When you start to make dinner, your perfectly organised pantry is a major asset. However, when you have an upcoming move, the foods in your home can become a hassle. While you obviously need food before the move and immediately after you arrive, transporting perishable goods can seem daunting.
As soon as you have a good idea of your move timeline, take inventory of your foodstuffs. Then, use the following 10 guidelines to ensure that food doesn’t interfere with your move.
1. Avoid Shopping Too Much
Once you know what you have, plan your meals around the food already in your home. Whenever possible, avoid buying more food, especially food that must be kept cold or frozen.
2. Bring a Cooler in Your Car
You may not be able to use up all the perishables in your house before the move. Bring a cooler with you for your leftovers. Just be sure to refill the cooler with ice often to avoid unsafe food temperatures. Also take advantage of any fridges on your trip, whether they’re at your hotel or at a relative’s house where you spend the night.
3. Discard Fragile Containers
When you move with fragile items, there’s always a risk of breakage. Glass containers and fragile boxes may not hold up during the drive. Switch out any containers that might break and leave a mess with something sturdier. Additionally, seal any open boxes to avoid spills. For example, place packing tape on the top of cold cereal boxes.
4. Discuss Your Mover’s Policies
As you plan for the best ways to move the food you plan to take with you, consult with your movers. Some moving companies will not transport food of any kind, while others will move non-perishables or well-packed perishables. Take your mover’s policies into account.
5. Donate Unwanted Non-Perishables
Non-perishable foods, especially those in cans, are heavy and hard to move. To simplify, donate non-perishables that you won’t need immediately to local families or residents in need.
6. Eat Frozen Foods First
If possible, eat or discard all of your frozen foods before you move out. When you make dinner plans, create meals around what you have in your freezer.
7. Leave Out Meals for the Day of Your Move
Unless you plan to buy all your food on the day of your move, plan your meals for that day. Pack these meals in your cooler or car so you have them with you when you’re ready to eat.
8. Pack Spices in Airtight Containers
Spices, especially those in powder form, can make a mess if they tip over in a box. Close each spice bottle and place it in a plastic bag or an airtight plastic container. For spice canisters that don’t close on their own, like your salt shaker, put plastic wrap over the lid before packing it up.
9. Pack Your Boxes Like a Grocer
When you begin to pack the boxes you plan to take with you, think like your neighborhood grocer. Put the heaviest items on the bottom and place packing materials between foods that might shift during transit.
10. Throw Out Expired Food
When your move is about a week away, go through your food and take note of each item’s expiration date. Get rid of any food that will expire before you move, during your move or immediately after you arrive at your new home. This step helps you avoid stocking your new home’s pantry with foods that you can’t actually use.
Remember, if you’re moving within your town limits, you can probably bring most of your perishables with you. However, if your move takes you across state lines, you may simply wish to restock once you arrive.
Use these guidelines as a start for unloading, packing and planning for your pantry.