Moving homes likely isn’t your idea of a good time, but there are plenty of ways to make the grueling process feel a little less chaotic—and possibly even a tiny bit enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for ways to streamline the packing process, need tips on how to stash a few items in storage, or simply want to reward yourself for a job well done, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on for tips from those well-versed in the moving world, and then start kicking things into gear ahead of the big day.
Have a Plan
If you don’t plan out where you want all your furniture and belongings to end up once you’ve moved them to your new place, you could end up doing more work by unpacking and moving your things multiple times. “It is extremely helpful to map out where you will want to place furniture in your new home and to keep the movers aware of these locations.” Sapir suggests either obtaining a floor plan of your new place or taking a tape measure to the space beforehand to plan out where you want to move larger objects.
Start Packing in Advance
One of the mistakes my roommates and I made was leaving the actual packing to the last minute and not setting aside an entire day to make the move. “Many people do not allow enough time to handle packing, and it’s definitely not something you can handle the night before your move.” Sapir suggests starting the packing process a few weeks before your move-in date by packing up some of the things you don’t use regularly, like décor objects or clothes that you won’t wear until the weather changes.
Don’t Skimp on Boxes
Even though it may not seem like you own heaps of personal belongings when it comes time to empty every drawer, shelf, and closet corner, the volume of your possessions can double. This is why you’ll want to invest in enough high-quality boxes to contain all your things. “It’s important to have enough boxes in order to avoid having to cram belongings during your move,” Sapir says.
Empty Everything (and Then Check Again)
It’s easy to leave things behind during a move, even if you think you’ve checked every nook and cranny of your home. “We recommend doing triple, even quadruple checks of your home before leaving for good.” Sapir also advises you do this with someone else so you have another set of eyes looking out for forgotten items hiding in your furniture and closets.
Pack Your Boxes Strategically
Instead of hastily trying to pack up your entire kitchen into one box, take some time to consider the best way to pack up your items without causing any damage. “Before placing items in boxes, take a quick inventory of all fragile items and their weight.” Sapir thinks it’s a good idea to line your boxes with extra cushioning for maximum protection before you start packing up your valuables.
Take Your Time with Fragile Items
Sapir lists poorly packing fragile and delicate items as another common packing mistake. “It may seem like a time-saver to wrap items in groups, but it is not worth breaking items en route to their new location.” Instead wrap breakable vases, décor items, and glassware individually so they don’t end up as collateral damage during the move.
Label Your Boxes
Often overlooked, it is crucial to label your boxes for seamless unpacking. Because you’ll need some items right away, while others can wait to be unpacked, labels will help you get to the important stuff—your coffee maker—quickly. Sapir says it’s best to identify boxes by what group they belong to like kitchen essentials or decorations. You can even write some of the key items on the box to help you remember and speedily retrieve what you need right after moving in. My roommate tried using clear plastic containers so she could see what was inside. This worked well for unpacking, but they were a bit heavier during the actual move.
According to Sapir, many moving companies offer packing services to go along with their movers. “[It’s] a great option if you are pressed for time.”
Special mirrors, sculptural objects, and other breakables are worth driving over on your own—and since many moving companies charge by the hour, you may end up saving money in the process.