Packing Things for Moving
Packing is always a hassle. That is the reality. However, it doesn’t always have to be. You just have to prepare and plan everything in advance. Before you start putting everything in boxes, ask yourself what items will fit well in your new location, what items you no longer use, which one is broken, and which ones you will want to bring with you.
For the things you don’t want or don’t need, consider donating it or giving it to someone else. Your friends, or someone in need, may benefit from all those old clothes and other items. As for furniture that you don’t think will be a fit in your new place, especially if you are downsizing, those can be kept in a self-storage facility. Keeping the stuff you don’t need, but don’t necessarily want to get rid of in a storage unit only means you won’t have to worry about your new home getting too cramped or disorganized immediately. Instead, they’ll be safe, dry, and secure in storage, waiting for the day you either find the need for them or decide to give them up completely.
You may also sell your stuff in a yard or garage sale, or better yet, online. Aside from getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, you’ll also be making some money you could use to shoulder your moving expenses. You should, however, remember that some places require you to secure a permit before you can hold a yard sale.
With all that being said, though, it is important that you adapt a system to your packing. This does not only make the task easier to accomplish, it also makes sure that you will be able to keep all your belongings safe and secure during the move. To help you plan and execute a smooth moving process, we’ve created a guide to making the packing experience a little bit more pleasant.
1. Make a list of all of the packing supplies needed
You don’t want to be the person who figures out they’re a few boxes, wrapping sheets, and bubble wraps short halfway through the process. Worse, you don’t want to be the one who realizes they would have been better off splurging for the larger boxes in the first place! Either way, though, what’s important is that everything is packed up nice and securely.
Here’s a sample list of things you may need for packing your stuff:
- Padding and bubble wraps
- Wrapping sheets, newspaper or blank sheets
- A small knife and scissors
- High-quality tape
- Permanent marker or labeling stickers
- Plastic bags
- High-quality boxes
For valuable, fragile, and expensive items, you may opt to consult a professional or carry them carefully yourself. To make sure that all your belongings stay safe and secure, make sure to invest in high-quality sturdy boxes instead of reusing old boxes that may already be damaged.
If you are still looking for packing supplies, you may check out our Packing Boxes and Moving Supply Shop.
2. Put all the paperwork in one place
Moving to a new location is not all about packing boxes, it is also about keeping track of all of the paperwork involved, including the necessary permits, contracts or agreements with the moving company, a list which items you will donate, how much money you made from the items you sold, etc. Put all these documents, plus other documents you may need like insurance forms, receipts, medical records, and hotel reservations, in one folder.
Having these all together is extremely important because all of your belongings will be in boxes, and not having these documents in hand may cost you some time and money. It goes without saying, but also make sure that your folder is stored somewhere you can easily access. Put the folder in your bag or somewhere in your car.
Putting some cash for tipping the movers in this folder is also a good idea, as movers will often help you do more than what is required of them.
3. Make room for packing
You will need a designated sorting and packing station in your old home. Ideally, this should be a spacious, empty room where you can put the boxes, containers, and wrapping supplies.
It could be beneficial to get your living room set out of the way. If you are taking the couch and the coffee table with you, it is best to get them out and ready for transport before you start putting the rest of your home in boxes. You may also use your dining area as the designated packing station. In such cases, get your dining set out of the way before you start packing everything else up.
4. Save money by using padding alternatives
Sometimes, you don’t have to throw your old clothes right away. If you intend on throwing away some of your old clothing, hold off on that and use them to wrap and protect your belongings instead. While you will still need bubble wraps and packing peanuts for some of your more fragile belongings, you may use old fabric for sturdy, not-so-fragile pieces. This will definitely cost you less, and hey, you may use whatever money you save on some new clothes!
In place of packing peanuts, you may also use torn up pieces of newspaper or lots of cotton balls.
Meanwhile, you may also use your socks and towels to keep your glassware and other breakables secured. The key here is to make sure that these items do not cling, clang, or bump into each other in transit. Your thickest socks and towels will surely do the trick!
5. Create a system
To make sure that you move from one place to another as easily and as efficiently as possible, you will need to create a system for packing up your stuff. For example, place heavier, bulkier items at the bottom of the box and make sure you fill the box to the brim. If this is not possible, try using layers of wrapping, whether it be bubble wrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, or pieces of clothing, to minimize the empty space in the box. This will ensure that your items stay compact and damage-free during the move.
