No one enjoys packing for a big move, but that doesn’t mean moving needs to make you lose your sanity. With a little preparation before moving day, the actual move will go smoothly and you’ll feel a lot less stressed. To get started, take a deep breath, read the following packing tips and then get to work.
The time to start packing isn’t a week before you move, or even a month. You’ll want to start packing many months before your move so you can be as thoughtful as possible about what to unload, what to take with you and how to make it all happen.
To begin, start packing areas of your home and yard that don’t get a lot of traffic. Clean out your garage and storage spaces. Empty the shed of everything except the essentials. If you tackle at least one room or yard space per week, you’ll be in good shape.
Create a to-do list
Moving takes a lot of coordination and it’s easy to forget something. Therefore, make a list and write down everything you need to do that is associated with your move. Do you need to repaint your home before moving out? Write it down. Also write down things such as forwarding your mail at the post office and giving out your new address.
Contact movers many weeks in advance
Once you have an idea of when you’d like to move, the next thing to do is call movers three or four weeks in advance. You’ll want to read reviews of movers on Yelp and Google to ensure plenty of other people have had a good moving experience.
If you decide to forego hiring professionals, make sure to schedule a rental truck and make sure you have people to help on the day of the move.
Purchase packing tape, bubble wrap and other packing materials
A common moving mistake is to use boxes from the liquor store or whatever other packing materials you have sitting around. A big professional packing tip to remember is that moving companies will only move well-constructed boxes and furniture, not bags or other items. If possible, use the original boxes that came with your electronics and other delicate items.
More than anything, it’s important to pack things in an orderly fashion using boxes can easily be stacked into the moving van or truck. Make sure to add enough tape to the bottom of your boxes to ensure they won’t break open during your move.
Also, while you may be tempted to simply wrap precious items in newspaper, an affordable packing material to use is bubble wrap, which can be purchased by the roll.
Purge, donate, and sell
Look around your kitchen. You’ll probably notice that you have more pots and pans than you need, an extra cheese grater, or a basting pan that you haven’t used for many years. Now look around your living room, bedrooms and bathroom. Chances are there are things in each room that you can and should unload. Have a large library? Donate some of it to your nearest public library or look online to find out which nonprofits in your area accept books. The more you purge and donate, the less you have to move.
You’ll also want to sell some of your gently used things- that wedding gift that’s been sitting for ten years in a closet, for example, and furniture that might not fit the style of your new home.
Although moving often feels stressful, you can take a load off by carefully following the packing tips listed above. Make sure to relax. If things start to feel overwhelming, take a break, sit back with a cool drink and remember that because you’ve planned so far in advance, your sanity will be kept intact.