It goes without saying that moving is often a hectic, stressful event. Whether your destination is only a few blocks away or on the other side of the globe, the sheer number of tasks involved in actually transporting all of your belongings there takes its toll on even the most patient of people.
Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can minimize the hassle, and most of them have to do with what is arguably the biggest chore in the whole process: packing. For most people, the thought of preparing even a suitcase for a short trip can be enough to deter them from the whole endeavor. Packing – and, for that matter, unpacking – an entire apartment or house, however, is an experience on an entirely different level. The most important fact to remember is that a little planning and organizing go a long way towards ensuring a carefree mind come moving day. With that in mind, here are some tips which should save you a lot of time and bother.
Prepare ahead of time
It is very useful to create a checklist prior to packing. This will help you keep track of the most important objects, which should, ideally, be taken care of first. Eating utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, phone and laptop chargers, and essential medications should be a top priority, since these are the things you will most likely need as soon as you arrive to your new home. Many people also choose to pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes, just in case.
It is crucial that you prepare appropriate boxes with clear labels in advance. Include information about ownership, as well as which room of your new apartment or house the box in question will go to. This will save precious time when you have to unpack and settle in. Think about investing in a roll of stretch wrap, which will help you group together boxes with similar contents or those which belong in the same room.
Finally, always make sure you have an adequate supply of packing materials. You do not want to run out of boxes or tape when in the middle of packing, do you?
If it is possible, devote an entire day to packing. Start early in the day – it is always better to have time to spare.
If you live in a house, the first floor which you should pack should be the attic, while the basement ought to be saved for last. Always focus on a single room or floor at a time, and stick to your schedule. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; as we said before, packing your entire home can be daunting. Time will simply fly by if you have a team of people at your side.
An important tip often given by moving crews is that you should pack heavier items in smaller boxes, so that they are easier to handle. Lighter items like clothes and linen should go in larger boxes. You should also remember never to fill the boxes completely – leave at least an inch or two of space. Tightly packed boxes are difficult to carry and prone to opening or tearing mid-move, which is the last thing you want to happen.
All dangerous materials, such as bleach, cleaning products, paints, nail polish and aerosol cans, should be packed separately, preferably in bubble-wrap-lined boxes so as to minimize damage to the containers during transport.
Breakables, like lamps or mirrors, should be individually packed. Again, bubble wrap is your friend; it will save you time and worry during the move, since several layers of it can protect even the most fragile of objects.
Important documents, such as passports, contracts, and birth and marriage certificates, should be kept together and in a safe spot, preferably somewhere where you can easily reach them at all times.
If you often have problems hooking up electronic devices, a great idea is to take a photo or make a diagram of the connections. This will make it that much simpler to reconnect the devices when your move is over.
Lastly, make sure your packing is complete before the movers arrive. Always check that all your boxes are securely taped, and inspect all nooks and crannies for missed items. You wouldn’t want to arrive at your new home only to find out you forgot something, right?
Packing – in reverse
An important thing to note about unpacking is that, in most cases, you will have plenty of time to complete it. Not everything needs to be unpacked at once; the process can take several days or more. Still, when it comes to perishables and items which need special storage, do not wait too long, otherwise your items will spoil.
When you and your items finally get to your destination, first unpack the essentials – toiletries, medications, towels, eating utensils, and chargers. Ideally, the kitchen items should follow, then the bedrooms and the living room, followed by the bathroom; leave the least important rooms, like the garage or basement, for last.
If your move is completed later in the day or if you have a busy afternoon and are unable to unpack the bedrooms, do not worry. All that you need are clean linens and pillows, and you can sleep on mattresses instead. Even though it might be a tad uncomfortable, remember that this is only a temporary solution, for a single night. It is much smarter to begin unpacking the bedrooms earlier in the day than to start in the evening and finish early in the morning. Quality sleep is precious, especially after a huge event such as a move.
One last tip: when it comes to furniture, it is always a good idea to have a floor plan and to know exactly where each item will go. In the early stages, you should be able to rearrange furniture with relative ease. Therefore, always make sure that satisfied with the layout of beds, sofas, tables, chairs, wardrobes, drawers, and other items of furniture before you proceed unpacking clothes and other lighter items. Finding out that you are unhappy with the placement of a bulky piece of furniture you already filled with other items is something you most certainly do not want nor need this late in the move. Once you finish unpacking, take some well-earned time to relax and enjoy your new living space! Watch your favorite movie, invite friends over, or just spend some quality time with other members of your family in your new home – the choice is entirely up to you.