Create a Fabulous Tracking System for Moving House Part 2

Woman marking Box
Harry Williamson / Spring Studio

Following on from Part 1 of the series, How to Organize the Chaos of Moving House when You are Visually Impaired, with packing under way, we take a look at how to keep track of and label the dozens of boxes that all look the same, in order to minimize stress.

As you already know, the process is especially challenging for the person with a visual impairment  because every single item that has been neatly placed and stored in memory so as to avoid collision or accident now has to come out of hiding and be sorted.

But you can take charge of the packing-up process so it really works for you. It is possible to develop a system of sorting and labeling and then moving dozens of boxes that is suitable for sighted family members too.

Moving TIP 1: Set & Share Goals

Whether you live alone or with a sighted family, take time to sit down and set goals.

It is very important to be systematic and not walk around randomly trying to pack up your home. Be time-smart by being realistic about your availability:

  • Schedule moving tasks around work constraints or family commitments
  • Prioritize tasks so you focus on the ‘must do’ rather than ‘could do’
  • Designate certain days or weekends for specific packing chores
  • Share tasks so that each day you and your family will focus on certain rooms

·        Set deadlines and as you successfully reach each one, reward yourself to keep in balance during this time of upheaval.

As a real example of how rewarding it can be to set goals, my family have 4 months to move our things from a house and recording studio into a storage space.

Every Friday morning, a number of boxes are removed from our house, and out of my way, while our son gets the opportunity for another driving lesson.

Moving Tip 2: Create a Master List

Before we look at labeling methods, it is absolutely necessary to keep a log of every box you pack. Whether your visual-impairment means you use magnification devices or you have adapted to working with assistive technology for the blind, assign, for every box you pack, a number, a brief description of its contents and which room it belongs to on a master list.

You may have a brilliant memory but a clear list also helps to be ‘on the same page’ as your sighted family when they see a copy of your list.

Moving TIP 3: Labeling Techniques

OK, so the box is packed, on a master list and now it is time to tape up and label.

If you are sharing a home and a collection of boxes, you can place a criss-cross of strong packing tape on the same corner of every one of your personal boxes.

Ask your sighted family to mark a large number (corresponding with your master list) on the top and all four sides of each box. In this way, all concerned have a method of identifying the boxes that matter to you personally.

You can also place a large circular colored label to help sighted people know which room to put the box in (especially for the movers). For example, a blue label for the bathroom, green for bedrooms, red for the kitchen.

Once all is done, ask a friend to place those colored labels on the doors of your new home to allow sighted friends and the movers to be clear about the correct destination.

If you have time, print up signs in very large font to identify each room so there is no mistake as to where each box on your master list is meant to go.

Moving TIP 4: Remind Sighted Family of What NOT to Do

To sum up: Remind your sighted family that the best ways to make the moving process less stressful are:

·        Not to move the scissors, tape, bubble-wrap or newspaper you have designated a place for. It saves huge frustration if each tool is used and replaced so you can find it quickly too.

·        Not to leave a cupboard door open temporarily or items strewn on the floor. Murphy’s law is that the moment they leave to quickly do something in another room, you will just happen to walk straight into the door or trample the objects left out in your path.

·        The same goes for leaving a step-ladder or chair unattended

·        Don’t be tempted to remove an item from a box already packed and recorded on the list without informing you of its new place in a different box. If they want to bring on a complete melt down in communication, this will do it!

Try these personally tested strategies next time you have to move house. I hope they help you keep the operation under control to shift into your new home with ease.

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