Buying and selling a home is a huge job, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. In order to move into your beautiful new home, there’s one little detail you need to overcome: Packing. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you maximize your time and make your move as easy as possible.
Sell, donate, or toss
For some people, this is the most exciting part of the move. It’s an opportunity to approach your new home with a clean slate by getting rid of the unnecessary odds and ends that have cluttered your life. Sometimes, we accumulate things that might be best tossed into the trash or recycled, but many times, these goods can find new life with a person or organization in need. Ultimately, it cuts down on the boxes you need to unpack in your new home, so it’s a big win! Check out our list of Household Donations and Junk Removal resources for ideas on where to send your things.
Find free boxes first
Grocery stores are one of the many places you might be able to score some free boxes. Small produce boxes are perfect for packing books and files, among other things. Before you spend your hard-earned money on bankers boxes or moving boxes from a trucking agency, start here.
Use what you have
Don’t be afraid to make use of the storage containers in your home, rather than packing them. Clothes hampers, baskets, tote bags, and coolers are just a few of the things you can use to pack your home. Additionally, use clothes and towels for padding instead of spending money on bubble wrap.
Think of weight
Small boxes can afford to be heavier, because they’re easier to carry. Use smaller boxes for heavy items like books and dinner plates, reserving larger boxes for clothing or toys.
Use the right tape, and plenty of it
There’s no replacement for good packing tape, especially when you consider how precious some of your items are and how easy it would be for the bottom of a box to pop open. Purchase tape that was made for the job, and use it generously. When it comes to your grandparents’ heirlooms, it’s not worth quibbling over a few dollars here to keep those boxes secure.
Label your boxes
This is a common tip, and for good reason. Labeling each box by the room it belongs to will dramatically cut down on time when unpacking in your new home. It simplifies the unloading of the truck and automatically gives you a blueprint for how to efficiently get settled after your move. If there are certain must-haves in each room, like your first few days of clothing or some toys the kids can’t live without, label your boxes in order of importance (for example, BEDROOM OPEN FIRST).
One variation on this theme is to color-code each room and label the boxes accordingly. This can shave a few precious seconds off each trip, and those seconds might add up at the end of the day.
Using a moving company? Consider numbering your boxes in addition to categorizing by room. This will make it easy to tell if a box is missing or misplaced.
Keep an “Open Me First!” box
In addition to prioritizing boxes from each room, it’s a good idea to have a master box of the most important items you’ll need once you get into your new home. This box should contain a change of clothes for every member of the family, toiletries, and necessary medications. You may also want to include some snacks to start your day, or your child’s favorite toys.
If it’ll make it easier to begin your day of unpacking, it should be in this box!
Use what you have, Part 2
When it’s time to load the truck, use your own items as padding between pieces of furniture. Putting blankets and pillows into garbage bags will keep them clean, and they can then be placed around edges and on corners of desks and dressers, to keep them from scratching or denting.
Hopefully, these tips will get you off to an organized start as you embark on your big move. Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments below!