Moving — the thought of it is almost enough to make you forgo the many advantages (energy efficiency, modern layout, new appliances — just to name a few!) of owning a new home.
But with a little thought and planning, that dreaded chore can turn into something that is much smoother than expected. Let’s unpack those tips to get your stuff on the moving truck and on the road to your new home.
Pack Room by Room
When you start to pack, think about how you are going to unpack and put away. It will be easiest if you put all the bathroom/kitchen/office items together — particularly if they are from the same drawer or cabinet. You can even use plastic bags to store the contents of an entire drawer so everything is together when you unpack. Use plastic wrap and/or baggies for items such as shampoo and liquid soaps that could leak in a box. After packing, make sure to mark your boxes clearly with not only the room but also a description of the contents. You can even write your room and content description on color-coded paper taped to the box for an easy visual clue of where the box should go in the new home. One note on writing the descriptions — don’t get too descriptive. No need to mention this is the box with all of your fine jewelry or heirloom pieces.
The Packing Purge
Packing is the perfect time to clean out your closets and drawers. You’ll likely find items that you haven’t used in years — or didn’t even know you had. Put those items in a donation pile — no need to move them to your new home. And don’t be surprised if your packing purge segues into an unpacking purge as you find items that don’t fit into your new home.
Right Size and Right Weight Boxes
You don’t have to buy all new boxes, but all of your boxes — new or used — should be sturdy enough to hold your belongings without caving in. You also want a variety of boxes — some large enough for big kitchen appliances and others small enough for small knickknacks. When packing, you’re likely to have gaps between items — use newspaper or towels to fill in to protect what’s inside. Don’t make a box too heavy, either. You might have a professional mover carry it to and from the truck, but you’ll have to move it around your home. Heavy items such as stacks of books can go into a rolling suitcase.
Pack Your Kitchen With Care
Packing your pantry is pretty easy — just make sure to check food expiration dates and throw out what’s out of date. But when it comes to your dishes, that’s another matter. For plates, you can wrap a single plate in newspaper and then stack same-size plates together and wrap the stack with more newspaper or bubble wrap. Place the dishes on their sides in the box rather than laying them flat — this will make them less liable to break. Cups and bowls can be packed inside of each other, with paper in between. Bundle three or four together. It would be safest to pack your glassware in special boxes with cardboard dividers.
Tips for Packing Electronics
Before you disconnect one thing, make sure to take a photo — it will come in handy when you reassemble your television, sound system and other electronics. As you do disconnect cords, make sure to label everything. Color coding the cables and corresponding cable sockets will make set-up even easier. You’ll want to take out all batteries, eject any CDs or DVDs and remove toner and print cartridges. Dust your computer before packing. Cushion the bottom of the box with towels or bubble wrap and put more on top after you put in your item. Wrap large items in bubble wrap. If something has a screen, use a towel or bubble wrap — never a newspaper.
What Moving Trucks Don’t Want
If you’ve never used a moving truck before, you might be a little surprised when they say they won’t allow your Lysol spray or nail polish on their truck. Moving companies won’t move what they consider to be hazardous materials. This can vary by company, but generally, the list includes aerosol cans, bleach, batteries, firearms, matches, paint thinners, pool chemicals, propane tanks and — yes — even nail polish. If you’re moving locally, you’ll want to plan on one or two trips to move these items in your own car. If it’s not a local move, you may have a neighbor or friend who will end up with extra fertilizer, charcoal and other items.
The First Box You’ll Unpack
You know how we said not to pack items from multiple rooms in one box? Forget that tip when it comes to packing your essentials box. This is the box that will have toilet paper, scissors or a craft knife to open your other boxes, snacks (you and your little ones will appreciate this), soap, shampoo, garbage bags, pet food and dishes, a small first aid kit and other items. Click here for a full list of things to consider.