Packing & Moving Tips

With proper packing and move preparations, you can save days or even weeks of unpacking time. More importantly, it can save you a few headaches!

Get Organized

When it comes to packing, don't procrastinate. An example is a friend who was literally shoving random items into boxes while friends moved them out. It was stressful for the family members, and it was terrible for those who helping them move. Worse yet, it must have been impossible to find anything in their new home.

Ideally, try to leave yourself about six weeks to pack before your move date. As quickly as possible, start collecting boxes; bubble wrap; large and small labels; and fat, dark markers from work, friends, or packing stores.

Get Labeling

The art of labeling boxes may be the most important time-saving trick to a successful move.

Label every box on the top and on the side. Include:

  • Detailed list of contents
  • The destination room
  • Special instructions such as "Fragile," "Open First," or "Heavy"

When you begin packing, start with the non-essentials and keep them in an out-of-the-way place.

When you get to the essential items, mark the boxes as "Open First."

As you fill your boxes, try to keep the weight for each packed box to less than 50 pounds.

Otherwise, you increase the risk of a dropped box—or worse— an injured friend or family member. Anything weighing more than 50 pounds should be labeled "Heavy."

When packing fragile items, use pillows, linens, and towels to protect them. Mark the box as "Fragile" and remember to list the soft items you used as padding on the outside of the box.

Whether you use professional movers or call in favors, it's a good idea to take inventory.

Number each of your boxes and keep a list of what is in each box. This way, if a box is missing in your new home, you'll know which one it is and what it contained.

Packing Furniture

You will save space in the moving van by disassembling your furniture as much as possible.

  • Keep all screws and small parts together in plastic bags and tape them to the furniture.
  • Remove table legs if possible and tape them to the bottom of the table.
  • Of course, wrap furniture in protective padding to avoid scratching it.

Packing Electronics

The hardest part about packing electronics isn't so much about keeping the machine safe—you'll obviously want to wrap it in bubble wrap to keep it safe. The trick is in ensuring you'll be able to make it work again in your new home.

  • Label all loose cables and wires so you know where they belong.
  • Take a picture of complicated wiring so that you can re‐create the setup after the move.

Packing the Kids' Room

A move, like any other major change, is often hardest on kids. You'll want to get them involved in the packing as much as possible and make it fun.

  • Use special, colorful, fun labels on their boxes.
  • Go through their toys, books, and other items with them. Involve them in helping decide what will move with you and what will be donated or given away.
  • Have your child pack his or her own "essential" box.
  • Help your child visualize the new room and map out where furniture will go.

Out With the Old

A move is the perfect opportunity to purge the clutter in your home. Aside from collectibles and heirlooms, a good rule of thumb is that if you haven't used it in a year, you probably don't need it.

Packing for a move is a rare opportunity requiring you to look at everything you own. Use this opportunity to determine if it's time to donate some of your old items.

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