Moving to a new home can be a double-edged sword. While you're gripped with the excitement of embarking on a new adventure and all the perks your new home promises, you also have to work out the logistics of fitting your entire life into a bunch of boxes and hauling them to a new location. But don't worry. Moving can be easy and even fun. You just have to know how to pack it all in.
Below are a several tips we've come up with to help you put things in their place. Check it out - it's a short, highly practical and easy-to-read list because we know you've got a lot of work to do.
How to Pack your Life in a Box in 8 Easy Steps:
1. Start with the Right Supplies
You wouldn't bake a cake without a pan to put it in, it would be a waste of time. Take the time to get yourself the right supplies before you begin and packing up will be simpler. If you plan on having others help you while you're on your packing spree, spring for doubles of everything. Here's what you'll need:
- Fat black jiffy marker
- Loads of boxes (more on this later)
- Newspaper, paper destined for the recycling or plain packing paper
- Paper towels
- Rolls of packing tape and a tape gun
- Cling wrap
- Masking tape
2. The Right Boxes will Save You
There are two things to know about boxes when you are packing. First, the bigger the box, the more back-breaking it will be to lift when it's full. And second, boxes that are the same size and shape will stack better and faster. With these two things in mind, look for medium-sized boxes that won't kill you if they're full of books and find a good source of same-sized boxes. Don't weaken on either of these points. If you plan on collecting boxes for free, start early so your collection will be large enough to hold all your possessions. If you can't start early - just buy them.
3. Keep it Light
Aim for about 40 lbs maximum when you're loading your boxes
4. Label Label Label
With your fat black jiffy marker in hand, make your life easier and your movers more helpful by writing the final destination of the box on the top (ie: master bedroom) and the general contents of the box on the side.
4. The Soft Touch
Wrap all your breakables up in a cushiony layer of softness to keep them in one piece during the move. Newspaper will work fine for most things. If you don't want to get newsprint on your dishes and glassware though, use towels or plain packing paper. Glasses can be wrapped in paper towels - these can be reused when it comes time to wash the windows and mirrors at your new home. Use blankets and quilts to wrap up picture frames, mirrors and other large sheets of glass.
5. Make it Stick
Use enough tape to keep your boxes from spilling their guts during the move.
6. The Magic of Static Cling
Cling wrap can be a miracle tool when it comes to packing your things. Use it to secure items in open containers or trays so they tiny treasures don't get lost in transit. Cling wrap also does wonders for securing oddly shaped items to each other.
7. Avoid the Rush
Ok, you might not be able to avoid the rush entirely, but starting to pack one or two months in advance of your big move certainly helps. Setting aside a room or an area in your home to store the boxes that are ready to go will make getting them in the truck much easier on moving day.
8. Build an Oasis
Though it might seem obvious, it's easy to get carried away and start packing things you and your family are still using. To minimize the chaos, create a "don't pack" area before moving day where you can keep things you'll need to use right before and right after the move - items like toothbrushes, towels, keys, wallets, medicines, cell phone etc. When it's time to go, pack these things into "unpack first" boxes so you can have a modicum of sanity and comfort when you arrive at your new home.