Tips on Moving and Packing

So you’ve just closed on your new house and you’ve gotten all of the hard work behind you, right? Hardly. Speaking from personal experience, moving and packing my personal belongings was the single most stressful part of the home buying process. However, your move doesn’t have to be this way. There are several helpful ways to make your household move a smooth transition.

Set a plan in motion.
The number one mistake most people make in moving is not being organized. Before you begin, create a record keeping system that will organize every box by room. Label each box by number according to its room designation. For instance, for each box that goes to the kitchen label it with a 1. Then on your spiral bound notebook, label the pots and pans as 1-A. The utensils can be 1-B, etc. When you’re unloading the boxes off of the truck then you’ll immediately know where each box needs to go. When they’re dropped off in the right room, you don’t even have to unpack to know what the contents are inside. You’ve already got a written inventory! This way if you need something quickly you won’t have to tear open all of the boxes to find the right one.

Buy plenty of supplies.
Have plenty of boxes. Just when you think you have enough you run out completely and you’re forced to go to the grocery store begging for boxes. Don’t make this mistake. When moving, it’s better to over prepare than under prepare. Be sure to keep a few empty boxes handy for the items you need to pack the day of the move, such as bed sheets, cleaning supplies, and refrigerated items. Buy strong packing tape that is sure to hold the heaviest of boxes. There’s nothing more frustrating than lifting a box and the tape doesn’t support the contents inside, only to have it spilling out onto the driveway.

Be careful in packing your fragile items.
This is where a woman’s touch needs to come into the mix. Men have a tendency to be impatient and just throw a bunch of glass items into a box and cross their fingers, hoping for the best. Use newspaper print or bubble wrap to soften the gaps between objects. One trick I learned on my last move is to use all of your towels and bed sheets to pad the fragile objects. This way you’re actually packing your towels and bed sheets, but making very good use of them as well.

Don’t overload your boxes.
Take it from me. Do not overload your boxes with junk and make them too heavy to lift. Moving is a long, arduous process and your legs will hold up in the long run much better than your back. If it takes you a few extra trips because of more boxes then so be it. Whatever you do, do not make them too heavy. By the fourth box your back will be hurting and it will be excruciating to continue the move. Anything that is too heavy then carry it by itself instead of placing it in the box. Another trick I learned is to use your luggage during the move. Fill your duffle bags and luggage with clothing, sheets, towels, and other soft items.

Keep things together.
Start off by having a miscellaneous parts box designated for loose items such as cords, parts, nails, batteries, etc. To make life easier, keep things together when packing your boxes. For instance, keep all light bulbs with the lamps. The more organized you are the faster you’ll be able to unpack the boxes.

Plan ahead.
The first things you should pack are things that you don’t need for a while. For instance, if it’s twenty degrees during the winter then it’s safe to say you can pack all of your t-shirts and shorts. Also, go through your pantry and pack up the food that you don’t think you’ll eat before the move. Any items you have in excess such as several wastebaskets can be packed up. All decorative items throughout your house can be packed up as well, leaving you some time to patch up the nail holes from the frames that hung there before. The idea here is to live off the bare minimum until you move into your new house.

Important items stay with you during the move.
During the chaos of the move, it’s necessary to keep all important documents and belongings in a safe place near you. Don’t put these in boxes that will be handled by the movers. This can include birth certificates, photos, bank receipts, bills, closing papers, and more.

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