Packing is the culprit for much of the stress of an interstate move. With proper planning and organization, you can relieve most moving strain. Research professional packers in your area to determine if hiring help is right for you. If you will be packing partially or completely by yourself, follow our tips to ensure a smooth move!
Packing Tip #1: Generate an Inventory
Write up an inventory of everything you plan to move with you. You could draft the list on your computer, phone, or in a notebook.
Not only will your inventory keep you organized, but it will also protect your belongings. An inventory puts you in-the-know. Compiling and checking your list will alert you to any items that have gone missing during the move and will help you to make timely insurance claims.
Here are some ideas that may be helpful for you as you compile your inventory:
- You can use as many or as few details as you find helpful in categorizing your inventory. For example, you might include the name of an item, a description, its estimated value, its general condition, and its location during the packing process.
- Your inventory can be a valuable tool during the unpacking process for multiple reasons. You could jot down which box each item is packed in, and where it should be placed and unpacked in the new home.
- You could further organize your inventory by assigning numbers to your items and/or boxes.
Packing Tip #2: Introduce a System
It’s best to classify all your belongings as you box them. Divide things up by room, or by categories like “clothing,” “toiletries,” and “dishes.”
If there are several people moving with you, you might want to label boxes with names as well. You could use a simple color-coding system with a range of colored Sharpies. You could also develop an organized stickering system, or whatever is most helpful to you.
Packing Tip #3: Get the Right Supplies
Consider your belongings, especially your valuables, and which supplies you need to move them safely. Start gathering up packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, and boxes of all shapes and sizes.
Collecting all your supplies doesn’t have to break the bank. To find free or discounted supplies, try:
- Contacting friends and family
- Reaching out to acquaintances who have recently moved
- Posting your requests on social media
- Calling or stopping by local retailers or grocery stores
- Requesting them from your interstate moving company
Packing Tip #4: Pack in an Orderly Fashion
You will be relieved if all your belongings arrive at your new place safely, so pack smart! Use small boxes for heavy things like books so they are not impossible to lift. Use large boxes for lighter items and fill empty spaces with bubble wrap or packing paper. Use waterproof bags or trash bag-lined containers for liquid toiletries or anything that could spill or burst.
Packing Tip #5: Take the Time
You’re saving money if you pack your belongings carefully, so allot enough time to do it right. Pack fragile items first, when you have the most time and patience, and label the boxes prominently. Fill empty spaces in boxes with bubble wrap or clean packing paper. Secure small items in Ziploc bags. Use the right shapes and sizes of boxes based on what you are packing and use lots of tape to reinforce your boxes.
As you pack boxes up, place them in a safe and dry environment until moving day. We recommend setting aside a room in the home for box stacking. Put boxes in a safe place until moving day. We recommend setting a specific room aside for boxes that are ready to go.
Packing Tip #6: Review Budget and Time Constraints
Be realistic about how much you can accomplish given your timeframe and budget. If you haven’t created a budget, do so now, considering everything from packing materials to time and labor. Then calculate how much labor you will be able to complete on your own.
What will you do yourself and what will be left for professional packers? Start getting quotes and hiring the services you need.
Packing Tip #7: Stick to a Schedule
Determine a packing schedule that will allow you to finish your tasks on time. Start by packing the belongings you use the least (such as memorabilia and documents), or by packing up the rooms you rarely enter.
You can share tasks with anyone else involved in the move and your professional movers. Share your schedule with family and friends who are participating. Keep up on your tasks to ensure everything goes smoothly come moving day.
Packing Tip #8: Set Apart a First Week Box
Think about those first few nights in your new home. You’re going to be exhausted from the move, without the energy to sift through all your boxes to find your necessities.
Within the first hours and days in your new home, you’re going to need clothing, towels, shower curtains, medications, bedsheets, toiletries, snacks, cookware, and dishware. Make a list of anything else you might search for, then set those items aside in a special box.
Label your first week box and keep it separate from everything else. Make sure you will have access to it directly after moving.
Packing Tip #9: Condense your Belongings
For an easier and cheaper move, you will want to minimize the space you use to pack your possessions. Dismantle and disassemble furniture properly. You can put removable hardware in a small plastic bag and attach it to its corresponding piece of furniture.
The goal is to flat pack or break down everything and consolidate while packing. You can use vacuum seal bags to pack things more compactly. Another suggestion is using all containers in your home, like baskets, laundry bins, and suitcases as boxes for packing.
Packing Tip #10: Snap Some Photos
Taking photos during the packing process can be helpful throughout your move. Consider taking photos of things to make setting them back up easier—for example, how the TV or laundry cords should go, or how a piece of furniture should look when fully assembled. You should also capture photos of valuable belongings for insurance claims.
Packing Tip #11: Safety First
We recommend using some heavy-duty gloves during the packing process. You’re going to encounter sharp objects, and you will be using tape guns, scissors, tools, and knives.
Watch out for common moving mishaps like spills, cuts, and other injuries. Tighten lids and keep liquids or aerosols in waterproof bags. Take care when packing sharp objects. Watch out for sharp edges on furniture and consider taping them up to add some padding. Do not pack flammable, toxic, or dangerous goods.
Finally, take care to avoid injury while moving. Use proper lifting techniques, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lifting that dresser without asking for extra help isn’t worth an injury and medical bills that could fester for a lifetime.
For help packing for your interstate move, consider hiring a full-service moving company. Ian’s helps you find licensed, insured movers with the equipment and know-how to ensure you’re packed and ready for your move. Get a free quote now!