On the move? Planning ahead saves headaches

Dear Readers: This year may have big changes in store for you and your family. One might be a MOVE! If so, take advantage of time and get organized. Here are some hints to help:

* About two months out, book a moving company. If you are a renter, avoid moving at the beginning of the month, if possible: This is the busiest time for moving companies. You may get a lower rate later on in the month — ask. Experts say you can save up to 30 percent on labor and transportation.

* One month out, get rid of as much stuff as you can. The less you have, the less you’ll have to move. Decide: Sell it, donate it or throw it away. Don’t forget items hidden away in the basement or attic.

* Ten days before your move, create a suitcase with necessities: changes of clothes, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and your tablet computer.

* Within a week of your move, pack, but pretend you’re unpacking. What will you need to get at right away? What makes sense? Heavy items usually go in first.

* The day of the move, the bed is priority one. Then the kitchen — there are lots of items that go in there.

Take time to get organized, and you can reduce the stress of moving! — Heloise

P.S. Number the boxes, then make a list of the contents of each, or mark each box with the room the box belongs in.

SIZE TO FIT

Dear Heloise: My complaint concerns men’s clothing manufacturers assuming that all men with tall torsos also are big. I’ve never been able to find a long-sleeve shirt size 16 1/2 that’s long enough and isn’t big all over! — Ray W., Valley Mills, Texas

MILK JUG REDO

Dear Heloise: My busy family goes through lots of jugs of juice, milk, cleaners and bleach. I like to repurpose the jugs once we finish using and thoroughly cleaning them.

They make handy scoops and funnels. I carefully cut off the bottom, creating a scoop.

What do I scoop? Dog food, birdseed and potting soil. Smaller plastic-handled jugs can scoop coffee, bath salts and flour. The possibilities are endless.

And funnels always come in handy to make pouring and transferring go more smoothly. — Polly E. in Indianapolis

For more on milk jugs, read on. — Heloise

WATER SAVER

Dear Heloise: While waiting for hot water in the kitchen, I fill up old milk jugs. I use the water to water plants and to fill ice-cube trays.

Also, to save water, I turn off the shower while I lather up.

Another hint: I reuse plastic containers (cottage cheese, etc.) to store leftovers in. If entertaining and someone wants leftovers, you can use these — no worries of trying to figure out who the good storage containers belong to. — Karla S., Punta Gorda, Fla.

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