Looking to make a big move? Whether you’ve hired a moving company or are planning to do the work yourself, you need a plan.
Get your boxes, tape, markers, labels, and pens ready…it’s GO TIME.
- People will look at you like you’re a bit nuts, but the first step to a seamless move is to tape a piece of loose leaf on the outside of the box. Every time you put something (or a set of things) in the box, write it down. It seems tedious, but it will save you when unpacking essentials, directing movers to place boxes within rooms, and lets you find things as you need them.
- At the very least, clearly label each box with your name, a word on its general contents, an arrow indicating which side is up, “Fragile” if contents are breakable, and which room each box belongs in. DO NOT note anything valuable, such as silver, on the outside of a box (code names work well.)
- Assigning color codes to label and corresponding rooms or family members can make unpacking quicker.
- Pack one room at a time. Even if it means a partially empty box, try to avoid mixing things from different rooms in the same box; it will make unpacking more time consuming.
- As much as possible, pack clothing and linens in suitcases.
- If you have hired a moving company, let your movers pack things of value – companies are usually liable only for things they pack themselves.
- Wrap small items that can be easily lost in brightly colored tissue paper before placing them in boxes, or combine them in shoeboxes, tote bags, etc. before packing.
- Have area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They will return from the cleaners rolled, wrapped, and ready for shipping.
- Use small boxes for heavy items, large boxes for light ones, and medium boxes for everything in between. Heavier items should be placed at the bottom, lighter ones on top. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t pick up a box with ease, it’s too heavy. (Books can be the worst offenders so if you’re packing a library, splurge on the good boxes!)
- When disassembling furniture, put hardware and reassembly directions in a plastic bag and tape to the underside or inside drawers (do not apply tape or any adhesives directly to polished or painted wood surfaces.)
With a bit of elbow grease, some organization, and a solid plan to start, you should be in good shape for unpacking. But for now, put your feet up and celebrate a packing job well done!