Packing for a move, whether it is across the street or across the nation, is likely one of the most strenuous parts of a move. Hopefully, you will have at least a few days to plan and accomplish this task. It’s even better if you have several weeks as packing can be accomplished in stages when there is enough time. This blog will offer tips on how to pack for a move in a way that is sensible and will allow your belongings to arrive safely and undamaged.
The first thing you should do is go through all your belongings and decide what you should keep and what you won’t need in your new home. You can discard items of no use to others, but items such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and household brick-a-brack can be sold at a yard sale or donated to one of the many charities who run a thrift shop. These charities will often pick up your unwanted items, including furniture and appliances.
Once you have decided on what you will be taking, it is time to make a list. Indicate on the list whether the item is breakable or needs special packing such as tools, plants, formal clothing, and mattresses. If you are planning to have a professional do your packing, a list will help in figuring out the type of containers needed and the man-hours required to handle the job. However, if you are planning to pack yourself, the list will be valuable in determining how many boxes (what sizes and types), how much packing paper, and packing tape will be required.
One very important question to answer when planning your move is to know whether you will be unpacking all the boxes or putting some in storage someplace like a garage, basement, or attic. If you plan on storing some items, it is wise to use plastic tups or containers with tight-fitting lids. Bugs, moisture, and sometimes even mice will enjoy getting into cardboard boxes, and you might find you stored items no longer in a usable condition. Another advantage to tubs and bins is they can easily and safely be stacked on top of each other, so that will take up less space in your storage area. Cardboard boxes are not always strong enough to support other boxes and sometimes can even collapse. Yes, bins and tubs are a little more expensive, and you can’t get them free from a grocery store. But, months down the road, all your stored items will be safe and dry, and in the end, you will save replacement costs and even the loss of saved memories.
The next pre-move tip is to, as soon as possible, begin to set aside items you can pack ahead of time, items you aren’t using at the moment, such as holiday decorations, books, or special dishes. You can begin packing such items and setting the filled containers in an area such as an extra bedroom, closet, or side of a room. Be sure to mark each container on the top and all sides as to its contents and where it should go in the new location. If you are using tubs and plastic containers, use masking tape strips written on with a permanent marker. This way, the tape just needs to be pulled off when the container is emptied, and it will be ready for another use.
Now you are ready to begin packing in earnest. Our next blog, part three of this series, will share tips on the packing itself. Just shoving items into a box or container will not make for a successful move. Remember, you want the items you move to arrive safely, undamaged, and in containers marked as to what’s in them and where they should go for easy unpacking or storage.