Packing up and relocating somewhere new is an endeavor most of us have to undertake at least once in our life. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and look up phrases like «helpful tips for moving» or «moving hacks and tips». After all, it’s not as simple as putting things in a suitcase and driving away. It involves plenty of advanced planning and preparation.
This article will guide you along through the different phases of moving. It will explore how to prepare for the upcoming relocation and how to pack boxes in an organized and secure way — you don’t want to reach your new home with boxes full of broken items or lose hours trying to find that one thing you know you packed but don’t know in which box!
The Beginning: Pre-Moving Preparation
Before getting started with the nuts and bolts of moving, there are some strategic things that you should take care of in advance to avoid unnecessary hassles down the road.
Create a checklist and get quotes from at least three professional Movers
Even if you have family and friends willing to give you a hand with the heavy lifting of moving, it’s wise to hire professional movers anyway. This ensures that no one gets hurt picking up and carrying heavy furniture, and you save plenty of hours on packing and driving an oversized vehicle on new roads.
When creating a moving checklist, include a timeline and a realistic budget you’re comfortable spending for the move. Then start looking up reputable moving companies at least eight weeks before the move.
Contact and gather quotes from three moving companies – this is a good number to quickly find a reputable crew that fits your budget without having to waste hours calling and speaking to hundreds of moving teams.
Choose a mid-week, mid-month move date
When scheduling a move, consider picking a midweek or mid-month date. This is because the demand for moving services is the lowest during these periods, and so you’ll be able to lock in low rates. Most people choose to move the first of the month since that’s when most leases begin. Prices will be higher at this time so try to get your move done mid-month.
When it comes to seasons, winter (late September through April) is the cheapest time to move due to low demand.
Peak moving season falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend because families with children can move without interruptions to the school year. If you move during peak months, expect to pay a higher rate. But, again, you can choose a midweek or mid-month date during the peak season to lower the rates a bit.
Keep calm and declutter
Decluttering means you won’t have to spend time packing up and transporting things you no longer need. Take your time figuring out what you will take and what you need to part ways with.
When making your decision, consider the dimension of your new living space. See if your furniture, appliance, and other items will fit and have room. If not, you can choose to donate or invest in storage rentals. Most professional moving companies like Stark Moving and Storage have climate-controlled storage units available for rent.
Declutter in a room-by-room pattern. Start at the room that contains the most unused items. This ensures that the most challenging part of decluttering is done early, and you will go through the rest of the rooms faster. When sorting the items, divide everything into three piles — keep, toss, and donate. Put them into trash bags or donation boxes depending on the pile.
Hit the brakes on groceries for two weeks till moving
Take an inventory of what you currently have in your fridge and pantry. Try to finish any fresh fruits and vegetables and other perishable food. If you need something from the store for your cooking, make sure to use it all up in your recipe to avoid waste.
If there is still food left on your moving day, donate it to your local food bank or another charity. But do note that most charities only accept unused and not opened items.
The Packing Phase: 12 Tips and Tricks to Pack Like a Pro
Packing tends to be the most time-consuming part of the entire moving process. It is more than just placing everything inside boxes and calling it a day.
The tips below will save you time and keep your items safe.
Take pictures of your belongings
After placing the items inside the box, snap a quick pic. This way, if you need to find an item quickly, you can just scroll through your pics and spot the box it’s in, instead of having to jog through memory. Also, take pictures of the back of your television, desktop computer, and any other appliance that has a lot of wires. This will help you connect the correct cables into the right slot when you’re putting everything back together.
Load up on free moving boxes
There are many places to check for free boxes. Like, go to your local Craigslist and search up «moving boxes» in their free section. Try to search at the beginning of the week because people who just got done moving over the weekend will be looking for people to hand over the boxes.
Other places to ask or check for free boxes include recycle drop-off points, Walmart, liquor stores, Barnes and Nobles, Starbucks, U-Haul customer connects, Office Depot, Walgreens, Petsmart, Target, Costco, Dollar Stores, and Facebook Community.
There’s no harm in going into the above-mentioned stores and asking if they’ve boxes to discard. Most places don’t store boxes after receiving a shipment. So they’ll be happy to pass it on.
Reuse original boxes for electronics and appliances
Many of us have the original boxes for our iPhones, television, blenders, consoles, and other electronics and appliances still sitting around in the garage or drawers. Bring it all out and put the items back in their respective boxes. They will fit the items perfectly and save you the trouble of finding boxes of various sizes and shapes.
Color-code your moving boxes and household items with post-it notes
Color coding gives a quick visual indication of which box belongs in which room. Doing this now will make things less confusing later on. Why? Because unmarked boxes will have you lose precious time playing the guessing game.
We suggest assigning a specific color (stick with bright colors since they’ll be easier to see from afar) to each room. Use colored packing tape that’s the same color as the post-it note stuck on that box.
Don’t forget to label the items. Labeling quickly conveys the type of content present within each box. The label should be attached to the most visible part of the box. For example, if the boxes are stacked on top of each other, the label should go on top of the boxes. If they’re sitting on the floor, the label should be placed on the sides.
Place heavy items in small boxes
A common mistake that many first-time movers make is packing heavy items in larger boxes. Like, the books and records can quickly add to the weight of a box and make it extremely heavy. Carrying it and moving it into a truck will be very difficult.
Instead, use multiple smaller boxes for your heavier items. This will also ensure that everything stays protected and portable. Large boxes should only be kept for lighter items.
