Let’s face it, packing is hard work and can be a bit stressful. Here are some tips to help your packing day go smoothly!
1. Declutter so you can pack less.
A crucial packing tip is making sure you don’t move anything that you no longer need. Lighten your stress and workload by decluttering before you enter the packing stage, which means figuring out what to toss, keep, sell, or donate. Take measurements of your new home and get rid of any furniture that won’t fit or you know you won’t use.
2. Invest in quality moving boxes.
It’s tempting to go to your local grocery store and try to score some boxes for free. However, moving boxes are relatively inexpensive, and the added durability can be worth the cost in the end. Grocery boxes and reused moving boxes can be compromised due to wear and exposure to moisture or worse, a bug infestation. The last thing you want is a box falling apart in your hand while you’re trying to move it into the house.
3. Set a timer and pack for an hour a day.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When it comes to packing, break down your packing into steps. If you procrastinate and try to pack everything the night before, you’ll likely become overwhelmed with stress. Tackle one room at a time and spend an hour each day packing up items into boxes. Pack pairs or sets together and make sure your box is the appropriate size to hold a complete set of belongings.
4. Pack a moving essentials tote.
When you first move into a new home, it’s unlikely the first thing you’re going to want to do is to unpack clothes, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. Moving can take a lot out of your family, which is why creating a moving essentials tote ahead of time is tremendously helpful. Consider items for a picnic-style lunch (or in the least: favorite snacks and gatorades), some PJs, commonly used medications, etc.
5. Give each room a different color packing label.
To stay organized, print off multi-colored packing labels or use different colored masking tape and give each room its own color. Label the contents of each box and include the room it belongs in. Then in your new place, use colored tape to mark entrances to rooms. This moving tip will save movers a ton of time. Instead of needing to read the label explicitly or play the room guessing game, they can just match color to color.
6. Don’t overpack a moving box.
One mistake a lot of people make when moving is trying to cram all of their belongings into a few cardboard boxes they have around the house. Use as many boxes as you need to create easy-to-lift loads. Keep your largest boxes to no more than 50 pounds. If you can’t move a box because it is too heavy, it is time to make thurn that one box into two lightweight boxes!
7. Use the right size boxes.
Place heavy items like books, in small boxes, and lighter items in larger boxers. This makes it easy for movers to organize and pack boxes into the moving truck. Be sure to pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top to avoid damages.
8. Don’t leave empty spaces in boxes.
Fill in any gaps with packing paper, clothing, foam peanuts, or even bags of air to prevent items shifting around during the move. Use tape to close the bottom and top seams and around the edges where stress is concentrated.
9. Bundle the breakables.
For any fragile items you pack, use plenty of bunched-up paper and padding. Never place these items in boxes freely without some extra cushion. Spend the time packing these items correctly to save you stress in the long run.
10. Repurpose household items for packing.
Think about how you can repurpose things you have — like hampers, suitcases and laundry bins for storing some of your clothes and household items. You can also use towels as wrapping or padding. To help take up as little space as possible, use vacuum sealing for your cloth items like clothing and bedding.
11. Save space when packing clothing.
Clothing can be one of the most time-consuming elements of packing. The important thing is to save as much space as possible with clothes because excess clothing can take up most of the moving truck if you’re not careful.
Space-saving packing hacks for clothes:
- Pack hanging clothing in garbage bags by cutting a hole on top of the bag then placing the garbage bag over a grouping of hangers.
- Roll clothing instead of folding to save space.
12. Label and take photos of furniture parts and accessories.
Take the extra time to protect larger pieces of furniture before you move. Remove and secure all drawers and doors beforehand. Also, label cables, drawers, doors, and anything you need to remove so you know where it goes when you put it back together. Put screws and bolts into plastic bags and tape these to the back of the furniture.
When packing up electronics, take a photo of the back configuration so you remember which cord goes where. Take photos of any furniture you take apart to serve as a guide for putting it back together. Also, make sure you label cords, doors, screws, and anything else you take apart.
15. Stock up on packing material for the kitchen.
Consider packing everyday dishes, bakeware, Tupperware, and silverware separately. Crumpled newspaper, bubble wrap or corrugated cardboard will help prevent your fragile items from breaking, but just about anything can be used to pack breakable items. Utilize dish towels and even paper plates to create buffers.
Remember, crystal, china, ceramics, and keepsakes need to be carefully packed with lots of padding. Pack these items in smaller boxes with appropriate packing materials and labeled as fragile.
16. Use plastic wrap to avoid leaks.
Take care of anything that has the potential to spill. For instance, a shampoo bottle that seems tightly sealed outside of a box can somehow magically figure out a way to ooze over all your other belongings. In this case, keep all toiletries and liquids separate from dry items. Also, consider using plastic wrap as an additional seal between the bottle and the lid.
17. Use straws to keep jewelry from knotting.
Avoid knotted, tangled and broken jewelry by taking extra care of these items. Place your necklaces through straws to keep the chain from tangling, or lay them flat on a small towel and roll it up. Use a plastic pill case to organize and transport your extra small jewelry like rings and earrings. Consider keeping these valuables with you and not on a moving truck.