Among all the things that you have to do when relocating, packing may be the most problematic one. The best way to pack for moving is to plan all the steps, declutter, and optimize the space in the moving truck.
Fresh home means a fresh start, but that includes a lot of things that you are bringing with you from your old place. The trick is that you may be tempted to bring a lot of stuff that you don’t need anymore. Packing for a new place is an excellent opportunity to downsize and make room for new items in your life. Packing economically is a whole new subject. You will have to decide on what kind of packaging materials to buy, what you can use from the stuff you already have and save some money, should you enlist professional services or do it on your own, etc. One step at a time, we are going to help you with these handy tips.
Making a list for moving and packing goes a long way. If you organize well, you’ll be able to keep up with the relocation and packing schedule. If you want to try to “wing it,” things might get hectic. Have an open agenda with all the steps and add whatever you think of in the meantime and scratch off the things that you have already completed.
This should be the first thing you do. That way, you will have a better picture of how much and what kind of packaging material you need, and how big the transportation vehicle has to be. We are not saying that you should purge your home from all the stuff you are not using, since some of them may have a sentimental or monetary value. But try to downsize as much as possible. You will save a lot of money on packaging materials and transport if you bring with you only the things that you need.
A suitable way to get rid of the excess is to donate your things, sell them at a garage sale or online, gift them to family or friends or dispose of them properly. Many organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill accept second-hand furniture, clothing, and appliances if they are in good condition.
Now that you have all the things that will need transportation to your new home, it is time to organize. The best way to do that is to separate furniture and bulky electronics from small things, appliances, and clothes. You can also divide your home into sections for the smaller stuff.
There are specialized packaging solutions for your furniture. If you decide to employ professional packing services, they will have all of the materials that you may need. If not, pay special attention to the padding of your items. Your electronics need to be secured properly to prevent possible damage that sometimes can’t be repaired. The furniture needs to be secured from scratching as well as from breakage.
When bagging your clothes, there are a few ways to save money and space. You can use some of your old or durable pieces as padding so you should set them aside.
Vacuum bags are great space savers, and you can fit a lot of clothes, linen, blankets and other fabrics in them. If it is possible, divide your clothing according to seasons when they are worn, and you can later unpack just the clothing you need. You can leave the rest in the bags to save space in your new home. Another great bagging solution for your clothing, especially the delicate ones, are garbage bags. Put your clothes on hangers and put the garbage bag over it and tie the ends. This is a great alternative for expensive clothing bags.
Before you start preparing your furniture for relocation, you have to “free it” from all the small stuff and appliances in or on it. This is done best if you pack according to rooms. Place kitchen appliances, cookware, and everything else in one section. Carefully pad everything that can be broken or damaged and put in boxes without over-crowding them. Don’t forget to fill the empty space inside with packaging beans, since a lot of stuff can get damaged from bumping into each other during transport.
All of your glassware, ceramic and fine china should be either wrapped or padded individually. The key here is to secure all the belongings one by one and in the box altogether. Your glasses, plates, and mugs can break if you overcrowd your box.
When loading the transport vehicle, space optimization and box order are crucial. You should compartmentalize if possible and isolate your furniture and bigger appliances in the back and secure them with straps. If, at any point, the vehicle bumps or goes over some road obstacles the heavier items might fall over and break or damage the things bellow. When you are stacking the boxes vertically, keep the heavier ones at the bottom for balance.
You should label all the boxes that are being moved and point out the ones with fragile things. You can organize labeling in a few steps. Make a checklist with the numeration and the box contents. You should specify where each box should be put once it reaches your destination.
A lot of the things you are carrying to your new place can be used as a storage for smaller items. You can fill your shoes with socks or other clothing pieces to prevent them from getting damaged and save some space too. All the decorative chests, vases, pots, and pans can be filled with different stuff and double up as storage space.
If there is any possibility for something to break, it should be separated. That way, you can approach the unpacking process safely, since you might get cut or hurt if you don’t notice that something is broken at first glance. Securing heavy objects by tying them up will prevent them from breaking anything else or falling over on you when you unload the van.
You will need a lot of supplies to pack everything, and that won’t come cheap. Some of them are:
While they all have a purpose and are designed for that use, you can replace a lot of them with cheaper or even free materials.
You can save a lot of money if you buy used boxes or reuse some of those that you already have on hand. Your old newspapers and magazines can serve as padding materials for glassware or cookware. Your clothing is another excellent free padding solution. You can make your box labels using regular paper and sticky tape, or you can write directly on them.
Since it is a long road ahead of you, you should prepare a travel bag with essentials. You should consider the trip and the first day when you arrive at your new property because you won’t be able to get a lot of things out of the packaging for the first couple of hours at least. If you properly label, it will be much easier to find what you need, but it can be a long time before you are left alone in your home with your boxes.
You shouldn’t follow this guide blindly, but it is a great starting point. Long-distance moving is different from case to case, and you should be organized from the start so that you have the time to cope with unexpected situations if and when they arise.