Moving can be an incredibly stressful experience. There are a million things to think about, from canceling subscriptions at your old address to registering kids at their new school and finding a professional moving company.
But the main challenge most people face when moving is the process of packing, filtering, and folding their entire lives to fit into an army of cardboard boxes. Here are five tips to help you keep the headaches to a minimum while packing for your big move.
One strategy to help you keep your stress levels low on the day of the move is to start packing things early enough.
Eight to ten weeks before the day of your move, you should start throwing out things you will no longer need, giving them to friends and neighbours, or donating them to charity.
The longer you have lived somewhere, the earlier you should start. That’s because you will have accumulated numerous items that you have entirely forgotten about.
In the month before the move, you can slowly start packing the things you don’t need on a daily basis. Clothes for different seasons, festive silverware and books gathering dust on shelves can all start going into boxes.
In the week before the move, it’s finally time to pack away everyday things.
To stay on top of things, you need to shop for the right packing supplies.
First on the list, of course, are boxes. Make sure that they are made of sturdy cardboard, have arrows to indicate which side is up, and are different sizes. That will prevent the boxes from breaking and being tilted the wrong way. It will also make the unavoidable game of Tetris in the moving van a bit easier. You should also get plenty of tape, scissors, and markers because these items will get lost in the moving chaos.
Finally, for your special or fragile items, you should check if your movers can handle wrapping those or if you’ll need to do it yourself. In any case, stocking up on bubble wrap is never a bad call.
Movers need to know which boxes go where, and you might forget what’s inside of each box. Marking boxes clearly on at least two sides with the destination room and the items inside of them can save you a lot of headaches.
It’s best to keep the weight of each individual box under 30 pounds. Your back (and the backs of your residential movers) will thank you at the end of the day. This is also where different-sized boxes come in handy. You can pack small, heavy items into small boxes to stick to the weight limit, instead of leaving large boxes half empty.
Finally, you should designate a few boxes or suitcases for essentials. They should be packed last so that you can access them easily after your move. This includes bed linens, toiletries, a few changes of clothes, cooking equipment (everything you need to survive the first few days at your new place). This will keep you from having to dig through the mountain of boxes stacked in your new home. Instead, you can work on unpacking everything systematically and help reduce stress.
Moving is always an adventure, and the nature of the endeavor is that even the best-laid plans will go awry at some point. But you can save yourself a lot of grief by following these tips: giving yourself time to prepare, getting supplies, and developing a system for unpacking. By following the right steps you can help make your transition to your new home as smooth as possible.