If it’s almost moving time, that means it’s definitely packing time. It will take hours and certainly isn’t the most fun you’ll ever have. But there are some useful tips and ingenious tricks that will really help make things go more smoothly. We’ve done the legwork for you to find some of the most helpful hints out there; these are our favorite packing hacks:
Plan to pack an “essentials box” or “first night box.”
Have one box — or suitcase — with things that you’ll need right away at your new place and for your first night there, and transport it with you (that is, not with the movers if you’re using them) so it stays separate from all your other boxes. Good things to include:
- Toiletries and clothes like you’re packing for an overnight trip
- Soap and hand towel(s)
- Toilet paper
- Small first aid kit or basic items like bandages and antiseptic wipes
- Tool kit with what you’ll need to open boxes and assemble furniture (knife or box cutter; screwdriver; pliers; hex wrenches; scissors; etc.)
- Snacks, bottled water, coffee and coffee maker
- A few cleaning items such as paper towels and garbage bags
- Pet food
- Shower curtain for any tub showers (you’ll thank us for this one!)
Label boxes on the side, not the top.
Because you’re going to stack them, right? And when you do, you’ll want to be able to still see the labels.
Color-code boxes as you pack them.
Use colored tape or stickers to mark boxes according to which room they’ll go in during your move.
Use wine or liquor boxes for moving glassware.
Because of the divider inserts, these are perfect for kitchen glasses; simply wrap or pad with rags/towels, newspaper, etc.
Before unplugging any wires/cords/cables, take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where everything goes.
Makes for your very own customized connection guide!
Keep everything in drawers (non-breakable) and plastic wrap or stretch wrap over them so you can move them w/o unpacking.
If you want to go next-level on this, you can stretch wrap an entire dresser or chest-of-drawers so that the drawers don’t come open during the move. Just make sure everything in the drawers is either soft (like clothing) or has packing material inside so that things don’t slide around.
Keep furniture hardware organized in separate, labeled plastic zip-close bags.
For any furniture you take apart for the move, it can be a real time-saver — and headache preventer — if you keep the parts together. Consider taping the bags to the underside or non-visible part of the furniture so that everything stays together.
Pack all liquids in a separate plastic bin; if anything leaks or spills it won’t ruin anything else.
One broken or leaking bottle of perfume ruining a box full of clothes would be a mistake you’d only make once.
FUN FACT: The cardboard box is such a popular plaything for kids that it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005.