Stuff boxes containing fragile items with pillows and blankets
Items like framed photos and awards are fragile. They need an extra protection layer to stay safe within the box. You can use towels, blankets, pillows, or foam pads to create a cushion around the items to absorb the impact of any sudden movement. When layering fragile items within the box, place the heavier items at the bottom and the lighter ones on top. Add a layer of bubble wrap between each layer. If there’s space between objects, fill it with newspaper, towel, blankets, bubble wrap, airbags, packing paper, so it can absorb impact and prevent the items from moving with the box.
Use wool string to easily open boxes
No need to pull up scissors or box cutters every time you need to open a taped-up box. Here’s a hack that’ll make things much easier — place a wool string along the seam of the closed box and tape over the string to seal the box. Ensure there’s some extra untaped string hanging at both ends of the box. When you want to open the box, simply tug on the string up and along the seam. The tape will come right off along with the string — it works just like a pull tab!
Use straws to keep jewelry from knotting
There’s nothing worse than knotted and tangled chains, bracelets, and other jewelry. It’s tedious to sit and untangle each piece carefully. To keep your dangly jewelry pristine, buy a box of drinking straws. Unclasp each necklace and loop the chain through the straw. Use two or three straws for extra long chains. Or, if it’s a smaller piece, snip the straw in half. Once done piping through the chain, clasp the necklace back and secure it in a ziplock bag.
If the necklace is extra thick and won’t fit through the straw, use a cardboard toilet paper roll instead.
Keep essential documents in a clear container
Pack important documents in clear containers, so they’re easily visible. But, when it comes to sensitive documents, put them in opaque envelopes and seal them with tamper-proof tape. Label the box with something generic like «office supplies» or «records». This way, it will be evident to you what’s inside, but the others won’t know and won’t pry. That said, for maximum safety, we still suggest taking the essential documents with you in your vehicle instead of transporting it in the moving truck.
Leave clothes on hangers
When packing up your closet, don’t remove clothes from hangers. Group them in 5 to 10 pieces and tie the hangers together. Then simply cover each group with trash bags or sheets for protection. Then once at your new place, you’d merely have to hang them up in their new closet.
Use foam pouches for plates, bowls, and glassware
Dishes, plates, saucers, bowls, and glassware are fragile. Use foam pouch inserts to wrap each fragile item individually. For items such as glassware or bowls, stuff paper inside the opening for extra protection. Create partitions inside the box using cardboard dividers. These dividers will protect everything from bumping into each other. Then insert each individually wrapped item inside of the partition.
Pack a moving day essentials box
This box should contain items that you want to have access to during the move and immediately after the move. You should carry this box with you in your vehicle.
Its content will vary between person and family. But generally, it should have personal documents (drivers license, birth certificate, passport, social security), hygiene items, towels, medications, emergency kits, snacks, drinks, a few essential tools, pet items, some entertainment options like games, electronic devices, chargers, and extra clothes and shoes.
6 Tips to Optimize Your Moving Process
So now you know how to pack efficiently. But what can you do to make sure your entire relocation process happens without any bumps? The following six tricks will help:
Create a game plan
Nothing in life can be thoroughly completed without a solid game plan leading the way. Before anything, create a packing calendar that will help you stay on track throughout the process. Start with calling up professional movers and gathering estimates.
Allocate a couple of days to sort out and purge your belongings. Make a detailed inventory of everything you plan on taking.
Assign several days per room for packing, and start with a space that contains the most rarely used items. That way, having items packed up in boxes won’t interrupt your daily life.
Keep a few days to gather packing materials and supplies. Also, set a strict timeline to call the utilities, updating addresses at DMV, post office, delivery services, cable company, etc. Also, if you have children, set aside days to handle their health and school records transfer.
Recheck for anything left behind
It’s a pain to travel thousands of miles to your new home and then remember that you forgot to get your designer purse that was tucked away on the topmost shelf. Before leaving, thoroughly check the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, wardrobe, drawers, pantry, and inside the appliances to ensure there’s nothing left behind.
Don’t rush and make mistakes
Having a schedule and strictly following it will ensure you always have ample time for everything. Rushing during any step, like while packing fragile items or loading boxes into the truck, will put your belongings at risk of getting damaged. Hurrying results in a messy outcome in every milestone. So relax and take the extra few minutes to get the job done well.
Make sure the moving truck has a parking spot
In many cases, the movers reach their customers’ premises on time but waste minutes driving through the street trying to find a parking spot for their oversized trucks. To make things easier and quicker, reserve a parking spot for them. This way, you won’t be annoying your neighbors or making yourself or the movers open to getting a ticket.
Get extra cash to tip movers
Moving is not an easy task. And like other service workers, movers appreciate tips when the clients are delighted with the provided experience. It doesn’t have to be a lot, especially if it’s a simple move. Tipping helps the movers know that you were happy and satisfied with the job. So keep some cash aside for each mover.
Rekey your new house as soon as possible
This is among the first things you should do right when you move into your new house — change locks. This is applicable even if you personally know the previous owners of your new home. It’s likely they may have given a spare key to someone they know. For maximum security, it’s best to get the locks changed as soon as you can.
We hope these tips and tricks will guide you to make your moving journey a memorable and stress-free one. Hiring professional movers guaranteed that everything gets packed and transported smoothly, safely, and on time.
Stark Moving and Storage has relocated hundreds of families and businesses throughout the nation. We provide full-scale moving solutions to meet every moving-related need. We are equipped to handle the packing, loading, unloading, transport, and even furniture assembly-disassembly. Also, the Stark Team brings its own industry-best packing supplies, including durable boxes for all your items.
Receive five-star service at a price that’s hard to beat throughout Boston. Contact us now to discuss your moving plans and to receive a free moving estimate.