Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but can be a complicated process. You may be done with the paperwork and have your keys in hand, but if you’re not organized and efficient in your packing and unpacking, your move may not be as smooth as you hoped. Use these tips to be sure the move to your new home is headache free!
MAKE A SUPPLIES LIST
You probably know everything that you’ll need for your move, but take the time to write it down before you head out to shop. During such a highly stressful time, an extra trip to the store can feel like a real inconvenience, so save yourself the aggravation and prepare a list.
Suggested Packing Supplies:
- Clean, strong boxes (in which case choosing used is okay)
- Plain packing paper (skip newspaper; it’s filthy)
- Bubble wrap or rolls (your towels and linens can help here)
- Rolls of packing tape and a strong dispenser (you’re stuck if this breaks at 1 a.m.)
- Packing labels
- Large permanent markers
- Good pair of strong, sharp scissors
- Box cutter
GET RID OF STUFF
Right after your last move, you probably swore to have less to pack next time around. Make good on this intention and take advantage of this ideal time to downsize; doing so will save you time and money on your move, and you’ll have fewer boxes sitting unpacked six months after you’re settled into your new home.
BEGIN EARLY AND PACE YOURSELF
If you have the luxury of knowing well in advance when your move will happen, don’t waste this precious time by procrastinating. Begin packing at least a few boxes per day several weeks prior to your move.
Focus on things that you don’t need for your daily life: decorations, books, off-season clothing, stored items, and anything in a guest room are ideal targets. After you have donated unwanted items and packed up nonessentials, you will have an easier time assessing what’s left and crafting a detailed plan for packing your core items.
During the process of packing, it can sometimes be tempting to be vague with labeling. When you’re unpacking, though, the difference between “KITCHEN” and “Plates, Silverware, Cups” becomes clear. Take advantage of the time you have while you’re packing to fill out detailed, clear labels on each box, and you won’t find yourself ripping open twelve “KITCHEN” boxes to find your cutting board on the other end.
CLEVER PACKING HACKS
While being organized is essential for a move, it’s not the only way to make your move go smoothly. A few of these packing hacks will ensure that you don’t pull your hair out each time you open a new box from the seemingly neverending stack.
- Use paper/styrofoam plates/bowls to separate and protect your dishware.
- Take pictures of your electronic cables before you unplug your tv, gaming system, or computer. This will make it a breeze to plug everything back in correctly.
- While your clothes are still hanging in the closet, pull a garbage back around as many pieces as you can and tie the drawstrings around the hangers. It will make it easier to hang them in your new closet and will keep them from getting dirty.
- Get wine boxes from liquor stores to pack your breakables such as glassware, candle holders, or vases.
- Color code your labels using cheap masking tape or duct tape which now come in lots of fun colors and patterns and make it easy to distinguish between your kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom boxes.
TAKE EXTRA CARE WITH YOUR VALUABLES
If you’re moving long-distance, there are some items you should pack yourself and keep close to you during the move. These items shouldn’t be loaded onto a moving truck or into a storage cube:
- Your forms of ID: birth certificates, passports
- Sentimental items: photos, baby books, wedding albums
- Personal electronics: laptop, tablets, backup cell phones
PREPARE AN ESSENTIALS BOX
Moving is stressful and chaotic, so plan ahead while things are a bit less harried and prepare an essentials box. If you are moving a family, consider packing either a separate box for each family member or packing separate boxes for children and adults.
Essential items we recommend:
- Toilet paper and soap
- Shower curtain and towels
- Set of sheets
- Toiletries (including medications)
- Set of pajamas and a change of clothes
- Cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Basic tool kit
- Snacks and bottled water
We hope your move is organized, relaxed, and safe. Congratulations on your new home!