Time to Move? Use These 5 Time-Saving Packing Tips

Packing Boxes (Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanoliverphotography/7736032314/; Flickr User Nathan O'Nions; Image cropped from original)The prospect of living in a new home can be exciting. Moving, however, is rarely a prospect which homeowners look forward to.

Packing up all of your household belongings can be a daunting prospect. Luckily, Zillow recently detailed some great packing tips which are sure to save time and energy. Here are 5 time-saving packing tips which you can put to good use for your moving process.

1. Divide and conquer, starting small.

Beginning a packing process is the most important part of your whole packing experience, as this will help achieve maximum results with minimum effort. Create a schedule for packing, based on the time for your move.

Divide your packing materials from the very beginning of your process into these 3 categories:

  • Room they're located in
  • Material they're made of (breakable, plush, heavy)
  • Frequency of use

Be sure and start packing with the items you don't use very often, and end with the items you use every day.

Ensure you create an "open-first" box as you go, complete with basic toiletries, towels, change of clothes, a tool kit (with scissors included), a flashlight, and a first-aid kit. This will be a lifesaver to you on moving day.

2. Use what you've got before you buy.

While boxes are the stereotypical moving storage items of choice, don't hesitate to take advantage of packing supplies you may already have before buying packing materials. Linens and towels, for example, make great padding for more breakable materials that you will need to move.

Have a lot of heavy books? Put them in your suitcases to make them easier to carry, particularly suitcases with wheels.

Be sure and ask your local grocery stores and pharmacy stores if they have any extra boxes before you buy packing boxes from a hardware store. More often than not, these stores have plenty of leftover boxes to spare for your packing needs, and are often willing to share these materials with you for free.

3. Use plastic.

Probably the cheapest and most multi-use packing items come in plastic - garbage bags, sandwich bags, grocery bags, plastic wrap, etc. Here's how you can use them to pack:

  • Use plastic cling wrap to keep necklaces and bracelets from tangling. Just lay a few pieces of jewelry on plastic wrap, and fold the wrap over, ensuring to press around individual items to keep them separate from one another. You can then place these in sandwich bags for safe storage.
  • Instead of packing clothes on hangers, leave them on the hangers and surround them with a large garbage bag. Make a hole at the bottom of the garbage bag, put the hooks of several hanging pieces through the hole, pull the bag down over the clothes, and cinch the bottom closed with the plastic drawstring at the bottom. To unpack clothing at your new home, hang clothing items and remove the bag. Easy!
  • Contain liquids in plastic wrap or bags to help prevent leaking in the move.
  • Leave lighter items in your dresser or drawers and stretch plastic wrap firmly over the drawer to secure.
  • Store screws and bolts for specific items in sandwich bags, ensuring you label each back with a permanent marker to differentiate.
  • Store pillows and blankets in garbage bags. When you load your moving truck, use these bags as padding for your furniture or other breakable items.

4. Make electronics simple.

Before you start disentangling your electronic hookups, make sure you take pictures of your hookups and label all cords to ensure you're able to put it back together again once you move.

A good way to temporarily label cords is to stuff them inside an empty toilet paper roll and writing on the roll what the function of the cord is.

Additionally, be sure and pack electronic items in their original packaging if you still have it to ensure the items have the appropriate amount of padding.

5. Over-label everything.

There is no hurt in over-labeling boxes. Ensure you always label boxes boldly with the room they belong in, and the importance of the items in the box - and, whenever possible, label the exact items in the box so you're not hunting frantically for, say, your daughter's graduation gown which ended up getting tucked into the pots and pans box at last minute. If its written on the box, you have a better fighting chance of finding an item you need.

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