Moving houses is one of those tedious and taxing events that most people will likely experience at some point in their lives. According to statistics, 24% of people considered moving the most stressful life experience, followed by starting a new job (14%) and having a baby (13%). The same statistics also stated that 10% of people moving houses suffer from hair loss due to stress.
But what makes moving houses stressful?
There are many aspects involved when preparing for a move. Your preparations may include decluttering, organising, packing, lifting, and finding movers. And out of all these aspects, a survey confirms that 48% of the respondents considered packing the most challenging. Although preparing and packing for a move isn’t fun, planning can make the moving process smoother and more manageable.
To get you started, here are seven packing tips to achieve a well-organised move.
1. Hire a moving company
First, it’s recommended to hire a moving company at the earliest time possible. Professional movers are not only there to help move and lift your boxes, but they can also provide packing supplies and materials which you can use for packing your stuff. Choose a moving company that includes packing services in their service package.
Remember to check their licenses and accreditations and read reviews or feedback from their previous customers. This will help you determine their reputation and the quality of service they provide.
Among the things to do before moving is decluttering. So, before you start packing, go through all your stuff and get rid of the things you won’t use anymore or need for your new home. Decluttering before packing can lighten up your baggage as it means you’ll have lesser things to pack and move.
Take measurements of the large furniture pieces you’re planning to move into your new home. If some won’t fit into your new space and can’t be disassembled, you might also need to sell or donate them.
3. Gather the needed packing supplies
To save time and energy, gather all the packing supplies and materials you will use in one room. This way, you won’t have to go back and forth to the store to buy some packing supplies separately. And since you’ve hired a moving company that provides packing services, they may be able to offer you the right boxes for moving and some other materials (e.g., packing tapes, bubble wrap, and others).
Other packing materials to prepare may include:
- Moving blankets
- Old newspapers, clothes, and paper towels
- Additional moving boxes (all sizes)
- Scissors and cutters
- Permanent markers
If you’re packing fragile items like glasses, mirrors, or framed art, you’ll need to use special and more high-quality packing materials to pack them safely and securely.
4. Pack one room at a time
At this point, you may start packing your home one room at a time. Start packing in the least used room, such as the attic, basement, or garage. You may also pack the seasonal items first. For instance, if you’re moving during summer or spring, you can pack away your Christmas decorations or holiday clothes since you won’t use them.
When packing each room, create an inventory of the items you’ve already packed. You can create a digital inventory file or go the traditional way (pen and paper). An inventory list will make monitoring your items and boxes easier once you unpack them in your new home.
5. Keep valuables in a separate box
Each house will likely have its own valuables. It may be your jewellery, cash, financial documents, or family heirloom. Don’t pack these valuables along with the other regular items to avoid the risk of losing or damaging them during the moving process. Instead, pack them separately and make a list of all the valuable items packed in that box. On moving day, you must be the one to personally move the valuable box, so you’ll know where it is at all times.
6. Pack an “essentials” box
Besides packing your valuables separately, you must also have a separate box for the essentials. This box will contain everything you and your family will likely need during the first few nights in your new home. You don’t want to pack your charges or medications with the rest of the boxes and scramble to find them during the first night of your stay.
Your “essentials” box shall include the following:
- Change of clothes good for a couple of days or more
- Food and snacks
- Scissors (for unpacking)
- Medications or first aid kit
- Cleaning materials
Take the essentials box with you together with the valuable box, so they don’t get mixed with the other regular boxes.
7. Label boxes effectively
One of the crucial parts when packing is labelling the boxes. Marking all the boxes will make it easier to identify and unpack them later.
Generally, most homeowners label their boxes with the room they belong to, such as “Bedroom” or “Kitchen.” But for more effective labelling and easier organisation, you can use different coloured tapes or stickers for each room. For example, red boxes or boxes with red tapes belong to the kitchen, while blue boxes or blue tapes are for the living room.
It’s also helpful to label numbers beside their designated room. For instance, if you used a total of 13 boxes for the master bedroom, label all the bedroom boxes with numbers 1-13. This way, it’ll be easier to count and monitor the number of boxes when unloading and unpacking them at your new home.
For boxes containing breakable or fragile items, label them with “Handle with care,” “This side up,” and “Fragile.”
Packing up for a move may seem tedious and stressful, but it doesn’t always have to be. With these tips, along with the help of a reputable moving company, you and your family can successfully pack all your things and move into your new home with ease and less stress.