Moving conjures up immediate stress for the millions of people who move every year.
I know this first hand as I’m moving in July and am knee deep in packing up the home I’ve lived in for the last 20 years.
If you’re moving, you can either have a professional mover pack you (if you’re using movers) or pack yourself.
Doing it yourself can save you money, but will probably result in a few pulled muscles and a major back ache.
If you’re not careful, it can also lead to your stuff getting broken.
If you’re using professional movers, most will not accept liability for items that break if you packed them yourself unless there is obvious damage to the outside of the box
So before you start chucking things into boxes, learn the do’s and don’ts when packing for a move.
Do’s and Don’ts When Packing For A Move
To Use or Not To Use Old Boxes
Some professionals don’t recommend using boxes that have already been used. While I think this is true for your most valuable items, I’m not sure I agree that you can never use a used box.
Many of my moving boxes I got from friends. They are in excellent condition, strong and sturdy and will be appropriate for most of what I need to move.
When using old boxes make sure they are in great shape, free of holes or anything that damages the integrity of the box.
Make sure you use plenty of packing tape in all directions when securing the bottom of the box and you should be all set.
Do Purchase the Right Packing Material for The Job
You might be tempted to start packing things up in that pile of newspaper you have in the corner, but don’t.
Spend the money and go and purchase packing paper. The last thing you want to do after you unpack is spending time washing all that ink off your belongings and dishware because you made the mistake of packing it up with newspaper.
Peanuts and bubble wrap, have their place too. If you have valuables, china, or holiday decor that is fragile make sure you take the time to pack them in packing paper or bubble wrap and then place them in a box with peanuts. Nothing will be more disappointing to you if you get to your new home and find your most prized possessions destroyed.
Oh, and make sure you use packing tape for your boxes, not scotch tape, masking tape, painters tape or anything not strong or sturdy enough to secure your boxes.
- Packing Paper
- Packing Tape
- Permanent Markers in Different Colors
- Bubble Wrap/Peanuts (messy, but might be necessary for some things)
Do Clean It First
Do not pack anything dirty or dusty. Clean everything before you pack it.
And don’t move anything you don’t want in your new home. Remove the clutter now so you don’t have to waste the time and energy moving it.
Do Pack Yourself A Bag
Make sure to pack yourself a suitcase with two weeks of clothing and supplies. Make sure to include your toothbrush and toothpaste, towels, soap, shampoo, medications, cell phone chargers and anything else you use daily.
Before the mover arrives put your overnight bag in your car, so it doesn’t get moved or lost.
Do A Last-Out-First-In Box
Start a box of essentials you’ll need on the first days in your new home. Tape it up last!
Items you’ll want to include are cleaning supplies, two or more rolls of toilet paper, a couple of pans, paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils, sheets for the beds and anything else essential to your family.
Related Readings: 9 Free or Nearly Free Organizing Hacks for A Clutter Free Home
Do Pack and Label Everything BEFORE Moving Day
Once it’s cleaned, make sure to pack and label everything!
My friend failed to pack adequately before the movers arrived and she was throwing stuff in garbage bags as the movers were coming up the stairs.
Give yourself plenty of time and properly pack your belongings.
Don’t Forget To Color Code Boxes and Rooms
Color code each room so the movers only have to deal with colors and not reading your boxes.
Most won’t read them so using the color coded method is a win-win for everyone.
Don’t Place Small Objects Directly In Boxes
Use sandwich bags or small plastic containers for small items and little pieces of stuff. Label each bag accurately.
It will make it easier when unpacking and when putting everything back together.
Don’t Pack Important Papers
Keep all important papers with you and in hand.
Use a Pendaflex file folder to organize your documents and make it easier to keep handy and less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
Packing your belongings for that upcoming move isn’t rocket science particularly if you use these nine strategies. Get it done right and on time and you’ll have fewer headaches and hassles on moving day.