One of the biggest parts of the moving process is packing your home together, without which moving would not even be an option. We don’t need to tell you why packing is important, after all, only packing can help reduce the risk of damage to your items.
But packing can also become tedious and irritating because you need to pack your whole life’s worth of items together. It’s also tough for those of you who have bigger homes, and in such a scenario it might seem like the end is not in sight!
We’ve come to save the day for you by giving you steps and tips to make the packing process quick, easy, and efficient. Let’s get packing!
1. Start In Advance
There’s only one way to tackle anything that might seem complex and tedious – starting in advance. The earlier you start, the easier the process becomes later on and the same goes for packing.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to start the process two to three weeks in advance, especially if you have a bigger home. While this might seem too early, decide based on how much time you think you’ll take to go through the various steps of packing which include decluttering, giving items away or selling, and the packing process in itself.
Also Read: How To Declutter Your Home Before Moving
2. Make An Inventory List
Another tip for our organization lovers – make a list of all the items you have in your home based on general categories, for example – 4 non-stick pans, winter coats box, etc. As you do this, you’ll also have a clear idea of what can be packed first and what last, the number of days you’ll need to tackle the massive pile, and the amount of packing supplies you’ll need.
Having an inventory will also help you tick things off as and when it gets packed so you won’t have to run around like a small confused chicken when you can’t find something a day before you move. When you make your inventory, you can use the following guidelines –
- Keep separate pages or spreadsheets for separate rooms in your house.
- Keep a column labeled “ACTION” to indicate what you’ll be doing with that item. This is to indicate whether you’ll be keeping, donating, or throwing that item away.
- Once you start packing, you can even go the extra mile and write down which box you put certain items in. You can number your boxes for this purpose and out the corresponding number in your inventory sheet.
- Look online for premade home inventory systems that come for free and have customizable columns.
3. Tackle One Room At A Time
You’ve probably heard this before and for good reason – always try tackling one room at a time. This way you can get things out of the way systematically without having your whole house swirling in a large mess.
Packing one room at a time also comes with another advantage – you won’t risk leaving behind any small items that usually get missed out when things aren’t done in an organized fashion. We suggest you start with a room that you won’t be using at all, like your guest room, and slowly move towards the others.
4. Prepare An Essentials Bag
One of the first things you should do even before you start packing is preparing a bag that’ll have your essential items which can be used on the day you move into your new home. You don’t want to be rummaging through boxes once you’ve moved to try to find your bag of toiletries or a blanket that you don’t remember where you put.
You can use a suitcase, cardboard box, or duffle bag for this purpose and keep everything from toothbrushes to a pair of pajamas to hand towels and a few snacks.
5. Gather Your Packing Supplies
One thing we’re all guilty of is visiting stores like Home Depot multiple times because the cardboard boxes aren’t enough or we’re short of packing paper. Not only does this take effort, but it also takes up a large amount of time which could have been used to tackle some other moving-related tasks.
So, once you have your inventory in place, make an estimate of the number of supplies you’ll need and go get them. Generally, the packing supplies that are used by professional packers include –
- Cardboard boxes
- Packing paper
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Packing peanuts
- Box cutter, labels, and markers
If you want to go for more environmentally friendly options, then look for these options online in advance and place orders for them. You can also take the time to visit local grocery or liquor stores and look for used cardboard boxes.
According to common knowledge, you’ll require around 18 to 20 boxes of different quantities to pack a single room depending on the size of the room and the contents within. If you’re using suitcases or other clothing bins to pack your items, then the count goes down.
6. Take Pictures Of Your Electronics With The Cables Connected
You read that right. Before you take out all cables from your TV or your sound system, just take a picture of the ports with the cables in. Wondering why? This only makes installation extremely easy once you’ve moved. If you have pictures for reference, you’ll know where exactly which cable goes and you won’t have to waste time trying to figure that out!
7. Don’t Pack Blankets – Use Them Instead
Before you start packing, see where your blankets and other linens can be put to use. Be it wrapping a fragile vase or creating cushioning at the bottom of an electronics box, blankets and linens act as substitutes for bubble wrap and can serve many purposes. This will also save you some space which these items would have otherwise taken a lot of.
8. Use Labels And Markers
Once you start packing, use labels and markers as much as you can. Don’t overdo it, but put markings over your boxes so that you know what it has and where it has to go. This will make your unpacking job much easier when you reach your new home.
One trick you can use is to color-code your rooms in your inventory list and then mark boxes that are supposed to go in that specific room with that color. For items that are fragile, don’t forget to put a “FRAGILE THIS SIDE UP” mark on the cardboard boxes that they’re in so that while loading and unloading there’s no unnecessary damage.
