Moving can be all about celebration until you turn around and look at your current home! That’s when it hits you: You need to pack!
You could let your moving team do this for you, or you could learn to pack like a professional. If this is the case, then you need to think about how to get started. Professionals usually suggest that you begin to pack at least six weeks in advance of your move.
This means buying boxes, which we’ll outline below, along with having plenty of packing tape and paper on hand. You can make this task fun and like we have written in other blogs: you can pack well so the items you have arrive safely at your new home.
Start with Some Fun but True Packing Facts
Think about ways to make boxing and unboxing your items as painless as possible. Read on to find incredibly useful packing and moving tips that will reduce the stress and expense of relocating.
Start Packing Six Weeks in Advance We have already mentioned this and while that number sounds a little bit too much, time is needed. People who have made moves across town or the state find that the more time you have to pack, the better the move goes. The more time you have, the more organized you will be, and that keeps unwanted stress away.
Mix It Up: Pack Using Totes and Boxes We talk a lot about purchasing cardboard boxes, but remember that plastic tote boxes are also super useful for packing. In fact, they make moving easy, but they are more expensive than cardboard boxes, but they can be useful in different ways.
They are sturdy and easy to pick up. We like to put “breakables” in these and pack them with extra special care. Lots of packing paper. File boxes can easily be put together and are excellent for items that need special care.
Organize Your Boxes and Tape Them Shut! Here’s a fun fact: Locating the sticky end of a roll of shipping tape can be challenging. The struggle gets very real when you can’t find the end of the roll or when the tape tears off in chunks or stringy shreds instead of neat pieces. Sometimes, cheap tape and dispensers only make matters worse. For a few dollars more, you can invest in tools that work and make your job go quickly.
Someone wrote: Keep Calm and Hire a Mover! If you are on the job and you find yourself fighting with a roll of packing tape, this quote may make a lot of sense!
Try something simple: use a toothpick to mark the end of the tape so you can peel it easily and make taping boxes less troublesome. Place the toothpick horizontally on the tape’s sticky side about 1/2 inch from the end. Afterward, fold the end of the tape under so it covers the toothpick and lifts away.
Using new, quality packing materials specifically designed for moving ensures that your property arrives safely. Here is a list of what boxes can and do hold.
- 1.5 cu. ft. cartons Use small cartons for heavy items such as books, files, music CDs, and DVDs.
- 3.0 cu. ft. cartons Medium utility cartons can be used for pots and pans, toys, and small appliances.
- 4.5 cu. ft. cartons These are usually used for bulky items, such as linens, towels, or toys.
- 6.0 cu. ft. cartons We use these for large, bulky, or lightweight articles, such as pillows or large lampshades. It is tempting but avoid packing these with heavy weighted items. Plus be sure to use a hand truck to move items around.
- Wardrobe cartons are super easy to use. They are “portable closets” that keep clothes and draperies hanging on a built-in bar.
- Mirror cartons Many people miss purchasing these for their move. There are several sizes of telescoping cartons for framed pictures, mirrors, or glass.
- Mattress cartons are Available in queen/king, double, single (twin), and crib sizes. A separate carton is necessary for box springs. You can also wrap your mattresses in a moving blanket and achieve the same protection.
- Dish Pack (or China Barrel): These heavy-duty cartons or barrels are harder to find. Many times, they are used for international moves and protect dishes/china, crystal, and glassware.
- Double-wall cartons These cartons protect fine china, crystal, and other high-value items.
- Stretch Wrap: A special plastic covering that safely adheres to furniture and protects it from snags, tears, and dirt. Use a lot of stretch wrap and you will be glad you did.
What NOT to Pack in Boxes When Moving
A client once said: “I am prone to just toss things into a box, seal it, and hope I remember what that box looks like on the other end!” That’s a tempting thought, but it rarely works out. Besides, there are quite a few items that should never go in a moving box! Here’s a short list, and we are sure you can add to it:
- Open packages of perishable food (the box will attract pests)
- Valuables (jewelry, collectibles, coins, cash): you want these with you!
- Irreplaceable documents (personal identification, birth certificates, medical records, wills, financial documents, etc.)
- Flammable items (paint, gasoline, solvents, batteries, nail polish remover, and any kind of chemicals)
- Gardening supplies (weed killer and insecticides)
Basic guidelines to make packing a snap:
- Stay in touch with your relocation team. Make a schedule, allowing enough time leading up to moving day. If your plans change, call them immediately and reschedule as soon as possible.
- Pack items in areas like the basement, garage, or attic first. Leave boxes there so movers can grab them easily.
- Stay organized by packing room by room. Label your boxes according to where they will be in your new house.
- When a room is packed, sort cartons by light, medium, and heavy – limit your heaviest cartons to 50 pounds each. Keep your hand truck close by so you can move boxes and keep them together.
- Label cartons or items you do not want to transport on the moving van. These are items listed above that you need to move yourself.
- Pack and set aside boxes you will need first so you can be up and running at your new house quickly.
Pack for Success
When a moving team arrives, they will do a walk-through and assess what you have done and how to begin to pack the moving van. Once the team has the scope of the project in their heads, things will begin to move very quickly. You are working with professionals who know how to pack a truck and protect your items.
It’s best for your relocation team to handle the following:
- Marble or glass tabletops, heavy wall ornaments and mirrors 40″ x 60″ or larger
- Pool tables
- Bulky, fragile items like large trophies, statues, chandeliers, etc.
- Major appliances
Here are a few more suggestions for a successful pack:
- Empty drawers of breakables, spillable items, non-transportable items, and anything that would puncture or damage other things.
- Keep all parts or pairs of items together – for example, curtain rod hangers, mirror bolts, and other small hardware items need to be placed in plastic bags and taped securely to the item they go with.
- Put a special mark (the number 1, or the letter A) on cartons you want to unpack first at your destination.
- Use newspaper only for cushioning; never place it against items, as the ink will rub off. It can even get embedded into fine china, so be careful! It is better to purchase rolls or boxes of packing paper.
- Avoid overloading moving cartons! Adding just one more item to a full box can be too much and lead to breakages.
- Seal moving cartons tightly with tape except for items that must be left open for the van line operator’s inspection.
Remember, at the beginning, moving seemed to be something that anyone and everyone could do. This is true to a point. Hiring a professional moving team really makes life easier for you and those who are helping you. Your moving team can give you tips to make your move go smoothly so take advantage of what is offered Stay Calm and Hire a Mover!
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