Does the thought of packing overwhelm you? Follow these five simple tactics to eliminate stress and increase efficiency.
Declutter and organize before you pack a single box.
Similar to cooking a meal in a dirty kitchen, you don’t want to start packing in a messy space. Clean up and get organized as if you were impressing guests. It will be much easier to sort your belongings when they’re not hidden under three loads of laundry.
Choose high quality boxes — even if they cost a bit more.
Once you’re ready to begin packing, make sure your boxes are in decent shape. Nothing will send you over the edge quicker than a box tearing through the bottom as you carry it downstairs. Save yourself from this common packing nightmare by spending the extra penny on quality moving boxes. These can be found at almost any home improvement retailer, or you can easily purchase them through Moved.
Start packing the items used least often.
Think of that Crock Pot currently buried behind all of your pots and pans, or the heavy winter jackets that have been stored away for Spring. Rule of thumb: if you aren’t currently using it, pack it. On the flip side, note all of the must-have items (think: toothbrush, underwear, phone charger) which you cannot live a day without. You’ll want to proactively pack these into an essentials bag so you aren’t rummaging through boxes to find a fresh pair of undies.
Fit more into a box by repurposing household items.
Packing efficiently will make for less boxes. Pack bulkier items at the bottom of the box and avoid empty space so things aren’t shuffling around in-transit. To further ensure that space isn’t wasted, fill items that have an opening. For example, pots and jars are great places to put folded kitchen towels and utensils. Tupperware and water bottles can also carry accessories, earbuds, or other small knick-knacks. Bedsheets and pillow cases can be used to wrap delicate items. Before you tape up your box, triple check for any free space.
Labeling will save you from a huge headache when unpacking. Label boxes with what they contain (“framed pictures”) and which room they belong (“living room”). If you want to go the extra labeling mile, list boxes by unpacking priority (H)igh, (M)edium, (L)ow and place a label on each side of the box so it’s visible when stacked.
These 5 packing tips will help you maintain sanity and keep organized. Pack away!
Hopefully you read and followed our guide on How Far in Advance to Plan Your Move, in which case you’ll be well-prepared for moving day. If not, well, better late than never!
Just have the following 12 things on hand and you’ll be good to go.
Alarm Clock — You’re going to want to squeeze as much time out of this day as you possibly can, so set an alarm (or two or three) and make sure you get up on time!
Proper Clothes — Moving is a sweaty, dirty process, so wear casual clothes and sturdy, rubber-soled shoes. Consider using moving gloves as well — a day handling cardboard boxes will leave your hands filthy.
Extra Packing Supplies — Best to be prepare for the inevitable and have extra packing stuff on hand for the things you forgot to pack. That means boxes, tape, bubble wrap/towels, bags and markers.
Important Documents — If you’re using a moving company, have the moving inventory, bill of lading, contracts and insurance paperwork on hand. For renters, have copies of your leases, old and new. Pro-tip: write down important phone numbers (your new home, realtor, landlord, the moving company, truck driver, etc.) on a piece of paper in case your phone breaks, dies or is lost in the mayhem.
Phone Chargers — Nice segue, right? Your phone is going to be used a lot today, so keep a charger handy.
First Aid Kit — Injuries do happen, so make sure to have the basics ready if you need them: Neosporin, band-aids, pain-meds, etc.
Basic Tools — Having some basic tools on hand is always a good idea. A good place to start is a box cutter, scissors, Swiss-Army knife, hammer, duct tape, and a couple screwdrivers (Philips and flathead). And of course a bottle/wine opener for end-of-the-day celebrations!
Cooler and Ice — Hopefully you planned ahead and did not leave yourself a fridge-full of food to deal with on moving day! Regardless, a cooler is still a good idea for snacks and drinks for the moving guys, helpful friends, and for your upcoming drive.
Home Protection — Avoid damages, by putting pads on the legs of furniture, wrapping door frames, bannister railings, and any hard corners in moving blankets (with tape to keep in place), and covering your floors and carpets with whatever is handy: cardboard, plywood, carpet film protectors, old rugs, curtains, sheets, etc.
Cleaning Supplies — Get that security deposit back! Or just be courteous. Have a room (or borrow a vacuum, since yours will probably be packed already), mop, cleaning-wipes, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, trash bags, etc. Here’s some more info on How To Properly Vacate Your Apartment.
Toys and Snacks for Kids and Pets — Really, you’re best off dumping your kids and/or pets on a friend or family member for the day. Having them out of the way will make the move easier and less stressful for everyone involved. If they need to stay in the house, however, keep them out of the way room as much as possible. Also make sure you have plenty of snacks and comforting/entertaining items to stay occupied.
Cash — For tolls, food, parking fees, tips (for moving companies, it’s expected! $20–100 per person is best, depending on their service and how tricky the move was), etc.
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