Packing up and moving to a new home is a major life event. There’s so much to do that it may seem a little overwhelming at times! But it’s just a temporary challenge. You’ll get through it soon enough, so just keep working at it and use these seven tips to save you time and to keep the stress away.
1. START PACKING EARLY
The most important tip on the list is the one that so many families don’t take seriously. The sooner you start packing up your stuff, the easier the whole process and the fewer headaches you’ll endure as the moving date approaches.
Start by making a master list of all the tasks you need to accomplish to make the move happen, then cross something off each day. Do not underestimate how much effort and time this takes. Get started right away!
2. WRAP BREAKABLES WITH CLOTHING
Keeping your fragile items like dishes, lamps, and glassware from breaking in transit is one of the greatest challenges of a move. Sometimes packing paper doesn’t cut it, but those stacks of t-shirts hiding in your drawers might do the trick! Plus, you must pack clothing anyway, so you end up saving a little time and money on shipping costs compared to using packing materials. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Wrap lamps in clothing such as hoodies and sweaters that are free of metal buttons or zippers
- Pack plates vertically in small moving boxes with sheets of paper, thin bubble wrap or even small T-shirts between them
- Place small breakables inside socks for transport
3. LEAVE NO EMPTY SPACE IN BOXES
While the movers lift, carry, store, transport, load, and unload your boxes, the last thing you want extra space in those boxes that allow your belongings to shift and jiggle around. One of the biggest causes of breakage is the shifting. Be sure to fill in all those gaps with smaller items and extra soft packing materials like clothing and bubble wrap. Ideally, don’t leave any space that might allow breaking in transit.
4. PROPERLY LABEL AND NUMBER EVERY SINGLE BOX
Label every box with a unique number and the room where the movers should set it when they unload. Be sure to write the number on all sides of the box to make it easy to locate when the boxes are all stacked in storage. On your master items list, write down the box number and all the items in it. You could even incorporate the room into the number sequence as follows:
- 100’s – kitchen
- 200’s – living room
- 300’s – master bedroom
- 400’s – 2nd bedroom
- 500’s — garage
5. USE SEALABLE SANDWICH BAGS FOR SMALL PARTS
If you’re disassembling any furniture or shelving, store the hardware in clear bags and label each one. Then tape it to the furniture or keep all the baggies in a separate bag or box that you won’t misplace during the move.
6. PUT HEAVY ITEMS IN SMALL MOVING BOXES
Large, heavy boxes are difficult to safely lift and carry, and they are more prone to ripping open at the bottom during transport. As a rule of thumb, pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in larger boxes.
7. PACK AN OVERNIGHT BAG
Pack an overnight bag for your first day and night in your new home. Put a change of clothes and basic toiletries just like you would if going on a short vacation. That way you won’t have to stress out trying to locate those items in all those stacks of boxes at the end of a long moving day.