We are 15 days away from moving into our new house and it has occurred to me that Michael has not packed a thing. We have two very different approaches to moving and I'm okay with that. Michael is simply too busy with work to pack. I get it, he has a lot of deadlines and exciting projects coming up and something like packing just hits the back burner. For those who, like me, are also extremely busy but have more a "pack or die" mentality, this post is for you. Read on for my top ten packing tips.
1) Pack everything by room is a no-brainer. Take it one step further, and pack everything in such a way that it can be removed from the box and promptly popped in it's place. Launder your towels before boxing them up. Do you organize your linen closet items in containers? Pack everything already in it's container.
2) Donate or throw more away than you think you have to. Seriously. If you have to wonder for even a split second if you need something, it can go. Having less possessions makes moving easier, unpacking simpler, and your life generally better.
3) Label. Your. Boxes. Thoroughly. I have seen the number system (where every box has a number and a corresponding list has it's contents) and that seems good. I am simply labeling them by room and listing the entire contents on two sides of every box. Do not label the tops of your boxes because you won't see them when you stack them. Some people color code, but I identify every room with a letter in the top left corner. K for Kitchen, G for Garage...
4) Use giant plastic wrap to wrap around your furniture as a protective coating. This should help you keep everything clean and scratch/puncture free.
5) Have a game plan. We have already decided that furniture will all get moved into the living/dining area and all boxes go straight to the guest bedroom. This minimizes confusion about where everything should be placed and keeps most of the house clear for the initial deep clean. The living/dining area is the biggest floor space so it's perfect for our furniture holding area. We are also not painting the main floor, because it was recently painted and we love the color. You may be wondering why we chose the guest bedroom for our box holding area; it's because it is the room we will complete last. We don't intend to have anyone over for the first few months anyway, while we settle in and set up our home.
6) Pack your hanging clothes in garbage bags. While they are still hanging, slip the bag over the clothes from the bottom and tie around the hangers, leaving the hooks exposed. It keeps everything together and it's seamless to move and unpack.
7) Things you can use instead of bubble wrap or newspaper: Towels and Washcloths, Sheets and Pillowcases, Blankets, Clothes, Put Air in Ziploc Bags, etc
8) Start Early and Pack often. It is less strenuous to pack everything in spurts than to try to pack your whole life the weekend before you move. Start with out of season items and things you can live without, packing more crucial items closer to moving day.
9) Buy new items before you move so you can settle in quickly. We have been buying furniture and items we need ahead of time so we can spend the week we move in cleaning, painting, and unpacking. The last thing you want to do is waste hours fighting crowds to buy furniture on the weekends after you move in. Our favorite day to go to stores that are usually mobbed (i.e. Ikea and Costco) is Friday night. The stores are practically empty. No crowds and no waiting!
10) Pack in front of your pets. It is less stressful for them to witness the process of your belongings packing up, moving, and unpacking than it would be for them to be driven to a strange house and find their stuff sitting there. Let them watch you move all your boxes and furniture. It will make it easier for them to adjust.