Moving Made Easy: Packing Tips for an Organized Move
Congratulations! You’ve chosen a home and survived the first-time homebuying process.
Now, you’re bracing for the move. As soon as your move date is circled on the calendar, the cloud of foreboding begins to form above your head: you know packing up all your belongings and hauling them to your new place will be a huge job.
Relax. While moving takes effort, there’s no reason to dread it. In fact, with a loose plan in hand, the whole task can be a memorable part of your journey. Here are a few packing tips to prove it can be done.
Start with a strategy
Before throwing your clothes into boxes, hold up. Sit down to rough out a simple schedule. These examples will get you started.
A month or more before the big day, donate everything you don’t want to bring along. Pack the artwork on your walls, seasonal items (like holiday decorations), books and photo albums. Now is also the time to tackle board games, non-essential kitchen utensils, formal dishes and vases.
- Three weeks before your move, plan to pack off-season clothing, extra coats, craft supplies, DVD’s and video games. Plan meals to consume as much of your stored foods as possible.
- Two weeks before moving day, list remaining decor (like lamps, throw blankets, and small rugs). Other things you can live without can also be packed around this time. Think electronics, jewelry, extra linens, utility supplies like light bulbs and extra cleaning supplies.
- One week before the big day is the perfect time to pack up dry goods from the pantry, small appliances, office supplies and the rest of your kitchen. Yes, that means plates, silverware and cups. Block off one day this week to buy paper plates, plastic flatware and napkins. This is also when you should pack a bag for the final week of moving. In it, plan to keep a few days’ worth of clothing and toiletries for every family member.
- The day before your move, list things like hand soap, bed pillows, laundry detergent and garbage bags. These are items that tend to go last, so writing them down early ensures you won’t be surprised to find they’re among many loose ends to tie up.
Crafting a loose schedule is the best way to combat feelings of overwhelm, since a quick glance can tell you whether you’re on pace, and how to catch up if ever you get behind.
Roll up your sleeves
Now it’s time to get to work. Plan in hand, begin packing. As you tackle the job, keep this list of packing tips and organization hacks posted in a visible place for quick reference.
First, take pictures of everything to later recall how you styled shelves and matched art.
Wrap fragile dishes in clothing and towels to pad them without spending a lot of money on bubble wrap. Other good padding alternatives could be newspaper or plastic grocery bags.
Pack books in rolling suitcases to prevent the bottoms from falling out of flimsy boxes.
Thread necklaces through straws to keep them from tangling.
Use different colored packing tape for each room to avoid writing the same room name dozens of times on boxes.
When labeling, mark what’s inside on both the top of the box and the side.
Pack one or two laundry baskets full of essentials for the first day in your new home. Include the coffee maker (plus coffee and filters!), as well as your mobile phone charger, dish soap, hand towels, toilet paper, a shower curtain liner and garbage bags. This “survival kit” is also a great place to keep important documents that can help you administer your new life. Keep the basket with your purse or wallet so you’ve got the basics as soon as you arrive.
Once you arrive to unload the truck, tape names to doors so movers don’t need to ask.
If ever you feel overwhelmed, refer to the plan you wrote up. It’ll show you only what’s on the list for that stage in your packing schedule. Using “blinders” removes pressure so you can focus on one step at a time. And that’s the best packing tip of all.