Most of us have had the experience of moving, right? But most of us also don’t seem to learn from our moving mistakes — which can only lead to moving madness.


Although it’s awfully cold to be moving house now, it seems like that’s all my clients have been doing for the last few months. So I wanted to share some of my dos-and-don’ts for your next move.


  • Never pick up boxes from the grocery store for packing. Yes, they are free of charge, but so are the critters and mold that dwell in said boxes. And you don’t want to be taking that kind of stuff home with you.

  • I’m always amazed how people will spend time, energy and expense to pack sheer junk. So think before you throw unsorted items into a box with the intention of going through it all on the other end. Therefore, before you pack a box, take the time to group your items in categories. Then label the boxes on all sides indicating what the contents are and where the box should go in your new locations.

  • Another common mistake is the size of the boxes that people use. Bigger is not better when it comes to heavy items. Pack books in small boxes — 18 by 12 by 9 inches is very manageable for lifting and stacking. Just so you know, www.packagingworld.comhas great service and prices.

  • Make arrangements for interim storage if required. I like a storage company that will go the extra mile and deliver and pick up a storage unit with door-to-door service (see

  • With every move, you’ll have to deal with garbage, recycling, hazardous waste and items that can be donated to charity. So be diligent, and either call to have Toxic Taxi pick up your hazardous waste or find out the closest drop-off depot. Phone your favourite charity and arrange pick up or drop off, and remember that the items you donate have to be in good condition.

  • Jumbo-size clear bags are great for packing clothes, linens, stuffed animals, etc. Too many times I have seen people throw out the wrong bag because they weren’t able to see the contents.

  • Hire a professional organizer to orchestrate all aspects of your move. You can be completely unpacked, organized and settling in within hours.

Brenda Borenstein is your professional organizing guru. Look for her column every second Thursday. For more tips and ideas, visit www.organizedzone.comor call 416-665-2165 or 1-800-771-6052. Brenda has organized hundreds of homes and says, “There is nothing I haven’t seen and nothing that can’t be overcome.”