Moving? Learn how to pack like a boss

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4. Packing time

When it is time to pack your stuff up, you want to be extremely organized about it. Every box should have color-coded labels and descriptions on all four sides and the top. Let’s say you go with blue labels for the bedrooms – decide whose bedroom is 1, 2, or 3 and put a blue 1 on each box for the master bedroom. Bathrooms – same thing, but with a yellow label. Kitchen is red, and every other room in the house gets a specific color and possibly a number. Then people can just stack similar colored or numbered boxes in the correct rooms. Describing your boxes properly is very important. The last thing you want is 14 identical boxes all labeled Misc. You don’t want to write a book, but be fairly detailed in your descriptions.

Pictures – I wrap them in multiple layers of newspaper with masking tape. Be sure to label them with a sticker for the correct room and a basic description of the picture.

Glassware, I usually wrap in either newspaper or plain white tissue, and I use liquor store boxes that have dividers in them for wine bottles.

Games and puzzles – tape them up with masking tape to keep the pieces from coming out mid-move.

Clothes are a pain to move and they are surprisingly heavy (and I have way too MANY of them!). If possible, try to rent or borrow a rolling wardrobe rack to just move them in large groups.

One trick I found on Pinterest is to take Cinch-sak trash bags and starting at the bottom, draw them up over a clump of 10-12 items, then cinch them at the top. That will keep any belts or loose items from getting lost and if something slips off an hanger, at least it won’t get dirty.

Use your suitcases since you are going to be moving them anyway – no point in moving them empty. I use them for those last-minute, oddly shaped items like phones, toys, radios, etc. Or if it is a long-haul move, use them to pack your clothes and toiletries for the trip. Just be sure the movers don’t put it smack in the middle of the truck like they did to us on one long-haul move. All I ended up with was the clothes on my back and after 3 days, I was so sick of them, I ended up just throwing them in the trash when I finally got to my suitcase!

5. Moving day.

At this point, you have hopefully decluttered at least twenty percent of your stuff and carted it off to your local charity store.  Twenty percent of your stuff is a LOT and it will help with the move significantly. The remaining items should be almost all packed – except for your beds and a few last-minute dishes or food items.

Obviously, you want to have your fridge down to the bare minimums. Pack your frozen goods in your ice chests. Even if you don’t have ice for them, they will stay frozen enough for an hour or two.

Tip: Have about 20% more boxes than you think you need. It’s very hard to estimate and there is nothing worse than getting down to that last little bit of stuff and having to send someone out to scrounge up more boxes.

Be smart about packing your trucks or trailers – heavy items in front, smaller boxes and blankets to fill in around other items.  Delicate items like plants and lamps go in vehicles.

Cleaning the house you are vacating is a whole separate operation and can’t really be done in conjunction with the move. If you can afford to hire a service, it is a good investment and they will be able to clean a completely empty home in much less time.

If you are doing it yourself, then try to get a crew of friends or relatives together and make it a group project – like a barn raising. Snacks, drinks, and good music make for happy cleaners. Make sure you keep your cleaning supplies segregated so they don’t end up getting moved to the new house with the other stuff – put them in an empty closet with large notes on the door.

Hope these tips will have to give you an awesome move and save you some time and money in the process!  Good luck in your new home!

photo credit: Moving Simplified via photopin cc

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  1. Here is another great resource I found for moving. These are some great tips – with photos.

  2. Thank you for these tips. We are getting ready to move soon and I love the idea of bringing in a POD for the driveway. It’s always difficult when boxes are under foot. Stopping by from SITS.

  3. Great post! We are moving a few states away in a couple months and I was looking for ways to make it a little easier, or at least not so overwhelming! I struggle with organization so this list of tips really helps!

  4. Yea I’ve pinned this for future reference. Moving was such a pain and we didn’t realize how much stuff we had. We did this move ourselves but any future moves I would want a crew.

    • We did it ourselves for years, but honestly, we are just getting too OLD for this nonsense. We thought about moving a while back and even thinking about it was just exhausting. We’ll probably just go straight from here right into the nursing home – ha!

  5. I bookmarked this post for future reference. We are buying a house in the next twelve months, so these would be great tips to remember! Thanks for sharing your tips at Inspire Me Mondays!

    • Moving is such a pain, I’m glad tips like these help people. I just sent it to a couple of friends of mine who are planning a move to Montana. Thanks for having me on Inspire Me Mondays.

  6. These tips are fantastic and right on time! We are moving within the next 2 weeks! Our moves always seem to be in a rush. We will literally have less than two weeks to move…long story. The boxes are a big thing. We also have rented a storage space. We hope to get things down to the bare minimum very soon. Labeling and color coding will definitely help us keep everything straight. And I already have started a pile for donating! A LOT of toys!

  7. Wow – you are a professional! The only suggestion I would have is when you put tape on the floor to mark furniture, consider using painter’s tape because it won’t damage any finishes. I’m going to share this out since it so full of great tips:)

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