Whether you are moving across the street, or across the country, it can be an exciting — and stressful — event. The next time that you move, use our packing tips to make the process go smoothly.
Making a Packing List and Checking it Twice
Before you pack your first belonging, it’s important that you get organized with a through and detailed packing list. Rather than writing out a list of the possessions that you plan to take with you, use a moving app to create packing lists. Most moving apps have additional tools that can help you to stay organized and keep you on track as you pack.
Some of the best free and low-cost moving apps include State Farm’s Move Tools for free and the Home Moving Packing Planner for 99 cents. Both are compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod. My Move is a free moving app that has compatible versions for Apple and Android as well as desktop users via Amazon. All of these apps enable users to create packing and home inventory lists, labels, checklists, and more to simplify the moving process.
Less is More
Most of us tend to accumulate extra, or unwanted items as we go through life. You can simplify your move by taking the time to consider what items you truly wish to keep as you create packing lists for each room of your home. Get rid of all unnecessary items before you move by having a yard sale or giving the items away to a loved one or charity that can put the item to use rather than going through the hassle of packing the item and moving it with you. You will save time, money and energy by only packing the items that you truly want and need.
If you are using a professional moving service, they may provide the packing supplies and even pack your items for you, but if you will be moving your items yourself the following is a basic list of packing supplies that you will need to make your move a success.
- Boxes of assorted sizes
- Plain newsprint or newspapers for wrapping fragile items
- Bubble wrap for wrapping fragile items
- Masking tape
- Garment Bags or Clear Garbage Bags to store clothes
- Plastic covers for Mattresses and Box Springs
- Blankets to Protect Furniture
- Labels and Markers
- Specialty Packing Crates for items such as Plasma and Large Screen TVs, Wine Bottles, Mirrors, Picture Frames and Antiques
While you can certainly purchase boxes or even large plastic totes for your move, you can usually save money by seeking free sources for boxes. Many grocery stores, liquor stores or smaller discount stores will be glad to give you their leftover boxes if you will let them know two weeks in advance when you will need them. If you do use boxes from a grocery store, be careful if you reuse boxes which were used for produce as these tend to be more attractive as hiding places to potential bugs and other pests.
21 Packing Tips
Keep the following packing tips in mind once you have compiled your packing lists and assembled all of your packing supplies.
- Start by packing belongings in rooms that you use infrequently.
- Clean items as you pack, so everything will be clean once you reach your new home.
- Label each box with its contents and the name of the room where it should be placed when you move.
- Use masking tape to make an X on mirrors and glass to help secure it and prevent injury should it break in transit.
- Place clothing in garment bags or clear garbage bags before boxing them to protect them from moisture.
- Ensure that you wrap items such as plates and glasses with bubble wrap and newspapers to help protect them during the move.
- Place toiletries and cleaning supplies in plastic bags before you place them into boxes. This way, if any leak you will not ruin anything else that is close by, and won’t have to worry about a soggy box that might break when you are trying to carry it.
- Pack boxes completely full so that contents do not shift inside the box.
- Use plastic covers on your mattress and box springs to protect them from moisture and dirt.
- Buy furniture covers, or use your existing blankets, to protect your furniture from scratches and dings.
- Plasma TVs or fragile antiques may need specialty packing crates which can often be obtained through a moving company.
- When loading, the heaviest items should go on the bottom, with lighter items on top.
- Mattresses, appliances and heavy furniture should go along the sides and back of the truck.
- Take pictures of the wired connections on your electronics to make it easier when you install the items in your new home. Be certain to label each cord as well.
- Use plastic Ziploc bags to hold screws, bolts and other hardware for items that will need to be reassembled, and tape the bags to specific item.
- As you load your moving truck or shipping pod, be certain that it is loaded full, so that boxes and furniture doesn’t move around in transit.
- Save a box for items you will need immediately once you reach your new home. Pack it last so that it is near the door.
- Once you reach your new home, unload your boxes by placing them into the room where they go.
- You will want to unpack your kitchen items first, so that you are able to quickly prepare food in your new home.
- After you unpack your kitchen, assemble your beds next so that you will be able to get a good night’s sleep and be well rested for the next day.
- Unpack the rest of your items in order from items that you use the most to the least.
Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae