Moving is difficult but at least you can hire movers to help you out. When it comes to packing, this is one of those tasks you’d prefer to handle yourself, no matter how much you might not enjoy the task at hand. It’s equally frustrating when you’re unsure how early to start packing but don’t want to be caught stuffing boxes when the movers are loading your things into the van. The other side of this dilemma is packing too early and needing an item that is now somewhere in one of the many identical boxes you have stacked off to the side. Luckily, we are experts when it comes to all things moving and have some tips and tricks to make packing an efficient, low-stress process. Read on to discover our packing tips for moving and become a packing pro.
Make Lists Your Friend
Grab a notebook or even the notes app on your phone and list each room in your house and the items you use in them every day. Obviously, you can keep it more general for the kitchen, but this will give you an idea of what not to pack just yet. These items can be turned into a list of things to pack the day before or even the morning of your move. While going through each room, make a separate list of items you rarely use or definitely won’t need to use before your move. These items can be tackled first.
This next list can be a bit more creative. For each box packed, you can create a list of its contents—as detailed or as vague as you would like—and either attach it to the side of the box or number your boxes and have the list in your notebook or phone. Moving companies often use numbered stickers to place on all of your items, so if you go the numbered boxes route, these stickers can help you out, especially if you aren’t comfortable writing the contents on the side of the box.
Lists will help keep you organized both in the event that you packed something you end up needing before the move and when you’re unpacking and trying to get the most important boxes emptied first.
Pack What You’re Not Using First
As you went from room to room making your list, you likely made a mental note of items that can get packed up right away. This is a great place to start to get ahead on your packing so you aren’t leaving everything until the week before your move. As you’re packing the items you know you won’t need before the move, consider what things you no longer use or need and put them in a separate box for donating. This will help declutter while you pack and reduce the number of items you take that you’ll need to find space for in your new place.
Pack away clothing that is out of season to get a start on your closet. However, note that items left in a dresser or chest of drawers can stay where they are as the furniture will be wrapped and loaded up with a dolly, so you can save some boxes by leaving your clothing in the drawers. You can also tuck small trinkets and fragile items into the clothing in your drawers the day before the move to keep them safely padded and packed for transport.
Save On Space and Packing Paper
Reduce your space and your recycling waste by wrapping fragile items in clothing, blankets, and other spare linens in your house. Save packing an entire box with towels and bedding when you could instead wrap your dishes and other breakable items in them to keep them extra padded and free from ink smudges that newspapers and flyers often leave behind. It’ll make unpacking a lot easier and you won’t have a load of paper to recycle at the end.
Just ensure you’re not packing all of your dishes into one large box. Sure, all the plates and bowls can fit into the same box, but will the box hold up against the weight? Can you even lift it? Use shallow boxes or layer Tupperware and other plastic kitchen items on top of dishes to reduce the weight and strain on the box. Even if you’ve hired a moving company to do the heavy lifting for you, you will find yourself moving the box around before and after the move, so you want to be sure that you can lift it easily without risking injury.
Organize Your Boxes
In addition to labeling your boxes to know which room they should go in, set aside one medium to large-sized box for items that will need to be packed on the day of the move. This is the box for your coffee maker or kettle as well as coffee and tea, mugs, and toiletries. You’ll likely have an overnight bag packed for everyone in the family that contains a change of clothes, pajamas, towels, etc but having one box to put in hard items that you’ll want right away helps to ensure there’s no scramble the morning after the move to find the coffee maker for that jolt of energy to tackle the rest of the unpacking.
Similarly, try to have one or two boxes set aside for items you’ll definitely need in the coming days following the move so you know where to find them. Everyone in the house should have a suitcase that contains roughly a week of clothing and items they’ll want to use that can easily be accessed to make the packing and unpacking process much easier.
Prioritize Your Packing
Art and decorations can be packed right away as they aren’t things that will be used and could be easily broken or damaged during the packing and moving process. They also tend to be the finishing touches when unpacking your items, so it’s helpful to make a note to unpack them last.
When it comes to boxes and optimal packing, use smaller boxes for heavy items to reduce the overall weight of the box. You’ll be surprised to discover just how heavy certain items are when you have multiple of them such as board games. Use large boxes for things like bedding, throw pillows, and stuffed animals. If you’ve opted to use cardboard boxes over rentable plastic moving boxes, look for extra sturdy, reinforced boxes for books, dishes, and computer equipment. If you’re sourcing your cardboard boxes from the grocery store, pepper and tomato produce boxes tend to be a sturdy solution for packing books otherwise, you can buy specific book boxes from hardware stores.
Helpful Tips for Packing and Moving
In the event that some of our tips and tricks weren’t mentioned above, we’ve created a quick bullet list of important points to remember when packing for your next move:
- Book professional movers to help take care of the move itself and be sure to book as far in advance as you can to ensure getting the first spot of the day.
- Label those boxes! At the very least, mark what room each box needs to go in to help with unpacking.
- Consider renting plastic moving boxes to keep your items safe and cut down on environmental waste.
- Mark boxes with delicate or breakable items as fragile and flag them to your moving team to be extra careful.
- For furniture with detachable wheels, be sure to remove them and put them in a box that will be in the same room as the furniture to avoid them getting lost.
- Similarly, when taking apart pieces of furniture, keep all the nuts and bolts in a sandwich bag with a scrap of paper noting what piece of furniture they’re for. Keep that bag in a safe place.
- Use wardrobe boxes for your closet items for easy packing and unpacking, as well as a great solution for packing coat hangers.
- For local moves, try to have one person at the current house to direct traffic as the moving van loads up and have one person at the new house to direct traffic when the movers get there.
Last, but not least, contact Trans Canada Movers for your next move. Our professional moving team will help ensure your next move is as stress-free as possible. From local to long-distance moving, we’re experts at getting your items from Point A to Point B as safely and securely as possible. Get started with a free moving estimate using our Weight Calculator to plan your next move today!