The lease agreement for your new apartment is finally signed, and you have hired a moving company.
For many people, the hard part is over. However, for people who hate packing and who are prone to procrastination, packing boxes may be their least-favorite part of moving. Try not to stress yourself out with last-minute packing by planning your move ahead of time. If you start packing as soon as you sign a new lease, you can begin to see which items and furnishings you need to take with you, and which you can donate or sell.
The more time that you take planning your move, the fewer items you are likely to break or lose. Take time to label every box and pack items securely. If you are interested in learning how to maximize your packing time, check out the below ten packing tips and tricks for moving.
Start Packing Right Away
No one likes packing up everything that they own and moving it from one place to the other in one day. Better yet, most people do not like organizing and cleaning out their stuff before they have to move. If you decide to wait last minute to pack and then throw everything into large cardboard boxes, you are ultimately giving yourself more work.
Packing is a process and should be done in an organized manner. First, start by packing items that you are not currently using, such as out-of-season clothing and books and movies. Also, try and group specific items for easier unpacking. Do not forget to label every box correctly so on moving day you do not have to hover over every box that comes through the door. The more time that you put into organizing and packing your stuff before the move, the less time you will spend on unpacking.
Know How Much You Can Bring with You
If you are moving from one place to another, you may assume that all of your furniture will fit in your new space. But have you taken proper measurements to make sure that your large TV console or bed frame will fit? When you inspect the apartment with your landlord, you should measure the space. Or, at least take photos so that you can look at them later for reference.
By knowing the space and dimensions ahead of time, you know what you can take with you and what can be left behind. Knowing the dimensions will also allow you to buy specific things for your new apartment ahead of time, like window curtains and shelving. By knowing what you can and cannot bring with you, you are saving yourself from move-in-day surprises.
Do Not Pack What You Do Not Use
For many people, spring-cleaning is not priority and there are certain closets or doors in their homes that they cannot open without hazmat suits. Packing may be overwhelming, but it is a good time to go through all of your personal and household items to see what you still use. If at the end of your purge you find that you have items that are worth selling, visit consignments shops or host a lawn or garage sale. The proceeds that you make can be used towards moving expenses, or towards a housewarming gift for yourself.
Pack and Clean Simultaneously
Before you move into your new place, clean everything that you plan on packing. Wash your clothes and linens and place them in bags and boxes that will not get dirty during the move. Also, wipe down electronics like DVD players, computers, and TVs. The last thing that you will want to do is bring dirty furniture and furnishings into your new place, or dirty up your new place by washing dirty dishes and household items.
Maximize Your Moving Boxes
When you begin packing, you need to be strategic. Do not throw a bunch of shirts in one box and some shoes in another and call it a day. Think of packing a moving box as a game by seeing how many items you can fit in a box before it gets too heavy or it starts to fall apart. Try bundling shoes inside of jackets and coats and rolling shirts, towels, and jeans for more space. The fewer boxes you have, the less time the movers will spend loading and unloading the truck.
Label Every Box
The more boxes you pack, the more they start looking the same, which is why every box needs to be labeled. Regardless if all of your moving boxes look different, it is going to be hard to tell them apart after the movers have plopped them down in the same room. Therefore, with each box that you pack, you will need to label it correctly. That way when you start to unpack, you can start with the items that you will need first, instead of ripping open every box and making an even bigger mess that you will eventually have to clean up.
Even if you have hired the best movers in the business with the most honest reputation, you should keep an inventory of everything that is packed and moved. One of the easiest ways to track each box you move is by creating an Excel spreadsheet. Jot down the number of boxes and the valuable items inside. If you are moving across the state or across the country, the moving company you hire will keep an inventory of your belongings. But having your own inventory that details what is in every box will help if one of them were to go missing. With the help of your inventory list, you will be able to quickly file a police report or an insurance claim or replace the lost items, if needed.
Ship What You Can
No matter how light you try and pack your boxes, there are going to be certain items that are going to be nearly impossible to lift, and a perfect example is books. After you have gone through your home library and donated or sold any books that you do not need, you can mail the remaining books to your new home through the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx or UPS. Packages that you ship through the mail will take more time to reach your new home than if they were loaded on the moving truck. But you can trim off your moving costs by shipping items that you do not frequently use. Therefore, put aside a few boxes that you would not mind shipping as you are packing for your move. You may even find that you have enough boxes to ship to make it financially appealing.
Make Sure You Have a Box of First-Night Essentials
The last thing that you want to do after a day of moving and unpacking is run to the store to purchase items that you will need for your first night in your new apartment. Instead, create a “first-night” box with essential items like toilet paper and paper towels, soaps, and a toolkit, as well as water and snacks that will not spoil. It is easy to forget to eat or rest on moving day. However, if you fill your first night essentials box with items that will get you through the night, you will be able to enjoy the first night in your new apartment.
Donate or Sell your Used Moving Boxes
You finally unpacked your whole apartment, but now you have broken-down cardboard boxes lying all over the apartment. What now? While you may be tempted to throw them in the trash, donating or selling your boxes may not only help someone who was just in your shoes. It can also help you earn back a few dollars that you have spent on your recent move. So, before you head for the dumpsters, ask around to see if you know anyone who needs moving boxes.