The entire process of moving can be stressful because there are often so many moving parts you need to deal with from finding the apartment to researching professional movers. However, the part that most people generally dislike is the packing part. Not only does it take time, it also requires organization and manual labor. While you can simply dump all of your belongings into whatever boxes you have available, if you want to avoid misplaced and/or broken items, you’ll want to spend at least a little bit of time figuring out the best way to pack.
Whether you’ve never packed before or just need a refresher, the following moving and packing tips can help you get organized and get packing in record time. Considering the average American moves around 11 times in their lifetime, these tips will be bound to come in handy down the line. Of course, if you really don’t have the time to pack, you can always ask your local mover if they provide the service. Just be forewarned that it will bump up your moving costs, which is why many movers suggest packing everything yourself and then using their services to transport the boxes between your old and new house.
Pack Least Used Items First
One of the first steps when packing is to organize your belongings and separate out the items you use often and those you don’t. The first things you should probably pack are things you really won’t use during your daily life such as artwork and other decorative items. Just make sure to take some extra time to pack these items to avoid damaging them during transit. Use plenty of bubble wrap to protect these precious items.
After that, pack away items in the lesser used areas of your house like your attic and garage. If they’re not already in storage bins or boxes and make sure to label them so that you know where the boxes belong. If you’re someone who enjoys spreadsheets and checklists, you should create an inventory of all the items you have packed as well as what kind of label you’re using for them whether it’s just text or color tape.
Pack Your Box Properly
Everyone has their own system, but you usually want to do a few things when packing your boxes so there aren’t any mishaps along the way. One of the easiest ways to pack and move is to keep your items organized is to pack like-items together in each room. For example, you could pack all of the books in your bedroom into a couple of boxes. This way when you’re unpacking in your new place, you can prioritize unpacking boxes that have items you use daily.
Speaking of packing properly, you want to adjust how much you fill your box based on the items you’re packing. For non-fragile items, fill every space you can without making the box too heavy. Boxes that aren’t full are at greater risk of collapsing when stacked. If you don’t have enough items to put in the box, fill it up with excess packing paper. On the other hand, you want to leave around two inches of packing material on all sides of the box for fragile items.
Also, don’t make your box too heavy. At most, the boxes should weigh around 30 pounds. Anything heavier and you risk having the bottom fall out. Use larger boxes for lighter items and smaller boxes for heavier items like books. When stacking the boxes for pickup, make sure to always put the boxes with heavier items on the bottom so you don’t crush the lighter boxes.
Purge While You Pack
As you pack, set aside items that you want to donate or throw out. You’ll really need to be honest with yourself about items that you don’t need anymore. It might be tempting to keep something just in case, but really ask yourself if you will use this item in the future. A good rule of the thumb is the one year rule. If you haven’t used a certain item in a year, you can safely get rid of it. You don’t have to toss everything. Anything that’s in good condition you can donate or sell online or through garage sale to recoup some of your moving costs.
Try to whittle down your belongings as much as possible. After all, it doesn’t make sense to go through the effort of packing and then unpacking items you no longer want or need. Plus, the less boxes you have, the less time it will take you to move in general. When purging, you should also consider the size of your new home and whether your old furniture will fit in the new space. If not, you should consider donating it to goodwill if it’s in good condition.
Get the Right Packing Supplies
Sure, you might be able to get away with keeping your old shipping boxes from Amazon, but you’ll probably need to get some sturdier boxes when it comes to heavier items like books, kitchen supplies, and more. In addition, you’ll want to invest in good packing tape to ensure the boxes are securely closed as well as bubble wrap and packaging paper for your more delicate items. Make sure to buy moving boxes and packing supplies than you think you need as it’s always better to double wrap and double tap a box than realize after the move that you didn’t pack a box well enough.
Keep Your Clothes on Hangers and in Dressers
There’s no need to fold and pack your clothes. Many movers will provide wardrobe boxes for your coats, dresses, shirts, etc. so you can store these articles of clothing properly. This is especially important if you have clothes made of delicate material like silk as it easily wrinkles. You don’t want to spend the day after your move ironing your clothes!
As for your regular clothes, keep them in your dresser and tape the drawers shut. This might make your dresser a bit on the heavier side, but it will save you a tone of hassle (and packing materials) during the move. Plus, you’ll already have all of your clothes ready to go once you move into your new place.
Dismantle Your Furniture
Make it easy on you and the movers by taking apart your furniture before the move. As you break down your furniture, make sure to put all of the necessary screws, bolts, etc. into a ziploc back and securely tape it to the bottom of the furniture. That way, you’ll have everything in one place. If you’re removing things like legs from a table or couch, tape them altogether so they don’t get separated. Make sure to keep all of these items close to each other either by securing it to the main body of the furniture or putting it inside a small box.
Moving doesn’t have to be a hassle so long as you follow these quick and easy packing and moving tips. These are tricks that many professionals use when packing for their clients, so you know that they are time-tested strategies. Ultimately, the best tip is probably to plan ahead and start packing as soon as you know you’re moving. Yes, that might mean you’ll have boxes lying around your house for longer, but it also means you won’t be rushing a couple of days before the move.
Does NYC Great Movers provide packing supplies or boxes?
NYC Great movers provides 2 wardrobe boxes. While our movers do have some packing materials, they will not have any hand for the move unless you tell them you will require packing services.
How should I deal with antiques and over expensive and fragile items?
For antiques and other fragile items, make sure to pack them well and, as much as possible, carry them on your person instead of in the moving truck. That way you can ensure its safety.
How should I pack houseplants?
We do not suggest packing houseplants as they are delicate and can get damaged during the move. If you would like to move them with you, carry them with you. Check out our tips on moving with plants article for more information.