The excitement of buying a new home can quickly be dulled by the realization that you must now pack up everything you own into boxes and move. Moving is undeniably tedious – there’s a reason you have to bribe your friends with free food to secure their help. But you can make the process a lot easier on yourself by following these helpful moving and packing tips.
Set a Budget
The expenses involved with moving can stack up quickly, so it’s best to prepare a realistic budget before getting started. Moving supplies, vehicles, movers (if you go that route), and more are just a few of the costs to consider.
Should You Hire Professional Movers?
The answer ultimately comes down to your unique situation. Can you afford movers? How long will you need them for? Do they have their own truck? Professional movers can be an immense blessing, sparing you the stress and backache of loading and unloading your own items off the moving truck, but the benefit comes at a sometimes hefty cost.
Make Necessary Updates in Advance
Don’t wait until the week of your move to start updating your address with your various accounts, as it will only bring unnecessary additional stress. Instead, start tying up all your loose ends weeks in advance.
The sooner you know which furniture won’t fit in your new home, the sooner you can prepare to sell or donate it. Speaking of donating…
Donate Stuff You Don’t Use
Clothes, appliances, furniture, televisions, and more that you no longer use can be donated. You’ll be helping others while doing yourself a major favor in the process!
Plan Your Meals
You likely have a good amount of food in your current place that won’t travel well, especially if you’re moving cities or states. In the weeks leading up to your move, plan your meals around what’s in your house so you don’t have to waste anything. Non-perishables can also be donated.
Getting rid of clutter helps you get a better idea of the stuff you actually want to take with you to a new home and what can be donated or sold.
Source Boxes Creatively
If you’re trying to pinch pennies, there are plenty of ways to get moving boxes that don’t involve spending money. Ask friends and family if they have any lying around, see if your job has any spare boxes, or ask local retailers if they have any gently used boxes you can have.
Protect Your Fragile Items
Newspapers and magazines make for great protective covers, but if you’re worried about ink stains, you can also use old t-shirts or blankets.
Anything Can Be a Box
Well, almost anything. But seriously, don’t discount how effective suitcases, laundry hampers, and (clean) trash cans can be as moving boxes.
Keep Essentials with You
The night before your move, pack a small bag with essentials – toothbrushes, a change of clothes, toys for the kids, medications, essential paperwork, etc.
Heavy on Bottom, Light on Top
Pack your heaviest items in the bottom of boxes and the lightest stuff on top. Additionally, if you’re loading the truck yourself, establish balance by putting heavy items in first.
Fill in Empty Spaces
Shove blankets or towels into empty spaces in boxes to prevent your items from shuffling around and possibly getting damaged.
Label Your Boxes
This might seem like Moving 101, but trust us: labeling your boxes is so important for unpacking. You’ll waste significantly less time if you can look at a box and easily know where it needs to be.
Treat Your Special Items with Care
If you have oil paintings, don’t wrap them with paper unless you want a sticky mess and a ruined painting. Certain types of TVs require special packaging, as well. If you have movers, ask about their accommodations for items that need it. If not, do some research so your precious belongings make the move safely.
Get Creative to Save Time & Space
Fill up pots and pans with spices, dish towels, and other kitchen items. Use plastic wrap to seal your silverware in its organizer tray to avoid loose forks and knives floating around in boxes. Put jewelry in egg cartons to prevent tangling. These are just a few ideas, and we encourage you to come up with your own packing hacks to save time and space!