So you’ve found the perfect new home. Congratulations! Now onto the next hard part: preparing for the big move. Packing up all your belongings can be a daunting task, even with the excitement of organizing them in a new place on the horizon.
The biggest tip we can give for preparing for a move is: take your time. Give yourself plenty of time for each part of the process, starting with packing. Ease your way into the world of boxes and moving trucks by treating your move as a five-step process.
1. Clean & Repair First
Start by cleaning every inch of your current home. The process will feel familiar and help you begin to take inventory of the items you need to pack. Consider what items belong in each room, and make sure you are comfortable with the way your belongings are organized. If any of your furniture or decorations need repair, take the steps to get them fixed before the move to prevent further damage.
As you make your way through, keep an eye out for sturdy, stray boxes, even small ones. (They’ll come in handy later.) Cleaning will also help you begin to weed out the items you may not want to take with you. This brings us to step two:
The more organized you can be during your move, the better. Start by identifying items that you will need right away once you begin unpacking: medicines, paperwork, phone chargers, etc. You can sort through these later. Keep them together in a “Need Right Away” pile that is easily accessible to be packed last.
Sort the remainder of your items into “Keep” “Donate” and “Toss” piles. Disposing of the “toss” and “donate” items as you go will help free up much needed space. Keep all your “keep” items organized by room; this will help once you start boxing and labeling.
3. Collect & Pack Boxes
Once you are ready to begin physically packing, now is the time to bring out those boxes. Friends, hardware stores and supermarkets may be able to hook you up with some extras, but you will most likely need to add to the collection.
A moving company will usually provide boxes, but you also have the option of renting boxes if you are making the move yourself. Clear plastic bins are also a good investment and will be useful after the move, too. Make sure you have a variety of sizes; small granola boxes can help for organizing small items in a larger box, and oversized boxes can be cut and taped around frames or artwork.
Before you buy bubble wrap and packing peanuts, consider what else you already have in your “Keep” piles. Newspaper, old t-shirts, sweatshirts, towels and socks can serve as convenient protection when wrapping fragile objects.
You already have your items sorted by room, which is a great start. Having a dozen or more boxes labeled “Kitchen” in your new home, however, will not help you find that pesky frying pan any faster. Be as detailed as you can in labeling your boxes, including sub-categories like “Kitchen – Utensils.”
Have plenty of markers and rolls of packing tape on hand for timely labeling on all types of boxes.
You’ve worked up to the big things, and now’s the time to tackle them first. If you’re loading a truck on your own, always work large to small, packing furniture and the largest boxes before smaller and lighter ones.
It may be tempting to lay large, flat items on the bottom, but mattresses especially should always be loaded standing on their side. Also avoid stacking boxes too tall in the truck; a tight turn could cause a tumble that would ruin your expert organizational efforts.
Following these five steps will help add ease to the reverse process of unpacking in your new home. Read more on Porch.com’s advice blog, here.