How to Pack for Your Move

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Real Estate

I think we can all agree that one of the most stressful events in life would be moving. Yes, it's certainly exciting, but the anxiety over getting everything packed in time for the movers, not leaving anything behind, not breaking any valuables, and trying to figure out where everything will go in the new house can be stressful. But don't worry! I've got some quick tips that will have you packing like a pro in no time.

First...You need to come up with a plan!

A hand holds a pen over a small notebook open to a page with a checklist and boxes 

You're going to want several lists to help you stay organized. For instance, maybe make a "To Pack" list and then a couple of "To Do" lists. Why more than one To Do list? You'll want one for the week of the move and one for the day of the move. You obviously don't want to forget anything, and planning everything ahead of time will help you figure out how much time you'll need to get everything done.

Next...utilize this as an opportunity to get rid of stuff!

An old typewriter has piece of paper with the word DONATIONS typed across the top

Here's a fun story! Adam and I first moved to Florida in 2005. One of the things I packed for the trip was a convection oven we had registered for and received as a gift at our wedding shower in 2004. We had never even opened the box! It went on the moving truck. In 2006, we got homesick and decided to move back to NY. Guess went on the moving truck again in it's original STILL UNOPENED box? Yep, the oven. When we decided to move back here again for good in 2007, there was no way I was packing that oven again. And guess what? We still hadn't used it! 

So if you have a bunch of stuff you've been holding onto, but you can't see yourself ever using it, trust me when I tell you a move is the perfect time to get rid of it!

Third...Figure out what you'll be moving on your own.

Stacks of colorful China dishes

Not that you shouldn't trust your movers, but I'm sure there are things you own that are very meaningful to you. When we moved (to FL, back to NY, and then back to FL), I took all our Christmas stuff in our car all three times. I knew I'd be more careful, and I guess I figured that if anything happened to any of my precious ornaments or dishes, I'd have no one to blame except me...or Adam. 

Also, you may be forced to take some stuff on your own because some moving companies won't take plants or liquids.

Finally, label smartly!

A man is moving from his apartment and is lifting one large black box to place atop another

Ok, if you want things to go smoothly when you get to your new house, label your moving boxes with the room they will be going TO, not where they are coming from. If you were moving yourself, it may not matter, but if movers are in charge, make life easy for them. Don't make them guess where you want the box of books. 

Some moving companies make life easy for you by giving you color-coded floor plans, so red might be the kitchen, green the master bedroom, blue is the living room, etc. All you need to do is put a sticker on the box, and the movers know by the color of the sticker where the box needs to go. 

If you have fragile items, write the word FRAGILE all over the box. Since you won't know how the boxes will be placed in the moving truck, it's better to cover all bases and make sure that no matter how the boxes are loaded, the fragile ones stand out.

WAIT! Bonus tip!

One last thing...and you can steal this tip for a move or even the holidays. I have learned to take a picture of my Christmas stuff and how it's been put away in cabinets and how it's arranged for display. This makes my life so much easier when it's time to put up the decorations every year AND when it's time to take them down. You can steal this trick for your move. For example, let's say you have a piece of furniture you use to display dishes, mementos and heirlooms. You just love how it all looks, and you want to make sure the display is the same in your new home...snap a pic!

Hope all of these tips help you the next time you need to pack up your home.

One last ting I'd say is that through all the stress, anxiety, and bittersweet sadness that accompany a move, remember that a move usually is a happy beginning to a new chapter in your life. Good luck in your new home!