There always comes a time during the moving process when you have to tackle the dreaded playroom. For those of you who have toddlers around the same age, the number of toys in your house might be a tad bit too much. But believe it or not, this is the case in every household, open a cupboard and out fly the toys!
While there are clear protocols on packing other items like cutlery or clothing, what do you do with toys? While shoving them all in boxes might seem like an easy way out, you don’t want to open a box and see dislodged heads and broken cars! Because that’ll definitely call for tantrums from your kids!
Like everything else, there’s a certain method to packing toys that will ensure that they don’t break. We’ve made things easier for you by giving you a series of steps on how to pack toys for moving!
1. Sort And Reduce
It goes unsaid, and you’ve definitely heard this before – go through what you have before you move. And this does not just apply to other items in your house, it also does with toys. You’ll find toys everywhere, and we mean it. What you can do is sort through them, and use the guide below to make things easier:
- Get your kids involved: Involving your toddler(s) is the best foot forward at the initial stage since they can help you understand what their favorite toys are. You don’t want to rush through this and throw out something that’s very dear to them. But remember, kids will try to add as much as they can to their “keep pile” so maintain a clear boundary and try explaining it to them, or ask them to choose in order to narrow it down. Not only will this step ensure that your kids are involved in the process, but it’ll also ensure that you don’t donate something that is dear to them by mistake.
- Make a donation pile: We all have a tendency to overbuy when it comes to buying items for small children. So it’s no wonder that you’ll have a large chunk of toys that your child got bored of when new ones were presented to him or her. You won’t be needing all these toys, and you could definitely use the extra space in your moving truck that these toys will take up. So, instead of throwing toys that you don’t need, try making a donation pile. Other kids can play with these toys and derive joy out of the same. But at the same time, don’t include toys that are broken or stuffed toys with their stuffing out or with dirty stains that cannot be removed.
Also See : How to Donate Your Used Items
2. Categorize For Packing
Once you’ve chosen which toys can be donated and which you will take along, it’s now time to segregate these toys into categories. Why, you ask. For a simple reason that it’ll help you save space when you pack and minimize the risk of anything breaking. Use the following tips to segregate toys:
- Segregate Based On Type: First, segregate the toys based on the type they are. Keep books, craft supplies, and board games in separate piles so that organizing them when you move to your new house gets easier. Outdoor and indoor play items can also be kept separate. Cooking sets, dress up toys, lego blocks and such can be kept together in small ziplock bags or pouches to avoid losing them in the chaos.
- Segregate Based On Breakability: Keep books, board games, lego boxes and anything of a similar kind together since these items will not break. These can be placed in a box directly and will not require any extra padding or packing. On the other hand, toys that break easily have to be put into another pile since they have to be wrapped carefully.
- Segregate Based On Size: Toys are always oddly shaped with curves and edges that don’t fit into each other and end up taking more space than needed. Segregate the toys you have in a way that the space in a box can be utilized to its optimum level.
3. Gather The Packing Supplies
Once all the sorting has been done, it’s time to get your packing supplies in place. A reason we recommend you sort your child’s toys is so that you have a clear idea of how many boxes you’ll need to pack them. Before you contact a moving company or make a trip to Walmart to buy a set of packing boxes, we recommend you look for storage boxes in your house that can be used first.
Items like craft supplies, playing sets, dolls, puzzle pieces, tools, and lego pieces can all be stored in plastic containers once you put them in ziplock bags or pouches. This way, you’re utilizing something you already have while also saving money on those boxes and packing tape.
If you’re in the hunt for boxes, don’t buy large ones to stuff everything inside, even though that might seem like the easy way forward. There’s quite a bit of shuffling during transit and you wouldn’t want the contents inside to break or dislodge. At the same time, stuffing everything in a few big boxes means more effort in organizing them in your new home.
Make things easier for yourself by buying all three standard-sized boxes. You can use the following guide as you gather your packing supplies:
- Bigger boxes for outdoor toys that have been detached.
- Medium-sized boxes for board games, books, and other stackable toys.
