When you are well prepared, moving does not need to be a logistical nightmare. But many are underprepared or caught off-guard when planning and executing a move, resulting in a less than ideal experience.
Embracing the totality of the move is the best way to approach it and the best way to do that is to know the ways to simplify your experience through useful actions and preparations. To help your next move, here are some great tips and moving hacks to consider.
Before Packing Up
Here are some essential tips to consider before you start packing for your move.
Make Use Of What You Have
To pack you need compartments to pack into. But before you stress about getting enough cardboard moving boxes, start packing the containers you have on hand. Some choices for popular, non-cardboard packing units include:
- Plastic Tupperware Containers
Once you have packed all of the available containers you have, you might be surprised by how little boxes you will still need. When you are at the stage when you need boxes, there are several great methods of acquiring free cardboard boxes including getting them from liquor stores, book stores, yard sales, social media outlets like Craigslist or Facebook Groups. Alternatively, you can also hang on to some Amazon boxes when you know a move is coming up.
Boxes are not the only thing you will need when planning to pack for a move. You will need packing tape, sharpies, labels, trash bags, box cutters, and duct tape. Before the hectic nature of last-minute scrambling for packing supplies arises, stock up on these ahead of the move.
Interesting tip: You can save on labels if you buy different color tape. When a box from a particular room is packed, distinguish it from other rooms’ packed content by using different color tape to identify the room it was packed for.
Until you move, you need to sustain yourself, so planning out your groceries is another essential component of plotting the mechanics of your move. If you are moving locally, transporting most of your food to your new place should be relatively simple, though it might need an extra trip.
If your destination will land you across the country, try to make your last shopping trip before the move around 2 weeks out. Plan to work your way through all of the food and drinks you have in those two weeks, to utilize as much of the grocery list as you can. For those who plan meals, it helps to try to utilize everything on hand into your last two weeks of your old residence.
This extends to toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels, and other household items. A move is easier when you have less to bring. If you have not been able to get through everything, consider donating what you have left. Organizations like ‘Move for Hunger’ will accept food donations to help them combat hunger in the country.
Make Moving Company Arrangements
This is a big one. If you are using a moving company, book them early. Not only does this check off a major box from your preparation list, but it also will help to avoid the higher rates of scheduling a last-minute move. Nevermind that you might not be guaranteed a slot if you wait too long. Getting this done will be a great stress reliever for your overall move experience.
Interesting tip: If you need to leave your domicile in better shape than it is when you are leaving, consider hiring a company to patch up and paint your baseboards and walls once you have taken everything off of them.
Don’t Hoard Everything
No, you do not need to bring every little thing you own with you to the new residence. One of the biggest benefits of a move is the opportunity to declutter. If you have not used something in years and don’t anticipate to, moving it to your new home will just mean it will sit around for more time. Before you start packing, double-check for such items that you can donate because you have no practical use for them.
The less stuff you have, the easier your packing experience will be. Start by going through your belongings one room at a time and decide between what you are keeping. Set aside those things you are willing to donate or sell through various online options if the entities are too valuable to part with for free. Actually, you will find a fair amount that can just be trashed as well.
Store Valuables Separately
It is a good idea to set aside valuable items. Don’t pack these with all of the other stuff. These things should be traveling within immediate possession of yourself, whether it is in a car, truck, or plane. These include family heirlooms, precious jewelry, and important legal documents. The move can be hectic so keeping those things that are irreplaceable next to your person will give you greater peace of mind.
Tips For Packing
Now that you have sorted out what you will be bringing and have all of the packing supplies on hand, time to get to the real ‘meat and potatoes’ of packing.
Narrow Your Focus
If you think of a move in the grand scheme of how much goes into it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So before you do anything, take a deep breath. To avoid thinking about the magnitude of the move, narrow your focus on one area of preparing at a time. Focus on packing one room at a time and celebrate your accomplishment when completing before moving on to the next room.
As noted earlier, if you color code the tape used on boxes in each room, you will make your life many times easier when you are unpacking.
Consider The Weight Of Boxes
There is a bit of an artform to packing boxes. You shouldn’t make them too heavy because that increases the difficulty of porting them, but not filling them enough will cause loose items to move around, and potentially incur damage.
