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Call it a guide or a checklist but here’s everything you need to know to pack for your next move.
Must-Have Packing Supplies
You may be tempted to buy a bunch small, medium and large boxes and call it a day, and while you should buy those, there are other moving supplies that will make protecting your stuff easier.
Boxes – All sizes.
Tape – I recommend paper tape to save time.
Marker – Label your boxes
Wardrobe boxes – These will help you pack your closet in no time.
TV box kit – Flat screens are expensive, so protect yours.
Mattress bags – Seriously, these will save your bed from getting damaged.
Stretch wrap – This can be used 101 ways.
Dish saver kit – Name says it all.
Glass saver kit – Again, name says it all.
Cell kit – Use this to keep small things from rolling in a box.
Packing paper – Use this to wrap fragile items and to prevent things from shifting in a box.
Bubble roll – Wrap fragile things, then pop it for fun.
Moving pads – Wrap appliances and use as cushion when loading a truck.
Dolly – Do yourself a favor and don’t carry heavy things without these.
Box-cutter – For easy unpacking.
Keep in mind that the right quantity of supplies will depend on the size of your living space and how much stuff you own. If you need help deciding, check out this moving supply calculator to get an estimate.
Also too many supplies is better than not enough. If you buy them at U-Haul, they will buy-back any unused supplies, so it’s not a waste of your money.
Packing the Bedrooms
Likely you have beds, dressers, vanities, closets and much more. Start where you want, but here are the main tips:
Use a large box to pack sheets, bedding and other linens.
Use a mattress bag on both the mattress and box spring.
Break apart your bed frame if possible.
Remove the drawers from your dresser.
Leave the your things in the drawers and use stretch wrap all around to seal these.
Use stretch wrap around small dressers or vanity to prevent drawers from opening.
Use wardrobe boxes to quickly pack hanging clothes.
Use sandwich bags to pack small items like jewelry.
Wrap frames and other fragile things in bubble or packing paper.
Pack the flat screen in a TV box.
Put your laptop in a protective case and not in a box.
Packing the Bathrooms
Remove the lids from bottles and put stretch wrap over the top, then screw the cap back on.
Put all the small bits in clear bags.
Put towels in large boxes.
Wrap any decorative/fragile things in packing paper.
Use stretch wrap to keep loose items like makeup in their containers.
Store cleaning supplies in a box with a cell kit to keep them organized and secure.
If anything is sensitive to changes in temperature, plan accordingly.
Packing the Kitchen
As you pack your kitchen, know that you should stop buying perishable food a week or two prior to the move to avoid moving these.
Use a dish saver kit for your dishes.
Use a glass saver kit for other breakables.
Put things from your pantry in a box with a cell kit to keep them from breaking.
Use stretch wrap to seal silverware into its container.
Use the bubble roll to wrap small kitchen appliances.
Use a furniture pad and dolly to protect and move large kitchen appliances.
If possible, disassemble your dining room furniture for its protection and easier moving.
Wrap the pieces with moving pads and secure the small pits in a bag taped to the piece of furniture.
Packing the Living Room
Again, pack that TV in a flat screen box kit to keep it safe.
Use bubble roll on small electronic devices.
Put games and movies in small boxes.
Disassemble pieces of furniture and wrap these with pads for protection.
Use a furniture dolly to move couches.
Use stretch wrap to secure rolled up rugs.
Packing the Garage
Before you start packing this room, it might be a good idea to set out a donate and trash box to rid yourself of things you may have accumulated and no longer want or need.
For the 101st time, use stretch wrap to seal the tool box – don’t box this item.
Drain gas and other fluids from power tools before packing.
Wrap sharp tools in moving pads to protect yourself and other things.
Place hand tools in the original box if you still have it.
General Packing Tips
Start packing the things/rooms you use least.
Pack a room at time and don’t mix rooms in the same box.
Pack heavy items in small boxes.
Pack a “Open First” box and load it last onto the truck.
Keep medication or anything you need to use throughout moving day in the cab of the truck.
Don’t use duct-tape to seal boxes.
Take apart furniture and save all small bits in a bag taped to the piece of furniture.
Pack heavier items at the bottom of the boxes.
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from BEARS MOVING
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You’re ready to make a move, but your stuff is staring you in the face, silently mocking you. Packing up all your belongings is a daunting task, but there are many ways to make packing easier. These seven easy tips will get you ready to pack with a vengeance.
Packing Tip #1: Don’t procrastinate. This seems simple enough, but getting started can be difficult. A few weeks prior to your move, start packing several boxes a day. Begin with items that are least essential to your daily life. If you pace yourself, you will be more organized and the job won’t be so overwhelming. Make packing easier by not waiting to get started.
Packing Tip #2: Pack room-by-room. Focus on one area of a room at a time and don’t mix items from different rooms in one box. To prevent miniature knickknacks and small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap them in brightly-colored tissue paper.
Packing Tip #3: Label clearly. On the top and side of each box, write a general description of the contents and the room name. Use different colored markers for each room, which will provide additional clarity for you and your movers.
Packing Tip #4: Stay clean. Regular newspaper may bleed ink onto your possessions. Use white packing paper to wrap all items.
Packing Tip #5: Use boxes designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and might not hold the weight of the items that you will be putting in them. In addition, varying box sizes can make loading more difficult.
Packing Tip #6: Know what you can’t pack. Some common household items can’t be shipped because they are hazardous. Don’t wind up on the wrong side of the law. Read our list of what you can’t put on the moving truck.
Packing Tip #7: Don’t box up everything. You should personally transport heirlooms, important papers, legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), and valuables. Make packing easier by decided what doesn’t need to be packed.
