Packing your stuff seems monumental. But try these tips to make the packing more peaceful for your soul.
- First, DECLUTTER. Now is the time to get rid of stuff you no longer need or want. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate stuff you haven’t used in a year. If you never wore that sweater all winter, most likely you won’t wear it again this winter. Many of us have way too many pots and pans. You tend to use the same kitchenware every day; keep that stuff and donate the rest. You can plan a yard sale to make money to help hire people to help you move or to buy a new piece of furniture for the next place.
- CREATE A PACKING STATION. No matter what you think, packing takes more time than you think. Having a packing station stocked with boxes, markers, newspaper, bubble wrap and sealing tape will make that job easier for everyone in your household. Talk to your local grocer or shop owner to get sturdy boxes. Wine boxes are extra sturdy and copier paper boxes from offices are great for files and books.
- BE MINDFUL. Pack light items in big boxes and heavy items in smaller ones. This will save your back and help out any volunteers you have that day to help. Keep your dresser drawers full; that’s the easy way to transport your clothing. And fill every suitcase with towels or clothes; don’t transport empty containers! Trash bags can be helpful to pack toys or stuffed animals and can fit into spaces on your moving truck that cannot be filled by boxes.
- LABEL EVERYTHING. When you seal the box, use a black permanent marker to list contents and the room where you want the box to go. When you have family and friends to help, it will make it easier for boxes to go where needed and for you to know which boxes to unwrap. Using different color markers might help too. Label urgent boxes (diapers, kitchenware, etc) with red, less urgent with black and items to store (collectibles, memorabilia) in green.
- PROTECT VALUABLES. There is nothing more distressing than moving to your new apartment or home to find your favorite vase smashed into pieces. To protect against heartbreak, invest in sturdy boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper. To wrap dishes, line boxes in bubble wrap and make sure you wrap each piece in paper towels, kitchen towels/dishcloths or tissue paper. Make sure to fill the box to the top so items don’t rattle around and break. Newspaper can fill those voids. Write FRAGILE on each box to alert any volunteer movers. Consider moving all fragile items in a separate car with your most trusted helper.
Good luck! Packing is a big job, but with some upfront planning and mindful tips, you can make the day a success.