The decision to move your home is a big one. Once you’ve taken that decision, the one really big issue or hassle that bothers everyone is how to pack my stuff. Depending on how much stuff you have at home, packing the stuff, then shifting it to the truck, and then unpacking it in your new home can prove to be a tiring and frustrating experience.
Unpacking is a completely different topic altogether and we’ll leave it for another day. In this article, we want to focus only on the things that you must keep in mind when you get down to packing. These tips will act both as guides as well as a checklist when you start packing your things to prepare for the move.
- Make a to-do list: This is the first step. Making a note of all the things and inventory that will need to be packed. This is also a good time to make a note of all the things that need to be discarded or donated. By doing so, you will have less stuff to pack, unpack, and organise in your new home. It is important to move into your new house with only the necessary stuff.
Once you’ve created the list, save it somewhere for easy access later.
- Arrange all the stuff necessary for packing: You will need quite a few things we refer to as the packing material. You will need packing tape, cardboard boxes, screws, packing paper, putty, and a measuring tape. Pay special attention to the packing tape. You are not looking for a duct tape (which is different). Packing tape is a clear tape that is extremely sticky and keeps the boxes tightly glued. You would have seen it at the local post office.
- Plan to pack stuff by category: This is important when you are both sorting as well as packing. Always pack by category and not by rooms or any other similar criteria. For example, pick clothes for example, and sort all of them in one go first before moving onto something else. Then pick another category, kitchenware and pack all the utensils, dishes, cutlery, cookware and so on.
- Get the packing boxes: Make a visit to the nearby liquor store where you get your wine from. Ask them if they recycle their empty carton boxes. If they do, request for some of them. However, make sure that the boxes you get from them are sturdy and not ripped or torn. That may result in broken goods during the transit.
Also, look for original boxes in which your electronics like TV and refrigerator came in. If you didn’t discard them, they may be lying somewhere and will be immensely helpful now.
- Pack the fragile stuff first: Things like glasses, cutlery, lamp shades, flower vases, and decorative items must get precedence in packing before all others. They are tricky to assemble and store and so take up a lot of time. When you pack them first, you allow yourself the luxury of extra time to wrap them up carefully.
Use packing paper and bubble wrap to pad such items. Stuff the paper inside the glasses, wrap the vases and then stack some paper between each item when you place them inside the box. Ensure there is no space between items so that they don’t move during the transit. Another thing to note is to keep the dishes vertically in the boxes and not horizontally.
- Label the boxes: Labelling the boxes correctly is key to identifying your items when you are ready to unload and unpack them at your new home. With wrong or irrelevant labels, you will simply be wasting your item.
Again, label the boxes as per the category. You can also use different colours for different labels. Give every box a number so that you know how many boxes are there in total.
Label the boxes both on the top as well as the sides because when they have been stacked inside the truck, you will not be able to see the labels on the side of the boxes.
- Use small boxes for heavy items: If you’ve ever carried a large box filled with books, you will know what an ordeal it is. So the rule is to use small boxes for heavy items like books so that there are as few of them as possible and large boxes for lighter items like linen, quilts, pillows etc. That way, carrying them will be much easier.
- Make digital copies of important papers: Pack all your important documents in a clear bag or bags. However, scan or click a picture of each of the documents before packing them. It is time consuming if there are too many of them but it is well worth the trouble considering that you will have a digital copy of each one of them. In the unfortunate and rare instance of the papers getting damaged in transit, these copies will come in handy.
Stack the boxes for the same category together: The boxes for a similar category should be kept together when loading them onto the truck. This makes it easy to unload and unpack them. If they are not kept together, they will be unloaded at different locations in your new home making it difficult for you to assemble them.
- Keep a few ziplock bags handy: Finally, buy some good quality ziplock bags and keep them handy. Pack smaller stuff in them like keys, screws, door knobs, cosmetics and so on. These can easily get misplaced in transit and so you don’t want these to travel with the other big bulky items.
Packing your stuff for the big day when you make a move is a tedious and tiring task. However, with the right planning and packing, it can become easy and trouble-free.