On the grand list of life’s most stressful moments, moving often takes the top spot. As if relocating isn’t stressful enough, certain moves call for an extra-hurried timetable. Fortunately, these packing tips for moving help keep anxiety at bay when the clock is ticking.
1. Sort Through Your Stuff
When it comes to moving, the less you have to pack, the quicker the process. Using a room-to-room approach, sort through all your belongings and separate them into three piles: things to keep, things to sell, and things to throw away. Plan a garage sale for all your “sell” items, and donate anything that remains to your local Goodwill. Besides making the packing process quicker, a lighter load makes a smaller dent in your moving budget.
2. Establish a Packing Station
Wondering how to pack efficiently for your last minute move? Consider making one area of your home a packing station, whether it’s a guest room or a little-used corner. For quick and easy packing, stock this area with cardboard boxes of varying sizes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, packing paper, scissors, and black markers. Once a box is packed, tape it up, mark the contents, and move it to a holding area in the basement or garage.
3. Make a Packing Plan
If you’re a first-timer, you may not know how to pack for a move. It helps to make a plan. Start with the belongings you use the least, such as books and fine china, and make sure to pack light items in bigger boxes and heavy items in smaller ones.
Mark the boxes you will need first with special stickers, and use an easy-access clothes hamper for day one items like sheets, towels, and pillows. David LoPresti, Director at Moving Help, suggests stuffing a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, and important documents into a small duffel bag and taking it with you in the car or in the cab of your moving truck.
4. Get Creative with Clothing
When it’s crunch time, it’s good to know how to pack clothes for moving. The easiest way is to keep clothing on hangers and in drawers. Place several garments from your closet in a sturdy garbage bag and loop the bag’s ties around the tops of the hangers. Instead of investing in expensive garment boxes, lay the bagged clothing flat in a roomy car trunk or in the back of a station wagon or SUV. LoPresti recommends leaving clothing in dresser drawers and wrapping them with stretch wrap to prevent them from opening during a move, as taping drawers and cabinet doors shut can harm the finish.
5. Save Money on Boxes
To save a little money while moving, take advantage of U-Haul’s Take a Box, Leave a Box program. After a move, people bring usable boxes to their local U-Haul establishment, and others can pick them up for free and drop them at any U-Haul dealer when a move is complete. You can also find sturdy boxes at local grocery stores and liquor stores.
6. Ask for Help
If you’re in a hurry to move, nothing saves time like asking for help. From packing and labeling boxes to running for supplies, there are lots of ways that friends and family can make moving easier. Reward any helpers for a job well done with pizza and beverages.
7. Follow More Advice for a Quick and Easy Move
According to David LoPresti, you can never have too many furniture pads while moving, so make sure your movers provide plenty. If moving yourself, use old sheets, blankets, and beach towels to prevent items from shifting while on the road, or rent moving pads from your local U-Haul dealer.
After taking furniture apart, keep track of nuts and bolts by fastening them to the furniture frame with a few layers of stretch wrap. Mark every box on at least two sides with the contents of the box and the room in the new home where the box belongs. If loading your own truck, work in sections, and load items from the floor up with the heaviest items first.