Packing is a nightmare. Period. But there are a few tricks of the trade that will make your life less stressful on moving day.
Use your phonebooks.
Chances are good that you’ve got a few phone books lying around in a cupboard collecting dust. But Google hasn’t made them completely obsolete! You can use them to protect your breakables while moving. Simply tear out pages of those old phone books to wrap glassware, breakable trinkets, and anything else you hold dear to your heart.
Color-code your boxes.
Moving an entire family’s possessions is a big job and getting things physically moved from point A to point B without a small disaster is a win in my book. But there is a way to make your life easier once the movers pull out of the driveway, though it requires a bit of organization during the packing process.
Invest in a few rolls of colored packing tape and color code each room. Use purple packing tape on boxes for your kitchen, yellow for bathrooms, and let the kids choose their own for their rooms. You may even get them to help out more with packing if they’ve got some choice in the matter!
Make a small sign for each room that’s covered in the corresponding color of tape so your movers and/or helpers can start moving boxes to their final destinations that much faster.
Pack first day essentials.
As soon as the last box is unloaded from the truck, there are a few things you’ll need right away. People will be hungry and you better believe they will need to use the bathroom. So which box of the 50 in front of you is the TP in!? You can avoid a mishap like this by packing a clear bin with “first day essentials” and keeping it close to you on moving day.
Items that will go into this bin will be things like: trash bags, box cutters, scissors, disinfectant wipes, snacks, paper towels, toilet paper, disposable dinnerware (you will be calling for pizza). If you’re anything like me, the coffee maker and coffee will also go in. This bin will move with you through the move; meaning, don’t put it in with the rest of the boxes, but rather with you in the car.
It’s a good idea to keep valuables and important documents in this bin as well. Losing things like your passports, driver’s licenses, or cell phones in the move would truly make your life more difficult than it needs to be.
Don’t waste space.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay organized when you’re packing and you’re in the thick of things. Maybe it’s easier to through things in boxes all willy nilly but please refrain and save yourself the headache later. There is a way to maximize space in your moving boxes, (which are spendy) and keep your box count lower (quicker move time). Simply fill your crock pots and appliances that have dead space with smaller items like spices, utensils, and koozies.
If your luggage has wheels, fill them up with heavier items like wall art, vases, or electronics. Even if they don’t roll, you can fill them with bath towels, sleeping bags, or anything that fits and takes up lots of space in a moving box.
Seal off bottles.
Toiletries, art supplies, and food items are a pain to move and can cause a huge mess if you get lazy in the packing process. To help make sure your liquids stay contained, take the cap off of the bottle, place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening, then put the cap back on. This way, even if the cap pops open, you’ve got some extra protection with the layer of plastic wrap.
Throw your clothes in the trash.
Just kidding… but seriously, there’s no need to throw copious amounts of money at those garment boxes from the moving company. Keep your clothing on the hangers and wrap a trash bag around each bunch, leaving the hook of the hanger exposed. This method is by far the easiest to implement and makes it easy to get back to a normal life after a move with your entire wardrobe unpacked in a matter of minutes.
Buying new moving boxes adds up really quickly and when you’re done with them you may just leave them sitting in the garage taking up space. Save the money and source out your moving box needs. You can find moving boxes and other packing materials on Craig’s List, from family or friends, or your Realtor may know of a past client that needs to get rid of theirs. Re-list and sell your intact boxes when you’re finished with them.
If you just don’t trust a used moving box, go the overkill route and buy plastic storage tubs. I promise, you’ll always find a use for them after, they’ll keep your things safer throughout the move, and you can always resell them when you’re done. If you go the storage tub route try to use different colored tubs for children’s rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, etc.
Go to the liquor store.
It’s not what you think.. I mean, most people might find themselves at the liquor store during a move but I’m talking about something a little different.
Liquor stores have an abundance of something that you need lots of: empty wine boxes! Stop by your local store and ask if they have any extra boxes they could spare you (they will). They’ll give these to you for free, and they’ve only been used once. uUe these to pack your barware, (i.e., wine glasses, beer steins, etc.). Just make sure they still have the little cardboard dividers still in them – if they don’t, they’re not going to serve the same purpose.
Plastic wrap what’s already organized.
Why unpack things, pack them, unpack them, and reorganize them again? That’s crazy talk! But lots of people do exactly that. Instead of dumping your silverware into a box, keep it in the holder and wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap. All you’ll need to do when you move in is unwrap and drop in the drawer! Use this method for anything and everything that is already organized and without a lid.
Viola, packing made easier! I hope this was helpful to you and good luck with your next move!