So you found an awesome new place to live in. It’s bigger than a shoe box, in a good neighborhood and most importantly, it’s affordable. You happily start packing, only to find yourself drowning in bubble wrap with no idea as to what you’re doing. Well, worry not!! Here are 20 packing tips to make your move easy and efficient:
Packing takes a lot more time than you think it does. So, when I say start packing early, I mean start packing 1-2 months in advance. Packing a box or two every day is a lot more easy and stress-free than trying to do everything in a couple of days. In fact, you are more likely to mess up if you try to pack in a hurry. So, always start packing as early as possible.
You don’t need all the stuff you’ve managed to hoard over the last few years. You could probably do without a lot of these things, and now is the time to get rid of them. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money on packing and moving these things. Here are few ways you can get rid of that extra bulk:
- Donate to Charity
- Sell on E-bay or Craigslist
- Have a garage sale
- Give it to friends
- Digitize old photos and videos; save them on the cloud and throw away the prints, CDs and VHS.
Collect Free Boxes
There is no need to pay a moving company tons of money for their moving boxes. Your local groceries, pharmacies and book stores could prove to be a treasure trove of free boxes. Scour these places and you’ll find every kind of box you’ll need. You can also find free boxes online. Search through Craigslist or Freecycle.com or use U-Haul’s box exchange board to find free boxes around your area. Take advantage of these free boxes before someone else beats you to it.
Make a checklist
Only when you’re moving do you realize that you have tons of stuff. So, to make sure you don’t miss any while moving, make a categorized checklist of all your belongings. Check things off of this list as you pack. It should make your packing more organized and you’ll be less likely to anything behind.
You don’t have to do all the packing by yourself. Have your family or friends help you out. It is easier than doing everything on your own and cheaper than hiring professionals. Also, having your loved ones around will make this tedious task a lot more fun. Just remember to pay them well in pizza and beer. Also, give them first pick on all the stuff you’re trying to get rid of. Anything they want is theirs to keep.
Start packing with thing you use least often
Start your packing with the things that you don’t use very often, like holiday decorations and unseasonal clothing. Then, move on to things like books and china, things that you can do without. Always move from things you use lease often to more often. As for the things that you need on a daily basis, leave those alone till the last few days before the big move.
Specialized packing for special items
Some items are easily damaged and need special care while packing; things like glassware and electronic devices. So, make sure you pack these items safely. You can find a lot of resource on the internet on packing china or electronic devices. If you’re still unsure or if the item is expensive, let professionals take care of it.
Box according to room
Pack and boxes items according to the room they’ll go into. Things that’ll go in the kitchen will be packed in one box while things that’ll go in the bedroom will be packed in another. It will make unpacking a lot easier for you.
Large boxes for light stuff and little boxes for heavy stuff
Often, what we do is, we pack all the heavy items in large boxes and small light items in small boxes. But, this makes it difficult for you to carry the large boxes when it’s time to move. Moreover, the large boxes are more likely to tear or break because of the heavy load. So, instead, pack all the light items in the big boxes and the heavy items on the smaller boxes.
Be creative while packing
You don’t really have to buy bubble wrap and packing peanuts for packing. Simply use things you already have. Blankets, pillow cases and even old T-shirts can be used to wrap things instead of bubble wrap. Use cushions and pillows as padding at the bottom of boxes containing breakable items. Shred waste paper or old newspapers to fill the empty spaces in the box instead of using packing peanuts.
Packing makeup and toiletries
Makeup and toiletries often break or spill during the move. There are a few tricks that will help you prevent this. While packing compact powders or eye shadows, place a cotton ball inside the case to prevent the make up from breaking. Similarly, with shampoos, lotions and other liquid or semi liquid products, place a clear plastic over the opening before putting on the lid. It will prevent the products from leaking.
Pack clothes along with their hangers
Instead of folding and packing your clothes and then unpacking and unfolding them once you get to your destination, use the “hangers and trash bag trick”. Simply sort the clothes in your closet into groups of five to ten. Then, simply slip a trash bag over these clothes while they’re still in their clothes hangers. Tie shut the garbage bag at the neck of the hanger and you’re done. Once you move to your new place, hang the cloth hangers in the closet and tear out the trash bag and you’re done unpacking your clothes.
Seal your cloth drawers with Press n Seal
Instead of removing the contents of your cloth drawers, folding them and packing, simply use Press n Seal to cover the belongings in your cloth drawers and leave it at that. Your drawer will act as a moving box. Once you get to your destination, simply remove the Press n Seal and your unpacking is done.
Fill suitcases, chests, picnic baskets, hampers etc
Don’t just rely on conventional moving boxes while packing. You can also pack your belongings into suitcases, chests, picnic baskets, hampers and almost any other box you have lying around. Don’t let these boxes go into the moving truck empty or you’ll be spending money to move air.
Label, number and color code the boxes
Once you’ve packed the boxes, remember to label, number, or even color code these boxes. The label should tell you what the box contains and where it is supposed to go (i.e. bathroom, kitchen etc.) Try to number the boxes so that you’ll know the exact no of boxes you’ll be moving and won’t leave any box behind. Color coding can make it easier to identify which box goes in which room.
Take pictures of cable setups
If your television, sound system, computer or any other appliance has a complicated cable system, take a picture of it before you disassemble it. The picture will help you reassemble the device once you’ve moved to your new place.
Keep important documents with yourself
Sometimes things get lost during the moving process. So, when it comes to important documents like birth certificates, citizenships and passports, don’t take any chances. Keep them with you while moving. You can easily fit them in a backpack that you can carry when you move to your new home.
Pack an overnight bag
You’ll probably be too tired to start unpacking on your first day at your new home. So, pack an overnight bag with toothbrushes, change of clothes and a few essentials to last you until the next day, or until you begin unpacking.
Have an “Open first” box
Pack an “Open first” box that you can open first when you begin unpacking. This box should have essentials to help you fend for yourself till you finish unpacking as well as a few tools to help you unpack. Things like a couple of utensils, cookware, chargers, toilet paper, and box cutter go into this box.
Don’t buy grocery near moving time
If you buy your groceries right before moving, you’ll just have to throw most of it away when you move. Instead, go for grocery shopping two weeks before the move and the supplies should last you for the time being. If there are still groceries left by the time you move, give it to your friends or neighbors instead of throwing it away. No sense in wasting perfectly good food.
Follow these tips for easy, cheap and efficient packing.
Got any more packing tips? Let us know in the comments below: