Stress-Free Tips on How to Pack for a Move
Packing and moving to a new home may seem overwhelming, but it can be easier to handle when you start early and know your priorities. Several factors will impact your preparation – the size of your house and the number of items you have in it, the time of year, and special concerns such as pets, kids and elderly loved ones residing with you.
But there are some general moving and packing tips that are applicable to all types of households. You can save money, effort, time and supplies by considering these steps.
What to Do Before You Pack for a Move
Here are some moving tips to remember once you’ve decided to transfer to a new house and as soon as you know the earliest time you can settle into your new address.
Set your moving out date
As much as possible choose a date that will give you plenty of time to pack. Informing friends and family about your upcoming transfer is a good idea as you can ask for referrals to professional movers.
Set your budget and scout for the best moving company
You can use a moving cost calculator to have an idea of how much it would cost you to complete your transfer. Some moving companies charge lower for mid-day or mid-week moves. You can go for that option if that schedule is amenable to you. Search for professional movers in your area and check out the reviews about the services of each company.
Notify utility companies about your move
Once you’ve decided on your moving day, let your local power and water companies know about it so you don’t have to make unnecessary payments. At the same time, contact utility providers in your new place in advance so water, heating and power are ready for use once you arrive at your new home.
Get your house cleaned up
A brief clean may be necessary to make it easier for you to decide what items to take with you to your new home. But more than that, tidying up makes your home ready for the next renter or a potential buyer.
How to Pack for a Move
Here are some tips to make your packing a productive part of your moving process. Designate a “staging area” for your boxed-up items as the day of your move draws near.
Do it one room at a time
List down your rooms or the areas of your studio apartment. Then take an inventory of each room or area and decide which items to keep, donate or get rid of.
Prepare your supplies
Before you start packing, get ready with packing supplies such as packing paper, sturdy packing boxes and tape, labels and bubble wrap.
Give yourself plenty of time to pack
Moving companies suggest that you start preparing for your transfer six to eight weeks before your departure, although actual packing can start about three to four weeks before the date.
While a moving company’s experienced packers may take only two hours to finish packing items in a room, packing for non-professionals may take four to six hours. But one thing’s for sure – the more ready you are for moving day, the less you have to pay extra for hourly paid movers.
Start with less essential rooms first
Begin your packing process in areas of the home where there’s not much activity or only a few items are picked up for use every day. This can include your guest room, basement, attic, garage, study and laundry room. Packing can be done later in the highly used areas such as the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathroom.
Begin with rarely used and decorative items first
Once you’ve set your sequence for tackling rooms or spaces, you can start packing stuff that you’re sure you won’t need again until after the move. They include items like non-seasonal clothes, spare blankets, souvenirs, photo frames and albums, books, toys and other collections, crockery and rarely used kitchenware as well as holiday decor. You can also pack vases, artwork, sculptures, trophies and other breakables that don’t need to be displayed during the last weeks in your current home.
Essential furniture, most used kitchen appliances, as well as tools and cleaning supplies can be packed in the mid to latter weeks before your move.
Other Packing Tips
Learning how to pack for a move involves knowing the right way to combine objects inside packing boxes. When you have enough time to pack, you can apply these techniques to get the most out of your packing supplies.
Use right-sized moving boxes and load them correctly
Pack bulky and lighter items in large boxes and heavy or fragile items in small boxes. When using a large box for a mix of items, put in the heavy items at the bottom and the lighter items on top.
Add padding material such as packing peanuts inside moving boxes if necessary, especially for delicate items. Also, use clothing, packing paper or blankets to fill in every little bit of empty space as movers won’t move boxes that feel loosely packed.
Don’t over-stuff boxes to prevent injuring yourself, family members or the movers. In case you do have heavy moving boxes, mark them clearly.
Label your boxes
Label each box with its contents and the room it’s supposed to go to. This will help you locate every box more easily during unpacking after you’ve moved to your new home. Put a special label or write the word “fragile” on each box with delicate items inside.
It would also help to take a picture of what’s inside every box, so you have a general idea of what you’ll find inside. This will also come in handy in case something gets broken or lost during the move. You may also want to use free mobile apps that can help you categorise and keep track of your boxes.
Use plastic wrap for items that may break or spill
You can use plastic wrap to pack dishes. But first use packing paper to wrap each dish before using the bubble wrap to cover sets of five or six dishes. When you pack them inside the box, don’t lay them flat but let them stand on their side.
Meanwhile, you can also place cups inside bowls, with paper in between, before wrapping sets of three or four in bubble wrap. On the other hand, glasses should go into boxes with cardboard dividers and plastic wrap or towels underneath and above them for protection.
Put large pots and sealable containers to use by filling them with small items such as spice bottles and gadgets. Towels and linens make good padding for this cookware.
Bubble wrap can secure the lids of shampoo, liquid soap or dishwashing liquid bottles, keeping boxes dry during transit.
