If you have been following me on social media then you know that we closed on our new home two weeks ago!! I will be sharing all about that in my next post, this one is all about packing! When it comes to packing, I like to think I’m a professional. I’ve literally moved once a year every year since 2004, with the exception of 2010 (I guess I got lucky that year). From in and out of dorm rooms, to apartments, from Michigan to New Jersey and back, to Huntsville and two other cities in the HSV area. I’m glad to say that this last move will be my last move for a very long time. With doing so much packing and moving I’ve learned some tips, tricks and hacks along the way. My mother is super organized (that’s where I get it from for those who wonder lol) and she pretty much taught me all I know. When it comes to packing you can’t just grab boxes and trash bags and throw random things in there, it really is a technique to making sure things don’t get broken and are easy to locate and put away when unpacking. Think about it, if you throw in bathroom stuff with kitchen stuff things could possibly get broken and when it’s time to unpack it can also get overwhelming when trying to locate things. Here are some amazingly helpful tips that I’ve used:
Determine what packing supplies you will need
When it comes to packing supplies I’m here to tell you that you don’t need everything they offer in the stores. You just don’t! Some things are a given like boxes, tape and bubble wrap. But there are also other things that you may or may not need depending on rooms, items you have, if you’re just moving from house to house or if you will be storing items. For our situation because majority of our stuff was in storage, I chose to pack a lot of things in bins because I wanted to keep certain items safe from any water damage. The boxes that I did get were for items like kitchen glass wear. I prefer boxes over bins for glass items because boxes have a little more give and make it easier to pack things together tightly with the protective wrap. So determining what you will need is a great start and my free downloadable checklist is included at the end of this post to help you!
Bubble wrap is your friend
Bubble wrap comes in so many different sizes and can be used for more than just glass items. I used the smaller bubble wrap for my candle holders, candles, and other small decorative items. The idea behind this is not only to keep these items safe from breaks or scratches but it also helps provide the tight packing that’s necessary to hold everything in the box in places. When you lift a box you shouldn’t be able to shake it and hear the contents shifting. Everything should be tightly packed and secure when moving from space to car to space. Bubble wrap helps fill in those loose gaps and openings.
Start with one room at a time
Packing and unpacking can be overwhelming, but I’ve found that doing one room at a time is the most helpful way to lessen the anxiety. When packing you want to start with the room and the items you use least, like a guest room or a closet you use for storage. When unpacking you will want to start with the room and items you use most, so that would be the kitchen and bathroom.
Pack according to cabinet/section of the room
One thing that I found to be so helpful when unpacking is that I packed each box or bin according to where it was in each room. So for instance I had plates and bowls in one cabinet, so that is how I packed those items in the box and so forth. In my home office I had a book shelf as well as items on my desk, so I packed the book shelf items together and the desk items together. It just makes the unpacking process that much easier when certain items are grouped together.
Utilize space in your boxes wisely/pack tightly
As I mentioned before packing tightly helps keep items from shifting during the move. Utilizing space in your boxes is so important. If there is an empty space that something from that room or section of the room can fit, don’t be afraid to maneuver things in the box to make it fit, just be sure not to crush anything.
Label your boxes so you know where they go in the house
My friends were so amazed at my labeled boxes and bags. This was probably one of the most helpful things when it came to bringing stuff in the house. When I saw the label I knew exactly where to tell the guys to place it. This saves you so much time and trouble because you don’t have to open the box just to see what’s inside. You can even get as detailed as you want, one of my boxes was labeled “living room TV cabinet items – candles, candle holders, etc.” That may be a bit much lol, but when I saw this, I knew exactly what was in the box 🙂
As you’re packing or unpacking toss or donate what you don’t want/don’t use
As you are packing or unpacking you may come across items, clothing or shoes that you haven’t used or worn in a long time. The rule of thumb is if you haven’t used in it a year, toss it! It can be donated, sold or trashed, but it should go! No need in packing up or unpacking stuff you don’t even use or like.
Decide if you are going to get movers or friends
Now this last move pushed me into retirement lol. If/when we ever move again many many years from now we will be hiring movers. That’s something you may want to decide if you don’t want to or can’t move the items yourself. If you have friends who are willing to help, then great! Just buy them pizza and drinks afterwards and you’re good.
Inform your friends ahead of time/give at least two weeks notice
If you are having family or friends help you, as a common courtesy give them at least a two weeks notice and let them know the day and time you will need help. Nothing worse than telling them at the last minute and they aren’t available especially if they have families at home. Be respectful of your friends’ time and home life by giving them ample notice.
Reserve U-Haul at least a week in advance
It costs nothing to reserve a u-haul so you’re better off reserving it an advance. There was a time when I did not do this and ended up having to get a u-haul on the opposite side of town (and they charge based on mileage), so that’s no fun. Put in your request early so the store has time to make sure one will be available for you.
Don’t be afraid to use your car
We closed on a Monday but didn’t officially move until Thursday. I used those days in between to grab as much stuff as I could fit in my car. Taking your clothes from the closet, laying them on your backseat and taking them straight to your new closet is one of the most genius hacks I’ve used. Who has time and energy to take clothes off of hangers put them in boxes and then unpack that? Not I, said the cat! I also used my car for smaller items like toiletries, hair products, makeup and delicate items like our flat screen TVs.
If your stuff has been in storage, clean it thoroughly before setting it up
This was a must for us! Our stuff was in storage for almost two years so there was plenty dust and spider webs and I refused to bring those items into our new home. Make sure you clean off book shelves, TV stands, chairs, etc. before bringing it into your home.
I hope this was helpful to anyone who is preparing a big move or anyone who just enjoys reading my blog posts 🙂
Moving or know someone who’s moving? Download my free printable checklist here, share this blog post and if you have Pinterest pin it with my Pinterest image below!