Packing & Moving Tips From The Experts

In my 26 years, I have averaged a move every couple of years, these tips have helped to create a sense of organization and efficiency during an otherwise chaotic time – Moving Day!  Packing, preparing for, and executing a move can be quite overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you pack and prepare efficiently and effectively, to help your move go as smoothly as possible:

Make your last grocery shop 2 weeks before moving.
To avoid a larger mess to clean out of the fridge, and not to mention the “great giveaway” of all your refrigerator food to your neighbor or friend, plan your meals for the last couple of weeks before the move, grocery shop accordingly, and do not overbuy. Before loading up your fridge with that final shop, do yourself a favor and give the fridge a good wipe down at this time. You could also get a head start on throwing away all your near- expired condiments, to save yourself the hassle come moving day.

Seize the opportunity to purge.
This may come naturally to some – an instinctual need to purge possessions while you start preparing for a move. When you start going through and finding your belongings that you forgot existed, ask yourself: Do I need this? Did I miss it while it was stored away in a closet this long? If you have trouble deciding what you should keep, check out our latest blog: “Downsizing: What to Keep

packing suppliesBuy more packing supplies than you think you will need.
When you are packing you will likely need more than you think. Have enough boxes. Don’t run out of packing tape late at night, and find yourself scrambling to find a store that carries it that’s open at 10pm. Make your life easier, and when in doubt, have more than you think you need.

In our future blogs, watch for our guide to packing supplies, what and how much you will need.

Use standardized boxes.
With the exception of odd sized boxes such as wardrobe and TV/mirror boxes, keeping the majority of your boxes uniform will help you to maximize stacking space, as well as create stability to prevent boxes from falling.

Utilize wardrobe boxes.
Wardrobe boxes are a great way to pack the delicate items in your closet that you do not want to have folded, rolled up, wrinkled, or destroyed. After you have hung your items in the box, you can utilize the space in the bottom of the boxes for extra coats and sweaters. Wardrobe boxes are also very useful for filling with bulky, light weight items. They are great for blankets and other linens, pillows, stuffed animals, and odd shaped items such as gift wrap tubes!

Pack an overnight bag.
This one is simple, but also overlooked. Whether your “moving day” spans over a day or a couple of days… you want an overnight bag! Pack a bag as though you’ll be going away for a weekend, or even a week. Moving is exhausting and you won’t want to start unpacking and looking for the things you need upon arrival. Don’t forget that packing is only half the job! You have unpacking and organizing to do once you arrive. By having everything you need to change your clothes, have a shower, and brush your teeth for a few days, you will reduce your potential stress by having these things at hand.

The rest of your clothing…
Vacuum seal your out-of-season clothes. This will save lots of space while packing, moving, and organizing in your new home …The rest of your threads? Clothes take up much less space by being rolled tightly, rather than folded.

moving labelsWhen labelling your boxes…
Labelling is key to an organized move. When labelling your boxes, remember to label the side of the box, as well as the top, so labels are visible when boxes are stacked. You also want to label what room each box will go into, for easy unloading. The best way to label by room is to use a color coded system. People are visual! And anything out of place will be easily identified. You can buy moving labels for this purpose, or you can use different colors of painters tape.

Some people like to label with a description of items. The idea is great!
To save time and to create a more of a visual, photograph and number your boxes. Create a photo album on your smartphone titled “Moving boxes”. After you pack each box, before you close it up, take a photo of the contents. Add a number to each box label, and save each photo in your photo album, titled with the corresponding number on the box. When you are unpacking, and are looking for specific items, you will simply have to flip through your photos to find the desired contents, and then locate the box numbered as the title of your photo. Of course, by following the color coding system, the box you are looking for will already be in the correct room. If you place boxes chronologically when unloading, finding your belongings will be as easy as 1-2-3 🙂

An added bonus: You will know how many boxes it took to pack your stuff, and if you used uniform boxes, even the total amount of space. This may help for estimating moves in the future.

Buy a roll of stretch wrap.
Stretch wrap is useful in many ways when moving. Use stretch wrap for covering drawers, jewelry displays, even utensil trays to keep everything intact. Wrap cabinet doors on media centres and china cabinets to keep them from swinging open. You can also wrap your floor rugs after they’ve been rolled to prevent them from coming undone. When taking apart tables and other furniture, use stretch wrap to attach the screws to the table top or legs. This way, nothing is lost during the move. You can also use the traditional method of grouping boxes together if you are using pallets while moving. With its many uses, stretch wrap is not just for professional movers!

Protect Furniture.
You may opt to use stretch wrap for protecting furniture as well. To decrease wrapping time you can also choose to purchase protective bags specific to furniture. These can be purchased for all mattress sizes, couches, chairs, or simply as a large dust cover to be laid over top or underneath. Another good option for protecting furniture during a move is by covering or wrapping with moving blankets. You would use this option for furniture that needs a little padding for protection and to prevent scratching.

vertical platesVertical Plates.
Stacking your plates vertically, much like vinyl records will make them less likely to break during a move. Be sure to use an effective divider! You can use bubble wrap or other soft padding between, or you can purchase a dish packing kit that will come with all the essentials.

Bonus tip for the ladies!
When packing up your vanity, add cotton balls or pads to all your powdered cosmetics! This will prevent them from breaking during your move, and potentially save you money on having to replace them.

After 13 moves, it feels like I have packing down to a science. I am always open and interested in new ideas. If you have any packing or moving tips, please share with us!

Happy Packing!

— Kristina Hulkovich