Pack furniture and appliances with protective material
All furniture should be wrapped in protective padding or covers – not your rip-prone spare linens – to prevent them from sustaining scratches during the move. You can use heavy-duty stretch wrap around the facade of cabinets to prevent drawers from opening.
When possible, disassemble furniture pieces that can come apart. Pack the bolts, screws and other small items in a Ziplock bag and remember where you keep them. You can also ask your moving company if it offers furniture packing as part of their service.
It’s also advisable to pack appliances like your TV in the box that it came with.
Pack clothes in wardrobe boxes
There are special wardrobe boxes that allow you to hang clothes inside. You can also leave them inside the dressers if they won’t make it too heavy to move. Otherwise, take out the drawers with the clothes inside from the dresser frame, then wrap each drawer in plastic wrap.
Don’t pack valuables and personal items
Keep your wallet, phone, charger, car keys, medication, basic tools for assembly and personal documents in a moving essentials bag. Use a duffle bag or suitcase to pack a couple of change of clothes good for two days, toilet paper and toiletries.
Have another bag handy for basic assembly tools and some cleaning supplies if they won’t fit in your suitcase. This will make it easier for you to get by at your new home as you start unpacking.
Take a photo of your electronics before you disassemble them
You may need these pictures as references when you have to set up your TV and other electronics at your new house.
Follow the “last on, first off” rule
The boxes containing things that you’ll need to find easily should be loaded onto your movers’ truck last so you can find them easily once you start unloading and unpacking.
Getting Rid of Stuff
When you do a room inventory for your moving and packing process, sort your belongings into three categories: what you’ll take with you, what you no longer need, and what you can give away. You’re likely to do the most purging in your closet and kitchen where many unused items have accumulated.
The discard pile should include any article of clothing you haven’t worn in a year, won’t buy again, doesn’t fit, or has gone out of style. If you’re donating old household goods, clothes or toys, you can reach out to charities or thrift shops, which may volunteer to pick up the items if you contact them.
Items that Movers Won’t Transport
Professional movers won’t accept certain items for transport due to their flammable properties. They include items like aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, alcohol, gas in tanks or bottles, paints, varnishes, thinners, cleaning products like ammonia and bleach, pool chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers. Batteries, nail polish and remover and firearms are also part of this list.
If you need to move plants, ask your moving company and check interstate regulations to make sure you follow quarantine regulations.
Saving Money on Your Move
You can reduce costs or at least minimise additional fees from companies with these packing tips for moving:
Schedule your move during the off-peak days and seasons
You can save money by timing your move between Monday and Thursday or sometime mid-month. That’s because many house owners take advantage of the weekend break while renters usually move out during the first few days or end of the month after their rental contracts expire.
Also, it’s advisable to move outside the school holidays, which many parents prefer to prevent kids from missing any classes, and during spring and autumn to avoid the heat and other unwelcome weather conditions.
Hold a sale
Organise a garage sale to sell the items you no longer use and need. This will reduce the number of items to pack for your move besides earning money on the side. You can also advertise them on online sales sites like Gumtree if you can’t hold a physical yard sale.
Check your moving company’s insurance policy
It’s wise to choose a mover that will offer insurance coverage as some items may likely get damaged. Some movers exclude coverage for self-packed items, so be sure to ask.
Use everything you have in your pantry and fridge
To save money on food costs before your move date, check what’s in your pantry, refrigerator and other storage containers. Cook and eat them so there’s little to no food that you need to get rid of. If you wish, you can donate non-perishable food to your local food bank. Check our article about moving the fridge.
Last-Minute Moving Hacks
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned and you may forget to prepare for certain situations. Here are some tips to help you cope:
Use trash bags and plastic bins
When you’re in a rush, trash bags are a great alternative to boxes, and they may hold more than boxes do. Pick strong and sturdy types to pack non-fragile items or to cover clothes on hangers. Meanwhile, stackable and reusable boxes are waterproof and don’t need to use tape. This makes them ideal packing materials for winter moves.
Ask friends and family for help
Call your friends or relatives for assistance when you move. Just be sure you know and tell them exactly the extent of the help you need. You can order a meal for them or give them something to show your appreciation.
Have a checklist of everything that will go on the moving truck
Have your own list of each box that needs to go with you for the relocation even if you may have already sent one to your mover when you asked for a quote. A moving checklist will make it easier to determine if anything was left out when the moving team comes and takes inventory of what will get loaded on the moving truck.
Consider renting a storage unit
Going for storage services might help if you need to move on short notice and you need a temporary home for all your items. This is also an option if you have a small space or when you have plenty or large items that you’re not quite decided yet whether to keep, sell or give away. You can retrieve your items once you’ve settled in your new home and then sort them sans the pressure.
Make Sydney Moving Part of Your Home Transfer
Sydney Moving can provide the support you need to make your packing and moving efforts a success. Besides sharing these tips on how to pack for a move, we give our clients access to an unlimited number of moving boxes. Moreover, we come prepared with protective fabric and strapping material to safely transport your furniture.
Contact us today to know more about our fixed and hourly rates.