How to Pack Smart When you Move
The minute you know you are moving is the time to start preparing. Even if the move is months away, the earlier you get organized and start packing, the less stressed you will be on moving day — both at your old home and the new location.
Your moving service will most likely provide information on how to pack, how they will take care of your furniture, antiques, beds, etc., but in order to have a successful move you need to be proactive and start planning before you have selected your mover, like a skilled and professional moving company.
These points are even more relevant if you are selling your home. You can simultaneously prepare your home to sell and start decluttering for the move. Here is some advice from someone who has moved many, many times.
- Before you even think about putting anything in boxes, decide if you want to unpack everything you are packing — in other words, should it stay or should it go? Don’t keep dragging items from place to place if you have no intention of ever using them. Moving is the best time to seriously evaluate your possessions to determine if you really need them in your home or in your life. Remember, when you are gone, your loved ones will have to go through this very exercise with your belongings. You can make it easier on them by going through this process now.
- This is a great time to take the items you are not moving to your new home and hold a garage sale or donate them to your favorite charity.
- Designate an area in your home for boxes you have packed. Each box should be clearly marked with the room it will end up in and what is in the box. You can also set up a color code that prioritizes the boxes within the rooms. For example, boxes marked kitchen dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans will be unpacked before holiday stemware or grandma’s china. Choose a room in your home that will not have an impact on real estate photos or staging. A portion of your garage or basement works well.
- Pack boxes smart. Heavier items on the bottom. Boxes that are only books need to be small and strong for easier handling. You may be hiring a moving service but that doesn’t mean you won’t be carrying the box at some point before or after the move. Invest in good packing tape and make sure the box is securely taped on the top and bottom.
- If you are preparing your home to sell, pack any personal pictures — both on the mantel or on the walls. Repair nail holes and repaint.
- Speaking of repainting, rid your home of any trendy-colored walls and repaint with a neutral color that is more appealing to the buyers. White is too sterile. Ask your realtor for color recommendations.
If you are moving to another state, you need to address is any legal papers you have had drawn up in your current state. Have your attorney look over any wills, trusts or any other legal document to make sure it will all be valid in your new state. If you are staying in your current state, check with your attorney to make any changes regarding your residence. Planning ahead for a move is smart and helps alleviate unnecessary stress.