I have moved three times in the past three years, and after the second move resulted in losing several boxes of clothing, breaking one of my favorite pieces of furniture and days of trying to sort through unlabeled, unsorted boxes I decided I really needed to reevaluate my approach. I put together an easy system that enabled me to make the packing, moving and unpacking processes far faster and more efficient, in turn minimizing my stress. If you’re planning to move in the near future, I recommend following these helpful tips to make moving day a breeze.
Downsize Your Stuff
Get rid of any belongings you no longer use or need before you begin packing. You can host a garage sale, give items to friends and family or donate things to a local charity or thrift store. The more you get rid of, the less you have to worry about packing and hauling with you to your new home.
Pack One Room at a Time
Start with one room in your current house and pack everything in the room before you move on to the next. This is an excellent way to keep items that belong together, well, together during the transition. Labeling the boxes accordingly and packing one room at a time into the moving truck will expedite unpacking at your new home as you will know where everything goes without sorting through the boxes.
Create “Open First” Boxes
As you pack, compile essential items that you will need immediately after moving into separate boxes. Label these boxes with the room they belong in and the words “open first.” These might include pots and pans, work clothes or toiletries, for example. Doing this will make it easy to prioritize unpacking and you will not stress over trying to find an item you really need amongst a sea of other boxes. Consider labeling the “open first” boxes with a different colored marker from the rest or taping them off with colored duct tape to make them even easier to find.
Keep Boxes Light
Don’t pack more than 30 pounds of objects into a box. This will not only prevent injuries while lifting, it will decrease the likelihood of a box tearing open and items falling out and getting damaged during the move.
Utilize Towels and Clothing
To reduce the number of boxes you need, wrap fragile items in clothes and towels to protect them during the move.
To keep electronic cords from getting mixed up, label each by wrapping them and taping a label onto the cord. For example, “TV cord,” “Phone charger” or “Gaming console.” This way you will know exactly what cord you need as you unpack electronic items.
Mark Fragile Boxes
Always mark boxes that contain anything you think could break with the word “fragile” in giant letters. This way these boxes will be treated with care and stacked on top of heavier boxes to prevent your items from breaking.
Use the Best Company You Can Find
If you decide to use a moving company, use one that has a good reputation and good reviews from other customers. Do not trust a company with a bad reputation to handle your possessions, as they could get lost, broken or stolen during the move.
Stack Boxes by Weight
When loading your boxes into the moving truck, place the heaviest boxes at the bottom and the fragile boxes on top. This way your lighter boxes and breakable goods will not get crushed by heavier items.
Make Notifications Early
Notify the post office and any companies you have accounts with of your move before you move. The sooner, the better. This way mail forwarding will be kept to a minimum and you can begin receiving mail at your new address as soon as possible.