There are plenty of important tasks to take on before your move: from shutting off or transferring utilities to scheduling your movers. Of all the jobs to finish before moving day, packing may be the most complicated. You don't want to pack anything too early, but you don't want to leave it to the last minute either. Packing also involves a lot of physical labor. To make packing as easy as possible, use these five expert tips:
1. Plan around weight and volume
Ideally, you want to fill up each and every box and container before you move. This allows you to unload in as few trips as possible and reduces the number of boxes you have to track and be responsible for. Take the weight and volume of everything you pack into account by:
- Filling up boxes with a mixture of light and heavy items when possible
- Using small boxes when packing only heavy items, such as dishware or books, and saving large boxes for lighter ones
- Load heavy items on the bottom of boxes to avoid damage to anything else inside
Using this approach puts you in a great position to minimize the number of boxes you use, which makes organization a little bit less of a hassle - and plays into our next tip.
2. Label your boxes
In general, unpacking is a lot easier when a box only contains items from a single room or area of your home. There will undoubtedly be exceptions, so the best way to deal with them is by writing a quick list of each box's contents on the side. With the help of your smartphone, you can also simply number each box, then keep more detailed lists in your phone's notes app or send an email to everyone involved in the move that contains the list. Putting the boxes in the right room as you move in makes the rest of the process that much easier.
If you use this approach, you can also easily set aside a few boxes that contain the items you'll need for the first few days in your new home. From sheets and pillows to basic cooking supplies, toiletries and your computer or phone charging cord, quick access to such items helps you start to settle in.
3. Use everyday household items to protect fragile belongings
There are some scenarios in which bubble wrap or packing paper is the best option to transport something especially fragile - be it a mirror, lamp or decoration. However, many of your belongings can be kept safe by using things you already own, like towels and clothing. Your kitchen towels can be placed between layers of plates or wrapped around glasses, for example. You might use bath towels to wrap around larger pieces, like ceramic serving trays and glass pitchers.
4. Take pictures before packing
Whether you want to remember how you ordered your tools in your garage workshop or avoid playing guessing games with the cords that link your TV to gaming consoles and media players, a photo is an easy way to remember where everything goes. Even if you particularly like the way you currently have family photos arranged on the mantle, a photo helps you make sure everything returns to the right place.
5. Talk to professional movers and packers
Even with this advice, moving and packing is still a lot of work. To make things as easy as possible, talk to the professional moves and packers at Atlas. They'll take care of the heavy lifting for you and make moving day a cinch.