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  • Writer's pictureElken Miller

Sooner or Later....It's Time To Pack Your Bags (and Boxes)



Whether you just sold your house or moving into your newly purchased home, sooner or later.....you are moving! That means planning. A LOT of planning! Take a breath. You are not the first, nor will you be the last person to move, so fortunately there are many people who have blazed this trail before you. Follow these helpful hints to reduce some of the stress you are about to experience.



1. Get Rid Of Unwanted Items The best opportunity anyone has during a move is to downsize their belongings beforehand. Why? Because you’re already going through every single item during the packing process. Decluttering during a move also makes it easy to sort items by what you want to keep, donate or sell. There are significant benefits to getting rid of unwanted items before the moving truck arrives: less to pack, less to physically move to a new location and less to find a place for once you arrive at your new house. Don’t limit yourself to only getting rid of smaller items. Moving is the perfect time to rehome or donate large furniture that may not fit well into your new space.



2. Keep All Moving Documents In One Place Not every piece of paper in your filing cabinet will be needed during your move or even in the weeks afterward as you settle into your new home. However, it’s crucial you keep all of the documents necessary for your move, such as addresses and utility information (or a laptop with this information) in one place and easily accessible on moving day. Don’t pack it away in a box. Rather, find a safe place for it in the kitchen by your purse or in the glove box of your car. Taking this one step further, if you’ve hired a moving company, it is best practice to keep your sensitive documents (passports, Social Security cards, marriage certificates, etc.) and valuables in a safe place and move these items yourself. This way, you minimize the risk of your belongings getting lost in the move or compromised in transit, and you’re able to ensure these important, hard-to-replace items stay safe.



3. Start As Early As Possible One of the silver linings of a move, particularly if you are moving after selling and buying a new home, is that you rarely have to move at a moment’s notice. Since the home buying process can take 30 – 90 days, this leaves ample time to get organized and prepare. Moving can be one of the most stressful experiences, but one of the primary ways to alleviate this stress is to start as early as possible and not wait until the last second. Begin at least a few weeks out to give yourself ample time to go through your items, pare down what you do or don’t need, and then pack thoughtfully and carefully.



4. Find A Moving Truck With A Ramp

For individuals who are moving without professional assistance, there are several ways to make moving mentally and physically easier. Renting a moving truck, especially one with a ramp, will make loading and unloading easier and save time. Instead of taking multiple loads of furniture and belongings in cars or a pickup truck, a moving truck that best fits your size of home can transport everything all at once. The ramp will also make an immense difference in how much time and effort it takes to load and unload large, heavy items plus save strain on your arms, knees and back.



5. Use The Right Size Boxes If you want to save money, it’s easy to cut costs by reusing cardboard boxes from friends and neighbors. Seasoned packers know that it isn’t a good idea to throw multiple items into the nearest box, but that the properly sized one for what you’re packing makes all the difference. For example: wardrobe boxes can make moving lots of clothes on hangers a breeze. Heavier items, like books can be packed in multiple, smaller boxes to avoid boxes being too heavy to lift. Smaller, lighter items such as linens or kitchen utensils can be packed in large boxes and moved with ease. There are also special boxes for packing breakables, like glassware and dishes.



6. Save The Essentials For Last As the weeks to moving day count down, pack away more and more until all that is left are the essentials – the items you touch every single day. Think about what’s used the most, like the shower curtain, your bed linens, dishes and utensils, and maybe the most heavily used pots and pans. By saving your essentials for last, you can ensure what you need to move into your new home is packed away together and ready to unbox quickly upon arrival.



7. Label Your Boxes With Detail Packing by room and labeling appropriately is a smart move, but level up your efforts by doing a quick inventory of what is in each box and writing it on the side. After the level of effort it takes to physically relocate, sometimes it can take a while to unpack every item. A box labeled “Kitchen” could mean many things. You know what room it goes in, but what is really inside? Is it cookware? Spatulas? Small appliances? Kitchen towels? Labeling your boxes with detail will make finding what you need a breeze, saving time and eliminating stress in those all-important days and weeks as you get settled.



8. Pack One Room At A Time It may be tempting to try and pack all you can in one sitting, but this could be a mistake! What makes moving particularly stressful is how overwhelming all of the “to-dos” related to moving can feel, especially if you try to do it all at once. Pack just one room at a time. Start putting away the items that aren’t used on a daily basis, such as extra cleaning supplies, back stock of toilet paper and paper towels, or books on the living room shelves, for example. Do the bathroom on a Monday, the living room on a Tuesday, and so on. Set aside just one hour and play fun music and see what you can get through in that time. The purpose is to spend time packing away occasionally used items so you have less to put in boxes as moving day approaches. The issue with moving is that you will need certain items right up until the minute you move, so it’s best to first pack the items you don’t use as often.




9. Prepare A Moving Checklist A moving checklist that contains a written reminder of every task that needs to be completed before the move can be particularly helpful for staying organized. Within the process, there are many steps to carry out, like the preparation, packing, relocating and unpacking – it’s a lot to take in! A good moving checklist should include:

  • Items related to the move itself: hiring movers, acquiring moving boxes and packing materials.

  • Items related to the new home: turning on utilities, getting the new home cleaned, painted or re-keyed.

  • A list of what you may need to buy for the new home.

  • Items related to the house you’re leaving: such as cleaning, small household repairs, or making keys for new owners.

It may also be helpful to inventory all of your belongings, starting with the big furniture items. This will help professional movers prepare an accurate quote and give them a better idea of all they’ll need to bring to get your furniture out of your home and onto the truck. Stor-it is just one of many companies that have a 30 day pre-moving checklist.










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