Before every move is a flurry of packing, and for many families this is the most difficult part of the process. It’s certainly the most time and energy-consuming, but there are ways to streamline packing and gain back some of that precious time.
If you’re about to move and are already dreading packing, we’ve got six packing tips to help you box up your belongings like a pro.
1) Take Special Precautions for Those Tricky Items
Benefit: Avoid damaging expensive, fragile belongings.
While most of your stuff can go in general moving boxes, some things need a bit more consideration. Here are a few examples:
- Dishware and glassware – Dishware breaks easily if it isn’t packed properly. Wrap each dish or glass in paper or padding. When placing dishes in a box, pack them on their sides, as they tolerate weight and pressure better in this position. Fill up the box with packing material to provide extra padding. And consider using a dish barrel box, as this provides each glass with its own compartment, which means they won’t bang together.
- Refrigerator – Your refrigerator will need some prepping in advance of moving day. The goal is to thoroughly defrost it before loading it on the truck. If the ice melts during transit, it’s going to make a mess.
First, remove all food and store that separately. Then, unplug the fridge or set it to defrost (if it’s manual). At this point, you can be hands off – resist the urge to scrap ice off of anything, as this can damage the fridge.
Although most refrigerators will be defrosted within 12 hours, it can take up to 24 hours in some cases. Plan ahead and make sure there are towels around the appliance to soak up water.
- Fine art – The trick with moving paintings and other fine art is to handle them as little as possible. Even a little skin oil is enough to leave a lasting smudge, and if the canvas presses against any edge or point, it can leave a dent or a tear.
Wrap the frame in bubble wrap or foam and place the artwork in a cardboard box that’s marked fragile. Load the artwork so that it’s standing up and secure it in a place where nothing can move.
All artwork should be unloaded and kept in a climate controlled space as soon as possible to avoid damage from excess heat or humidity.
- A television – The best way to move a television is to use the box and padding that it came in. If that’s not available, place the TV in a box slightly larger than the television itself and fill the rest of the space with packing material. Ideally, this box would be placed inside another, slightly larger box for extra protection.
Televisions may sustain damage if they are laid down flat, so make sure yours is upright during transit.
2) Utilize Things at Home to Pack
Benefit: Save money on packing supplies while keeping fragile items safe.
You’ll likely need to invest in some quality packing materials to ensure a smooth move, but some of what you’ll need can be found around the house. For example, blankets and linens are excellent box padding options. Towels can work in the same way. Hand towels and washcloths can be used to wrap up knives (the sharp end) and then those can be banded together with a couple hair bands or rubber bands.
3) Coordinate Your Packing by Room
Benefit: Simplify the unpacking process and minimize confusion.
Chances are, you’ll have even less energy for unpacking. To minimize unpacking-related frustration and make the process as painless as possible, pack everything according to what room it will go into. When it’s time to unload, you can start by sorting everything by room, which will make the job a lot less intimidating.
Label each box for easy visual reference. The classic approach is to write out the room that the box goes to. You can also use color-coordinated packing tape as an alternative – so you don’t have to scramble for markers – or you can use colored stickers.
4) Establish an Area Just for Packing Purposes
Benefit: Save time and energy by organizing your packing efforts.
Designate a room, or at least part of a room, for packing purposes only. As things need to be packed, they can be brought to the room and sorted for orderly boxing. If you’ve got an entire family on the job, one or two people can do the boxing and taping while everyone else collects things for packing.
5) Know How to Fill a Moving Box Properly
Benefit: Ensure everything on the truck stays put.
During transit, the goal is to minimize movement inside the truck. This starts with proper packing technique, which means placing the heaviest items at the bottom of the box. Lighter items go on top, and be sure to leave a little space at the top so everything remains balanced.
When the box is full, create a tight seal by first taping down the seams, then taping the edges. The best way to do this is by lightly pinching the tape (from the non-adhesive side) and forming a triangle as the tape is placed over the edges. This is the way the professionals tape shut moving boxes, as it prevents anything from getting into the box.
6) Get the Right Equipment and Supplies Beforehand
Benefit: Avoid delays while boxing and loading everything.
Appliance dollies, specialty moving boxes and packing materials will all make the job go faster and easier. Make sure those are included with your moving resources.
While there are opportunities to grab free boxes all over the place, scrap boxes aren’t as durable as proper moving containers. They tend to be smaller, Houston moving companies offer an array of quality moving and packing supplies worth considering, and if you stock up and pack early, you’ll have time to make a second trip to pick up more supplies if needed.
7) Bring In The Professionals If The Job Seems Too Much
Benefit: Guarantee the job is done efficiently, safely, and professionally.
Packing takes a lot of time, so it’s common for families to rush through the job. Rush the packing process, though, and you’ll likely have some broken items once you arrive at your new place.
If you know time and energy will be short, consider hiring an experienced mover to handle the packing. Experienced movers are trained in proper packing and loading techniques, so they know how to avoid damaging goods while packing them efficiently. With a professional crew helping, it takes hours to do what would normally take days or even weeks.
Americans consider moving to be one of the most challenging experiences that everyone faces at some point. Packing is a big reason for that, and it can be tedious. However, it’s a lot less tedious with the right packing processes and materials in place.