Stock up on packing supplies ahead of time. Strong boxes & containers that can be tightly secured, packing tape, marking pens and packing materials such as bubble wrap and/or newspapers. Old pillows and blankets make great supplemental packing materials! Cheap colored stickers or labels also come in very handy.
Although many of us have old boxes we keep “just in case”, when it comes to moving, it’s best to use sturdy new boxes.
First Things First
- De-clutter and purge unwanted items. The more items you can donate, give away or sell, the lighter your load will be – saving you packing time, loading time and ultimately – money. With local options such as Craigslist, it’s very fast and easy to get rid of unwanted items without filling up your local landfill. In a hurry to get rid of them, enter them in the FREE category. Trust us, they’ll go quickly and you’ll help someone out in the process.
- Of course donating to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army not only help those in need, but also give you more items to write off on your taxes.
- Make a list of all utilities you’ll need to contact to set up end-of-service dates and final bill details; likewise with start-of-service dates at your new home. Check off each utility as you make arrangements.
- If you have pets, make plans well ahead of time as to where to keep them during the move – and how you’ll transport them to your new home.
- Don’t forget to file your change of address with the Post Office.
- Make a similar list for all other bills, like mortgages, auto loans/leases, credit card and cell phone accounts.
What Not to Pack…Yet
- If you’re having a moving company help you, make sure to separate valuable and/or irreplaceable items like important paperwork/documents, jewelry, family heirlooms, keepsakes, photos or any other items you’d feel more comfortable moving yourself.
- Electronic Equipment – Know what equipment comes with you – do you need to return the cable box? Do you take your existing modem with you? Your service provider will be happy to answer these questions for you.
- Keep things like plastic utensils, paper plates, paper towels, plastic cups, toilet paper, toiletries, trash bags, a flashlight, first aid kit (including pain relievers & bandages), pencil & paper, snacks, beverages, and re-closable plastic bags available until the last minute as they’ll come in handy during and shortly after your move.
- You’ll probably also want a change of clothes, a towel, prescription drugs, a toothbrush, and any other necessary personal items for each person in the household.
- Start the packing process early. The earlier you begin packing, the more organized and stress-free you’ll be.
- Try to move during the week, when more services like banks, government offices, utilities, mechanics and tow-services are open, in the event you run into any problems and need assistance.
- Create a system: Put a different color marker in each room to use for labeling all boxes for that room. This makes a color coded system for your movers and keeps your move organized. Color labels also work well.
- Using the color coded system, label that first box “1” with the room’s given color and write a short description. Keep a running inventory of the box numbers/descriptions for each room. That way, you can ensure everything was moved and you’ll know what you’re missing if something was overlooked. This will also help you locate items in your new home.
- Start with out-of-season items. Next, pack things used infrequently. Leave until last the things you’ll need until moving day.
- Use the right box for the job and be careful not to over pack. There should be no empty space in the box, but the weight should be appropriate. Consider using small boxes for heavy things, like books.
- If any containers need to be kept in an upright position, be sure to draw arrows on each side of the box indicating the right direction.
- Any boxes containing fragile items should be labeled as such, on all sides. Mark GLASS on boxes containing items like mirrors or picture frames.
- If possible, pack audio-visual equipment in the original boxes. If removing screws or cords, tape them to the object they were removed from.
- In the kitchen: wrap dishes individually and pack them on edge, not flat. Cups and bowls should be wrapped individually and can be stacked inside one another. Pots & pans are also stackable with packing paper in between.
- Empty drawers of breakables, spillables, items not recommended for inclusion in your shipment and anything that would puncture or damage other items. However, blankets, sweaters, lingerie, bath towels and similar soft, lightweight goods may be left in drawers.
- Pack similar items together. Do not pack a delicate china figurine in the same carton with cast-iron frying pans, for example.
- Keep all parts or pairs of things together. For example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts and other small hardware items should be placed in plastic or cloth bags (which can be purchased from the moving company) and taped or tied securely to the article to which they belong.
- Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper in the bottom of a carton for cushioning.
- Build up in layers, with heaviest things on the bottom, medium weight next and lightest on top.
- Avoid overloading cartons, but strive for a firm pack that will prevent items from shifting; the cover should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.