Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Moving Tips: Packing Your Home

This is the fourth installment of my DIY Moving Tips!

By the time you get to this post, hopefully you've done all of the other prep work to get you to this point. If you haven't read my other posts, I highly suggest you read them before you start packing your house, otherwise you might have a rude awakening! Just kidding. It's all up to you what you want to do with your life. I'm just making suggestions that I feel will help the do-it-yourself mover, and here they are! :)
  • Bring several different sized boxes into the room you're packing so you have what you need. You'll save yourself a lot of time not having to run back and forth to your supply of boxes. Any leftover boxes can be moved into the next room.
  • Bring your plastic tub with all of your moving supplies into the room you're packing. To find out what the necessary moving supplies are, refer to my post, "DIY Moving Tips: Necessary Supplies".
  • Pack your house room by room. This step is essential! Don't move items from one room and pack them in different rooms' boxes. This will make unpacking your new home a real chore.
  • Follow each box's packing suggestions, i.e., pack puffy/lightweight/bulky things in larger boxes; pack small/dense/heavy things in smaller boxes.
  • Put one long strip of tape on the bottom/top of lightweight boxes. This will save you tape in the long run.
  • Put two long strips of packing tape on the bottom/top of heavy boxes, just to make sure the bottoms don't fall open while transporting the boxes. Applying two strips of tape helps make the boxes sturdier when they're stacked on top of each other.
  • Make sure each box has no dead-space, i.e., it's completely filled, and every item is properly protected through either padding, or paper, or bubble wrap. If you have any dead-space, your boxes or storage bins will be smooshed on the moving truck. *This happens a little bit regardless of how well you pack. Just be sure that everything is protected to the very best of your ability and you should be fine.
  • Label each box by room name. For example: Bedroom, Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room, Bathroom, Basement, Hall Closet, etc.
  • Label each box with as many individual contents as you can remember. You don't need to label every item that's in the box, but this step will help you so much when you unpack your new home.
  • Start by packing the rooms you use the least. I always start with my living room, as I have a lot of books and photo albums/boxes. They are nice to have, but they're not necessary for our family to use on a daily basis.
  • Pack every item in the room that's not necessary to use before your move. Try your best to not leave anything out that's not needed on a daily basis. The more you pack ahead of time, the less you will be stressed in the few days leading up to your move date.
  • Pack most of your kitchen in advance. I give this tip because we've had two moves where I was left packing our kitchen into the wee hours of the morning. It was not smart and I lost a lot of sleep because I didn't follow my own advice! Leave out only the barest of essentials that you might need. I would usually leave out one pot, one pan, one large serving bowl, one large spoon, one large spatula, one multipurpose kitchen knife, one large baking sheet, one casserole dish, one electric mixer and beaters. Obviously, you can tailor your list to accommodate your individual needs. *When you pack up those last kitchen items, make sure you label the box: "Kitchen—Open First!" That way, you'll still have your essential cooking supplies when you first arrive in your new home.
  • Use paper/plastic products in your kitchen (i.e., plates, bowls, cups, dinnerware, napkins) the week before you move. You might think this is a waste of money, but it will keep you sane and save you a bunch of time. *I firmly believe your time and sanity is worth the money spent on paper/plastic products! Keep and box up whatever you don't use for when you unpack your kitchen in your new home. You'll want to put the extras in your "Kitchen—Open First!" box.
  • Remember to keep boxes and moving supplies available to pack your bedding the morning of your scheduled move. *Better yet, pack all of your bedding ahead of time and use sleeping bags if you have them. My kids loved "camping out" in our houses! :)
  • Move the packed boxes into a central staging area of the house, i.e., the garage, or a room that's not being used. That way, you can make sure you didn't miss anything, and the room you packed them in will be ready for cleaning.
  • Don't be afraid to pack up your house as much as possible before moving day. Don't leave packing for the last minute! Keep working hard every single day because time flies faster than you'd ever imagine! Plus, there is always something that unexpectedly comes up to take your time away from packing. If you can't find something, or need an item, I'm guessing your neighbors would be more than willing to help you out! :)
You're now ready for my next post, "DIY Moving Tips: Loading and Unloading the Truck"!

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