There’s nothing easy about moving. No matter how many times you do it, there’s still a lot of work that must be done for an orderly and smooth process. On a very practical level, there’s the monotonous, painstaking process of packing.8 Helpful Packing Tips
You don’t have any choice but to pack up your belongings. However, this is one aspect of the moving process that you can get better at over time. By implementing the following tips and hacks, you can simplify this activity and enjoy a smoother, more efficient move.
1. Start Early
The worst thing you can do is put off packing until the last moment. You’ll have so much other stuff to do in the 24-48 hours before moving that you won’t want a ton of extra pressure on you.
As soon as you set a closing date on your house, it’s wise to start packing. Begin with the rooms you don’t use much – such as guest bedrooms and bathrooms – and pack up the items you won’t need. When the time comes to actually move, you won’t have nearly as much to do.
2. Purge Your Belongings
If previous generations were to look at the way we live as modern Americans, they would label us hoarders. We have hundreds of thousands of individual “things” in our homes – and we only use a very small percentage of them.
For the most part, we hold on to things based on the hope that we’ll one day use them. “We also hold onto stuff with the rationalization that we might need it one day,” Jane Porter writes for Fast Company. “It’s easy enough to hide the things you don’t use or need in the back of a closet or cabinet. But after a while, all those things pile up and you cannot ignore them.”
A move is the perfect time to think about going through your possessions and getting rid of the items you really don’t need. Be honest with yourself and attempt to only keep items that you’ve used within the past year or anticipate using within the next few months. Throwing away (or donating) the first few items will be tough, but it gets easier and easier the more you do it.
3. One Room at a Time
If you look at the process of moving from a big picture perspective, it’s easy to become paralyzed by the sheer size of the challenge. In order to avoid overwhelming yourself, break down the packing into digestible chunks.
There are a number of ways you can simplify packing, but one strategy is to take it on a room-by-room basis. From a purely mental perspective, this sharpens your focus and allows you to concentrate on the task at hand.
4. Buy Quality Supplies
Everyone has their own packing methods. There’s nothing wrong with getting boxes and supplies for free, but make sure you aren’t compromising on quality.
“Quality packing supplies may cost you some extra dollars but they can mean the difference between receiving your cherished possessions intact and finding them badly damaged upon arrival at your new place,” says Pamela Smith, a moving industry professional.
In addition to sturdy boxes, good tape is vital. Cheaper rolls feature flimsy tape that rips, tears, and needs multiple layers in order to properly support cardboard boxes. Pay now or pay later!
5. Maximize Space
Not everything has to be packed into a box or bin. You can save space by using some of the items you already own.
For example, dresser drawers are a great place for storing clothing and small items that you don’t want to put in a large box where they could break. Your refrigerator can be loaded up with kitchen supplies (just make sure everything is secure). Bedding can be used to keep items from rolling around in transit. Get creative!
6. Pay Attention to Breakables
Few things are more frustrating than unpacking at the new house and discovering that your dishes, drinkware, and other fragile items have been shattered into a thousand pieces.
“As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper,” Adam Bluestein writes for RealSimple. “Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. And use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Pack them all in dish-barrel boxes.”
7. Develop a Labeling System
Do yourself a favor by developing a systematic labeling system for your packing. When it comes time to unload boxes and unpack them in the new house, you’ll be thankful that you took the extra effort to do this.
The best strategy is to assign each room in the new house a color. Then purchase a set of colored stickers and place the corresponding sticker on the top of each box. You can then write in sharpie “Now” or “Later.” The “Now” boxes are things you’ll want to unpack immediately, while the “Later” boxes are low priority.
8. Get Some Help
Don’t pack your house by yourself. While it can take one person days to get everything together, it takes a group of people just a few hours. If you can’t enlist the help of friends, hire a professional moving company to do some of the heavy lifting.
Green Residential: Houston’s Leader in Real Estate
At Green Residential, it’s our mission to make the process of managing, buying, and selling real estate in Houston as easy and painless as possible. Whether this is your first time selling a house, or you’ve owned a number of homes over the year, we can make things easier by streamlining the mundane and allowing you to focus on the excitement that comes with a new move. For additional information, please contact us!