No one ever said moving was easy. Packing your home for a move can be a pain in the neck! The process of gathering all of your things – typically far more things than you realized you ever had – and transferring them from one place to another is difficult at the best of times. The work is substantial and is rarely something that can be done quickly. However, there are ways to make your move a bit easier.
Knowing how to pack your home for a move can save a lot of time and energy on your part!
By packing with efficiency and attention to detail, you can make your move less stressful and faster overall. One of the things you will immediately start to realize once you start packing is having a lot more “stuff” than you realize. It is quite common for homeowners to significantly underestimate their possessions. For this reason, I present you with a guide on how to pack your house for a move!
Tips on Packing for a Move
Reduce your possessions – Depending on how long you have lived in your home and your personality; you may have accumulated a substantial amount of items. Not all of these are relevant, useful, or otherwise necessary to bring with you to your new place. By taking the time to go through your stuff and clean out the clutter now, you can reduce the number and volume of things that you have to pack.
You can break it down by room or even on a smaller level like closets and areas with different functions – office, kitchen, bathroom, etc. Go through each area and create four piles – donation, sell, keep and throw away. One of the things that make moving the most difficult is the accumulation of things that are no longer necessary. In our top tips for moving this is one of the things we stress first and foremost!
If you are in a hurry, you can even skip the selling part and go straight with a donation to a place like Goodwill or giveaway. Separate your stuff into each pile and then dispose of each pile according to its function.If you have friends, you may want to offer them first dibs on the piles you are not taking with you. In the end, you will have only a fraction of what you started with – things that you need to pack.
Create an inventory list – You do not need to list every single thing you own but having a list of your most valuable possessions is important. This becomes important not so much for the packing part of your move but when you are ready to unpack.
Get packing supplies – Boxes, bags, tape, bubble wrap, paper, scissors, box cutters, blankets – what you gather will depend on what you need to move. Just keep in mind that once you get going with the actual packing, you don’t want to waste time finding more packing materials. Most of this stuff is cheap, and it is better to have too much than too little. Going from task to task efficiently – De-clutter, gather packing materials, packing, moving, etc. – will help you avoid frustration and keep up your momentum. Get the materials you need now so this step is done.
Estimate and buy your boxes – Everybody packs a little differently, but some general rules are useful to know. Heavier things tend to go in smaller boxes while lighter things go in bigger boxes. So your collection of pewter mugs will be easier to carry when divided up into several smaller boxes while your blankets and comforter will work fine in a large box. There are moving calculators available online that can help you estimate your box needs. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a higher number of medium size boxes and less small and large boxes. Medium boxes will fit most items while there are only a few things that go well in larger boxes. Your need for smaller boxes will vary. One of the best places to buy boxes for a move is U-haul. Most people think of U-haul as just a place to rent a truck, but they offer a whole lot more when it comes to a do it yourself move.
Consider what you will need most – You don’t want to pack everything just based on where it is in your house. There are some things that you will need sooner than others once you arrive in your new home. Things like your most used kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies, food, computer, and medicine, may all be things you want quick access to. Set aside some boxes for essentials – things to unpack first, and fill them with the appropriate items. As much as you like to imagine yourself removing diligently immediately upon arrival, most people are too tired to unpack an entire house full of boxes on moving day. Prepare for this reality with priority boxes.
Set aside linens – Having your linens readily available will be imperative once you move into your new place unless of course, you don’t mind being in a sleeping bag! This will be one of the priority items for getting your beds set up.
Follow packing protocol – There is a right way to pack a box. Heavier items go on the bottom with medium weight and lighter weight following as you would expect. If the items are important to you, it is best to wrap them individually – as they will shift around and cause wear on each other. Fill the space, both on the bottom and at the top, to keep the items in place as much as possible. Both packing peanuts and paper can be used for this purpose.
Remember that you don’t want space at the top of the box. These will be stacked on top of each other, and space is easily crushed, caused the box to deform and possibly tear apart or expose your possessions to falling out or the elements. Some people prefer to use towels or light blankets instead of packing paper and peanuts.
Label your boxes – Label each box with what it contains and where it should go. The more detailed your label is the easier it will be to find what you are looking for. Again, you will probably not unpack everything the first day. The easier it is to see what is in each box the easier your life will be on the move. Also, make sure that labels are found on all sides of the box because not every box will be placed upright as it’s unloaded off of the truck.
Pack efficiently – Heavier items belong on the bottom, and the weight of all your things should be distributed evenly in the moving truck. This may take a bit of Tetris-like practice to get just right, but it is worth the time to prevent damage to your things. Make sure everything is secure and packed well before you take off in the truck.
Plan for your next destination – are you moving directly from your current place to your next destination or are you going to need to have your belongings in a storage facility? If you will be using a temporary storage make sure you check out the tips on how to choose a temporary storage unit. This guide is packed with good advice on selecting a storage facility that will match your needs and budget.
Don’t use trash bags – one of the mistakes a lot of people make when trying to pack for a move is using trash bags. You may be wondering why not? Often people will mistake a trash bag for something that should be thrown away, with something that shouldn’t. Obviously, this would be an unpleasant situation to avoid.
Take pictures – One of the things that I dread more than anything about moving is putting all of my electronics back together. Are you the type of person that looks at a television, cable box, DVD player and wonders how in the world you will be able to top to put this all back together at your new place? Without a doubt, I feel your pain! One of the best ways to help make setting everything back up again is to take pictures of what it looks like before dismantling it! Having a reference of something to look at will make this process far less cumbersome.
Tips on Unpacking From a Move
Keep your inventory list – Have your inventory list with you so that you can account for all of your most valuable possessions. Use your list and check them off as you unpack.
Essentials box first – The essentials we discussed above should be unloaded first. Get these items placed where you want them in your new home or somewhere where they can be easily accessed for now until you get organized.
Get the beds set up – Getting the beds set up along with the larger furniture in place should be one of the top priorities in unpacking from a move. This is where the lined packing tip above will become a real time saver.
Large furniture first – Your largest furniture should be put in place before you start to unpack the incidentals. This will make organizing everything go far more smoothly.
Bathrooms – The bathroom should be next on your agenda. This is one of the more high priority areas in a home for obvious reasons – taking a shower, brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, etc.
Unpack the family room – As far as priories go the last room of importance will be the family room or wherever you spend most of your time. If this is where you will be watching television on your favorite big screen getting this set up will be key. The rest of the rooms can follow from here.
Don’t forget the garage & deck – The last area for unpacking should be the garage, deck, and basement. While all of the things you will put into place in these regions are important, they typically are not needed on a day to day basis.
Once you have your home completely unpacked, don’t forget about all the things you should do after your move. For example changing the locks on your new place. You never know who the prior owners gave the key out to. It is always better to be safe than sorry. There is a whole list of things you should be doing – see these excellent tips!
Video on How to Pack Your Home For a Move
Take a look at this helpful video which walks you through the entire process on how to pack your house for a move. It includes tips such as setting up a packing station, how to tape the boxes correctly, how to use packing paper, how to handle glassware, how to pack delicate items such as mirrors and much more.
Additional Helpful Packing and Moving Articles:
- 33 brilliant moving tips via Buzzfeed.
- Top ten packing tips for your move via About.com
- Best tips for moving with pets via Maximum Real Estate Exposure.
- Making yourself at home after a move via HGTV.
Use these additional resources to make both packing and unpacking from your move go smoothly. When you are well organized the stress from moving can be reduced tremendously!
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on how to pack your house for a move was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 29+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.