Moving is one of the most exhausting experiences you are likely to encounter. Some may find moving exciting and easy, others, not so much. No matter how quickly you need to move, staying organized and using boxes to pack is the best way to maintain your sanity. Failing to do so will be disastrous later. Even if you are moving around the corner, you still need to pack appropriately.
Boxes is the one thing you should never have to pay for. There are a variety of ways you can pick them up for free. Often moving boxes are listed in “curb alert” sections of Craigslist and local yard sale websites for free pickup.
Another great way to find free boxes is to check with your local grocery and liquor stores. Early Monday and Friday are the best days to do this as they are preparing and restocking from the weekend.
If you don’t have time to request/locate free boxes, most hardware stores (Lowes & Home Depot) now carry a large selection of packing supplies that are relatively inexpensive. Please know, these boxes are less durable than the boxes reused from your local grocery.
How to Handle Breakables:
Don’t use newspaper to pack your dishes as newspaper leaves ink all over them. You have enough to take care of when you arrive at your new place, rewashing your already clean dishes should not be necessary. Instead, use your clean linens.
Yes, you read that correctly! Use your clean sheets, towels, blankets, and curtains to pack your dishes and breakables. This will save you space instead of packing them separately AND help you to keep everything clean.
Stretch Wrap & Tape:
There are several moving tapes available, even those that are labeled and color coded for separate rooms. These tapes are neat, however, it is important to also purchase standard moving tape for sealing the bottoms of your boxes. The labeled tapes are known for splitting and having poor stick.
Purchase your tape in large quantities to avoid mid-packing trips to the store.
Stretch wrap is the way companies pack their bulk products. It is amazingly strong and useful and a must-have for packing! Wrap each packed box twice to help close the box and to insure the box stays secure without losing it’s bottom.
Don’t waste your money on room labels and tapes. Often, you are left with several wasted labels for rooms you don’t have, and not enough labels for the rooms you do. Unless labels are something you strongly desire, skip them and stick with using markers. Remember to purchase several markers so everyone involved in your packing project can easily access them.
Don’t stop labeling your boxes. It is necessary. Try to label the contents of the box as well as well as the room location and care recommendation.
Avoid mixing contents of your boxes while bearing in mind weight restrictions. If your box is at the maximum weight limit and you still have room atop, fill the space with pillows or other plush items.
Boxes containing books are often packed over appropriate weight limits. Use only small boxes for books. Be sure the box can be lifted before closing.
Tip: Don’t pack away your important papers folder/firebox. Lock these items in your car the morning of moving day.
Use the following procedure for each box:
- Use packing tape to seal the bottom of the box before packing
- Pack box
- Use a small amount of tape to close the lid
- Wrap the box (end to end) two times with stretch wrap
- Label Box with markers
Keeping your folded clothing inside of your dresser drawers will save box space and save you time unpacking.
Gather bunches of hanged clothing together and use a zip-tie at the top of the hangers to keep them together. Poke a hole through the middle bottom of a large garbage bag and place over the bundled clothing. Tie the bottom of the bag to keep dirt away from the clothing.
Packing Cords & Electronics:
Roll each cord individually and zip-tie together. Place inside of a zipper bag and label the purpose (living room TV, desktop computer, stereo speakers, etc.)
Tape remote controls to the back of each television. Wrap flat screens in soft blankets and use a modest amount of stretch wrap to secure them.
Nearing the End:
The odds and ends of packing can be the most exhausting part of moving. You’re tired, you’re ready for it to be over, and you are still finding stuff everywhere! What you will create next are the boxes that no one likes to unpack. The best way to move through the final stretch is to stay organized.
Take a look around the home and see what you have left. You are likely finding small toys, excess power cords, mail, magazines/books, and office supplies – don’ pick them up just yet. Line up several smaller boxes in the main portion of your home – one box for each type of leftover you encounter. Begin to sort through the leftovers and toss them in the appropriate box. Don’t close these boxes until you have checked EVERY ROOM for leftovers and you are ready to leave the house!
Before you Leave:
Don’t forget to check the closets, cabinets, and attic! Normally these are great places for you to hide your belongings but they are often forgotten when moving. Check every cabinet in the home and garage, all closets, and even the attic for your personal items.
After your final swoop, grab your welcome mat and check your mail.