15 Packing Ideas and Hacks to Make Your Move a Smooth Transition

15 Packing Ideas and Hacks to Make Your Move a Smooth Transition

Small Projects and Repairs
Moving
By Dikran Seferian November 01, 2021

Life is full of transitions; some are easy while others consume more of our energy. As we expect these changes, it is our natural obligation to adapt to them by all means necessary. One rather draining transition involves moving out. Moving into a new house can be a quite stressful process for homeowners, whether it’s the change of environment or the hectic packing schedule. While it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous about the former, there are many ways in which you can make the latter considerably easier on yourself. With a few organizational tips as well as clever packing hacks, you’ll find yourself settled in your new home in the blink of an eye.

1. Categorize Your Belongings

Nothing can be more frustrating than having to scurry through all your boxes to find that specific item you’re looking for. To save yourself the hassle, consider categorizing your belongings. However, this doesn’t mean that each category will have a box of its own — although being organized does make the unpacking process easier, more so the packing process. Gather all your shoes in one area, sort them, and move on to your clothes, then to books, and so on. For instance, you could make a category of clothes you want to donate versus those you want to keep.

Organizational Tips for Packing Your Belongings

Organizational Tips for Packing Your Belongings

2. Declutter

It’s amazing how much clutter we manage to gather over the years. Consider taking time in advance to go through your belongings. See what you’ll be bringing over to your new place and what you don’t really need anymore; you could either sell or donate the latter. Decluttering as soon as possible will make your moving process notably easier — and it’s not something to overlook when you’re intending to sell your house.

3. Make a Checklist

Moving can be a rather complicated process with all the different tasks, reminders, and anything else that may come to mind. Having a list of notes and to-do’s can make your move a smooth transition. Every single detail counts. People often make the mistake of assuming they’ll remember something later on — they almost always forget. You just packed a small gadget inside one of your shoes? Make note of it. Do you have to return that wrench you borrowed back to your neighbor? Write it down. 

Ways to Make Packing Easier and Stress-Free

Ways to Make Packing Easier and Stress-Free

4. Pack Beforehand

To avoid the chaos of having to get a thousand tasks done at the last minute, consider getting started a month ahead. The sooner you start, the more organized your packing process will be. Begin by packing the items such as extra sets of silverware or clothes that are off-season, and make it a gradual task dispersed over the course of a month. If you’re moving in the summer, you probably won’t be needing your hoodies anytime soon — pack them up.  You could also pack items that you can do without for a few weeks. Decorative items, paintings, picture frames, vases, and the like can go in the box early on. 

When to Start Packing Before Moving Day

When to Start Packing Before Moving Day

5. Stock Up on Supplies

Make sure you have enough packing equipment about a week before moving day. And always get more than you think you’ll use; it’s better to end up with spare supplies than having to make another trip to the store in the midst of a packing session. Buy packing tape, box cutters, bubble wrap, markers, garbage bags, and foam sheets. While you can use bubble wrap for fragile decor, foam sheets can be ideal for picture frames as well as wrapping furniture legs.

Tip: Don’t buy your boxes. Most supermarkets will often give you as many as you need for free.

Items You Need for Packing

Items You Need for Packing

6. Label Your Boxes

Labeling your boxes will allow you and the movers to know which room each box is going to. On each box, write down the room it belongs in and have a list of everything in it. As for boxes that contain fragile items, you may want to label them as such. Bear in mind that movers don’t have x-ray vision to see what’s in the box; so if you want your heirloom china to be handled with care, consider clarifying that with a sticker that says "fragile".

7. Pack Heavy Items in Small Boxes

Large boxes are bulky enough as they are; fill them up with heavy items and they become unmovable. You shouldn’t have to make use of a forklift to move your boxes around. A smart way to balance out size and weight is to pack heavy items such as pots and hardware in small boxes and keep the lighter stuff for bigger boxes. It’s also a good idea to weigh the boxes after sealing them and write down the weight on the box. Doing this would allow whoever will carry the box to expect how heavy it will be.

Tip: To avoid hurting your back, assume a squatting position when lifting heavy boxes from the ground.

How to Pack Your Items According to Weight

How to Pack Your Items According to Weight

8. Place Heavier Items Underneath

When you're packing the heavies, you may want to place the heavier ones first and the lighter ones on top. This would essentially shift the center of gravity to the bottom of the box, making it easier to carry and reducing the risk of it being flipped over during transit. Moreover, if the box contains fragile items, packing from heavy to light would prevent the lighter components from being squished underneath.

9. Fill the Gaps

Movers will often refuse to risk carrying boxes that feel shaky due to items shifting around inside. By filling in the empty spaces with towels, bubble wrap, and clothing, you’ll be securing the items in place and potentially preventing a catastrophe in the box. This applies to packing anything from tableware to decorative items, picture frames, and anything else that should be as stable as possible.

10. Make Use of Vacuum Packs

A brilliant way to pack your clothes and other items is using vacuum pack bags. You can find these inexpensive packing solutions at most department stores. Simply place your clothing, pillowcases, linens, and the like into the bag and, using a vacuum cleaner, suck out the air in and around the clothes. This hack not only compresses the size of the pack but also protects everything in it. Alternatively, you could make your own vacuum pack out of a garbage bag. This makeshift solution is ideal for knitwear, blankets, duvets, and anything else which won’t wrinkle.

Packing Tips That Create More Space

Packing Tips That Create More Space

11. Cushion Your Plates

While you would store plates in a cabinet by stacking them on top of each other, packing the whole stack as it is might be a recipe for disaster. A brilliant hack involves stacking paper plates in between each ceramic or glass plate. This packing method provides the cushioning needed to protect your tableware from the bumps during transit. As for your glassware, cozy winter socks are ideal for that extra protective padding. You could alternatively use bubble wrap for your plates, glasses, as well as other ceramics.

Protective Packing Measures You Should Consider

Protective Packing Measures You Should Consider

12. Pack Frames Vertically

When you’re packing frames of photos and art, it’s always preferable to place them vertically in a row instead of stacking them horizontally on top of each other. Essentially, you could wrap them with newspaper for protection. While that may be enough, consider taking the extra step and placing foam sheets on the glass prior to the newspaper wrap.

13. Have an Overnight Bag Ready

On your first day in your new home, you probably wouldn’t have any energy left to unpack all your boxes. It may be a good idea to prepare a bag containing overnight essentials. These will include pajamas, toiletries, chargers, and anything else you might need until the next day. Additionally, you may want to have a separate box for a few kitchen essentials. This can include your electric kettle, a couple of mugs, a kitchen towel, your favorite tea, and perhaps a plate or two. You’ll probably be looking forward to a cup of earl gray after that long day, and the last thing you want to do is unpack to get the kettle. Make sure to take the overnight bag and the “kitchen box” with you in your car for quick access.

14. Update Your Address a Week Ahead

One important task that shouldn’t slip your mind is updating your home address. A good idea is to change it a week before the big day. That way, you can start expecting mail as soon as you move into your new house. You don’t want the package you just ordered from Amazon to be dropped off at your old address — not to mention important documents.

Final Measures Before Moving into Your New Place

Final Measures Before Moving into Your New Place

15. Choose the Right Day

Contact a moving company a few weeks in advance. Look through several dates to find an appointment with the most reasonable price. Weekends can be rather busy for the movers. You may find a much better price on a weekday. Besides, why waste a perfect Saturday moving when you can go out for a nice brunch or a picnic?

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian