Moving is a big undertaking, and it requires a lot of time and effort on your part. It can be daunting, thinking about packing up all of your belongings, putting it in a truck, and then unpacking somewhere else. There’s no magic trick that can make moving a breeze, but these six tips will help make the process go a bit smoother.
Don’t Take Items You Don’t Need
Packing is the perfect opportunity to sort through your stuff and donate items you don’t need. There’s no point using extra boxes for things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. While you’re sorting through your belongings, make a donation pile. Donate everything you can, and throw the rest away.
You should also minimize the amount of food you pack. During the final week or two at your current location, plan your meals around the items you already have in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. Try to use everything you possibly can, and limit the amount of food you purchase during that time. The less food you have to pack, the better.
Moving is More Than Packing
While packing is a vital part of the move, and certainly the most time consuming, there’s more to a move than boxing up your items. Leading up to the move, there are several things you need to do. You should schedule a start date for the utilities at your new place and shut off the electricity at your current location. You should also update the addresses on all of your accounts and file a change of address with the post office to ensure you get your mail.
The most commonly dreaded part of moving is packing. It’s time consuming and not always the easiest task. But, if you pack smart, you can save yourself a lot of stress. Here are some tips:
- Make a proper inventory of fragile items so you know how many dish packs and boxes you need.
- Pack china, glassware, and small fragile items in a dish pack, not a regular box. Dish packs will take items up to 18 inches in size. They can be hard to find, so consider buying them from your moving company or from a van company. Line the dish pack with crumpled paper.
- Wrap plates and bowls separately, then stack them. You can go up to four for plates and two or three for bowls. Then wrap the entire bundle again.
- Wrap bins of toys, silverware, or clothes in plastic wrap or paper for quick transport.
- Leave clothes in your dresser and wrap the entire piece in plastic wrap to keep drawers from sliding out during the trip.
- Tape up any items that can spill such as shampoo, cleaners, cooking oils, etc.
- If you have small glasses, then save old six-pack boxes, which work well for separating them.
- For framed artwork and photos, sort and group them by size. Larger pieces will need a specialty box, which you can get from a supply store. Use duct tape to mark an X over the glass frame so that if it does break it will not shatter and damage the painting. If the artwork does not have glass, put several layers of kitchen wrap over it. Wrap in packing paper, then bubble wrap. Put cardboard corner protectors on the corners of the frames. Smaller pieces can be stacked in the same box. Similar techniques work for mirrors.
- To make things easier on yourself in your new place, you should avoid mixing items from different rooms when you pack. In fact, consider marking boxes with colored tape to movers visually determine which room to leave the box. For example, all of the blue boxes go in the living room, while all of the red boxes go in the kitchen.
- When labeling your boxes, remember to write the information on the side of the box and not the top. By writing on the side, you ensure that you can see the information even when your boxes are stacked.
- Slide a garbage bag over clothes in your closet before taking them off the closet rod. This will help avoid clothes falling off the hanger and onto the dirty ground while moving.
- Keep furniture hardware in a plastic storage bag and tape it to the piece of furniture it belongs to. This will make re-assembling much easier at the new place.
- Use rolling suitcases to carry heavy items like books.
- Take a photo of the back of your electronics before unplugging and packing them up so you know where to attach each cord when you set them back up!
Moving costs can add up fast. If you’re looking to cut some corners, try using items you already have as packing material instead of purchasing expensive products from the store. Magazines and newspapers are a solid choice to replace packing peanuts, but you should be careful of the ink. You can also use towels or clothing to protect fragile items instead of buying expensive bubble wrap, and there’s no need to wrap knives; simply put them in an oven mitt to avoid danger.
To save money on professional moving services, try to schedule your move for the middle of the week if possible. Moving costs are always higher on the weekend, since movers are more in demand during those days.
Make Your First Day in the New Place as Easy as Possible
You should keep all your essentials, such as shower supplies, chargers, toothbrushes, deodorant, contacts, and medications in an overnight bag so you can access them easily. You should also pack all bedding, towels, and your laptop in a clear bin to make it easy to find that first night.
Moving to a new place is an exciting but exhausting adventure. Use these packing tips to make the move as pleasant and stress free as possible.