Get it Together: Packing Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move
We get it. Moving is hard. The idea of cramming everything you own into a bunch of packing boxes is discouraging, but when you’re getting ready to move that’s exactly what you have to do—and you have to do it well.
Efficient packing is a bit of an art. If you’ve ever rushed while packing your groceries only to get home and find your eggs broken, your bread smashed, and your bananas bruised, then you’ll get why careful packing is so important. Plus, not only does efficient packing minimise damage, but it also means you will need less boxes overall.
Before you pull out the packing tape though, set yourself a realistic timeline. You don’t want to pack up your pots and pans two months out, and you also don’t want to be dumping your dresser out with only 48 hours to go until the removalists are at the door. Instead, start going room to room a few months out from your move and considering what you can throw out, sell, or give away.
The longer we live in one place, the more stuff we tend to collect. From presents we never really wanted, to old magazines, to knick-knacks we actually kind of hate—we keep it all. Luckily, moving is the perfect time to break that habit and get rid of some stuff. Want to figure out exactly what things you like? Every time you pick something up, ask yourself: “do I love this enough to pay someone to move it?”
When you’re ready to start packing, you’re going to want lots of different sized boxes. Plenty of people hoard the biggest boxes thinking that will make their move cheaper (fewer boxes = less time), but that’s not usually the case. Larger boxes are more difficult to maneuver and to stack, and they should really only be used for the lightest items. Your heaviest items should all be packed into small boxes. This will make the boxes more compact and easier to stack without the risk of breaking something.
Don’t overcomplicate things when you’re packing your clothes. Instead of using up valuable boxes, just pack your clothes into your empty luggage. Got more clothes than luggage? If you are going to use cardboard boxes, know that you don’t need to purchase fancy clothing boxes, just choose your biggest box, zip tie the hangers together, take the clothes down on their hangers, and fold them in half. Lay them in the bottom of the box and repeat.
When you’re packing up your kitchen, remember that a bunch of your cooking things are made to nest together. Pots and bowls can all be nestled together with sheets of packing paper between them to minimize the risk of cracking or chipping. One pro tip: you don’t need to buy packing paper specifically to move either. Go green by using old newspaper or by using towels to pack your most fragile items.
You might be feeling confident that you’ll remember everything you’re packing in every box, but we can guarantee you won’t. Carefully identifying all the items in your boxes is an essential step to making sure you have a smooth move. Don’t just write something vague like ‘kitchen’ and leave it for the moving company. Instead, use a system that allows you to clearly identify which rooms your boxes need to go in, and what’s in them. We like to use colored tape to coordinate each room. For example, all boxes with red tape go into the master bedroom, etc. Then, use sticky labels and list every item in the box. Trust us, this is way better than digging for your spare set of glasses for two hours.
On that note, whenever you’re moving someplace new, it’s good to have a “first-day” box. Your new home will look like a tornado hit it for a few days, so keep some essentials on hand.
Do this by packing a box with things like:
- Comfortable clothing for a day or two
- Your pajamas, toothbrush, and anything else you need to get ready for bed
- Basic cleaning supplies like disinfectant wipes and dish soap
- All your chargers
- A first aid kit
- Any other essentials you use every day or don’t want too far from your hand.