A full-service moving company will pack up everything in your house for you…but they’ll charge a hefty premium for doing so. For this reason, most people elect to do their own packing.
But let’s face it, packing and unpacking every single belonging can be time-consuming and strenuous. Fortunately, there are efficient and labor-saving ways to pack for a move.
Below are nine helpful tips for packing up a house in preparation for a move…
1) Take photographs prior to disassembling anything that may be a challenge to put back together. This includes the wire and cable connections for your TV, desktop computer, and other electronics. You might also want to photograph a bookcase or china cabinet if you intend to place the contents back in the same spot after the move. Having photographs to reference will ensure everything is restored to its rightful place.
2) The benefit of purchasing moving boxes is that they are sturdy and uniform in shape. This allows them to stack nicely within the truck. However, if you don’t want to buy moving boxes, the next best option is to use boxes obtained from a liquor store. Boxes used to ship bottles of liquor and wine are very sturdy, and many have handles cut into the sides for easier lifting and carrying.
3) Consider using a brightly-colored bucket or basket to hold your tape, labels, markers, utility knife, and other packing needs. Once you start to pack, it doesn’t take long for the room to become a chaotic mess of boxes and possessions. Using a yellow, orange, or other easy-to-spot container for your packing supplies will keep you from having to continually hunt for them in a cluttered room.
4) Use household soft goods as protective packing materials. Towels, blankets, sheets, comforters, tablecloths, t-shirts, socks, oven mitts, pillows, and similar items can be used to pad dishes, vases, and other breakables. You have to transport all these items anyway, so why not use them to help cushion fragile items during the move?
5) Save time by using wardrobe boxes to pack hanging garments. Wardrobe boxes are tall corrugated boxes that have a metal rod across the top. Clothes can be transferred directly from your closet to the box while still on their original hangers. Wardrobe boxes make the packing of closets much quicker and simpler. After the clothing is hung in the box, the box closes completely to protect the garments from dust and dirt.
6) Put a number or color code on each box that corresponds to a certain room in the new home. Then mark the entrance to that room with the corresponding number or color. This way you and your movers will know which room each box is to be placed in. If you are writing numbers, be sure to use a thick marker so the numbers will be easy to read. If you are using a color code system, colored tape or labels work well. Whether you use a number or color code, be sure to place it on the sides of the boxes so it can be seen when the boxes are stacked. Also, remember to mark “Fragile” on any boxes containing breakables.
7) If you have any concerns about theft during transit, avoid listing the contents of each box on the box itself. Instead, use a separate master sheet to record the contents of each box and then use a coding system to mark the box. For example, let’s say a box contains several power tools. The master sheet might say “A = drill, sander, circular saw, router.” But the box is only labeled as “A” to keep the contents discreet.
8) Instead of emptying dresser drawers entirely, leave a set of towels, sheets, pajamas, and any other garment or linens each person may need for the first night in your new home. This will not only save space in your moving boxes, having these bedtime essentials readily available will keep you from having to rummage around for them. This saves time when you’re eager to rest after a long day of moving.
9) One of the best ways to pack for moving is to consider the layout of the new house. Then try to pack the truck so that the things that go into the front rooms of the new house go on the truck first, and the things that go into the rear rooms of the new house go on the truck last. This way, the first items off the truck will go toward the rear of the new house and vice versa. Filling the house from back to front will keep things from obstructing the walking path through the house as subsequent rooms are filled.
Packing before moving can be stressful, but it really doesn’t need to be. You can make moving easy by using a little advance preparation and planning. Hopefully these 9 efficient ways to pack for moving will help make the transition to your new home a little easier.
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