Packing for Your Move - The Basics

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Packing for Your Move in Denver - The Basics

Packing and purging go in concert--while you're purging, you should be packing, also. If you're overseeing your move yourself, you're responsible for gathering all the packing materials that are needed. Your local big-box store, self-storage company or the mover you have hired are all excellent resources for your materials. If you purchase from your mover, ask if you can return any unopened or unused boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or paper.

Here is 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 extensive list of tools to make your move easier, click here.

Where to Begin

Last utilized, last boxed is the rule of thumb for the packing process—generally, the coffeepot and microwave are the last things to be packed in boxes. Since you are boxing as the same time as you purge, commence with the things that are easy to get out of the way in chests and cabinets; you can knock out one or two of those in an hour. When you have purged enough for a donation or dump trip, don't leave home until your packed boxes are taped and labelled. You can use unique 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 the contents are fragile. A couple of minutes spent listing the contents are very important later when you can't lay hands on your shoes in all the boxes marked "master closet".

Organization

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 spot for all your packed boxes, and the garage is the preferred spot as it's going to be close to the moving truck. However, the garage has to be organized for this to work, so get to work on the garage project early on—carve out at least a couple days for the garage purge. Once you've got the space freed up, sort your boxes so that the movers can get to them easily on moving day; they will load the truck so that the weight is adequately distributed and so that the first boxes that need to come off 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 box, you can re-use that. If not, put all of the 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.

Fragile!

It's astonishing how many things you use every day are pretty breakable. Dishware, glasses, light bulbs, lamps--all need a little special handling when you are packing them. Wrap dishes and glasses in paper, and place the plates in the box on end like records. A layer of bubble wrap protects them even more, and stuff the empty spaces with some sort of shredded paper or packing peanuts. Do not pack too much in the fragile boxes, and don't use large boxes for breakable items. Boxes from the liquor store work wonderfully for fragile things; they come in odd 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 go in a large box with the harp taped to the base, the shades can nest in a separate box, and the bulbs need to be packed separately (an ornament box is great for this) and marked fragile.

Next time, we will delve into packing dos and don'ts.