Few people relish the task of packing up their worldly belongings in a matter of hours but this is exactly what moving home entails.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the hassle and chaos of moving and we have picked out some of the most effective.
Every successful move relies on safe and reliable packing which, in turn, depends on good quality packing supplies. That’s where we will start.
When you can pick up cardboard boxes for free at the local store, it can seem unnecessary to buy specialized moving boxes for packing your belongings.
However, free boxes are often a false economy. Unlike new moving cartons, they will not have been recently strength tested and they could even have been used (and abused) multiple times in the past. If you do want to save a few dollars on boxes, make sure that you only trust reused boxes for low-value items that won’t cause a mess if the box fails.We also recommend investing in good quality packing tape to ensure all boxes are securely sealed.
INVEST IN A PACK AND MOVE KIT FOR DISHWARE
Packing plates and dishes without chipping and breaking them is more challenging than you might think. You can make life much easier for yourself by investing in one or more pack and move kits for dishware. These come with adjustable dividers and dish-sized foam poaches. Even better, you can usually buy one for under $10.
PROTECT WITH STRETCH WRAP
Another great tip is to add a couple of rolls of stretch wrap when ordering your packing and moving supplies. Stretch wrap can make loading easier by grouping items together. It is also useful for protecting furniture from being scuffed during the loading and unloading processes.
PACK AND UNPACK ROOM BY ROOM
There are many different systems of packing and the best one is the one that works for you. However, if you don’t have a favorite packing system, consider using the ‘room by room’ method. As the name suggests, you will focus on clearing one room at a time. By starting with the smallest, easiest to empty downstairs room first, you will be able to nominate that room for storing the packed boxes.
PACK A SEPARATE ‘ESSENTIALS’ BOX
An essentials box (or bag) is for those items you need to tide you over before unpacking the rest of your belongings. If you are too tired to unpack straight away, you can at least survive out of your essentials box for a few hours. Common items people add to their essentials box are a change of clothes, toiletries, toilet paper, eating utensils, dishes, one or two pots, simple snacks, drinks, cell phone chargers, power strips, a torch, spare batteries, coffee and tools.
ENSURE YOUR LABELING SYSTEM HAS THESE 4 THINGS
There are many different labeling systems people choose to use ranging from hastily scrawled instructions in marker pen to colored symbols cross-referenced with intricate room plans.
It is up to you which system you prefer but make sure you include the following four things: mark all four sides of each box, include the destination room, indicate which way up the box is to be stored and make sure there are warnings for any fragile items.
USE CLOTHING AS EXTRA PACKING MATERIAL
To make your packing materials go further, consider swapping bubble wrap for clothing for some items. You probably won’t want to use your finest designer shirts but how about wrapping stemware and glasses in clean socks or folding books inside T-shirts?
COVER OPEN BOTTLES WITH PLASTIC
This neat trick is perfect for camping trips too. Take the caps off any open bottles (drinks, toiletries, etc.) and cover the neck with a piece of plastic wrap. Then replace the cap. This provides extra protection should boxes be upturned while traveling.
USE DRESSER DRAWERS AS MOVING BOXES
Why unpack a dresser drawer only to put everything back inside it at the other end? By covering the whole drawer with stretch wrap, you can treat it as just another moving carton. You may want to add packing paper to the drawer to limit movement.
ORGANIZE A PRE-CLEAN
Finally, try to organize some time to visit your new property and thoroughly clean the kitchen and bathroom prior to moving day. No matter how tired you are when you move in you will at least be able to cook a meal and have a shower without having to sweep and scrub first.