Packing for Your Move - The Basics
Packing and purging go hand in hand--while you're purging, you should be packing, too. If you're executing your move yourself, you are in charge of accumulating all the packing equipment that are needed. Your neighborhood big-box store, self-storage company or the mover you have hired are all great resources for your materials. If you buy from your mover, ask if you can return any unopened or unused boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or paper.
Here's a outline to assist you:
Small boxes for books, heavy items, toys, appliances, fragile items
Medium boxes for the kitchen, accessories, lampshades, linens, shoes and boots
Large boxes for lamps, window treatments, pillows--items that are bulky but lightweight
Packing tape and tape guns
Newsprint, bubble wrap, packing peanuts or your shredded paper
Markers and labels
Small tools--screwdrivers, hammer, box cutter, scissors
Camera or smartphone
For a more all-encompassing list of tools to make your move easier, click here.
Last used, last boxed is the unwritten for the packing process—generally speaking, the coffeepot and microwave are the last things to be packed in boxes. Since you're packing in unison as you purge, begin with the low-hanging fruit in chests and cabinets; you can knock out one or two of those in an hour. When you've purged enough for a donation or dump trip, don't leave home until your packed boxes are taped and labelled. You can utilize specific color-coded labels (blue for the kitchen, green for the master, etc.) or use masking tape with a heavy black marker; just be sure you label each side of the box and note if it is delicate. A couple of moments spent listing the contents will come in handy later when you can't locate your shoes in all the boxes marked "master closet".
Purging assists with organization, and so does tidying up the closets, attic, and garage early in the process. You will have to fine a storage location for all your packed boxes, and the garage is the perfect site as it's going to be near to the moving truck. Alas, the garage should be free of clutter for this to work, so tackle this project early on—plan on at least a Saturday and Sunday for the garage purge. Once you have got the garage under control, sort your boxes so that the movers can get to them with no problem on moving day; they will load the truck so that the weight is adequately distributed and so that the first items that you need at the destination are the last put on.
If you are the sort of person who hangs on to boxes, you may now congratulate yourself. Electronics are fragile and if you have the original packaging, you can re-use it. If not, put all cords connected to the device in a box--power cords, modems, power strips, instructional CDS--and label it all. Take photos of the cords before you pack them so that you can refer to the photos when you are hooking everything back up.
It's bewildering how many things you use daily are very fragile. Dishware, glasses, light bulbs, lamps--all need a little TLC when you are packing them. Wrap dishes and glasses in newsprint, and place the plates in the box on end like records. A layer of bubble wrap protects them more, and stuff the empty spaces with some sort of shredded paper or packing peanuts. Do not pack too much in the the boxes of delicate, and don't use big boxes for delicate things. Boxes from the liquor store work wonderfully for fragile things; they come in strange sizes and may not have tops, so with a box cutter and tape you can customize boxes.
Don't just toss your lamps into boxes, take the shade and harp off and unscrew the bulb. The bases can be put in a large box with the harp taped to the base, the shades can nest in a different box, and the bulbs need to be packed separately (an ornament box is great for this) and marked fragile.
In our next post, we will delve into packing dos and don'ts.