By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Some people move more often than others. While there are many benefits to putting down roots, there are some unique skills that come from moving frequently. After a certain number of moves, you learn how to handle your boxes. You can wield a roll of tape and know how to distribute weight in cardboard boxes. But most importantly, you learn more than a few tricks that make moving much easier.
Fortunately, you don't have to move a dozen times to learn these tricks. Even if you're planning your first big move away from home, some techniques will simplify your moving process every time. Today, we're here to share some of the pro-tricks that will help you reduce both the cost and hassle of your moving process. From free packing material to box labeling, if you are planning on going the "do-it-yourself" route for packing, the right techniques can make a huge difference.
Wrap Breakables in Clothes
The first clever packing trick is to use as little packing material as possible. This will reduce volume and save you money on moving supplies. Instead of packing peanuts and paper, try wrapping your breakables in clean laundry instead. Socks, scarves, and towels make great packing materials as they can cushion some delicate items very effectively.
You can even combine your breakables and winter clothes by wrapping plates or artwork in sweaters. Blankets and unused coats can be used to wrap the outside of furniture or some electronics (just make sure that zippers and buttons don't causes scratches). And it saves you the extra boxes to pack the soft items. Interestingly, efficiency goes the other way, too. Pots, bowls, and baskets make great containers for smaller items...especially groups of wrapped breakables.
This tip is especially helpful if you are moving a short distance or planning on completing the move yourself. If you plan on hiring professional movers, they will re-check your packing of breakable items to make sure that they are safe to be transported on the moving truck.
Free Boxes from Deliveries
It is entirely possible to get all your moving boxes for free if you know where to look and who to ask. Most moving guides suggest checking with stores for their gently used boxes. This is especially useful for heavy-duty boxes. However, today's eCommerce market provides another great avenue for free boxes: deliveries.
Most people need a few things before moving. Tape, hangers, plastic crates, and road trip snacks. Ordering your supplies online will result in shipments to your house. Shipments arrive in free sturdy boxes that can be used to pack in. Also, ask your friends, relatives and neighbors to save boxes from their deliveries for you. If you start a couple months in advance, you very well might have enough boxes for all your belongings by the time move day rolls around.
Use Your Luggage
Another great way to pack efficiently is to use the containers you already have. Totes, crates, and boxes are typical moving fare. But, did you know that you can also use your luggage? Suitcases are incredibly useful when packing for a move. They are built to keep clothes in good condition or can provide a padded place to pack oddly shaped items.
Packing in your suitcases also makes them worthwhile for their volume in the moving truck. Or, you can use them as first-access boxes to hold things you'll need during and right after the move. On a related, but different note…you can also create make-shift hanging bags by wrapping trash bags around groups of hanging clothes.
Design a Packing Strategy
Packing to move is about more than just putting your stuff in boxes. You need to think about what you want to be packed last and what you want to unpack first at the new house. Things like clothes, toiletries, and basic kitchen supplies need to be accessible. Set them aside, pack them last, and keep them available after you arrive.
For everything in the middle, pack with unpacking in mind. For example, you probably want to set up your bathroom quickly. So, pack all your bathroom items like shower caddies, soap dispensers, and cleaning implements together in one box to make this easier. If you have items that won't be unpacked for months, plan for deep storage now.
Label Everything Carefully
Finally, be very clear about your labels. You'll be thanking yourself for it when unpacking later. The last thing you want is to be cutting open every box looking for a missing item or supplies. Be very specific in your box labeling and list different included categories. Do not, for example, label 5 boxes "Kitchen". Instead, label them "Kitchen - Pots and Pans" "Kitchen - Dishes and Utensils" "Kitchen - Pantry" and so on.
You should also keep kits and cables together whenever possible. But, before you remove the first cord or cable, take a quick picture of the back of your TV, DVD player, etc. in case you need a reminder later of what cord goes where. Use zipper bags and tape whenever possible to group things together. Label and keep the screws for your television mounts in a bag secured to the TV or designate one box as your "parts box" and clearly label and put all parts in this specific box. Bind up power cables and label them with whatever they are supposed to power. And, of course, pack sets together. This will make it much easier to unpack on the other side.
You don't have to move every year of your life to become a moving pro. Being clever and learning as you go are part of the tradition. With these techniques and many others, you can significantly improve your moving experience. Simplify packing, minimize your load, and make arrival that much easier.
Keep in mind that most professional movers are ready and able to pack up as much or as little as you need, so foregoing all the above and just calling your local professional mover can be the best packing hack of all!
For more moving tips or a consultation to discuss your moving needs, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group today!
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