Moving Tips: How to Pack Up for Your Move

Packing your stuff and moving is always difficult. If you need to move, there is no time for sentiment. You’ve got to start packing as soon as possible.

1. Donate all you can before the move.
It costs money to pack stuff, lift stuff, load stuff, and store stuff. If you want to save money on your move, get rid of unnecessary stuff. As soon as you even think you might move, you’ll want to start dropping things off at your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charity. If you have large items like furniture to donate, you may be able to arrange for a truck to come and pick up your items.

2. Use up or dispose of inexpensive items like toilet paper and paper towels. There is no reason to pay expensive movers to haul inexpensive replaceable things. If you can replace an item very cheaply at a dollar store or discount retailer, you should consider getting rid of it to lighten the load.

3. Dispose of all household chemicals except for the final cleanup supplies. Over the years, cleaning supplies collect under your kitchen sink and breed. On moving day, you won’t have time to deal with cleaning materials that you don’t really need. If you are a renter, you’ll need to concentrate on getting your stuff out of your apartment and cleaning the place so that you can recover your deposit.

4. Over-estimate the number of boxes and moving pads that you need. There’s nothing worse than running out of boxes on the evening before your movers arrive. It’s far better to overestimate the number of boxes, dishpacks, wardrobers, and moving pads that you’ll need. If you don’t have enough moving pads, your furniture may not be adequately protected from the natural jostling that occurs on a moving truck’s voyage.

5. Buy More Tape.
You’ll also need a lot more packaging tape, bubble wrap, and shrink wrap than you think. Buy lots of boxes and packaging supplies well in advance so that you can pack like a fiend. Otherwise, you’ll end up shoving stuff into garbage bags or packing while movers are in your home. Don’t forget to buy rope and twine so that the movers can secure your stuff in the moving truck.

6. Wrap Your Breakables.
Use liberal amounts of tissue paper, bubble wrap, and shrink wrap to fully wrap and cushion your breakable valuables. Use towels and tissue paper to separate insulate layers of breakables in a dish pack.

7. Don’t mix heavy unbreakable items with breakable items. If you have book ends, statues, decorative rocks, and other heavy unbreakable decor items, don’t pack them in the same boxes as lightweight fragile items.

8. Label Your Boxes. You’ll want to label your boxes so that movers can put things in the right rooms. However, you don’t want to be too specific about your labels. For example, labels like “Comic Books, ” “Baseball Card Collection” or “Jewelry” might cause a box or two to “fall off” your truck. Label your boxes to ensure that they make it into the right room. Number your boxes so that you can get an inventory of your possessions and account for everything that goes onto and comes off of your moving truck.

9. Create a Home Inventory.
Professional movers will examine your furniture and note if it has dents and dings. If you want to make a claim for new dents and dings, you’ll need some documentation. A move is a good time to make a home inventory. Be sure to take pictures of all your furniture and document its condition. Take pictures and record the make, model, and serial numbers of other valuable items like televisions and appliances.

If you follow these tips and don’t get sidetracked looking at old photo albums, you can get your stuff packed and ready for the movers.

Other articles by this contributor:
Test Drive: Penske 26-foot International Diesel Moving Truck
Seven Things Not to Do While Living in an Apartment
Five Tips for Keeping Your Job

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