I am 21 years old and have moved 5 times in the last 2 years and am getting ready to move again in a few days. Growing up, we never moved so I guess the Universe is having me make up for it now. Amidst all of my packing and unpacking, I have become something of a moving pro. Today, I’ll be sharing my biggest packing tips to hopefully save you a lot of headache (read as: blood, sweat and tears) during your next move.
Tip #1: Purge and Consolidate
The few weeks (or days, depending on my time frame) leading up to moving day, I go through all of my belongings. The items I don’t need, like or use, I donate, throw out or sell, depending on the condition of the item. Why move something to your new space if you weren’t using it in your old space, amiright? Along a similar vein, if you have five, half-used containers of the same item, consolidate them into just 2 and a half containers and make an effort to use by that half container before you leave.
Basically, the key to having an “easy” move is to not move more than you need to. Whether that means throwing our almost-expired cheese, donating clothes to charity or giving your sister that pair of shoes you only wore once – don’t move more
crap stuff than necessary.
Tip #2: Pack Like Items Together & LABEL, LABEL, LABEL
So now you only have a few days until the big move day – it’s time to actually start packing. I’ve found that the easiest way to be organized during the packing process is to pack room by room. This also helps to ensure that when you get to your new space, the unpacking process will be just as organized.
Another thing that really helps to have a organized and efficient unpacking process is to label everything. Seriously, everything. Even your transparent, plastic container? Yes – everything. Once all of the boxes filled with your stuff reach your new space, the last thing you want to be doing is incorrectly guessing that the transparent storage container is holding winter clothes and can be stowed away for a few months, when in reality it holds all of your shoes. It sounds silly, I know, but exhausted-from-moving brain exists, trust me.
Tip #3: Anything That Can Be Used to Hold Stuff Should Be Used to Hold Stuff.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re packing last minute, it can be easy to forget. So what does “anything that can be used to hold stuff should be used to hold stuff” mean exactly? I’m glad you asked. An obvious example is a suitcase. Don’t bring an empty suitcase from your old space to your new space. Rather, use the empty suitcase as a storage container during the move. A less obvious example: use drinking glasses to store shot glasses. Before you get all judge-y on me, I collect shot glasses from different locations – settle down. Anyway, I found that rather than having my shot glasses float around the box of kitchen stuff, I could tuck several of them into drinking glasses. Not only does this utilize the space inside of the glasses, but it protects the shot glasses and is a more efficient use of space inside of the storage box!
Going back to tip #1 about not moving more stuff than you need to, this also applies to boxes. Moving boxes are expensive and moving in general can be very expensive depending on where you’re moving. I highly encourage you to make the most of the items that you already have before spending a butt-ton of cash on some moving boxes.
Here are some examples of other things you can use for storage: backpacks, laundry baskets, suitcases, crock pots (yes, there’s that space where the food goes!), duffel bags, purses – get creative!
Tip #4: Unpack the Big Stuff First
So you’ve made it to your new space, you’re exhausted from schlepping so many boxes up 3 flights of stairs, excited to begin enjoying your new space and really frickin’ hungry. What do you do now? Say it with me: I unpack the big stuff first. Believe me, the second you set down your last box of stuff, if you don’t immediately fall asleep you’re going to want to start unpacking all of the smaller bags and putting those things into their respective places. DON’T. Start with the biggest boxes first. Generally, those boxes contain the most important things like dishes or the router (Internet is important, y’all). You will be so much happier getting those giant boxes emptied and out of your way and then being able to gradually get rid of the smaller boxes and bags of stuff.
If you hate packing, moving and unpacking, I hope that this post will lessen the hatred and create a more
pleasant efficient moving experience! Follow me on Twitter (@MyLittleTricks) to bear witness to my current moving struggles – it’s okay to laugh.
What your biggest moving tip?