- Smaller boxes for toys that are small like dollhouse furniture, play animals, play utensils, etc.
- Ziploc bags for lego blocks, puzzle pieces, small parts of toys, etc.
- Bubble wrap for breakable toys.
- Packing tape for all your boxes.
- Clear plastic bags, IKEA bags for stuff toys.
4. Keep A Go-To Bag Ready
Clever right? In the hustle and bustle of packing, what most of us tend to forget is that kids will not give up playing just because you’re moving. And while you move, there might be a large amount of tears, because maybe you left your daughter’s favorite toy in one of the boxes and that’s in transit now! Even after you reach your new home, you might need some time to settle down without having to unpack the million toy boxes first thing.
What we recommend is having a designated bag for such items that you can carry along with you. It doesn’t have to be any toys, just enough to keep your child entertained. What you can do is ask your child for his or her favorite toys, puzzles, or coloring books and have them put in a small backpack that they can carry and access themselves. You can also add a storybook or two in there for some bedtime entertainment!
5. Start Packing Those Toys
With all the above steps out of your way, it’s time to actually start packing all those toys. But before you jump into it, if you’ve purchased boxes, you need to prepare them for packing. You can go through the following guidelines for some tips:
- Line the bottom of your boxes with anything from wrapping paper to the newspaper just for that extra padding.
- Start with the larger items first. Once a box is full, we suggest you lift it to make sure that it’s not overpacked.
- When it comes to fragile or breakable items, wrap them thoroughly in bubble wrap or wrapping paper. Don’t slack here thinking that they won’t break, because they just might if your moving truck travels through rough terrain.
- As we mentioned before, put stuffed toys in bags and only keep other items for the boxes.
- Be careful to pack loose items like sand from the sandbox, marbles, beads, etc securely.
- Check that none of the toys like water guns or kitchen toys have water in them. If they do, drain and dry them thoroughly before you put them in the box.
- Remove batteries from toys like remote-controlled cars before you pack them.
- If there are empty spaces in the box, fill that with fabric or newspaper. This will ensure that the toys inside the box don’t shift.
Once you’re done packing, seal your boxes with packing tape securely. After this, there’s just one thing left: labeling those boxes!
Also See: Get Cheap Boxes for Moving
A few labeling tips for your toy boxes:
- Simple and obvious – label boxes that have toys as “TOY”
- You can use a sketch pen or colored tape on boxes that have toys belonging to a certain room or one of your children. This will make the organization process in your new home smoother since the boxes can be directly taken to the designated rooms.
- Put or write “FRAGILE” on boxes that have breakable toys in them.
- Don’t forget to write or put a “SIDE UP” sticker on your boxes. You don’t want them to open on the wrong side and have everything tumble out.
- If you have some spare time, you can also write the contents of the box in brief on the box. While it might seem unnecessary, it’ll just make things easier for you once you move.
Be it a large number of toys, or just a small cupboard of them, many of these toys hold sentimental value. So donating and throwing them all out doesn’t really make sense. After all, you might have spent a good chunk trying to buy them. At the same time, it’s best if you sort those toys out and decide how many you want to take along. Follow our guide to packing your toys and you’ll be good to go!
Also See: Guide for Moving with Kids
How long before a move should I start packing?
We suggest you start packing at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance once you’re done with other prior steps like de-cluttering and sorting your items out. Keeping this time bracket will give you enough time to pack slowly and keep things ready for the big day.
How do you pack action figures?
Use the same technique you’d use to pack fragile items. Use bubble wrap to wrap them carefully, especially the corners and areas that might break easily. But use your judgment here, you shouldn’t be wrapping it too tight!
What to do with stuffed animals you don’t want?
Donate them! Charities like Goodwill and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (S.A.F.E.) accept stuffed animals as donations. S.A.F.E. gives them to children who have undergone traumatic circumstances, so check if they have a branch near your area where you can drop those stuffed toys.
Is Toys for Tots a good charity?
Yes, Toys for Tots is highly reputable with a four out of four ratings by Charity Navigator.
Also Read: Apartment Moving Companies in the US