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from BEARS MOVING
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1. Slide clothes on hangers directly into garbage bags.
Unpacking will be a breeze.
2. Put cotton balls in your makeup compacts so they don’t break.
They act as a cushion inside of fragile powder cosmetics.
3. Use toilet paper rolls to organize your cords.
Keep wires organized by wrapping each cord up and stuffing it inside an empty roll.
4. Take pictures of your house before you move in.
If you’re a renter, make sure you document exactly how your house looks when you move in. You want that deposit back!
5. Wrap breakable dishware in your shirts.
Not only are you saving on bubble wrap, but you’re also packing multiple items at once.
6. Use Unpakt to save money.
This awesome website will compare all of the movers in the area to help you find the lowest cost.
7. Cover all bottles of liquid (shampoo, cleaning supplies, etc.) with plastic wrap before putting the top on.
Avoid messy explosions.
8. Color-code your boxes.
You will know exactly where everything goes.
9. If your painter’s tape is dried up, put it in the microwave for a few seconds.
It will become sticky again.
10. Use suitcases for your heaviest items.
The handles and wheels will make for easy transportation.
11. Cut handles into the sides of cardboard boxes for easy lifting.
All you have to do is cut a rectangular shape on either side of the box.
12. Pack a separate small bag with all of your basics.
Chances are you won’t unpack everything in one day, so make sure you have everything you need for one night easily accessible.
13. Fill nail holes with toothpaste.
It’s the quick and cheap way to cover up all of those holes. Check out the video tutorial below.
14. Change your address in advance.
Make sure to take care of this pesky chore at least two weeks before move-out.
15. Defrost your fridge a day before moving out.
Avoid all kinds of leaks and nasty smells by doing this at least a day ahead of time.
16. Keep track of your moving expenses; some of them are tax-deductible.
Move now, save money later.
17. Stack plates with Styrofoam plates in between one another.
It’s an easy and cheap way to make sure your plates don’t break.
18. Roll up your clothes.
Instead of folding clothes, roll them all up to save lots of space.
19. Wrap a rubber band around your doorknob so you don’t get locked out.
Wrap around one doorknob, then cross it over to the doorknob on the other side so that the lock is blocked. When you are going in and out of your house, you won’t have to worry about being locked out.
20. Put towels underneath heavy furniture to avoid ruining floors.
The furniture will also slide away very easily.
21. Label your boxes on the side, not the top.
When you stack them, you will always be able to see what’s inside.
22. Use sandwich bags for small important items like screws.
When you go to put a bed frame or bookshelf back together, they’ll all be in the same place.
23. Find free moving boxes on the Craigslist “free” section.
You can also ask for boxes at local stores; they often have lots of leftovers.
24. Make sure to use the Moving Day app.
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from BEARS MOVING
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Drawing from personal experience, I know there are lots of ways to help make your household move easier and more smooth.
Read here for help to get your life, and your possessions, organized for a peaceful and exciting move.
Make a list.
Write everything down! You’ll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents.
Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You’ll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Don’t put the list down unless it’s in a place you’ll call Packing Central. This is where you’ll find your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. When describing the box contents, be specific — “A-D files” is better than “files”, and “Tulip dishes” rather than “misc. kitchen”.
Have plenty of supplies.
Don’t make me say this twice– you’ll need LOTS of boxes–probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier! (If you buy your boxes from a moving company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund. If you got them free from the grocery, just toss any leftovers.) Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies.
You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any unused supplies after the truck is packed.
Utilize wardrobe boxes.
These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that need to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they’ll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you’ll need. You can also use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift wrap tubes.
Don’t make the boxes too heavy to lift, however. One mover told the story of someone who put a bowling ball in a wardrobe box! When the box was lifted off the truck the bottom gave way, sending the bowling ball on a wild ride down the ramp, across the street to the gutter, then down a hill where it finally came to rest in a roadside ditch.
(Is that a strike or a spare?)
Strategize wardrobe box use.
Moving companies will be happy to deliver boxes ahead of your moving day. Or if you’re doing the move yourself, get things organized as early as possible. A few days before your move, fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags, then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items tightly so things won’t move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You’ll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together.
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from BEARS MOVING
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My apartment lease just came up for renewal, and even though it meant a slight rent increase, it wasn’t too hard for me to decide to stay put. I like my place, but more importantly, after moving six times in eight years, I’m well ahead of the lifetime average (about 12) for most Americans.
Still, every year 40 million Americans move, and nearly half do so between May and September. Every move is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all outline for orchestrating the process. But we’ve put together some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning a move. A few key issues to consider:
DIY or hire help?
Recruiting friends and family and renting a truck are certainly cheaper, but think very hard about whether or not you’re all really up for the task. Assess your situation and budget carefully, and consider hiring out as many tasks as you can afford. You may find it’s not worth the trouble (or your back) to do the heavy lifting yourself, but moving smaller or valuable items by hand is worth your effort.
Moving = the ultimate decluttering opportunity
The less stuff you have, the cheaper it’ll be to move it — and the neater and faster your new home will come together. Start as early as possible, and divide items into “keep,” “trash,” “recycling,” and “donate.” Be ruthless — if you haven’t used it in a year (or forgot you even had it!), you don’t need it. Stuff you really shouldn’t bother moving: Open condiment containers and cleaning products, and stacks of old magazines.
Supplies ain’t cheap…
But there are a few clever ways to save on boxes — and even get them for free, if you play your cards right. My fave tip: Make friends with the stock guys at the local grocery or liquor store. Those cartons are durable and not overly large, so if you are planning to move yourself, you can’t fill them so full that they’re overwhelming to carry.
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