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Moving Perishables to Your New Home
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|One of the more difficult items to transport during a move is perishable foodstuffs, as they require a temperature controlled environment and special care to ensure they don't spoil while travelling. However, if you are especially thorough, it is possible to successfully transport cold food and drinks.
Finish as much as possibleThe first step in moving perishables is to limit the amount you plan to bring with you. You will already be moving plenty of other belongings, so no need to fill up valuable space with coolers and other temperature saving items.
- Stop buying groceries a few weeks leading up to your move and just eat and drink what is remaining in your home
- Hold a mini goodbye party with close friends and family and cook using only the perishables and other food left over
- Any snacks still in your pantry may serve as before dinner appetizers
Toss the expired itemsIt goes without saying, but another way to minimize the amount of perishables you pack is by tossing any expired items that may be hiding in your fridge and freezer. Before you load up the last of your groceries pre-move, go through both the fridge and freezer and throw out anything that is past its prime.
You should also go through your perishables one more time as you pack, as more food may have gone bad in the interim.
Ship your perishablesTravelling long distance and heading there by plane? Ship your perishables using a commercial courier service or the Canada Post.
- Wrap items in sealed and/or airtight bags and containers
- Place in an insulated foam box surrounded by heavy duty ice packs, or dry ice if you are shipping frozen goods
- When using dry ice, do not touch it directly with your hands
- Also, remember that it cannot be packed inside an airtight container
- Once packed, seal foam container with packing tape and wrap in packing paper
- Put this package inside a sturdy cardboard box with packing paper or bubble wrap to fill in any empty spaces around the edges
- Seal the box and label it clearly with the intended address
- Write perishable on the top and sides of the box so the delivery person knows that the items inside should be handled with care
- Purchase the fastest service available, preferably next day or expedited
Pack them in a coolerThe only way to move your perishable items (aside from shipping of course) is to pack them the day of your move in a well-insulated cooler with ice and/or ice packs.
- Make sure all items that could leak are in sealed bags or airtight containers
- Place ice (in bags) or ice packs at the bottom of the cooler with items from your fridge on top
- Next, place any items from the freezer on top of these, which will help to keep the remainder of your items cooler
- Pour loose ice on top of all your food to fill in any gaps
- Remember, the more full a cooler is the longer it will stay cold and keep the food you are transporting chilled as well
- Pack your cooler in an easily accessible spot for quick unloading and relocation to your new refrigerator
TIP: If you are travelling over longer distances, buy ice at rest stops on the way to your location. Empty melted ice from your cooler and replace with fresh ice as needed.
Move them separatelyAs with moving plants and transporting pets, wait until the last possible moment to load your perishables, putting them not on a hot and stuffed moving truck, but in a temperature controlled environment like your car, the cab of the moving truck, etc.
Whenever possible, especially in warmer months, keep the cooler up front with you as close to the air conditioning or fan as possible. If you are moving in the winter, your trunk may be a better option.
Donate the restAssuming you are moving over extremely long distances and don't want to ship your food, or you just have food you know you will never eat, look into donating the remainder of perishable items left in your home.
Don't forget, there will be grocery stores in your new neighbourhood, so if you end up not packing any food it's okay, you can always purchase things for your fridge when you're settled into your new home.
- Contact shelters in your area to see if they would be willing to take these goods
- See if anyone eating at your pre-move party would like to take something home with them
- Offer them to friends/family who help you move