While finding and purchasing your dream home can be a season full of sunshine and daisies, the reality of packing up your life in just a few months or even weeks can turn into anyone’s worst nightmare. Take it from someone who has moved over six times in a span of five years, there is no need to stress about packing decades of memories into some cardboard boxes and Tupperware. Take my advice and don’t move six times before you learn the right way to do it!
Step 1→ Purge First: Before you even think about packing, take a few mornings or afternoons and go through your drawers, closets, cabinets- anything that could be a home to clutter, crap, or duplicates of anything you already have. If you haven’t worn it within the last year, are only keeping it for the sake of sentimental value, or haven’t taken it out of the box since you got it, purge! Donate! If you have a weekend on your hands, have a garage sale! Regardless, purge before you estimate how many boxes you will need, how many movers, and how many PODS/moving trucks.
Step 2→ Boxes: Cheaper boxes are harder to move. Spend the few extra dollars and invest in the boxes that have built in handles, but don’t worry about getting the heavy duty kind. Not only will they be easier to carry from floor to floor to moving truck to your new house, but they will also give you a more accurate idea of how heavy the box is going to be as you pack it. Luckily for you, these lifesavers can be found at Lowe's. Before you jump in your car, however, walk through each room and closet, take a look at the size, fragility, and weight of your belongings, and estimate how many small, medium, and large boxes you will need. Personally, I would rather start out small and make a few more trips to the store if needed then drag extra boxes around, but at the same time, I don’t think there is such a thing as “too many” boxes when you’re moving.
Step 3→ Breakables: Hold off on the bubble wrap (it can cost you $30 a roll) and line the bottom of your boxes with quilts, blankets, and pillows. While wrapping breakables in packing paper to avoid scratching is recommended, start with leftover holiday or birthday wrapping paper and newspaper first. Crinkle the paper to fill in gaps and awkward spaces and leave enough room to put another blanket on top. Not only will your extra or unnecessary bedding, living room throws, and couch pillows have a home, but your dishes and wine glasses will also survive the move in 1 piece.
Step 4→ Avoid Extra Work: Start packing the items you definitely won’t need (winter coats, duplicate kitchen supplies, photo albums, etc.) and work your way up to the everyday essentials. If you can, minimize the amount of pots, pans, utensils, towels, and even outfits you will use until moving day. When packing hanging clothes, keep everything on the hangers and put them directly in the box. I promise this will save you a few hours! Don’t worry about folding clothes, packing the hangers separate, and reorganizing everything in your new house. Keep items in your dresser and armoire as is but add some cling wrap to the top of each drawer to prevent everything from falling in between.
Step 5→ “Hey _____, what’s in this Box?”: Before you seal them, be sure to label every box with its contents, the room where it's going, and whether or not its fragile. Unless there is absolutely nothing that can break inside (I mean blankets, clothes, stuffed animals), write “Fragile” on it. Chances are, the movers are not going to be as careful as you would be, so just assume your boxes are going to be thrown around and put the seven golden letters on it in big, bold sharpie. When it's time to move into your new home, hang a sheet of paper on the door of each room so that the movers know where to put the boxes labelled “Alex’s bedroom.”
Feel better about the moving process and ready to start looking? Let us help you find your dream home.