You may also want to put a label on everything to make the unpacking in your new location as smooth as possible. To make things much easier, pack one room at a time and label the boxes with the contents of the box and which room each box belongs in. This will also help the movers if you’ve hired some, as this will make the task of unloading the boxes into their designated areas.
For students who are making their move to a new home or transferring their stuff to a storage facility, it’s important to pack your boxes accordingly and put labels on it. Our student storage guide might help you out on this.
7. Coordinate with your moving company
If you are working with a Man and Van or Removals company, make sure to coordinate with them. Find out what kind of items they offer insurance for, which items they’re allowed to store in their truck (Flower pots, flammable items, hazardous materials, and pets are usually not allowed), and how much work are they being paid to be part off? Will they only be loading and unloading the boxes of the truck or can they put every box in its designated room? Such information will save you a lot of time and a lot of stress on moving day.
8. Take advantage of the stuff you already have
If you own any luggage or big duffle bags, you may use those to store your clothes and delicates instead of putting them in a box or some plastic bags. You may also use spare luggage to carry books or other items that won’t be easily damaged.
You may also want to keep some of your clothes and other delicates stored in the dresser drawers if you are taking your dresser with you. Simply tape the drawers shut to make sure nothing falls out during the move. You may also use this method for the stuff in your side table drawer if there aren’t valuable items that may get damaged in transit. As for your photographs and other small mementos, you may store them in a big food container or a plastic crate to keep them clean and dry during the move.
Again, clothes, towels, and socks are useful wrapping alternatives. By doing this, you’ll be packing twice the amount of stuff all in one box!
Meanwhile, if you have expensive jewellery, keep them in the jewellery box and store it in the car with you or in between your clothes, or pillows and linens in a box or luggage.
10. Take apart bigger items
Some furniture pieces, as well as hardware goods and electronics, can be taken apart with no harm done. Put all of the smaller items in ziplock bags and the bigger parts in boxes with packing peanuts. Label each bag and box, and you’ll be good to go.
This will not only save space but also decrease the chances of having your belongings damaged.
11. Keep everything clean and organized
Professional movers expect your home to be organized, this makes their job, and yours, easier. Start by cleaning out each room, starting with the one that has the most junk. If you don’t plan on using your drawers to transport your stuff, empty them out before loading them into the moving truck.
Also check for stray items between couch cushions, under static fixtures, and in all the cabinets, closets, and storage areas like the shed, the garage, the basement, and the attic.
If you are selling the home or someone will move in your old place right away, cleanliness is vital, make sure you leave nothing behind. If you feel you have too many items you won’t be using, make a separate pile and donate, sell or throw them away.
12. Know which items you will need to put in a smaller box
It is a good idea to keep your essential items packed in a separate box or container. By doing so, you will not have to dig through huge boxes with lots of necessary things for the stuff you will need on your first night in your new home. For example, toilet paper, soaps, shower gels, toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, underwear and pajamas should be packed in smaller, labeled boxes.
A few essential food items should also be packed in a box or a small bag should you need to eat on the road, or once you get to your new location.
13. Make a list of the items you will need to carry personally
Make a list of all the items you will need on your first night in your new house and carry these items with you. Snacks, essentials, and expensive items should be carried personally in small boxes. This does not only ensure the safety of these items, but also ensures that you are well-equipped for your first night in a new place. If you are currently on medication (pills, injections, and syrups), make sure to carry them in your bag or purse at all times in case of an emergency.
You may also want to keep your electronics and gadgets with you to make sure that no one else but yourself is liable for any kind of damage such items may encounter during the move. Also, make sure you have your phone charger with you.
Also consider carrying some tools that you may possibly need when you get to your new home. You may not find a need for it immediately, but having it on hand when you do is much better than having to dig through your whole life in boxes.
14. Seal your boxes all at the same time
Do not seal your boxes the moment you fill them up. If you do so, you might discover later that there are more items that should be placed in the boxes, based on which room in the house they correspond to. Only close and seal the boxes after you have finished packing every item. You never know which items you’ll find in the wrong room!
15. Be aware of the things you shouldn’t do while packing
These “packing do nots” are crucial. Not adhering to the, may transform your packing and overall moving experience into a total nightmare. To avoid these from happening, here are some things you may want to remember:
- Do not use old, fragile boxes
- Do not pack wet items that might damage the box
- Do not leave your boxes unlabelled.
- Do not underestimate your need for packing supplies
- Do not pack highly flammable items in a box with all your other things
- Do not pack glass bottles filled with liquids
- Do not pack fine jewellery and other expensive items with the rest of your belongings