Make Your Move a Breeze With These 8 Packing Tips

Packing and moving an entire household’s worth of stuff isn’t an easy process. It's tiresome and sometimes requires more time and effort than you think. That’s why it's often necessary to begin packing well in advance of the moving day.

While moving can be stressful, it can also be satisfying to purge old things and find the most efficient ways to pack. Before your big move, follow these tips to make the packing process smooth and worry-free.

1. Decide What You Need to Move

The first question you need to answer before you begin planning to pack or move is “What all do I need to move?” This question is also referred to as selective elimination. The first step is to list all the essential items you need to move, which will help you develop your packing list. After that, you’ll do the opposite: determine the items you’ll want to get rid of before moving.

After staying in a place for a long time, we accumulate a lot of stuff, with some being more useful than others. This question may also help you arrange your closet. Take your time to sort out your clothes to determine what you need and what you don't need. Do the same for appliances, utensils, books, children’s items, etc. This step will prevent you from cluttering your new home and make your move even more of a hassle.

Not everything in your current home needs to be brough to your new one, so determine the items you can get cheaply at your new location. This may include items like brooms and hose pipes.

This question also helps you reduce transportation costs since it reduces the number of items you'll need to move. Moving fewer items will mean needing a smaller trailer and you won’t use up as much space in a storage unit if you need one. For all the items you don't need, gather them in one location, and either donate them or trash them.

2. Begin Packing Well in Advance

How long before moving should you start packing? This is one of the most common questions for homeowners, especially for a first move. The planning process of moving should start roughly two months before your actual move-in date. This involves arranging for transportation, what company to use, clearing out clutter, and determining what to bring with you. The actual process should start three to four weeks before your move-in date. This should be more than enough time to pack everything necessary and purge everything that’s not.

3. Make Your Packing List

It’s now time to actually prepare your packing list. But where to start? These three steps will ensure everything you want to move gets there safely and that you waste no time at any point during in the process.

First Step: Listing Essential Items You Need to Move

If you hire a mover, you need a checklist to confirm that all your items arrived safely and no item is missing. List all the items you plan to move. Having a list of items you need to move will help you pack all the necessary items, without forgetting anything.

Second Step: Items and Boxes Listing

While packing, you need to begin with big appliances and put them in boxes. At this stage, you also need to list the boxes you have. Put the appliances in their boxes, and label them accordingly. Then, begin packing things that have no boxes, including utensils, books, and clothing. Use the packing list developed in the first step and pack them in the right boxes organized in groups. You can begin storing these boxes in your portable storage container so they’ll be ready for moving day.

Third Step: Your Checklist and Confirmation List

This is the final list that will contain the box numbers and their respective items. This list will also help you check the items at arrival to ensure all the items you packed arrived safely, as well as inform you on how to arrange the items by room.

4. Pack for Everyone

When you sort out items you need to move, make sure you cover the needs of everyone, especially if you're a family. Moving all the essentials for your kids will save you the burden of buying new items such as toys, books, and other entertainment materials.

5. Reuse Original Boxes for Appliances

Not many people store appliance boxes from their TV, refrigerator, oven, air fryer, or microwave. However, you should store your appliance boxes whenever you make a purchase. They're important in the future, and they save you the burden of having to buy a new one, especially when moving. We recommend having a box for every appliance to avoid damaging them in-transit. The boxes are a safety measure to prevent any breakage or scratches, and they act as a dust-proof and prevention measure.

Appliance boxes can also accommodate unique features of appliances, such as a change in design that may not be similar to other devices or boxes available from box sellers. You need to begin with the available boxes before looking for other boxes.

6. Minimize the Number of Boxes You Have to Use

Having too many boxes is going to be cumbersome and take up more space than necessary. Make sure you have large boxes that can accommodate many small items, but also avoid overloading them, as they can become too heavy to carry and may result in your boxes breaking. There are many ways to arrange the items in these boxes, but we recommend using clothes as a cushion at the bottom, followed by books and antiques in one box.

Another way to minimize space is to fit a few small-boxed appliances inside of one larger box. This will keep them safe during transportation and ensure the items do not move or swing inside the truck.

7. Protect Fragile Items

Packing fragile items such as utensils, antiques, and glasses can be challenging. Utilizing adequate cushioning such as foam pouches that will hold the items in place. If you don't have foam pouches, you need to ensure they're tightly packed. You can pack the cups in a box so that they don't move and hit each other. You can pack plates by stacking them on one another and wrapping each one in newspaper. To ensure the movers handle such items cautiously, you need to use boxes of different colors from the rest or mark them as fragile. This will ensure the movers put them at the top and prevent breakages when other boxes are on top of them.

8. Utilize Every Space for Storage

While moving, some items can have space for storing extra items. Examples are suitcases and school bags. There's no need to pack them in boxes; instead, you can use them as additional storage. Packing clothes (especially those out of season) in your luggage, laundry baskets, and other storage items will not only save you on packing supply costs, but it will make your move all the more efficient.

What Happens on Moving Day?

By the scheduled moving date, you’ll want to have almost everything packed and ready to haul out aside from some essentials. After all, it would be inconvenient to pry open sealed boxes just to find your toothbrush. Other items may include baby necessities, toiletries, trash bags, pet food, and bottled water. You need to pack them in their own box, and mark them appropriately to avoid mixing them up with other items.

How Do You Handle Items That Cannot Be Stored in a Box?

Not everything will fit in a box. Some items may be too big or unwieldy, such as houseplants, office chairs, and buckets. Such items will have to be carefully arranged and secured with cushioning within the moving truck.

Hazardous chemicals are another example of items that need extra care during a move. You can dispose of them before moving or store them separately. Ensure that chemicals are in no way able to mix. Store them in their own boxes, and mark them appropriately.

Do not move flammables such as cooking gas, kerosene, and petroleum. You can only carry empty gas cylinders to avoid explosions due to shaking. Here is a list of other items that you should move separately:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine granules
  • Heating agents like Sterno
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Auto batteries

Call SMARTBOX for All Your Moving, Packing, and Storage Needs

Moving on your own is overwhelming, but with SMARTBOX, we can help make it less of a burden. Our moving services include loading and unloading, moving trailer rentals, and packing supplies. Store your items in one of our portable storage units until moving day, and then get it delivered straight to your new address. Include any or all of these services for a full-service experience at a fraction of the cost. Call today for a free quote!