Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.
Are you moving to a new place on a tight schedule or a limited budget? Then you’ll need to learn how to move efficiently. Whether you are trying to save money or get it over with on time, there are certain strategies you should employ to ensure your relocation goes without a hitch. This is especially true if you are a first-time mover, although those more experienced might find these tips helpful as well.
Do Research on How to Move Efficiently
If you are reading this, you’re already taking the first (and arguably the most important) step of the relocation process. It is important to do proper research before you get down to work. This is the only way to ensure that you can plan properly and act accordingly.
Get Organized When Moving and Packing
Before you get down to buying supplies and packing your belongings, we suggest you get organized. Create a detailed checklist containing all the tasks you will need to tackle in the upcoming weeks. A good idea might also be to buy a large calendar and write down assignments for each day. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from potentially forgetting something important.
Now that you have everything organized, it’s time to pack. But how does one go about doing that? There’s much more to packing than just placing things into boxes. To help you learn how to pack properly, we’ve prepared some tips.
Use Checklists When Moving to a New House
Checklists are your best friends. Create detailed lists of everything that you’re going to pack. We suggest that you go room by room and write down everything you see there. Alternatively, you could also divide the list by types of objects, such as furniture, linen, toiletries, and so on. The important thing is that you find a system that works for you and stick to it.
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Don’t Pack Items You Don’t Use
Are there any items in your home you never really use? These could be clothes or shoes you don’t wear, curtains you don’t like, or pretty much anything else that has no purpose other than to collect dust. Make sure you set aside those things right away and don’t pack them. Instead, we suggest that you organize a garage sale. This way, you could end up making some extra money. Of course, you could always simply give these things away or throw them out.
Things You Don’t Use Often Go First
The next pile you should take care of are the things you don’t use often. These could be shoes and clothes you only wear on special occasions, decorative pieces, and so on. Tackle these things first, because you know that the odds of you needing them in the next few weeks are pretty much non-existent.
Use Appropriate Boxes
When packing for a move, you can’t exactly just use any box you stumble upon. Especially when it comes to heavier objects, you should use the ones that are sturdy and in a good overall condition. There should be no loose edges, tears, dents, or any sort of damage that could weaken the box.
On top of that, certain items require specialized packages. For example, you should never put heavy things in big boxes, as they won’t hold the weight. Instead, reserve those spacious ones for lighter items. Needless to say, if you still have the original packaging for some of your things (namely electronics), it is always a good idea to use those.
Learn How to Tackle Fragile Objects
When it comes to more fragile objects, such as mirrors or glasses, they will require some special attention during this process. Luckily, for most such objects, there are specialized packages you can buy to ensure they are properly packed and protected. For example, glasses and glass bottles should go into compartmented boxes. There are also wardrobe boxes for more expensive clothing, as well as a wide variety of other types.
Packing glasses requires time and patience
Do the Packing Room by Room
Ideally, you should tackle this task one room at a time. Doing multiple rooms at once could cause you to easily lose track of what you’ve done so far and what’s next. However, this is more of a suggestion than a rule. If you find that another strategy works better for you, do not hesitate to use it.
Protect Every Item Individually
This is probably the most important point we have to make when it comes to this task. Every single item, no matter how sturdy or “unbreakable” it is, should be wrapped individually before being boxed. Check that every object is properly wrapped from all sides so as to avoid any possible damage. You should also line the box itself with some paper and fill in the empty spaces with foam peanuts or crumpled newspapers.
Always Label Your Things
This is a habit you should adopt from the very beginning. Every time you seal a box, take a marker and label it on three or more sides. Write down the room the box should go into once it reaches your new home, as well as a list of its contents. Additionally, write down any other important notes such as “fragile” or “heavy” so that your movers know that they should handle the box with extra care.
Necessity Bags for Each Family Member
In the days leading up to the moving date, get a necessity bag for yourself and all the other members of your family. This bag should contain all the things you will surely need in the first few days. This way, you won’t have to start digging through things as soon as you arrive at your new home in order to find your toothbrush. You will know exactly where all your moving essentials are. Some things you should put in this bag include:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Other toiletries (shaving cream and razors, dental floss, face care products, etc.)
Ask for Help
Packing and moving are difficult tasks. Don’t hesitate to ask for some help. You could invite your friends over and organize a packing party, or you could simply ask around for some tips. Of course, the best course of action is always to turn to professionals and use their moving services.
Friends can help you pack everything up
Buy Bubble Wrap, Boxes, and Other Supplies
Now that you know how to pack, you should have a general idea of what supplies you should get. Create a list and go on a hunt. Remember, if you’re looking to save some money, you can always ask your local grocery or liquor store for old boxes they don’t need. Additionally, you can replace protective material such as bubble wrap or paper with old newspapers or kitchen rags. Other things you should get include duct tape, foam peanuts, and markers for labeling.
Different materials will make the boxing up process easy
Start on Time
The only way to guarantee that your move is successful and stress-free is if you start preparing on time. Depending on the size of your home and the distance of your relocation, you should begin the process a few weeks up to a month in advance. However, make sure you start planning even before that.
Create a Layout for Your New Home in Advance
If you’re planning on taking your old furniture with you, one of the most useful tips is to make sure it fits the dimensions of your future home. Take precise measures and try to put them on paper. If there is anything that simply can’t fit, it would be a better idea to sell it or get rid of it before the move.
Keep Paperwork Organized
Buy a sturdy binder where you will keep all your moving-related paperwork organized. This includes contracts with the moving company, lease agreements, important phone numbers, and so on.
Make the Calls
A few days before the moving date, make all the necessary calls to cancel your utilities, any subscription services, and so on. You should also inform all your friends of your move, so no one comes knocking on the door unannounced.
Don't forget to cancel utilities before the move
Find a Babysitter or a Pet Sitter
If you have young kids or pets, you should find someone to look after when the moving day comes. They will only be in the way of the movers and could cause damage to your things or even get injured.
Take Care of Yourself
Yes, we understand that you are on a tight schedule and have to get things done as soon as possible, but the truth is, your new place isn’t going anywhere. If you feel like you’re reaching a breaking point, allow yourself some time to relax, charge your batteries, and clear your head.