Whether it is a long or short distance move, transitioning from a renter to a homeowner, a military PCS, or downsizing to a smaller home, these packing tips for moving can save a lot of headaches and money. Most consider a move to be a stressful scenario and honestly it can be. It may also be the most exciting time with some knowledge and preparation. There are six key things to remember when it comes to packing up your life’s possessions and moving them somewhere else.
Packing Tips for Moving – Boxing up the House
- Start early
- Stay organized
- Buy supplies
- Secure valuables
Packing Tips for Moving #1: Start Early
No one likes living out of boxes, but for best results, it is essential to pack up the main items early. So, do not procrastinate — some worry about packing everything and then finding out that the mortgage or purchase contract falls apart. Then, it could be wasted time spend on packing. The best way to prevent issues in the mortgage process is to get the mortgage approval very early.
Packing Tips for Moving #2: Stay Organized
Nothing is as aggravating as not being able to find anything. That is why it is key to group boxes by room and to label each box clearly. If the box belongs in the kitchen, write “kitchen” on it. Additionally, it is a good idea to state what’s in the box.
An example could be “kitchen” and “drinking cups.” While loading the boxes onto the truck, try to group them by room if possible. Although, keep in mind that it is important to primarily focus on loading the truck like a puzzle to save room.
Packing Tips for Moving #3: Buy Supplies
Often it is okay to use grocery or ABC store boxes to pack, but many stores get rid of boxes very quickly. Therefore, try to contact stores in advance to learn their delivery times and to ask permission to pick up the boxes. Additionally, add these items to your shopping list:
- Packing tape
- Packing tape dispenser
- Moving boxes – Purchase online or from moving companies
- Packing paper
- Bubble wrap
- Blankets (available with most moving or storage companies)
Consider buying a few quality moving boxes in addition to the free boxes collected from local stores. Sturdy moving boxes can support the weight of their contents and the boxes stacked on top of it during the transport.
Securing valuables and fragile items within the boxes is also an essential part of the moving process. Purchasing bubble wrap, packing paper, and blankets will do the trick. There are free and creative ways that may work just as well. These tips include using towels, socks, clothes, and existing blankets to wrap dishes or other breakables.
A permanent marker is necessary for labeling each box. Again, make sure to write the room and the main contents of the box to save a lot of time when unloading and unpacking.
Packing Tips for Moving #4: Secure Valuables
Besides wrapping the breakables and valuable items, there are other steps to secure valuables.
- Consider placing items in a car vs. a moving truck or storage container
- Do not stack heavy items over boxes with breakables
- Mark “fragile” on boxes with breakables
Not all valuables are breakable, glass possessions. Some include jewelry, money, antiques, collectibles, electronic equipment, data storage, etc. It is highly advised to pack these in a secure place (even in a personal vehicle instead of a moving truck). Computers or other electronic devices could have issues from extreme temperatures during the moving process, so that is another reason to secure sensitive and valuable items in a particular way.
Always, mark boxes as fragile when it holds breakables. Then, hope that you and your help pay attention to it!
Packing for Moving Tips #5: Declutter
Whether we like it or not, as the years go on, most people accumulate possessions that just are not needed anymore. There is no better time to declutter than when moving. Declutter in two waves: Packing and unpacking. While packing, consider if certain knick knacks are worth keeping. Store all of these items together for disposal. Then, make a second consideration while unpacking. It is even easier to decide while in the new home. Especially if downsizing!
How to Get Rid of Clutter:
- Donate to a local organization
- Have a yard sale
- Throw it away
- Give it to a family member or friend
A third time to declutter is before listing a home for sale. Many listing agents suggest that sellers reduce and simplify the items within the house to create a more open and organized flow. This is one of several ways to sell a home faster.
Packing Tips for Moving #6: Transporting Storage
While considering ways to transport or store your house, things come into play such as cost, the amount of stuff, the size and weight of your stuff, ability to lift, and moving distance. This step usually requires an investment, and there are several options:
- Hire a full service moving company
- Rent a moving truck
- Rent a storage bin
- Utilize climate controlled storage
- Borrow a truck
Moving Company Choices
I can tell you that we have moved right many times over the years and have used each option above except for the full-service moving. Each has its advantages and levels of cost.
Full-service rental is typically the most expensive, but if a mover can afford it (and it is a good crew facilitating the move), this can be a very stress-free way of getting it done. A moving service may even help with packing, transporting, and unpacking a house.
Maybe the cost is a little too high for full-service movers. Then, a moving truck or storage bin could work. Moving trucks are pretty affordable, but you supply the labor and the driver. Typically, the truck is used only on moving day. It is picked up and returned by the renter.
Another popular way to move is renting a storage bin. The storage bin option was our choice in our last move, and it was awesome. 1800packrat was our choice. The storage bins may be delivered at any time which allows for early packing. Thus, packing everything may be completed at a more leisurely pace. In our case, it was a 2 step move. Our two bins were stored in a climate controlled facility for 30 days while waiting for renovations. In these cases, the storage company delivers the box to the new home for unloading.
Furthermore, 1800packrat lined up movers for an additional cost. For the money and convenience, this is a great way to move.
What if a mover has a bunch of friends with trucks and strong backs? Probably taking a little more risk of breaking things, yet other than buying pizza for friends, it is low cost.
In each of the do-it-yourself packing scenarios, remember tips like not stacking too high and loading the storage like a puzzle to maximize space.