my best packing tips
I’m no expert at moving, but I legitimately love this type of organization/logistical puzzle. Don’t ask me to coordinate a social event, but if you want to know what order you should pack your house in, call me. Some of these may be common knowledge, but here are a few things I’ve loved + learned from this moving process.
Grab some of those giant black garbage bags and use them to pack hang up clothes and pillows. For the hang up clothes, use one trash bag per type of clothing (i.e. dress clothes, button-ups, dressed, etc.) rip a small hole in the bottom of the bag to slide over the hanger tops and then use the drawstrings at the bottom to tie everything together. While you’re at it, throw a hair tie over the tops of the hangers so none of them slide down into the bag. Also, I like to put a little piece of duct tape with a label on each one so that if you need to find something quickly during the move, it makes it much easier to know which bag to look in. Pillows are pretty self-explanatory. Who wants to waste a box on pillows?
Order is important
I have had so much fun deciding which items to pack when. I started with our linen closet and guest bedroom/bathroom since those are the least used. Since we’re moving into a storage unit temporarily, this also allows us to put the least important items to the back and more important items up front in case they’re needed. Also for storage unit purposes, I planned sturdier items like dressers/tables to go in first so we could stack things on top of them. If we were moving straight into the house, I would’ve packed up our guest bedroom and made it into our “storage” section of the house so that every room wasn’t turned upside down until moving day.
One of my favorite tools when planning timing + logistics has been a weekly planner. I LOVE these because I’m not very consistent with a real planner, but they come in handy when I have especially busy weeks. In this case, I used one to work backwards from what we knew we wanted or needed in the house up until the bitter end (mattress, kitchen essentials, etc) and made a list by day of which items or rooms were to be packed + moved. It was a lot easier to think it all through once and then have a list to follow for each day.
Batch your processes
Pack one thing at a time. Avoid having to wander around to multiple rooms to get things done because it leads to distraction. Finish packing everything of one item type and then tape/label all the boxes at once. Don’t move things downstairs until you’re completely finished packing up that group of items. If you’re moving over time like us, plan a “moving night” to rent a truck and move all the big pieces at once. And for goodness sake, don’t lose your sharpie like I did.
Make a List of Essentials
Something I did right from the beginning was start making lists of the essentials. What toiletries would we need for our (roughly) three weeks of upheaval. What clothes did I want to pack? What did we need for the weekend trips we were taking during that time? What tools would we need for any inspection fixes? What were the things I knew we’d want as soon as we got into the house? That last one is important. Make sure you have easy access to cleaning supplies, toilet paper, rags, and at least a few kitchen essentials so that you’re not having to dig through boxes on your first day in the new house just to find one thing.
Control the madness
One thing I was very mindful of during this process was keeping things neat despite the madness. I kept our room as tidy as I could so that we weren’t sleeping in a disaster zone. I swear there’s probably some study that shows you sleep better in a clean room. I also dismantled the living room, but made sure we still had light, a place to sit, and a table to put things on. This is our primary place to be outside of our bedroom at the moment so I wanted it to be livable. I tried to keep the boxes in two: one upstairs in our guest bedroom and one right by the door. We tried to make at least one run per day to the storage unit so they didn’t stack up too much. Since we work from home, I felt it was important to make sure the moving didn’t consume our lives!
Make a random box
I already talked a little about how I have a spot in my house for things that don’t belong anywhere else. I’m taking the same approach with moving. Anything that doesn’t have a specific group of things to be packed is going in the same box which will stay at the house until the last day. That way, when we get in the new house and we’re looking for something random that we don’t know where it would’ve been packed, we can check the random box first. Things included in this box: the junk drawer, random hardware found all over the place, essential oils that were spread out through the house, a utility knife, spare parts to things, and various items that didn’t get packed into their proper box the first go round.
I wouldn’t say that we’ve enjoyed moving, but I can definitely say it’s been a smooth ride. I’m happy with how the process has gone for us and I’m looking forward to the day when we can unpack that storage unit all at once and make a new home for ourselves! If you’re packing or moving too, may the odds be ever in your favor!