When most people think of moving, they think of endless boxes and hours spent loading books, DVDs, and kitchen spices. Yes, packing is a he component of moving, and one of the most stressful steps. But you can minimize the stress and inconvenience by following these tips:
1. Make sure you have good, solid packing supplies. This means sturdy boxes, enough boxes (grab them wherever and whenever you can, it is better to have more than not enough), ample packing tape, markers, labels or paper for writing down what is in each box, and some kind of cushioning material for fragile items. Find the balance between going cheap (cheap markers are fine; cheap packing tape will irritate you and can break when you least anticipate it). Usually, buying from a UHaul or moving company is convenient, but not particularly budget-friendly; track the supplies down on your own, borrowing or using second-hand when possible.
2. Tape up all electrical cords, and wiring or cable cords together with the units they belong to. This will save both time and money later on so you don’t have to be searching all over or heading out to a store to buy replacements. It’s common to end up with a pile of remotes and electrical cords, with none of them seeming to match anything.
3. Find out how to move those appliances safely without spilling out any Freon from the fridge or freezer, scratching or putting a dent into your items or finding out they were damaged along the way and no longer work when you arrive. While you can pay for this service, with a little research and work, you can save your money and do it yourself.
4. When packing dishes, glassware, mirrors, pictures and frames, be sure to wrap them all with towels, sheets, newspapers and anything else that can be either pressed firmly in the box without room to slide around. Bubble wrap is easy, but not necessary; use what you have on-hand.
5. Leave clothes and items in dressers, bureaus or cabinets unless they are breakable. Merely tape up the doors and drawers and move as one piece. This will allow you to fit more into a smaller truck and you will not need to pay for a bigger size, or make that extra trip when moving with your own van.
6. Make sure you call the cable and utilities companies with ample time and cancel your services for the old place. If you are transferring any services over to the new place, make sure the appointments are set for when you will be there for installation. This will help you avoid paying for services in two places at the same time.
7. Don’t pack boxes too heavy. Boxes should not weigh more than 50 pounds; some movers will charge extra for heavier items. Make sure to label them well so anyone reading them can make a quick judgment about what the weight may be and decide to choose something easier to handle.
8. Ask for help where you can. If you have friends and family, bribe them with food and/or alcohol, and have a running list of tasks they can tackle in an hour or two. It’s much easier to talk someone into coming over for an evening to pack your books, rather than coming over for the weekend to pack up the whole house.
9. If you are paying for movers, make sure everything is packed and ready to go so you can keep your costs down to the minimal. Store all boxes on top of each other in a room close to the door they will be going out. Let them know beforehand of stairs, narrow walkways, or long distances from curb to door, as these may all affect your price.
10. Do as much as you can yourself. Even just packing a box or two every night for a few weeks will put a huge dent in the amount that you’ll have to pay someone else to handle for you.