Bust a move! 8.4% of Americans moved addresses in 2021. Moving can drastically improve your life, helping you find new jobs and connections.
However, moving without packing properly can be stressful. If you want to make a smooth move, you need to start packing for a move well in advance. You can make the process even easier by looking at a few moving and packing tips.
What do you need to purchase in order to pack your items? How should you organize your belongings and make sure you pack everything you need? How can you pack your most essential items?
Answer these questions and you can master how to pack for a move in little time. Here are eight essential packing tips.
1. Get Moving Supplies
Packing tips are impossible to follow if you don’t have the right supplies. You can store your items in cardboard boxes, plastic crates, suitcases, and trash bags. But you need enough of each container to take everything you need with you.
You also need duct tape, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, and scissors. Even if you have these supplies on hand, you should get new supplies. A pair of old scissors may be blunt or scratched, while duct tape and plastic wrap lose their effectiveness over time.
2. Write a Packing Checklist
Many people forget to pack things while they are planning a move. Writing a checklist for yourself will help you remember everything and keep track of how you are doing.
Write your checklist two months in advance of your move. This will give you plenty of time to pack and attend to other important tasks, like talking to your boss about your move.
Be as thorough and specific as possible. Writing down “clothes” may seem specific, but it’s very broad. “Two shirts and two pants for formal events” is easier for you to track and find amongst your things.
3. Create an Organization System
Do not throw random items into boxes. At a minimum, you should sort like items together so you know where everything is. Clothes should go with clothes and electronics should go with electronics.
Label each container so you know what is inside, and write the label big enough that you can see it from a distance. If you know what your new home will look like, you should label where pieces of furniture and devices should go.
4. Go Room by Room
You should start packing in the room with the most things you are going to bring with you. Bring in your boxes and put your items away, spending your time in the room until you have put away everything. You can then move onto the room with the next most number of things and keep going until you are done.
When you’re done packing everything, you can go through your house and see if you have missed anything. But do not rush between rooms during the packing process, as you risk missing things.
5. Give Away Unwanted Items
As you are packing, you may notice things you don’t want or need. Put them off to the side or store them in their own box. When you’re done with the room, give the items away.
Things that no one can use should go in the trash. If someone can make use of your things, you can give them to a thrift store, homeless shelter, or donation center. You can also sell your items or give them to a friend or family member who wants them.
6. Call a Moving Company
You can call a moving company at any point in the household move process. But you should do so with at least a few weeks to spare. This lets you compare your options and find a cheap service.
If your company has an office in your area, you should check it out. Sit down with an employee and talk with them about what their services are like. If you’re packing for an out-of-state move, you should find a moving company that specializes in out-of-state moves.
7. Protect Your Essential Items
Be very careful with packing important papers like your birth certificate and Social Security card. Store them in a plastic container that is waterproof and fireproof. Put the container in a place where you know where it is and bring it with you in your car so you can keep your eye on it during your move.
If you are transporting family heirlooms or expensive objects, you should wrap them in bubble wrap and place them in sturdy containers. Cardboard boxes can get dented or torn, so try to put them in plastic or metal boxes.
8. Have a Personal Bag
Your personal bag should contain your toiletries, wallet, and personal identification. It can be a purse, backpack, or messenger bag big enough to contain everything. You can also pack a change of clothes in case the clothes you are wearing get dirty.
You can pack this personal bag last, but it should be on your packing checklist. Do not pack the bag on the day of your move, as you risk leaving something important behind. Try to pack it the night before and then check it multiple times so you have everything you need.
Start Packing for a Move
Packing for a move may seem complicated, but you can make it easy through a few steps. Buy plenty of packing supplies and write a list of everything you need at your new home. Label your boxes and move through your home room by room.
Give away items you don’t need, and talk to a moving company about shipping the things you will bring. Put your essential items in sturdy containers and create a personal bag for your important things.
While you are packing, you need to get other tasks done. Read additional moving guides by following our coverage.