your temporary lodging. If you're renting a fully furnished apartment, home or trailer, you may need to bring very little. For unfurnished lodging, decide which pieces of furniture you will use and which will wait in storage until your home is finished. Clearly mark these pieces of furniture before the movers arrive. Otherwise they may end up in the back of the truck.

The same goes for everyday items, such as dishware, bathroom linens, and children's toys. Box these up separately and take them to the temporary home before the movers arrive. Make sure the boxes are clearly marked so they don't get mixed up with the items you are storing.

Tip 2: Bring Some Luxuries

It may be tempting to just put everything in storage and sort it out once you can finally move into your new home, but this isn't usually a good choice. Packing too light, especially if you'll be in the temporary home for more than a month, can lead to unhappiness and unnecessary spending. You may be tempted to buy the wanted item, even though you know you have a perfectly acceptable one in storage.

This goes double for children's toys. Allow the kids to fill a box with their absolute favorite toys. Make sure you add any items that you know from experience will be missed, such as favorite blankets, stuffed animals or books. Happy kids can make a stay in a small space much more enjoyable.

Tip 3: Pack Up the Smart Way

Even though you know you need to label everything, sometimes it's easy to skip this step when you're in the thick of the moving process. The simplest way to pack is room-by-room. Label the box clearly with both the room it is coming from and the room it is going to in the new house. These tips can make it easier:

  • Keep an empty box handy as you pack up each room. Place items that will be in a different room in the new house in this box, and then take them to the room they should be in when you move on to pack that room.
  • If you use a moving service to pack your items, make sure everything is in the right room when they arrive. Oversee the team to make sure they don't mix up rooms as they pack everything.
  • Use a color-coding system if labeling each box is too time consuming. Assign a color for each room in your new home, and then use stick-on color labels to match your room assignments.
  • Label the box on all sides and the top, so you can easily see where it belongs at a glance.

Tip 4: Keep Your Storage Accessible

Temporary moving storage comes in two varieties – a rental unit at a fixed location, or a storage pod that will sit on the property of your new house. Whichever variety you choose, make sure your storage is arranged in a way so you can access it during your temporary housing period.

For both units and pods, place furniture and larger items you know you won't need near the rear of the unit. Follow this with boxes, placing those that you may need to access near the front. You can also make aisles in a unit, so you can make your way easily to the back if absolutely necessary. Pods won't give you this ability, since they must be packed tightly to prevent shifting during transport.