Packing Tips and Hacks for Moving

Packing Tips and Hacks for Moving (Source: Flickr User Highwaysagency)

After buying a new home and the reality of packing creeps into the excitement equation, two groups of people emerge. One is the group that says they hate packing. The other is the group that says they don’t mind, that it gives them a chance to prune and discard.

The second group is, as the saying goes, lying like a Persian rug.

Packing is an overwhelming task – but it doesn’t have to be. Just by following a few basic steps, you can be organized, calm(er), and way ahead of the game.

1. Spend money where it’s most important.

This means packing materials. Good boxes are worth their weight in gold, or at least the price of their contents. Here are some specific varieties to look out for:

  • Wardrobe cartons - These boxes come with a built-in bar to hang your clothing, and make hanging your clothes in your new home as simple as opening a box.
  • Dish boxes - These ensure your fine china arrives in one piece and make for easy unloading.
  • Book boxes - Books are heavy and book boxes are invaluable.
  • Used grocery store boxes - These boxes are free, and best used for clothing that doesn’t need to be hung, linens and the like.

2. Make a schedule.

Make a schedule based on the time you have until moving day so you won’t be packing on the day the movers come. This should be by room (kitchen, bathroom and so on), but from there you should pack by material (e.g., fragile items). Start with items you use rarely, and don’t mix items from different rooms.

As you pack, create an “open first” box or a suitcase with items you’ll need as soon as you arrive, such as a change of clothes, basic toiletries, towels and a flashlight. Make sure the movers place this in a spot close to the front door so you’ll be able to find it quickly.

Packing is a natural time to discard or donate items you no longer need but is always difficult because it requires a balance between emotion and logic. Try to be objective. Some people choose to take pictures of mementoes, then give the mementoes themselves to charity.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Everyday kitchen wraps are ideal for small items. Use cling wrap to keep necklaces and bracelets from tangling. Lay a few pieces of jewelry on a length of plastic wrap and fold the wrap over. Press around your items to keep them separate.

Store picture hangers, screws and bolts in securely closed sandwich bags. Do the same thing with liquids such as shampoo, vinegar, etc.

4. Label, label, label. (And then label again.)

If you forget all of our other tips, don’t forget this one. Mark each box on the top and all sides with heavy markers according to its room. Use a different color for each room. Somewhere on the box mark the contents. Give each box a number.

Then make a manifest listing the contents of each box by number. This way you can find that potato masher you threw in the “guest bathroom” box at the last minute.

Those two groups we mentioned at the beginning? By being more organized from the get-go the first group might not hate packing as much and the one that said they didn’t mind it might not be lying as much.

And there are more tips where these came from. If you’d like to see them just send an email or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

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