There is potential for my family to move in early fall and even if we don’t, I am going to try to spend this summer tackling one room per month to ensure it is “move ready”. We have been in Lemoore, CA for three years now, and in that amount of time have managed to collect more bits and pieces than I am willing to move! Confession: there are items still in boxes from when we moved here. I clearly can get rid of some things! Here is my plan to tackle my least favorite room to prepare for a move: the kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the hardest rooms to get move ready because it takes advanced planning. You cannot use up all of your frozen pizzas and chicken breasts if you wait until the week of the move to start thinking about it! Here is my plan:
1-3 Months Prior:
Begin to use your pantry staples. Moving perishable goods is a gamble, especially in warmer climates. You can never be sure your canned goods weren’t sitting in a hot truck somewhere, why take a chance when you can use up what you have?
Inventory your freezer. If something has been in there for over a year, toss it. For the rest of the items, make a list and post it to the front of the refrigerator. That way, when you are planning meals, you can quickly asses the food you already have and plan accordingly. All of those frozen vegetables are perfect for a frittata or stir fry!
Throw away everything that has expired (in my case, the cardamom I used for one dish and have had for who knows how many years).
Make a donation pile. This is the time to be brutally honest. If you have not used that mini donut maker or Panini grill, give it away. Those are also great objects for a garage sale. You will be thankful not to bring along items you never use to your new house!
Pantry goods that have not expired and you know you will not use (like canned and unopened boxed goods) can be donated to your local food shelter.
Week of the Move:
Organize drawers (the drawer organizing trays are the best for moves).
Bag anything that could make a mess if the container was damaged, torn, ripped or squished. I bought a couple dozen gallon zip top plastic bags to hold my spices, flour, sugars, bread crumbs, baking supplies, etc. It is better to be safe than sorry and you can always re-use those plastic bags when you reach your new location.
Take detailed photos of the appliances you are going to move. Having proof of their “pre move” condition and details about the make, model and serial numbers will be helpful in case they are damaged or lost in the move.
Place the contents of each drawer in a zip top gallon bag; that way when you unpack a box there won't be miscellaneous kitchen pieces floating around in it. To be even more organized, label the bags by drawer and contents. For example, wrap packing tape around your silverware divider to keep the utensils in place, then pop that into a zip top bag labeled silverware so that when you arrive in your new home, no extra work needed- unwrap it and place it in a new drawer! I do the same for other utensil drawers, measuring cups, spatulas, tongs and grilling tools.
Put aside: Paper plates, plastic utensils, an all-purpose cooking pot, water bottles, appliances such as the coffee maker (optional, but this makes me less grouchy during the moving process), dishtowel, sponge, dish soap, hand soap and various all-purpose cleaners (to clean up after everything in the kitchen is all packed).
Anything left in your refrigerator or freezer can be given to the packers or friends you are saying goodbye to.
Did I miss anything? Please share your tips and lessons learned from moving your kitchen. I will definitely remember to remove the full coffee filter before this next one (yes coffee grounds do mold… and smell… learned that the hard way!)
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