A good tip for avoiding such problems is to fill the smaller boxes with heavier items while filling the bigger boxes with lighter ones. This will give you a smaller container to carry when it’s heavy, and a lighter one when it’s large.
You can also take the approach of putting heavier items on the bottom of the box, with lighter items on top. This will distribute the weight of your belongings across all of your boxes, keeping all of them from becoming too heavy and burdensome to transport.
Efficient Supply Use
You have stocked up on supplies, but if you don’t use them efficiently, you might run out before you are done packing anyway. Certain boxes are not going to hold up as well against the rigors of weight, so they can come apart. To mitigate the chances of that happening, secure them at the bottom with two pieces of tape across both the bottom and the top, respectively. Then, use the tape to wrap around the entire box with two more pieces. If you utilize plastic wrap, it will help in not using as much tape as well.
If you are not color coating the boxes by room, make sure to label which room the box belongs to. Whether it’s for your unpacking or the moving company transporting your things, it will make it easier to know which room they are going to.
The things most likely to get misplaced during the packing process are small items. They are also the easiest ones to forget or overlook. Things like mounting and shelving screws may seem like small items, until you try to use them at your new place, only to realize you have no idea where they went. For that reason, it is important to keep smaller items together. Packing them in small containers, even if it’s ziplock bags, and placing them close to the items they will belong to, will greatly assist you once you begin setting up your new place.
Some electronics have relatively complicated wiring and connection setups, losing track of which will make it a pain to hook them up again. An easy way to avoid this is to simply take a picture of all of the cords plugged into the electronics, giving yourself visual aid to re-attach them in the future easily.
When you unplug everything, make sure you pack the chords that were used with a particular device in the same containers as that device.
When packing electronics, make sure you pad them thoroughly with bubble wrap, packing paper, and even blankets for sensitive equipment that can easily damage. TVs for example should be padded and kept upright to avoid damage to their screens.
Dishes are one of the most vulnerable objects during the move. Their greatest weakness is being around one another as glass plates for example bouncing against other glass plates are the surest way to incur damage. That is unless you know how to pack them.
When packing dishes, make sure to wrap each item in paper individually, but also consider the placement. Instead of stacking them on top of one another, place them sideways, stacking them like records instead. This will keep them more steady assuming you packed the boxes efficiently and will prevent excess weight from pressing down on the bottom ones.
Aside from wrapping each individual bowl and plate, it is a good idea to wrap them in an encompassing section together as well to add to the cushioning.
There is a simple hack to packing up your closet quickly and efficiently. Placing things on hangers inside of a garbage bag helps to keep them all together, with the protruding hangers on top giving you the ability to hang up the items easily. You can alternatively place the items in a large vacuum-sealed bag to conserve space. Either method helps clothes be more easily stacked and it will keep them protected from getting messy during your move.
Don’t forget to pack an overnight bag. This is applicable regardless of how far you are moving. Moving hacks will make your moving experience less stressful, but it is not going to relieve you of the tiredness. If you have an overnight bag, at the end of a long and tiring moving day, you won’t have to rummage through boxes to find things that you need to use that night, you will just have it ready in the overnight bag you smartly put together. The contents, among other necessities, should include any necessary toiletries and a change of clothes.
Moving Between Apartments
All of the packing tips still apply when you are moving between apartments, but there are more things to consider. If you have things mounted on the wall, make sure you fill the holes with spackling paste or even around the house items like toothpaste.
Another good idea is to take pictures of your apartment before you leave it to illustrate to the landlord or property manager that it was in good shape when you left it. When arriving at the new rental, take pictures of how it looks at the time of moving in. These pictures will help you have some proof of the state of the apartment in case there is any damage you were not responsible for creating. Sharing them with the property manager will help alleviate problems later when the cause of the damage will be harder to prove.
Use The Tips
Don’t let moving stress you out too much. The best way to get around the unease is simply by being well-prepared and efficient in your approach. Moving day hacks and tips will help you to approach your relocation with determination and confidence. Did we miss any good tips? Let us know.