Easy DIY Packing for Your Move
Getting ready for a big move can be stressful.
And no matter how many times you’ve relocated, it never seems to get easier — especially without the help of movers.
Based on the fact that nearly 30% of homeowners wish to move every five years, and 14% wish to move every year, you’re not alone.
Whether you’re moving locally or trekking long distance, you can minimize the stress of it all with the right planning and preparation (yes, that means not waiting until the last minute!).
Below, we’ve compiled some of the best packing hacks from moving experts so you can focus on settling into your new abode.
Pre-Move Packing Prep
Again, when getting ready for a move, it’s important to not wait until the last minute.
A lot of people forget about things like setting up mail forwarding and filing a change of address form. Doing as much as you can before moving madness begins is key to keeping your sanity.
Also, make sure all utilities are transferred and that you have everything scheduled for the move.
This might include renting a truck or furniture dolly, asking a friend or family member to help you move, or locking down boxes and packaging supplies to start getting things in order.
If you’re moving long distance, more preparation, like booking a hotel room, is necessary. In this case, keep all paperwork, reservation numbers, and addresses you might need in a separate file for easy access.
Whether for a hotel stay or for the first night in your new home, pack a separate bag of essential items you will need. This might include a toothbrush, toilet paper, other day-to-day toiletries, and an extra change of clothes.
If you’re moving out of a rented space, it’s especially important to clean every corner if you plan to get back your security deposit.
Think Inside the Box
Don’t already have boxes on hand? Try your neighborhood grocery store or liquor store. They usually have extra.
Make sure the boxes are durable and clean. You don’t want your clothes and books smelling like a seafood department or liquor cabinet. (Or maybe you do, but we wouldn’t recommend it.)
Because your belongings are not one-size-fits-all, it’s important to gather a range of different sized boxes for your stuff.
And, don’t forget the packing supplies.
Depending on what you’re packing, padding materials and bubble wrap will come in handy to prevent breakage (and later, to de-stress). Use heavy-duty packaging tape to keep everything secure and in place.
Wrap It Up
The packing process is the most crucial part of a seamless move.
Just like budgeting, executing an organized move involves patience and a segmented timeline.
Don’t just throw everything into boxes, hoping for the best. Being able to find what you’re looking for when unpacking will save you much time and energy.
But first, sort out belongings and toss or donate what you don’t need.
When it comes to furniture you don’t wish to keep, Craigslist or eBay are always options if you have enough time.
If you don’t feel comfortable with that, spread the word through your network. They may know someone looking for temporary, inexpensive furnishings.
The importance of labeling your boxes cannot be stressed enough. This will save you hours, maybe even days, of unnecessary labor.
Organize boxes by room or by category. For example, you might put clothes in one box, shoes in another, and kitchen utensils in yet another.
In bigger boxes, where you can fit more contents, group items by room.
This way, you can unpack one room at a time. This same mentality applies to packing. Focus on packing up one room at a time, and then move onto the next.
When labeling boxes, be as specific as possible so there’s no guesswork. Write down the category of contents in the box and which room it belongs in.
To take it a step further, or if you’re Type-A, color coordinate labels by room or by family member.
Because moving boxes is similar to playing Tetris, label whether each box is light, medium, or heavy. This prevents heavy boxes from squishing light ones.
Also, by writing on the sides of boxes rather than on the tops, you’ll know where each box goes even when they’re stacked on top of each other.
Keep in mind that organizing boxes by room isn’t going to be a perfectly clear-cut method. There are bound to be miscellaneous items you own that need a space, too.
Place aside these extra items to keep as fillers for boxes with random space left in them. This will help cut down on boxes and supplies if needed.
To kill two birds with one stone, and to save money on padding supplies, wrap fragile items, such as dishware, in soft clothing, sheets, towels, or around pillows.
Speaking of dishware, try to avoid stacking them. Instead, place plates vertically for less clanking.
T-shirts may not save wine glasses and other stemware. So, for extra breakable items, stuff clean socks around the glasses for more padding.
Bag It Up
Whether you realize it now or not, you’ve got a lot of loose ends in your possession. Taking apart your belongings exposes this fact, no matter how tidy you or your home may be.
We’re talking nuts and bolts, nails, electronic cords, and even makeup and jewelry.
To prevent loss, keep sandwich baggies of all sizes on hand. Label the contents accordingly, and tape the baggie to the item in which it belongs.
For bigger items, like clothes, there’s no need to get fancy. Put clothing in large trash bags. Extra bonus points if you can manage to keep the hangers on them, too.
Before taking everything out of its packaged place, clean the empty house. This is much easier to manage without the clutter.
To keep things tidy, start unpacking items that will be stored in closets, such as clothing and shoes.
From there, focus on putting together the big stuff you’ve disassembled for the moving process. And then start unpacking room by room.
Moving can be a challenging and arduous process, but the rewards are generally worth it.
If you decide to hire movers, or just want more information on estimates, you can find more information here.
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