Moving Hack: How to Pack Smart


Besides the excitement of moving into a new place, packing is mostly daunting, boring and time consuming. Since moving day is creeping up, we thought we’d share tips some with you!

1. Get Organized

If you haven’t started packing yet, don’t worry. Ideally you want to start 2-3 weeks before your moving day. But, we’ve all been there, life catches up to you and before you know it your moving date is just around the corner. To get started, you should focus on getting organized. You’ll want to get and keep your cleaning supplies out. And, get your packing supplies out and ready:

  • Boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Sharpies
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper and/or other padding (use your clothes to be more cost-effective)

Make sure you get your boxes for free! You can often find empty boxes at grocery, liquor or retail stores and often times at your local moving companies like U-Haul. U-Haul has a ‘Take a Box Leave a Box’ program, which allows you to take and use boxes for free, and also drop off used boxes when you’re done. It’s way more cost effective than buying new boxes, and better for the environment too! You can also use baskets and other storage items you already have as moving boxes.


2. Start with the Essentials

Pack up a suitcase with your essentials; things you’ll need the first night (or couple of nights) at your new place. Unpacking is a process, so you’ll want to have things on hand like your toothbrush, soap, and other hygiene essentials like toilet paper (this applies to each person in your family or household that’s moving with you too!). You’ll also want some comfy clothes and something to wear the following day. It’s a good idea to bring some cutlery too – a plate, bowl, utensils and some glassware for each of your household members. Think about bringing snacks and possibly some wine or beer to offer to your helping hands (and to make the move a little easier).

3. Take Photos of Complicated Set Ups

Things like your TV cables or anything that’s complicated to set up should be photographed. Also, if you have any cool arrangements of pictures or decorations that you want to replicate, snap a pic of that too!

4. Purge!

Get rid of things you don’t use. This is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and get that anxiety inducing clutter out of your life. Trash (and recycle) the garbage, and take your giveaways to the nearest Salvation Army, Women’s Shelter, Value Village, or the equivalent in your home city. Someone else will find use for your un-used things! You can also give stuff away to your family and friends.

5. Time to Pack

Find an open space in your house to start your packing process. Make sure all the supplies you gathered are in that space and make it your designated packing area. Pack up each room into separate boxes to make unpacking easier. Pick one of your rooms (start with the least essential, like the books in your living room) and start packing. If your boxes don’t have handles – cut some out on the sides with an X-Acto knife or scissors.


6. Wrap it Up

Make sure you wrap everything up carefully to avoid any damage. Use those old t-shirts, linens and socks when you can. You can stuff glassware and candle holders with socks or newspaper, so they don’t break. It’s also a good idea to fill empty spaces in the boxes with your padding of choice, so everything is securely in place.

Dishes and other flat breakable objects should be packed vertically with padding in-between each one. They’re much less likely to break this way and it’s a space-saving solution.

Keep your clothes on their hangers and use big garbage bags to hold them together in bundles, these are super easy to slide into your vehicle and also easy to unpack (just hang and unwrap).

7. Saran Wrap is Life

With your liquids, such as cleaning, bath and beauty products, take the lids off, wrap them in saran wrap covering the open top, then screw the cap back on to prevent leakage. Try to keep your liquids separate from everything else. Saran wrap is life when you’re packing. If you have things like a jewelry stand – instead of taking everything off, wrap it in saran wrap to keep everything in place, and then pack it away.

8. Heavy to Light

Place your heavier items at the bottom of your boxes and make sure those boxes are a smaller size. Large heavy boxes are almost impossible to move, so save those for the lighter items that take up space.

9. Label Your Boxes

You should label your boxes by room and contents on 2 sides of the box (the top isn’t great because you can’t see it when they’re stacked). Another helpful hint is to number each box so you’ll know if you’ve left anything behind or potentially lost a box in the move!

10. Taking Apart Your Furniture

You might want to keep your dresser filled with your clothes (as long as they’re light enough to carry). If you have plastic wrap or enough saran wrap at this point, use it to keep the drawers shut without having to tape them up! When you take apart your other furniture, make sure you keep all the tiny screws and bolts in separate zip lock bags. Tape them to the corresponding furniture (and also label them in case the bags fall off).


10. Packing the Car

Once you’re done packing it’s time to move all of your stuff to your vehicle. Heavy items should go in first and lighter items on top. If you aren’t using a moving service, you should definitely ask some friends to help out – promise them a nice meal, a pack of beers, or a bottle of wine in return!

11. Finishing Touches

You’ll want to pack your cleaning and packing supplies last – and label it as OPEN FIRST. So you’ll have all the tools necessary to unpack and reassemble your furniture in your new place! Once you’re all packed, it’s time for the finishing touches – do a once over to make sure you have everything, sweep, clean and fix up what needs to be fixed! Make sure you’ve done everything required to get that security deposit back.

And don’t forget to check out our post about what to do in the first 24 hours at your new place to get you started on the next chapter in your new home!

Happy moving!

Tags : apartmentlifestylemovingpackingrentalstips
Emily Stewart

The author Emily Stewart

Emily is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at RentMoola. She's a reader, skier, and self-proclaimed Beyonce superfan.

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