Having recently moved, I can attest to how much work moving can really be. From my experience, of which I was reminded with this move, it’s often more time-consuming and physically demanding than one might think at the outset. It even took some time away from this blog, so I’m glad to be back!
While some level of work and effort is going to be a part of every move no matter what, there are ways to make it less stressful and somewhat easier. Some of these I did apply to our recent move, and some of them I didn’t but wish I did. Here goes:
The days where I can move things on my own are long gone. Sure, moving on your own might work when in college or getting your first apartment when younger. However, as we get older, we accumulate more stuff. Some of it, such as furniture and beds, gets to be less temporary and more long-term in our lives when older. Thus, there is more total weight we need to move.
Additionally, as we get older, we’re just not as strong as when younger – particularly joints, muscle resiliency, etc. In particular, our lower backs can get injured.
These are all reasons to hire movers instead of taking a DIY approach to moving.
Start Packing Well-Ahead of Time
I think this is ultra-important when asking the question of how to pack for a move. We did start packing about 14 days in advance of moving. However, that was simply not enough. We needed to have the movers help pack. Even when you set aside weekends to pack, there are always things that come up that require your attention – particularly if you have kids!
I would recommend starting to pack at least 1 month in advance, if you don’t want to have movers pack. If you have been in the same place for many years, have kids, etc – these are all variables that could make this time even longer. It just depends on your situation, but start a month ahead of time at the least.
Don’t Hesitate to Have Movers Pack
Okay, so I just gave a tip above this on packing well in advance to avoid using movers for packing. Fine. But if you have a ton to pack, it can be a lot of work and more wear and tear on your body than you realize. It’s okay to spend a little bit of money to get your time and energy back, and have them do some packing for you. Maybe not all, particularly personal items, but some packing.
Take Pictures of the Layout of Your New Place
In advance of moving, perhaps you can take pictures of the rooms in the place you’re about to move to. Additionally, do some measurements of different areas of the rooms. Doing these two things can help you plan for where your things will go in the new home. This will help us with the next tip.
Label Your Boxes
When moving, don’t throw things into unmarked boxes and think that it’s easy to remember which box goes where. I’d strongly recommend marking each box and labeling according to which room they will go to. If movers are helping with packing, ask them to label boxes based on where they got the stuff in your existing house. Stay on them to do this. Mine didn’t fully do this, and it created some hassles for us.
Pack Your Valuables Separately
I noticed a mover looking through on old coin collection of mine, which happened to be a binder with pages of coin holders. He then asked me if they were worth a lot. Now, I realize we’re all human and have our curiosities of different things, but this is not what I would want someone doing. I did pack other personal items separately, but not this one. Now, nothing bad happened, but it was a reminder that would pack all personal valuables separately.
Set aside an overnight bag
After a day of moving, it’s not easy to go through boxes for clothes, supplies, etc. Pack a bag of clothes and toiletries for the first night and perhaps the second as well.
Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need
Before moving, be sure to go through everything and find a way to get rid of things you don’t need. If you haven’t used something in quite a while, such as over a year, it’s very likely that you don’t need it. There are some exceptions of course, particularly sentimental items such as pictures and the like. But don’t hold on to clutter. Throw it out. Even better, if you can donate it to an organization that can find better use for it and will pick up, consider doing that.
Use clothes pack breakable items and blankets to help
You could always purchase bubble wrap, but a cheaper alternative might be to use items of older clothing to help cushion certain breakable items. Things such as plates and glasses come to mind immediately.
Put immediate-use items in separate, well-labled box or bin
By this, I mean things such as silverware, plates, toilet paper, paper towels, and the like. Plastic utensils and paper plates may be good to have on hand as well.
This is a list of 10 tips that come to mind, based on personal experience. I’m sure I could come up with another 10 or 20, but this is a good start.
My Questions for You
Have you used any of these moving tips in the past?
What are some other suggestions you might have for people who are moving?