1. Large, lined Post-It notes are your labeling best friend (color code for an extra Virgo bonus!)--You don't think I'd just throw something in a box and just label it "stuff", right? Of course not! I feel like the more detailed you are about what a box contains, the better you'll be able to sort and unpack when the time comes (e.g. a box labeled "Everday dishes, silverware and knives" will get unpacked before "Living room accessories, candles, ceramic elephant, and tchotchkes.") After using the Post-It notes to label what's in the box, I slap it on the box and secure it with packing tape. It's also a great way to help your helpers (should you bribe your friends with beer and pizza) know better where to take things. Orange label? Kitchen! Blue label? Bedroom!
2. Pack for maximum occupancy, but be careful of weight--I've found that the cheapy, put-em-together-yourself cardboard file boxes are perfect for books. You can cram a bunch of books in one and not overload the box (or your mover). Plus, it has handles! Always keep heavy stuff to the small boxes. Shove pillows, blankets and towels into the giant awkward boxes. Easy peasy.
3. Pack like it's Tetris, not like it's Uno--Tetris makes you fit shapes together in the most snug way, while in Uno, you just slap cards down into a big heap. Lame. Be a Tetris packer and your belongings will not only fit more snugly (and more securely) in a box, but unpacking will be much more organized. (Notice a theme here? I pack in an organized manner so that unpacking is a breeze! Seriously, I can unpack a house in its entirety in about a day.)
4. Make your household goods multi-task--Newspaper is a great way to shield dishes and breakables, sure, but so are towels, pillow cases, washcloths and scarves.
5. Think of unconventional "boxes" for packing to save money and space--I already mentioned the cardboard file boxes, but I also often will buy plastic, lidded bins on clearance to use for packing (plus, they're great for storage once you're moved). I love using suitcases and gym bags in a move, as well. Empty dresser drawers are perfect for stowing throw pillows or blankets. Sturdy hampers and baskets can cart clothes, oddly shaped items, or stuff you need to access immediately upon your move.
And because I'm feeling generous, here are a few other quick tips:
- Pack plates and dishes on end (not stacked) to avoid breakage and to disperse weight. If something does happen to the box (i.e. one of your tipsy friends drops it) you'll have much less breakage.
- Alternate book spines to fit more books per box.
- Keep a box aside for donation items so you can...
- ...purge while you move. If you're going to take the time to pack something, ask yourself if you need it or love it. If you're packing it and you haven't actually used in in six months or more, get rid of it or donate it.
- If you're super concerned about grandma's antique cookie jar, or are sure your favorite socks will be lost in the move, pack a personal bag or box that you can keep with you during the move. I almost always pack some sort of "overnight" bag that has an extra pair of underwear, my toothbrush, and my jammies, just in case! I also pack grandma's antique cookie jar in lots of padding and keep it in its own box along with my overnight bag.
What tips do you have for moving? Have you moved a lot?
Posted by The Naked Redhead
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