Packing is a rite of passage. Sometimes it’s really meaningful, like when you pack to move to college. And other times it’s just that thing you have to do to move into your new place. But it almost always takes longer than you think, makes you more sore than you think, and costs more than you think. What steps can you take to make packing easier? Let’s talk packing tips.
5. It’s All About Mindset
Before the first box is filled, it’s worth getting your head straight. Packing is an operation that when done right makes unpacking much easier. When done wrong, it makes the whole operation a mess. The proper mindset for packing when you’re moving an apartment, home, or office is to plan, plan, plan. Packing is ultimately grunt work but that doesn’t mean we have to approach it like a bunch of grunts. That’s why we…
4. Plan Like a General
The military has to be very concerned with maintaining lines of supply. They have to be good about setting up and breaking down camp. They’re good because they plan. And you should too. Your task is to leave one space and to occupy a new space. If that space happens to be a storage unit, your approach will be different than if you’re moving to a new apartment, home, or office. Ultimately you want to plan with an eye towards the future. The more decisions you make before packing, moving, and unpacking happens, the easier the entire move will be.
3. Think of Logistics like IKEA and UPS
Lists and spreadsheets are your friends. Take stock of your major items. Note where they are in your current space and where they will be in the new space. Repeat for as much of your other items as you can. It’s not necessary to be OCD about it, but thoroughness is a good idea. Taking stock of your items will help you find the items you want to give/dontate/throw away, and will help you categorize your items by priority.
There’s a high likelihood that if you’re moving a home that the majority of items in one room will go in the same place in the new home (kitchen stuff goes in the kitchen, for instance) but you are going to identify some things that are going in new places in the new space.
When you pack your home, pack it by where it’s headed. If you pack for the room where it will be unpacked, you will find that unpacking is much easier.
Oh, and label everything clearly. Use colors. Anything to help you identify where something goes at a glance.
2. Use the Right Equipment
If you’ve been serious about creating a plan, you’ll have a good idea of your tape, packing material, and box needs. Price this out a few weeks before your move so you can find the best price and have the items on hand when packing begins. Nothing slows down a job like not having necessary items on hand. Don’t forget to get tape guns and box cutters. If you’re thinking about using free boxes from Costco, see our recommendations first.
1. Know Your Limits
For some reason, packing seems to be one of those places where people love to save money. I think it has something to do with the fact that it feels like a chore to begin with. But nothing says “that was a bad idea” quite like months of treating lower back pain because you could get the sofa down the stairs, no problem. If you find yourself with heavy furniture, or heavy furniture that needs to go down flights of steps, consider bringing in the pros. Professional movers know how to handle large equipment and are also insured against damage.
If you don’t have time to properly pack your items, that’s also the time to call in professional movers. The expense is far outweighed in peace of mind, the muscles that aren’t aching and sore from days of packing, and in freeing up your own time to do other things.
If you plan, get the right tools, and call in the pros for the big things, you should have no problems packing for your move.