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Life Hacks: How to Pack for a Move

By Sharon Hurley Hall

How to Pack for a Move
Stress! If that's the first thing you think of when it's time to move house, you're not alone. Moving is one of the top sources of stress worldwide. But it doesn't have to be. You can make your move smoother with these packing tips:

  1. Remove the Junk. Sometimes it's easier to put stuff in the attic or basement than throw it away but an excess of junk can be a problem when it's time to move. If you haven't used an item in the last few years, it's time to let it go - and there's no better time than before you have to pack it up to move. Start a few weeks before moving by donating unwanted items to a shelter or charitable organization, having a yard sale, selling items at auction or online, or using a local recycling website from your city.
    Remove The Junk
  2. Raid your Cabinets and Closet for Packing Accessories. Start with some common household items to smooth the packing process:

    • Put plastic wrap under the lids of bottles and jars to leak-proof them for the move. Use a press and seal plastic wrap to cover drawers so you can move them intact.
    • Use large trash bags for clothes storage: tie the handles of the hangers together before you move them and slide plastic bag over clothes, cutting a hole out to bring the hanger hooks through the top. This is helpful for unpacking too, making it easier to hang them in the closet of your new home.
    • Suitcases and laundry hampers have to be moved anyway, so use these containers for smaller items in lieu of extra boxes.
    • You don't need to spend a fortune on bubble wrap for your breakables - use clean dish towels and bath towels as padding in boxes.
  3. Box Clever. When it comes to packing for a move, not all boxes are created equal. Try these boxes first: beer and liquor boxes (useful for packing breakables because of their built-in dividers), book boxes, diaper boxes, and paper ream boxes - all of which are made of sturdy materials.

    Go to your local store a few weeks before moving and find out when they get deliveries. Then arrange to come back after delivery day and take some boxes off their hands. If you have the choice, go for boxes that have handles and are not too large.

  4. Make Your Mark. When you get to your new home you may find that helpful friends or movers have put things in the wrong room. Solve for this and save on unpacking time later with some upfront organization.

    • Get a floor plan for your new house and map the rooms in your old home to the ones in your new one, then label items according to where they will end up (not where they have come from).
    • Since boxes can end up upside down during the move, be sure to label them on more than one side.
    • Make the move go even smoother by creating a spare set of labels so the first family member to arrive at your new home can make it clear which room is which. Use masking tape so you can easily remove the labels later.
    • Take a photo of the way your electronics are set up and label cords before you pack them up. This will make hooking everything up when you get to your destination much simpler.
    Label Items
  5. Collect the Essentials. If there's one thing you can guarantee, it's that things won't go according to plan. That's why it's practical to collect a box of move day essentials that travels with you. This will include items like: basic tools (hammer, nails, screwdrivers, power drill), cleaning materials and toilet paper, bottled water and snacks, key electronics accessories (a power strip, phone and laptop chargers and the TV remote), and basic toiletries and essential medication.
    Collect The Essentials
These packing tips should ensure a smoother move and allow you to enjoy your new space faster.

April 16, 2014, 10:15 AM

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