Moving into a new house? Make sure you know how to those pack moving boxes the right way!
If you follow my blog regularly, you’ll know that my family and I just moved to Florida about 10 months ago. Initially, we rented an apartment until we could get a better feel for the area and we just moved into our new house last week. I am ready to stay put for awhile…moving is a lot of work! As I’m unpacking the millions and millions of boxes (only a slight exaggeration), I’ve found that there are a few things I would have done differently while there were other things that I was glad I’d thought of. Here are a few moving tips that I’ve picked up along the way:
Label your boxes clearly
This sounds simple enough, but “clearly” does not mean just writing “kitchen stuff” or “bedroom stuff” on the boxes. The more specific you get when labeling your boxes, the easier it is to find things when you arrive in your new home. You might have 8 boxes of “kitchen stuff” and that makes it hard when you are looking for something simple like a fork. As you pack, write down exactly what is in each box, even if it means you have a small list on the side. Trust me, you’ll be happy that you did when you are just looking for that wine opener. You are going to need it after a long, stressful day of moving!
Label the sides, not the top of the boxes
The movers were very happy that I had done this (I had actually labeled both the tops and sides…I guess that’s the Virgo in me). They said that a lot of people just label the tops and then when the boxes are stacked on top of each other, it’s hard to determine what’s inside.
Use special markings if you’ll be keeping things in storage
Since were initially moving into an apartment, I knew that we would be putting a lot of our things in storage. I wanted to be sure that the movers knew what to put in storage and what to bring into the apartment with us. I bought a roll of bright orange packing tape and cut a 1″ x 1″ square for each box that was going to the apartment. I actually put one square on each side of the box, just to be sure they didn’t miss it (did I mention that I’m a Virgo?). This way they could just pull everything out of the truck and know exactly where it went. The only thing I would have done differently is that I had put the colored tape on the boxes meant for the apartment. However, I had already packed a few boxes before I came up with this idea and forgot to go back and put the tape on them. Those boxes ended up in storage when they were actually things we needed (and they were IMPOSSIBLE to get to). If I were to do it again, I would put the tape on the storage items instead. I’d rather have storage items come into the apartment than have important boxes get buried in storage.
Don’t overpack large boxes
I learned this the hard way! When we were moving from our first house years ago, I just took a large box and filled it completely with books. Of course, then it weighed a ton and was impossible to move. I wound up have to repack and divide them up into several smaller boxes. If I would have just done it that way to begin with, I could have saved myself some time. On another note, if you have a lot of light items (like 500 stuffed animals…or maybe that’s just us), get a large box and just cram them all in.
Use towels and blankets for packing
When we found out we were moving to Florida, I was so excited that I started packing that same day! Unfortunately I didn’t find out until a couple weeks later that the movers were being paid to do all the packing…oops! Anyway, I found out quickly that packing material gets expensive, especially things like bubble wrap. I started using towels or blankets to line the bottom and top of all my boxes with breakables. I even used towels to wraps some of the bigger items (unless they were really fragile). That saved us quite a few dollars on packing supplies.
Get Rid Of Things Before You Move
This is especially true if you’re moving into a smaller house. We had a huge house in Georgia but we wanted to live in a particular part of town here and that meant buying a smaller house. We are totally fine with it because even though our old house was awesome, we really didn’t need that much space (ugh…the cleaning alone was ridiculous). I packed things I knew we didn’t need anymore thinking I’d just go through it all when we got here. However, now I really wish I would have done it before the move. I have nowhere to put it and our community garage sale is months away. I’m just glad I gave away the 20 year old treadmill before we left! I just dread going though all the boxes of toys that should have disappeared long ago.
Do you have a big move planned sometime soon? What are your best tips?