How to Pack for Your Upcoming Move

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Settling into a new house or apartment is always exciting; you get to start over with a clean palette and organize and decorate your home just the way you want it.

However, no one likes the stress of packing and moving. The process takes time, organization, physical strength, and usually help from others. But with a little pre-planning, you can ensure that your move runs smoothly. Not sure how to prepare for your move? Start with the very basics; make sure you have plenty of boxes, garbage bags, tape, scissors, a box cutter, and bubble wrap. Then, create a game plan for packing and unloading. If you follow the tips listed below, you’ll save time and cut out the moving-day frustration that everyone dreads.

1. Pack an Overnight Bag for Yourself

No matter how much you plan and how efficiently you pack and transport boxes and furniture, moving takes more than one day, especially if you have to travel a long distance. In the days leading up to the move, make sure you throw together a bag of all your daily essentials to use during the moving process. For example, you’ll want to have easy access to a few outfits, toiletries, medications, and changers. 

2. Start by Packing Your Least-used Items

Before you pack a single box, take inventory of what you own. Use Excel or Gooogle Docs to create a list of your belongings, and label them based on where in the house they belong and how soon after the move you’ll need them. To maintain normalcy in the weeks and days leading up to your move, start by packing the things you don’t need on a day-to-day basis. For example, you likely won’t need any of the following within the first weeks of moving:

  • Season or long-term storage items
  • Out-of-season clothes
  • China and rarely-used dishes
  • Artwork, picture frames, and knick-knacks
  • Books

Only after you have these items packed up should you move on to your other belongings. Since you’ll need the following items right up until you move, save these for last:

  • Toiletries
  • Electronics
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Your favorite clothes

3. Pick the Right Box Sizes

When rounding up boxes to pack for your move, remember that box size matters; using the wrong boxes for the wrong items can result in rips and tears. Should you break a box while transporting, you can damage your stuff and hurt yourself in the process.

To avoid this, you can:

  • Use small boxes to pack heavy items such as books. Make sure the heaviest items go to the bottom of the box so you can pack lighter items on the top without fear of damage.
  • Pillows, linens, and other bulkier but light-weight stuff can go in your largest boxes.
  • Make sure you don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes; you can fill gaps between items with towels, clothing, or packing paper.

4. Label Everything by Room and Item

Every box you pack should have a label on it that describes what it contains and where it goes. To make things easier on yourself and anyone helping you move, use big, bold lettering and place labels on both the top and side of the box. If including all the contents of a box on the label is a pain, you can number each of the boxes, and then keep an inventory list separately. With that list in hand, it will be easier to find out what you have packed and where they should go.

With all your boxes labeled, you can easily direct your movers or helpers as they pack up the truck. Have a plan for the order you want to unpack, and load the boxes you need first at the end.

Power Through and Enjoy a Stress-Free Move

If you take the time to plan your move and organize your things, there’s no reason you can’t have a smooth move. Of course, moving will take time and labor, but it shouldn’t be frustrating. You just have to power through, and soon you’ll be all settled in your new home.

Remember, you can also use this time to get rid of items you no longer want or need. As you pack, continuously ask yourself whether or not the item still serves you, as Marie Kondo might say. Look at your move as an opportunity to change and simplify your way of life!