On March 1st of this year, we moved into my dream home. It’s not perfect – but having room to do a little remodeling is part of my dream. It has room to grow, great bones, and most of all it has location. Sadly, on the day we moved in, we knew that we would be moving again in 18 months. We don’t have long to enjoy this gem of a house and we want to soak up every moment here while we can.
But there’s the rub. With just 18 months to live here, we really do not want or need to unpack every single box. Especially since we have to pack it all up ourselves again in just a short time. Certain things are best kept in the boxes we will pack them in 18 months from now. Things like extra bedding, mementos, photo albums, books we’ve already read but want to keep for future generations, those kinds of things.
Some day, those books will go on the shelves of my forever home and be read by my grandkids, but for now they need to stay in boxes. Also, in our case we do not have room to unpack everything we need to have available. We don’t have a separate office with lots of drawers in this house so some necessary office supplies are having to go on shelves downstairs.
Also true, we need to be able to find that stuff. When unexpected visitors come, we need the extra bedding. On our anniversary, I like to look through the box of mementos and photo albums with my kids to celebrate 25 years of marriage. When we actually want to mail a real letter, we need envelopes and stamps. If a child is assigned one of those books for a school project, we are going to need to dig them out. So I need a plan.
Have a Plan for Packing and Storage for a Short Term Home
The most important thing you can do when you know you are moving into a short term home is have a plan before you pack. Figure out which things must be unpacked on the other end, and which things you just might be able to do without for a year or so. As you pack each room, think it through and label the boxes that will live in storage differently.
Label Everything When you Pack for a Short Term Home
One of the most frustrating things in the life of a military family is coming across an unlabeled box. We move so often, you would think we would be pros. And yet here we are 25 years later, still accidentally arriving at our new home with unlabeled boxes. I have a rule. Label EVERYTHING. That’s why I’m pretty excited about the cutting edge awesomeness called Duck Pack & Track™. This cool labeling system lets you label, scan, and track every single box including contents and location!
We’ve moved way too many times. We have our own dollies of multiple shapes and sizes, our own professional grade packing tape dispenser, and a bucket full of permanent markers. We know moving. Duck Pack & TrackTM is probably the handiest moving tool I’ve ever seen.
Organize Your Shelves for your Short Term Home
Since you basically want to keep as much in boxes as you can during a short term living situation, but keep using the things you need to make it home, you need organized shelves. Color code your shelves, organize boxes by type, and make sure access to each box is easy. If you are in a small living space, get creative with storage and shelving locations or consider renting a storage unit for the duration of your stay.
The cool thing is, the Duck Pack and Track app allows you to enter the location of each box. So if you have color coded your shelves with sticker dots, you can simply say “Green Shelf” for location and find it easily. You can also name the box and then enter all of the contents directly into the app for searchability. FAQs
Here’s how the Duck Pack and Track app and label system works.
- Download the app on your smartphone.
- Purchase the Duck Pack and Track labels which are available at Walmart nationwide.
- Place a label on each box as you pack it.
- Open the app and scan the label.
- Name the box by either typing in the name or speaking the name — this app uses voice recognition!
- List the contents.
- As you move boxes to their semi-permanent location in your new home, use the search function or voice recognition function or list to find the box in the app and update the location. This is very important!
- Find what you need, whenever you need it, with a tracking system that is literally right at your fingertips!
I even put my extra Duck Pack and Track labels into a carefully labeled moving supplies box so they won’t get lost! I seriously love that I am using QR codes and voice recognition technology to organize my move and home.
Here are a few other ways you might use the Duck Pack and Track system.
- Organize a classroom or supply closet.
- Organize office supplies in color coded containers.
- Organize off-season clothing storage. Oh my! I can totally see myself doing this soon and I could write a whole different post on using these labels to organize all the clothes we store from season-to-season and child-to-child.
- Organize and pack up the belongings of in-between adult children in college so that you can store their stuff, find their stuff, and put it all out of sight while you wait for them to be ready for it all.
- Organize under-bed storage in a dorm room.