Here are some tips, tricks and suggestions to help organize your packing strategy and get all your belongings to your new home.
- Buy/gather all packing supplies you’ll need, including a variety of strong boxes & containers that can be tightly secured, packing tape, marking pen and packing materials such as bubble wrap and/or newspapers. Old pillows and blankets make great supplemental packing materials!
- Everyone loves a recycler; however, brand new, sturdy boxes are best for moving. This investment is worth the money to keep your stuff in mint condition. These can often be purchased from a local moving or packing company or ordered online. Type “moving boxes” or similar keywords into your favorite search engine to find boxes to fit your budget. Most sites and moving companies will offer a “box calculator” to help determine how many you’ll need.
- Use packing tape (not masking tape) for your boxes – you want them to remain closed! It’s also a secure fastener for things you’d like to keep together (like broom handles or curtain rod hardware).
- Not everything gets packed: keep valuables, medications and necessary documentation (birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports) with you.
- 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.
- 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.
Pack it up
- 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 the things you don’t use often.
- 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.
- Lamps should be disassembled and packed. Don’t use newspaper as a cushion for lampshades – it smudges.
- 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.
- Medications should be packed in a leak-proof container.
- Pack a separate box of items you need right away at your new home. Having 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 immediately available will be a huge help on moving-in day.
- 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.
- Get the major furniture (sofas, beds, dressers, etc) set up in the home the way you want them.
- Now you’re ready to unpack the boxes. Start with the higher-numbered boxes in each room first, working your way down, checking each one off your inventory list.
- Completely unpack each box before moving to the next.