We are up to our eyeballs in boxes. It’s a little overwhelming. While no one enjoys moving, I have done this whole packing your life away into boxes thing enough times to have it kind of down to a science. It’s a beast of a project but if you put a little extra organization in during the packing process, it makes unpacking your life a million times easier. So here it is, my top 10 tips for packing like a boss.
- Have a plan: the best way to attack any project is to have a plan, and I knew that with this being my first time moving with a toddler underfoot I would definitely need it. So I created a plan that included a firm start date, list of necessities and an actionable plan as far as how I wanted to get everything packed away without losing my mind. I decided that starting the first of month would be my deadline for getting started. And with trying to juggle a family, do most of the packing, and still manage a blog, my packing times would be limited to evenings. By having my packing plan already figured out by my start date it gave me a bit of control back to an already stressful situation.
- Purge: take advantage of going through all of your stuff and purge! It’s a chance go through and let go of all of those items you realize you either never use or haven’t touched in ages. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t touched it in a year then I need to let it go (exception to the rule: saving for specific reasons, like future kids, etc). And even when the fear of one day I may possibly need it rears its ugly head I am reminded that there is this fancy thing called Amazon. It can be replaced if needed. But keep in mind the less you keep the less you have to pack. I’m just sayin’…
- Color coding is your friend: I have found that one of the easiest tricks with packing for a move is color coding your rooms. Give each room in your house a specific color and then make sure each box is clearly marked with their designated room color (ie: dining room = orange). Simple but so effective. This will make your life a million times easier when it comes to unloading your boxes. You, and whoever is helping you unpack, will be so glad you did it.
- Keep an inventory: I wish I could tell you I have done this with each of our moves, but this will actually be my first doing this. And now that I’m halfway through packing our house, I am kicking myself for not having done this sooner! Grab yourself a notepad and number each box (I decided to go with a numbering system), and list every single item that goes into that specific box. It may sound a bit tedious, but it makes finding your items effortless. Need to know where you packed your sewing kit? Refer to your inventory sheet and within minutes you know exactly which box it’s in! Bonus: it’s also great to have as a reference guide in case any boxes go missing during the move.
- Label your boxes: After making the list of them items on my inventory sheet, I copy the items onto a label and adhere it to the side of the box. This may seem like an extra step since you went to the trouble of making an inventory sheet, but labeling your boxes is just as important. That way, heaven forbid anything happen to your inventory, you still have an idea of where your items are in the sea of boxes.
- Wrap with what you have, and then wrap some more: rather than going out and buying a lot of newspaper or bubble wrap for my breakable items, I like to use up what we already have on hand. Think: towels, old throw pillows, blankets, plastic grocery bags, old wrapping paper, oven mitts. These things have to be packed or thrown out anyway so you might as well make good use out of them!
- Speaking of fragile: try and pack as many fragile items with other fragile items as possible. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but in my experience, less fragile items break when I pack them with other fragile items. Their individual padding works together for double padding! And for fragile items, the more padding the better right?!
- Don’t be afraid to delegate: packing up your life is a big job and can be crazy overwhelming. So don’t feel like you have to take it on all by yourself. This is a time to grab family and friends that love you and ask for an extra set of hands. Even if all you need them to do is watch the baby for an hour or wrap up a few breakable items. A lot of the time your loved ones are eager to help if for no other reason than it gives them more time to spend with you before your big move.
- Know where your boxes come from: one of the great things about announcing your big move is people instantly want to offer up boxes. It’s great because boxes can add up really fast! But just keep in mind where your boxes are coming from. While it may be tempting to go raid the back of a store drop off to steal all of their old cardboard boxes, I wouldn’t recommend it. Take it from a traumatized Florida girl, germs and bugs love cardboard boxes and you don’t want any stowaways joining on your trip.
- Give yourself plenty of time: if you can avoid it, don’t add to the stress of moving by waiting till the last minute to pack up your whole life. It will make your move so much smoother if you can pack items away little by little. Then before you know it, you’ll have your house packed up and be ready for your move stress-free!
Moving is very emotional and stressful, but by putting a little extra work in the beginning it doesn’t have to completely overwhelm you. I’m just glad to be halfway done with our packing. I can finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is glorious! Hallejuah!
What about you?! What are your favorite moving tips and tricks? You know I always love to hear new ideas. Let’s chat in the comments below!