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Packing tips for a smooth move

image of person and moving boxes

Moving is rarely described as fun or enjoyable and more often described as stressful! In fact, if you look at any stress calibration chart, moving is somewhere near the top of the list. Here are some packing tips that are intended to help that stressful move go a little smoother to create a little less stress during a time when you are almost certainly also managing other changes tied to your move.

Organize and dispose

No one necessarily wants to have to go through their belongings to get rid of things... but it is much better to do that before you have it all packed, pay to move it and then have to unpack it all. I will be the first to admit that I could go into my garage now and find something that has three move stickers on it from three separate moves that still hasn't gotten used. Moving this another time would be silly. Set aside the time prior to moving to go through belongings and donate or dispose of items that aren't worthy of the move.

Secure your supplies

Once you are in the thick of packing and loading, it isn't the best time to realize you have run out of a packing supply are missing a packing supply altogether. Taking the time up front to assess what materials you will need for packing can save you time and stress later. Do you have bubble wrap, packing paper, foam peanuts, packing tape, sharpies, and the variety of boxes you need?

Room by room

When I am preparing for a move, my mind is racing all over and so sometimes my packing habits can easily follow. But, most of the time the best way to organize packing is to pack one room at a time. This tends to be more efficient and also makes it easier for movers to put belongings in their proper places at the other end making it easier for your unpacking efforts. It is also worth taking the time to label boxes appropriately, not just with the room name (which is important) but also with a few data points on what may be inside the box. This will help prioritize the unpacking.

Don't forget the other tasks

Although packing is a major task in moving, I am confident it isn't the only task on your plate. You will have other things to follow the packing like utility and service shut off, disassembly of furnishings, addressing nail holes, etc. So, leaving the packing as the last thing can add an extra level of stress when you realize you are out of time without key things being accomplished. Leave yourself the appropriate time for the packing and the things to follow, both expected and unexpected.

Clothing options

Clothing can take up a lot of boxes and is even sometimes difficult to estimate for packing purposes. However, keeping clothes inside drawers may be an option to explore. The drawers could be secured with tape or straps to keep them secure during transport. Another option is to keep clothing on hangers and place in boxes. This may take up more room in boxes but can help on the other end.

Save the best for last

Considering the things you will need the quickest at the other end, you may want to pack those last and label them as such. Keep a couple boxes aside to pack these things up once you are done using them. Save some packing supplies for these final things. It will save you time from packing them only to find yourself searching for them and unpacking before the move has even started. It will also help you access the most needed items easily when you arrive at your final destination.

Right size truck

You will almost always be better served to overestimate the truck space that you need for the move versus coming up short in the final hour. A professional moving company will take on that responsibility for you if you are using one, but if you aren't be sure to consider this carefully. Most of the time, our perceptions of spaces tends to fall short of actual needs so add some room for error in your estimation.

Get your hands on equipment

There are supplies and equipment that can make your move easier. Planning for these things can reduce stress on moving day. Consider things like moving blankets, furniture pads, lifting straps, dollies, ramps, etc. Using the right moving equipment can also significantly reduce physical strain that moving can cause. Borrowing or renting items may be an option if they aren't otherwise on hand.

While moving will always have its challenges, careful planning and preparation can alleviate some of the stress associated with the process and make your move much easier and lighten the burden to help ensure a smoother overall transition process. If needed, there are moving coordinators that can also help in some of these areas if you don't have the time or interest in managing these activities.


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