Anyone who has ever done their own packing in preparation for a move can tell you what a daunting task it can be. You can start off with the most perfectly laid out plans, lists, intentions of labeling each and every box meticulously, only to quickly find yourself surrounded by utter chaos. It makes one wonder how anyone could possibly do this for a living.
Fortunately, however, there are people who do just that, and do it well. They know all the tricks to packing for even the biggest move in a quick and orderly fashion. Here are some of their best tips for making your packing and moving experience simple and stress-free:
1. SORT AND SAY “SO LONG!”
The first cardinal rule of packing for a move is to toss out anything you no longer use, want, or need. It may be a good idea to enlist a friend to help with this process if you find that you simply cannot be diplomatic in choosing to part with some items. The bottom line is, the more clutter you get rid of the less work packing, moving, and unpacking will be.
2. SKIP THE LIST-MAKING
Save yourself some valuable time by using your cell phone to take a photo of the contents of each box as you get it packed. Mark each box with a number and save the photo to your phone under that corresponding number. When it’s time to unpack, simply pull up the photo to know what each box contains and which room it goes in. You’ll save a lot of time by not having to write out itemized lists.
3. PACK HEAVIER ITEMS SEPARATELY
Never overpack a single box in the name of saving space. This will only make handling the overweight box more risky as it creates the potential for damage to the items inside and/or injury to the person moving the box. A good rule of thumb is to never pack a single box in excess of 25 pounds. Items such as small to medium-sized appliances, stereo or video equipment, etc, should be packed separately from other items and labeled as ‘heavy.
4. DON’T SKIMP ON MOVING BOXES
While moving can be a costly process, the one place you do not want to try to cut costs is on moving boxes. Rather than using flimsy cardboard boxes from your local grocery store’s back room, buy sturdy cardboard boxes specifically designed for packing for a move. Ultimately your belongings will be well protected from mishaps that can occur when using unstable boxes created for lighter jobs.
5. PROTECT FURNITURE WITH PLASTIC BAGS
Upholstered furniture items such as sofas, chairs, mattresses, etc, can be covered with special heavy-duty plastic bags designed specifically to protect these types of items and keep them clean during a move. Slip them over your furniture, secure with packing tape, and then place cushions, pillows, etc, also wrapped in plastic, right on top for added room and organization.
6. MAKE USE OF ALL BOX SPACE
The obvious reason for this is of course to utilize all possible space for packing. However, packing things snugly into a moving box also prevents items from being jostled around during the move. Even if it’s just enough room for a rolled-up T-shirt or a pair of socks, make use of that space and protect your belongings.
7. PACK USING THE ITEMS YOU’RE PACKING
Save space and protect your more fragile items by wrapping them in your clean clothing as you pack them. Wrap glass items in clean T-shirts, larger or more delicate pieces in sheets or blankets. You’ll save packing space and know that your belongings are well-protected.
8. SMART PACK CLOTHING ON HANGERS
Rather than creating more work for yourself later on by grouping clothing items together while they are on the hangers, then slipping drawstring-tie trash bags around them starting at the bottom, pulling up, and securing at the top of the hangers, leaving the hooks exposed. Use a marker to write on each bag who the clothing belongs to. This way you can simply re-hang the clothes in your new closets, remove the bags, and you are all organized!
9. MAKE SEPARATE STORAGE CONTAINERS FOR THE FIRST WEEK’S ESSENTIALS
Pack a plastic tote with enough essentials (clothing, towels, hygiene items, etc) to get you through the first 3 to 5 days in your new home while you are getting unpacked and settled in. Pack a separate tote for each family member plus one for basic household needs (cleaning supplies, laundry needs, toilet paper, etc).
10. CHOOSE A GOOD QUALITY PACKING TAPE
This is another area in which you don’t want to cut corners to save a few dollars. Make sure the packing tape you choose is one that is recommended for the job, and use enough to make certain your packages are secure and safe from mishaps.
11. HAVE EVERYTHING READY TO GO WHEN THE MOVERS ARRIVE
Allow yourself plenty of time to have your packing done by the time the movers arrive. If you have additional items or items that will require special handling, make sure to stay and inform the movers in person or via pre-arranged text messaging regarding any special instructions or needs.
12. ORGANIZE BOXES ACCORDING TO WEIGHT
You will be doing your movers – and ultimately yourselves – a huge favor by having your boxes arranged by weight when they arrive to load everything up. Separate boxes into Heavy, Medium, and Light categories as well as having any fragile items clearly marked and set to the side for easy identification. This will assure an expedient and safe loading and unloading experience, and will be much appreciated by your moving team.
Moving doesn’t have to be the stuff nightmares are made of. Put these tips into action and your moving experience will be smooth sailing for everyone involved, making it possible for you to begin enjoying your new home right away!