Moving is a hassle. We’ve all been there and usually dread the days leading up to it. Still, there are things we can do, leading up to and on moving day itself, to help minimize the stress and make the move go as smooth as possible. Let’s explore some of these moving tips here:
Lists are Your Friend
Write it down! All of it. Before packing anything in a box, create a simple record keeping system. You don’t have to be an accountant to create this spreadsheet. Make a list of numbers with a space to write the contents. Place a number on EVERY box you pack and, on your list, write the contents of the box under that number. If you’d prefer, instead of numbers, color code them. However, numbers work best when you have a ton of boxes.
This goes without saying, but anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. Start with the things you won’t need in the days leading up to the move. If it's summer, pack your winter stuff. Pack all your extra belongings such as extra radios or TV's around your house. Box up shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. For cooking utensils and food supplies, use only the bare essentials before moving. No need to be making slow cooker meals or the outside grill before moving. Pack them up! Also, use wastebaskets as packing containers while you switch to using plastic grocery bags before the move.
Have Plenty of Supplies
You’re going to need A LOT of boxes, probably more than you think. Buying enough boxes ahead of time will make your life so much easier! If you buy too many boxes, you can always return them later.
Have about 10 boxes set aside to use on moving day for last minute items like bedding, clothes, and cleaning supplies. Use strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely like 3M Shipping tape or Uline Carton Sealing Tape. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items), packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good, especially the delicates.
Know What You Need First
In a clear, plastic bin, pack all the things you’ll need first once you pull up to your new home. Make sure this bin is placed at the back of your moving truck or car and easy to find right away. Includes things like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc. The clear bin allows you to see inside and stands out from the sea of cardboard.
Wardrobe boxes are tall and are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that need to remain hanging. If you’re using professionals, call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they have. Measure the width of your hanging clothes in your closets (including jackets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you'll need.
However, these boxes are not super strong so don’t overpack them. We’ve heard horror stories like when someone put a bowling ball in a wardrobe box. When the box was lifted, the bowling ball fell through and went rolling down the street, ramped off a curb, and dented a neighbor’s car. No neighborhood welcome Jell-O mold for that new neighbor.
Assign a color for each room in the new home, i.e. yellow for kitchen, orange for the dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number.
In your new home, put a matching sticker on the door to each room. This will help the movers put everything in the right room when they arrive at the destination. It's also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, ("Boxes here please") to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.
Keep things together
Keep similar things together when you are packing boxes. Bookends belong with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. You don’t want to be running all over the new house when unpacking to fine different parts of the same sets. Attach small, loose parts to the item they belong to with tape or in small envelopes -- picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench, and bolts with the wall unit. Tape larger corresponding items (such as power cords) to the underside or back of the item. As a backup, it’s helpful to have a "Parts Box" open on the kitchen counter and fill it with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Mark this box to make it easily findable on moving day.
Smart Moving Tips:
· Wrap your delicate items (dishes, glasses, lamps, etc.) in clothing to save on bubble wrap. For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks.
· Clean your old home ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it. You’ll thank yourself later.
· Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods to save on boxes.
· Safeguard highly-valued items. Check your homeowner's insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork you might need to file a claim in case of loss.
· Keep important papers with you such as birth certificates, school records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Don't leave these with the mover. Keep them with you!
· Pack an Overnight bag with the essentials, especially if you’re driving a far distance to your new home.
Invest in Self-Storage Unit
Often when moving homes, the timing is a little off. Maybe your lease is up in your old apartment and your new home isn’t ready to move into yet. Or maybe you’re still selling your old home and you need to clear out the rooms for realtor showings. A self-storage unit is an easy, secure, and inexpensive option for storing your belongings. Greenbox Self-Storage offers units that are easy to get in and out, many of which are climate controlled. It’s a great option for keeping your stuff safe and organized.
When moving homes, we often find things we never use that take up space, yet we just can’t get rid of. Storage units help us hold on to these dear possessions. You can rent spaces as small as closets at your local storage facility. Greenbox also offers a free moving truck rental for local moves as well as vehicle storage for your bigger toys. As always, we’re committed to responsible, ‘Green’ storage.