You can also use markers to color coordinate your electronic devices and their cables; after all, those also end up in a tangled mess most of the time. The aim here is to make things easier for yourself later on, so do your labeling and marking thoroughly!
9. Don’t Empty Dressers
Think of this – you empty your dresser, pack those clothes somewhere and then when you move to your new home you have to unpack them again just to put it back in the dresser! Pointless, right? Save yourself the time and effort and don’t empty your dressers before you move.
Most moving companies will allow you to move a full dresser if it’s not too heavy, but we still suggest you check with your moving company well in advance.
10. Ask Friends And Family For Help
A little help goes a long way, and when you’re moving it goes longer than you can imagine. Ask people around you if they can spare a little time to come help, be it with sorting through your items, packing, taking donations to a charity, or helping you on the day of the move itself. Don’t shy away from asking for help because you’ll save a lot of time and effort which will make the packing process easier.
Additional Things To Keep In Mind While You Pack:
- As a rule of thumb, always pack heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top of the box or suitcase so that the items at the bottom do not get damaged.
- Wrap fragile items in packing paper or bubble wrap well and tape the same so that the packing doesn’t unravel.
- Don’t forget to add cloth or packing paper in the spaces that are empty in your boxes so that the items inside don’t shift during transit.
- While packing complex rooms like your kitchen, start with items you won’t need first like your china cabinet, and then proceed to the other areas.
- You will find special boxes for both dishes which are called dish boxes and for clothes on hangers called wardrobe boxes. They make your packing job easier since they’re custom-made for these items.
- Don’t overpack boxes since you then run a risk of the tape giving out during the move, which you definitely don’t want! At the same time, it makes the box heavier than usual, which might make carrying it difficult for the movers.
Packing isn’t as difficult as it seems, especially if you start early. Be on top of your game by also organizing and streamlining the entire process as much as you can and then you won’t have much to worry about. Don’t forget to take most of our tips into account and most of all, don’t procrastinate!
Also Read: Things People Forget to Pack while Moving
What to pack first when moving?
Always start by packing items that will go into storage. Since you won’t be needing these items for the upcoming months, you can get them out of the way well in advance.
We then suggest that you pack items that you won’t be using like fine china, books, stationery, extra linens, and electronics.
What is the cheapest packing material?
Cardboard boxes are the cheapest packing materials you’ll find partly because so many of them are available to even reuse and they can be used over and over again. As we mentioned before, you can also collect second-hand boxes from local book stores or liquor shops which will save you a lot of money.
Is large or small bubble wrap better?
Large bubble wrap is better when you pack fragile dishes since it gives greater protection against shocks and impacts because the bubbles are filled with more air. Small bubble wrap, on the other hand, can be used to pack items that you don’t want to be scratched.
How much does it cost for packing service?
Based on industry averages, you will have to pay per professional packers anywhere between $30 to $40 for an hour. Packers usually have an hourly rate, so based on that calculation you might have to shell out $100 to $400 for a house that is one to two bedrooms big.
Which is the best packers and movers?
You find a large number of packers and movers in the industry today, and based on our research we’ve narrowed down the top ones for you –
How do you make moving less overwhelming?
Be realistic with yourself; plan your move in advance. Decide when you are both mentally and physically able to pack up the entire house at once. Pack as much as possible ahead of time, don’t wait until the last minute to avoid stressing yourself out about spending all day packing on one particular day. Set a budget for each room or floor that contains how many boxes it should contain before moving them into a closet or storage unit before packing away the rest of your things. If your area doesn’t have many movers offering moving help, call some roll-off dumpsters and rent a bigger truck for less money instead!
How do you pack wisely?
It’s important to understand that packing too little will cause you to realize halfway through your trip that you forgot something crucial, whereas packing too much can be more of an undertaking. Packing wisely means choosing the right items and following a system that minimizes stress and maximizes organization. It also means you will be better prepared for what lies ahead; whether it’s spending an extra hour at work or using that time to relax and breathe, packing correctly will ensure that every second of your trip is spent exactly how you want: exploring new places.
How do you pack a house fast?
The first task is to get the packing materials ready. Lots of boxes, bubble wrap, and tape should be included in this phase. The items that are going to take up a lot of space should be packed first. These may include books, video games, or anything else with a large footprint. The next thing you can do is pack up all your clothes from the closet and drawers, so they’re all in one location for easy access while you’re packing them into boxes. Finally, take stock of what needs to go into each box and then start assigning labels accordingly!
How do you pack heavy boxes?
You don’t want anything too heavy on top of the box that’s being carried. The goal of packing is to protect your items while they are being moved. Depending on the environment you are relocating to, there may be different challenges for packing individual household goods.