Just because the bathroom is the smallest room in the house doesn't mean it's the easiest to pack and move. It's an area of the home where we tend to collect stuff and with so many places where things can hide, we probably have more stuff in the bathroom than we even realize. In fact, we usually only see its complexity and just how much we have stored away once it's time to sort and move.
Begin by sorting through the cupboards, medicine chest, drawers and vanity for any medicine bottles, tubes or jars. Put them aside.
If you're like many people, you'll have some pill bottles or medicines that have been forgotten, so you'll need to carefully go through these items one by one to determine if they should be kept and which medicines you should dispose of. Remember that medicine should not be kept if:
- It's past its expiry date.
- The label cannot be read.
- There isn't a label at all.
- The color, appearance, smell or consistency has changed.
- The medicine causes side effects that didn't occur before.
- The medicine doesn't seem to work.
- The treatment was discontinued or not completed.
If you need to dispose of medicines, do not flush it down the toilet or empty the contents into the drain. Medicines cause environmental damage and contamination as chemical treatments do not completely remove the contents.
To properly dispose of medicines, talk to your local pharmacist or contact the FDA. You can also talk to your local waste disposal agency at the same time you're disposing of household cleaners, paint thinners, etc.
Once you've determined the medicine you're going to keep, decide which are critical. Critical medicines and those that are heat sensitive and should be packed in your essentials box. The rest can be carefully packed in a separate box marked "Medicine Cabinet" so they can be identified in case of an emergency.
When sorting through toiletries, be very particular in what you choose to move with you. Expensive shampoos, conditioners, hair products and perfume will probably make your "to keep" list.
Make sure the lids of these items are properly tightened and that the bottles or tubes won't leak. Use zippered plastic bags to prevent leaks.
For items that you don't want to move but are still in good condition or haven't been used, find out if a local charity will accept them. Women shelters, for instance, may take unused creams, shampoo and other toiletries. Make sure you ask about their stipulations before you donate.
Use small boxes to pack bathroom items. Toiletry items should be packed separate from medicines and stored in zippered plastic bags that won't leak. Glass jars or bottles should be well cushioned and packed using linens, clothing or other packing materials. Use towels and mats to line the inside of the box. To ensure the small boxes aren't lost in the move, place the small boxes into one medium or large box and mark each box appropriately. Just make sure the final box does not weigh more than 30 pounds.
Packing the bathroom also means knowing what you shouldn't pack and move. Movers are very careful about what they move, so make sure you are aware of which bathroom items need to stay behind.
Like most rooms in your house, you'll need enough packing supplies. Unlike other areas of the house, in addition to moving boxes, packing tape and materials to ensure that glassware doesn't break, you'll also need plastic bags to wrap and protect opened bottles of toiletries from spilling and ruining your other things.