10 Clever Tips to Remember When Packing For Your Move
No matter how organised you are, packing boxes when you’re moving always takes longer than you imagine it will. There’s no way to avoid that fact – but there are ways that you can make packing your house up a more efficient process.
Using our tips, you can plan your packing strategically – reducing stress and making it easier to unpack in your new home. Let’s dive right in.
1. Make Lists
Strategic packing depends on lists. Lists help you to:
- Prioritize what needs to be packed first
- Ensure you have enough boxes, bubble wrap, parcel tape and so on
- Avoid packing the things that you’re going to need last minute
- Keep to a packing schedule
- Keep your boxes organized
Organise your lists by room (kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage). You don’t need to list all the individual items you need to pack, but list categories – and highlight the item types that are going to need more careful handling.
2. Use Specialised Packing Materials
While it might be cheaper to pick up second-hand boxes from your local supermarket, those sort of boxes have their limitations. They’re fine for packing up some stuff – books, toys, DVDs, pots and pans, etc – but not so great for fragile items.
Specialized packing materials, such as TV packing boxes and packing materials for protecting plates and other dinnerware, are worth buying to avoid costly damage to these delicate items.
3. Be Weight Savvy
The more boxes you have, the more it’s going to cost you to move, right? Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean you should try to cram as much stuff into each box as you can just to reduce the number of boxes. That just leads to more problems in the end.
Think about it for a minute. Is it worth the risk of damaging your stuff just to save a bit of money? What’s more, the more you cram into your boxes, the more they weigh. The more they weigh, the harder they are to move. Plus, you run the risk of having the bottom of the box drop out when it’s being moved.
4. Protect Mirrors and Framed Paintings
Before you just wrap your paintings and mirrors in a bit of bubble wrap and put them in a box, remember that they need a bit more TLC than that. Bubble wrap protects against breakages, but it doesn’t totally prevent them.
Before you wrap them in bubble wrap, grab some masking tape and put two pieces across the front of the mirror or the glass in front of the painting in an X shape. If the worst happens and the glass breaks, the masking tape will reduce the risk of you ending up with a box full of broken glass.
As well as bubble wrap, wadded up paper (such as newspaper) should be used to fill any gaps in the box. This stops your fragile items from sliding around and therefore reduces the risk of breakages.
5. Don’t Pack More Than You Have To
Instead of simply packing everything in your house, take the time to check expiry dates on medicines and canned food (and throw the out-of-date stuff out). Got a load of old appliances with missing bits, or that simply don’t work anymore? Chuck them out.
The same goes for clothes, towels, linens, toys, games, and so on. Moving is a perfect opportunity to throw out all the things you’ve been meaning to get rid of.
6. Wardrobe Boxes and Bin Bags
Don’t waste time meticulously packing up your clothes. For items that you need to keep wrinkle-free, get hold of wardrobe boxes. For everything else, bin bags work really well – just make sure to label the bags so your clothes don’t end up at the tip!
7. Vacuum Packing
Bulky items like duvets, pillows and bedding can take up a lot of unnecessary space. One solution to this problem is to use vacuum packing bags that can dramatically reduce the space taken up.
Vacuum packing bags are cheap, easy to get hold of, and even easier to use. Stick your stuff inside, seal the bag, and suck the air out with a pump or your vacuum cleaner nozzle. Simple.
8. Label Everything
You arrive at your new house. There are boxes everywhere – in the kitchen, the bedrooms, the living room, the garage. Those boxes are going to take days (maybe weeks or months!) to get unpacked. You need to find something in a hurry – but you got fed up of labelling boxes halfway through the packing – and now you have no idea where to find the thing you need.
Don’t put yourself through that kind of agony. It takes just 30 seconds to label a box – but doing so can save you having to open 30 different boxes to find what you’re looking for. Label your boxes by room and by the type of contents. You don’t have to list every item in the box, just a general description!
9. Group Your Items
I was once helping a friend unpack. In the kitchen, there was a box helpfully labelled “Kitchen Bits”. I opened it and started to unpack the contents. I wasn’t prepared for what I would find.
Inside, I found some random bits of cutlery, some mugs, a blender, 3 (out of a set of 4) placemats, the manual for the washing machine, a few plastic tubs and (most bizarrely) the remote control for the TV from the kids’ bedroom. Other boxes labelled “Kitchen Bits” contained similar arrays of mismatched items. The 4th placemat was never found.
Boxes of random items don’t make unpacking easy – and there’s also an greater likelihood that something will get broken. It’s much more efficient to pack boxes with items grouped by type – for example, cutlery, utensils and such like would go together, mugs and glasses would go together in another box, and plastic tubs would be put together in a different box.
10. Stack Boxes Strategically
As you do more packing, the problem of what to do with all the boxes becomes more of an issue. Stacking your boxes at one end of each room is usually the most effective solution – but when you’re doing this, think about the contents of the boxes.
Don’t, whatever you do, balance a box of books on top of a box containing your grandma’s crystal glassware collection (yes, I’ve seen that happen). When stacking your boxes, but the heaviest boxes at the bottom, and the lightest boxes at the top.
Don’t make your stacks too high, either. It’s better to have more stacks taking up more floor space than it is to have boxes toppling over in the middle of the night.