How To Properly Pack Your House For A Move

January 18, 2019

Let’s face it. Moving is nobody’s favorite thing to do. The process is long and arduous, and it can quickly suck all the excitement out of the fantastic part – living in your new space! Whether you’re moving across town and have bribed friends and family with promises of beer and pizza, or are headed a longer distance and a moving company is involved, there are some great ways to make the process a little easier.

Here are a few ideas to help you dial down the stress. That way you can get to the good part sooner – making that new home all your own!

Get Organized

Keep in mind that moving expenses can be tax deductible, so save those receipts!

Moving from one home to another is chaotic enough. So first things first, create a to-do-list and if needed a calendar. Work backward from your expected move date and give yourself a task list that includes everything buying supplies to shutting off your utilities and returning your cable boxes.

You should also make sure to pack up your essential paperwork and records in a box that’s clearly labeled. If you’re moving long-distance and will be away from your belongings for some time, it may be a good idea to keep important paperwork with you instead of putting them in the moving truck with the rest of your household goods. It’s also a great time to purge old documents that are no longer needed – make sure to do it before you pack up your shredder.

Also, keep in mind that moving expenses can sometimes be tax deductible (long distance moves being one example), so save those receipts!

Go Kondo

A move is the perfect time to go through your house, organize, and thin out.

Yup, we’ve all heard of her by now. Marie Kondo has many of us inspired to simplify our lives by getting rid of the unnecessary junk and clutter. While you may not be ready to hop aboard the Kondo train in your everyday life before a move is the perfect time to go through your house, organize, and thin out.

After all, the more you get rid of pre-move, the less you have to box up and carry into the moving truck and possibly up and down some flights of stairs! So clear the clutter! Go through the house, organize things by room or category and find all those extras you don’t need. Sift through what should be kept, donated, trashed, or recycled.

Tools Of The Trade

Pick an area of the house that will be your command center.

Supplies are a necessary part of moving and unfortunately can be rather expensive. While you can always buy new boxes, you can save money and be more environmentally friendly by asking local businesses and grocery stores for free boxes. You’ll also need items like tape, paper for wrapping, bubble wrap, sharpies for labeling boxes, mattress bags, etc. Paper for wrapping items is surprisingly expensive. To cut back on those costs, save newspapers and flyers you receive in the mail in the weeks before you move so you have less to buy.

Pick an area of the house that will be your command center. It will be the place to keep all these supplies when not in use. That way you’re not creating more stress by continually searching for your tape and sharpies.

Keep tools you’ll need during the packing and unpacking process organized and accessible in your command center. Things like hammers, screwdrivers, scissors, and box cutters are always going to be needed. Place them in a separate box that’s clearly labeled, and pack it in your car rather than with the movers when the time comes. You will want them easily accessible and not lost in the shuffle.

Talk To The Moving Company

If you’re using a moving company make sure you review all of their policies before you start packing. Sometimes there are materials which they cannot accept like chemicals and other flammable items. It’s much easier to be aware of those policies ahead of time, rather than having to frantically repack boxes when they’re waiting in your front yard.

Get A Head Start

Don’t empty dressers and chests before you move – it creates a ton of empty space, and you’ll just be wasting time and boxes. If you’re like me and uncomfortable with the possibility of your unmentionables spilling out, you can wrap the dresser with some plastic moving wrap to secure the drawers ahead of time. Another option is filling that space with something else and using your delicates to wrap something breakable. (Trust me, ladies, that strapless bra you never wear but hate to part with is a perfect solution for protecting your grandmother’s antique teacups…)

Before purchasing anything, take a look at what you’ve got in the house already that you can use.

Start packing your decorative items a few weeks ahead of time. While your home looking its best may make you feel better, in the long run, you’ll appreciate the head start more. While we all like our house to look great, you don’t need the pretty things on a daily basis. Start packing them up early to get a head start.

Put your luggage and other storage boxes to good use! What better way to control how much you’re spending on boxes than by shoving things into containers you already have? Before purchasing anything, take a look at what you’ve got in the house already that you can use.

Last, set aside a box or bin for things you know you’ll need on your first day in your new home. These would be essentials like sheets, towels, toiletries and a few changes of clothes. That way when you’re so tired you can barely move on the day of the actual move, you don’t have to rummage through a ton of boxes to find what you need to crash for the night.

Labeling & Loading

When possible, try to load boxes from the same rooms together into the truck, making staying organized when unloading on the other end a whole lot easier.

Always label your boxes well. Label them according to both the room the box should end up in and based on what’s inside. Doing this will help you when directing the movers while they unpack the truck as well as while you’re unpacking. If there’s a box you should unpack first, mark it so that it’s instantly recognizable. A roll of colored duct tape is perfect for this! Place the mark on multiple sides of the box so no matter where someone places it or how it’s stacked it will always be easy to find.

Heavy furniture should be loaded into the moving truck first, so it’s a good idea to identify those items ahead of time. Smaller and lighter furniture pieces like occasional tables, lamps, etc. should be left for last since they’re perfect for stacking on top of boxes and furniture in the truck. Sofa cushions and rolled rugs are great to use when you need to fill space to keep items from shifting inside the truck.

When possible, try to load boxes from the same rooms together into the truck, making staying organized when unloading on the other end a whole lot easier.



A Few More Tips & Tricks

  • Always pack heavier items like books in the smallest boxes, so they’re easier to carry. When packing books, especially hardcovers, it’s also useful to mix lighter pieces in as well to avoid a box becoming too heavy. Save lighter items for the largest boxes, and save your back in the process.
  • Don’t stack your dishes horizontally inside a box. Instead, wrap them and gently place them in the box on their side like you would with books or records. Before taping the box, fill any empty space with bubble wrap or packing paper to keep them still. It reduces the pressure on your dishes in the box and helps to prevent cracking and breaking.
  • Trash bags are perfect for soft, non-breakable items like clothing, pillows, and linens. When packing the truck, you can stuff them into places where you fit a box.
  • You can fill empty space in boxes with small extras. Items like socks, scarves, and small linens are great for filling holes and act as padding for breakables.
  • Liquids like cleaning supplies and toiletries can be hard to pack, especially for long-distance moves. To prevent leaks and spilling, remove the caps, cover the tops with plastic wrap, and then replace the tops.
In her role as our Digital Strategist, Stephanie puts her sexy brain to use coming up with creative solutions to everyday challenges. Our very own Wonder Woman speaks geek and puts her skills to work in the form of web wizardry and social media magic on a daily basis. An unconventional mix of left-brain analytical thinking and right-brain creativity, Stephanie loves laughter and all things crafty. She’s an admitted perfectionist when it comes to her work and is widely known for always greeting dogs before people.

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