Don’t drop that box! 25 tips for Moving Day

By the looks of all the moving vans and U-Haul trucks on my street, I’d say we’re smack in the middle of moving season. Relocating to a new house or apartment can be exciting, but it also can be incredibly stressful — and that’s even before you meet the crazy neighbors. But with a little planning and foresight, moving day can go a lot more smoothly. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll be moving right along.

1. Research moving services. Look for reviews and make sure the companies are licensed.

2. If you need to hire a moving service or rent a truck, schedule your move on non-peak days. There is more availability on weekdays and the middle of the month.

3. Reserve your moving service at least a month in advance, or a truck rental at least two weeks in advance.4. Donate or sell items you don’t need anymore. Now is not the time to be sentimental. If you haven’t used an item in a while, get rid of it. The more you purge, the less you’ll have to move.

5. Get free boxes from grocery and liquor stores.(but check to see if there are any bugs in them). And ask if your office is discarding photocopier paper or file boxes.

6. Wrap smaller, delicate items with T-shirts and sweaters. You’ll save on paper and bubble wrap — and transport your clothing at the same time. Wrap larger items that might break with blankets and sheets.

7. Remove light bulbs from lamps before packing them.

8. Pack a little every day before you move so you’re not overwhelmed.

9. Label your boxes by category and room.

10. Label the tops and sides of the boxes.

11. Number your boxes so you can keep track of them more easily, and compile a master list of what is in each numbered box.

12. Put lighter items in the larger boxes, and heavier things in smaller boxes. A lot of heavy objects in big boxes will break your back.

13. Pack dishes vertically as you would record albums. Wrap them with paper or T-shirts so they don’t jiggle in the box.

14. Roll up socks to fill any empty spaces in boxes to keep things from moving around.

15. Take pictures of the back of your television, computer and other electronics so you’ll remember which cords get connected to which ports.

16. Place a piece of masking tape on all cabinets and drawers as you empty them so you can keep track of what’s been packed — and if you’ve forgotten anything.

17. Feed your helpers. And make sure there’s plenty of water for everyone.

18. Have a point person to direct traffic in your new place, telling movers where everything goes as it comes in.19. All boxes and furniture should go directly to their intended room. Do not waste time and energy by placing everything in the living room and then having to move it all again later.

20. Zip-tie several hangers of clothing together. Then wrap them all with a sheet so the clothes don’t fall off during the move.

21. Pack your cleaning supplies last so you can give your old place a good cleaning before you leave.

22. If you’re renting, take photographs of both your new and old spaces. It comes in handy if there’s a dispute getting back your security deposit.

23. Pack what you’ll need immediately in a clear plastic container so you can see the contents, and keep it separate from the other boxes.

24. Keep a bag of essentials, e.g., toiletries, medicine and phone chargers. You’re going to want them handy.

25. If you’re moving locally and have pets, find a sitter for the day so they aren’t stressed by all of the commotion.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at

Barak approves 277 apartments in Ariel settlement

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved a plan to build 277 apartments in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, including 100 for families evacuated from the Gaza Strip.

Barak approved the marketing of the apartments last week, the Defense Ministry announced Monday. Building permits for the apartments had been awarded previously, but marketing of the apartments had been delayed due to diplomatic concerns, Haaretz reported.

Construction of the units in Ariel, which is home to about 20,000 Jewish settlers, is expected to take three years.

More than one-third of the apartments will go to Jewish families removed from their homes in the Netzarim settlement in Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The announcement comes a week after Israel’s interior minister gave final approval to a project to build 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, and two weeks after 930 housing units in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa were given final approval by the Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee.

President Obama is among the world leaders who has denounced the building in eastern Jerusalem.

Israeli protesters for a month have been calling for more available and affordable housing.

E. Jerusalem apartments staying in Jewish hands

An Israeli supermarket magnate will develop a Jewish apartment complex in an Arab neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem after its contractor ran into debt problems.

About one-quarter of 400 planned Jewish-only apartments had been built in the Nof Zion complex in the Jebl Mukaber neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem when the contractor, Digal Investments, was forced to put the rest of the project up for sale.

Israeli businessman Rami Levy and his Australian Jewish partner Kevin Bermeister made a surprise offer Sunday to buy the rest of project.

Owners of the existing apartments reportedly were alarmed when Palestinian-American businessman Bashar al-Masri made an offer to buy the struggling company and announced that he would sell the rest of the apartments to Palestinians.

The national religious community began trying to prop up the company or find a Jewish buyer for the project. Levy’s offer was less than that of al-Masri, according to reports.

Al-Masri, who was represented by Jewish attorney Dov Weisglass, who served as the director of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office, is also building the new Palestinian city of Rawabi near Ramallah in the West Bank.

E. Jerusalem apartment construction begins

Construction began on apartment buildings in eastern Jerusalem for married students attending a nearby yeshiva.

Work clearing the land for the three buildings for Yeshivat Beit Orot, funded by American businessman Irving Moskowitz, began Wednesday. The 24 apartments on the Mount of Olives Ridge will be located a short walk from the Hebrew University campus.

“We are joyful and honored to commence the construction of our new neighborhood which strengthens the Jewish presence in united Jerusalem and stresses the fact that Jerusalem is the home of every Jew in Israel and throughout the world,”  yeshiva head Rabbi Dani Isaac said in a statement on the yeshiva’s website.

The Jerusalem municipality approved the construction in May. Construction is expected to be completed in one year.