SIKESTON -- When Kristi Stark and her 7-year-old twins moved into a new home just outside of Sikeston last December, Stark tried to keep the move as efficient and easy as possible.
"The only thing that really helped me was to take cardboard boxes and label them by each room," Stark recalled. "When we moved everything over, we just put everything in the room it went in. It was wonderful."
Apparently the moving season is here. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13 percent of Americans move each June, making it the most popular month to relocate.
"As soon as schools are out, it's like a turn of a whole lot of work," agreed Ron Schonhoff, sales manager for Williams Moving in Dexter. "By June 10, we work our way out of it and it happens again when school starts."
Statistics say 65 percent of yearly moves occur between be May 15-Sept. 15, Schonhoff noted.
While moves are generally exciting times, they can also be stressful and messy, leaving people to resort to either hiring a professional or simply getting organized.
Schonhoff said a professional moving company can come into a home and box up everything -- from a picture to lamps, and they can load everything up and put into a home as the owners supervise where to put everything.
But as Schonhoff also pointed out, that's not the most common move. With hiring professionals to box up items for a move being the second biggest cost from a business, "Most people can control the cost by boxing all or most of it themselves," Schonhoff said.
Investing in the right supplies, such as sturdy boxes and paper called newspread (blank newspaper) to pack items in boxes can help, too, Schonhoff said. Most moving and truck rental companies have the supplies available for purchase. Bubble wrap is great to use, but expensive, Schonhoff said.
Putting things in proper-sized boxes is another issue to consider, Schonhoff noted, adding that's a common mistake people make.
"Pack those boxes tight so that nothing rattles, but not so tight where they're jamming things in there," Schonhoff advise. "They need to leave a little room at the top, and if there's a small space but nothing fits in there, put something to fit like paper or towels."
Boxes need to be full or they'll be crushed during the transportation process, Schonhoff cautioned.
Generally, moving businesses have one basic big size for boxes and then special sizes such as wardrobe cartons for hanging clothes and flat boxes to pack mirrors and pictures, he said.
DYMO, a leading producer of label makers for the home and office, recommends packing one room at a time, keeping a detailed inventory of each box and its contents. An easy way to keep track of everything is to clearly label every box in the same spot such as the top left corner with the corresponding room and box number, for example: "Kitchen, box one of five."
"The more you pack it together by room, the easier it is when you unpack and if the boxes are marked specifically in what room it came from in the former home," Schonhoff said.
If given the time, begin packing items up about a month before the move, Schonhoff suggested, adding that moving companies are generally booked up about three weeks in advance.
"We started packing a month before we moved, just bits and pieces at a time," Stark said. "And we moved the big furniture first."
Stark, who refurbished her home before moving in, recommended taking advantage of an empty house to make any repairs, touch-ups or cleaning that needs to be done.
DYMO also provided a few tips to consider during the move. Before moving any boxes or furniture, walk around the new home and make a list of any damages. Be sure to turn on all lights and faucets, as well as locate the fuse box. Keep a "moving file" on hand. The file should contain necessary paperwork (such as receipts and the lease), a list of possessions, the "damages" list and photographs of valued items. File it away for future reference.
Unpack one room at a time, beginning with the kitchen. Store all perishables, and ensure dishes, glasses and flatware are easily accessible. Set up the bathrooms second, then focus on bedrooms.
Store frequently used items on easy-to-reach shelves. Products that are used less often can be put into closets, while rarely used items belong in drawers.
And when the time comes, Stark recommended doing the big move on a weekend. People should start on a Friday night so they will be moved in by Sunday, she said.
"Take your time and don't get in a hurry," Stark advised. "There's no sense in it. You're going to get it done. You might as well put it where you want to put it the first time."