Congratulations! You’ve just bought your new home, and you cannot wait to move in! Unfortunately, you have to pack your old home up first.
The organization is key to any successful move, and we would like to help you out by giving you our list of the absolute best packing tips to make your transition into your new home as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
Tip 1: Make a Packing Plan
Repeat after us: I will not start packing up my home without a packing plan in place! There are countless ways to make moving into the home of your dreams a nightmare, but one of the easiest ways is to not make a plan before you begin packing.
A packing plan starts with an estimated date for when you will get the keys to your new home. Mark it down, because that date will determine how you organize the rest of your packing schedule.
A packing schedule is exactly what it sounds like. It is how many days you have to pack and move into your home and what you will be accomplishing on a day-by-day basis. It may sound like overkill, but we promise that in the end, you will be glad that you took the time to lay out a workable schedule.
Whether you choose to use your phone’s note app, an organizer or a dry erase board, your schedule needs to be editable because whether or not you like it, there will be days that you just cannot meet your packing goals.
Your packing plan should include a weekly schedule, broken down daily, as well as a room-by-room and task-specific schedule to make sure that all of the other important moving tasks are also accomplished.
Once you are organized, it is time to get moving!
Tip 2: Declutter Before You Pack
Why not start out life in your new home clutter-free? Before you start boxing up your things, have everyone in your family go through their belongings and decide what can be thrown out or donated. Chances are, if you don’t take the opportunity to declutter before you move, you’ll end up overpaying for boxes and packing supplies.
Not only will you save money on moving, but you will also get a little more back if you donate your used goods to a tax-deductible charity like Goodwill. If you have enough time, you may even want to host a garage sale or post your gently used items on Etsy, eBay, or Gumtree and make some money on your move.
Tip 3: Gather Moving Supplies Beforehand
The tried and true moving supply list is easy enough: cardboard boxes, packing tape, and bubble wrap. But times, they are a’changing.
It’s now easier than ever to choose moving items that serve dual purposes, can be repurposed after a move, or use green thinking to eliminate waste.
Plastic storage bins hold a ton of items and have the added bonus of being able to be reused for storage later on down the line. Not only are they durable and inexpensive, but they also come in a ton of different colors which you can use to your advantage for color-coded packing.
Box rental companies offer crush and tear-proof plastic boxes in multiple sizes that come preassembled with free pickup and delivery. Just pack up, unpack, and have your boxes picked up.
Additional moving supplies are always necessary, so don’t forget to stock up on packing tape (multiple colors can be used for quick room identification), recycled packing paper, labels, markers, and plastic or recycled bubble wrap or filler.
Do not forget the most important packing supply of all—your packing list! There are hundreds of packing list templates available online, so if you are unsure of how to prepare one yourself, you can simply print one out. Be sure to print one for each member of the family who is helping you move.
Tip 4: If You Can, Designate a Packing Room
Not everyone has the space to do so, but if you can manage to designate a single room as a packing room, it will be easier to manage the overflow and keep all of your moving supplies in one location.
Tip 5: Pack Seasonally
If you plan on moving early in the fall, go ahead and pack up your holiday decorations first. Winter sweaters and jackets will undoubtedly be untouched for a few more months, so they can also get packed up in the first round. This system works no matter what time of year you move.
Tackling packing by season is a great way to make sure that you don’t accidentally pack anything that you may need over the next few weeks, and check a ton of items off your packing list.
Tip 6: Go Room by Room
When it comes to packing, oftentimes we pack items by utility rather than location. This inevitably leads to lost and misplaced items, chaotic unpacking, and labeling difficulties.
When possible, try to pack up the contents of each room together. This makes for much easier unpacking, and chances are that if you can’t find something that you know came from a certain room, you’ll know exactly which stack of boxes to check first.
Tip 7: Label, Label, Label
It may seem tedious and time-consuming, but the more detail you put into labeling the contents of a box, the less likely you are to misplace items or waste time searching.
Labeling begins with a list of the contents of the box. This can be written out on an index card or color-coded paper and taped to the box. Color-coded labels can be used to identify Fragile and heavy boxes as well.
Every box should then be labeled by room for quick unloading and storage. Don’t forget to number those boxes too so that you will know immediately if one of your boxes goes missing during the move.
Tip 8: Pack an Overnight Bag and an Overnight Box
The last thing that you and your family will want to do after a long day of moving is start going through boxes to find everyday items.
Give every family member a clear plastic storage box to store their necessary everyday items. Get one additional box for the kitchen and bathroom. By using clear boxes, all contents are immediately identifiable.
Overnight boxes should include things like favorite pillows, stuffed animals, garbage bags, alarm clocks, shampoo, cell phone chargers—any everyday items that will need to be on hand when you wake up in the morning.
Additionally, every family member should pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes (or two) and delicate or important personal items like expensive jewelry and necessary documents.
Once you have gotten the swing of organized packing, you will immediately see the benefits, and we promise, you’ll unpack a whole lot quicker too!