5 Packing Tips to Help Your Move Go Smoother

packing tips

Credit: flickr.com user Becky Stern
Use these packing tips to help your move go smoother

After all the moves I’ve done (17 since turning 20) you would think I’d have a plan all written out. I don’t, but I do have a system.  (Oddly, the idea of moving lately has NOT been appealing. That’s so strange for me…and no, I don’t have a fever, LOL!) Here are my best packing tips to help your move go smoother, as well as a couple app suggestions you may find useful.

Before You Start Packing for Your Move

Tip #1: Start with Less

Who wants to pack stuff they’re not going to use? And who wants to PAY to move stuff they’re not going to use? Nobody, right? If your timeline allows, take this opportunity to lighten your load. I’ve had success using Marie Kondo’s “KonMari” method (see my blog post here) and can recommend it. I also like this video from Myka Stauffer, where she covers 25 things to get rid of before you move. Another hack, courtesy of Houselogic.com: consider donating or tossing any infrequently-used items you could replace for less than $20 and in less than 20 minutes if you find a true need for them sometime after the move. Here’s just one example: a pastry brush or rolling pin if you’re not much of a baker.

Tip #2: Take Pre-Packing Photos of Well-Organized Areas

I came across lots of advice online recommending that you take pre-packing photos of everything. I disagree, though. Here’s why. Most of us move into either a bigger home (as our family grows) or a smaller one (as we reach the empty nest phase or seek to simplify). And it’s almost a guarantee that your new home won’t have the exact same floor plan as your old one. That means you’ll need to reconfigure how things are laid out, which would make photos of your current arrangement irrelevant. I do see an exception, however, for areas in your current home that are particularly well organized or that function especially well. For example, if you have a set of bookcases and you absolutely love how you’ve arranged your books, photos, and knickknacks in them, it’s worth your while to take photos so you can achieve the same setup in your new home.

As You Pack for Your Move

Tip #3: Pack Rooms in Reverse Order of Importance and Priority

This tip seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook it. Start with rooms that contain items you don’t need every day. A typical plan might go like this:

  • Basement/storage
    • Ditch any broken holiday decorations. Donate the ones you’ve kept out of obligation but don’t really like or use.
    • Keep only those out-of-season clothes that fit. This is a great opportunity to donate outgrown kids’ clothes, shoes, and boots.
    • Pack up camping and sports equipment you won’t be using as well.
  • Garage
    • Tackling this early can be really helpful, since it can free up space and serve as a staging area.
    • Check the website for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for guidance and resources on disposing of household hazardous waste (chemicals; paint; pharmaceuticals; appliances; etc.). Many moving companies are prohibited from moving these items.
  • Guest beds and baths; linen closet
    • Strip and pack the guest room linens and towels, blankets, and shower curtains, along with out-of-season blankets for occupied bedrooms as well as “extra” bathroom supplies (shampoos, lotions, etc.).
  • Dining room and kitchen
    • Pack anything you won’t use on a daily basis. Everyday plates, cups, pots, pans, silverware and serving ware can stay out until the end. Fine china, entertaining accessories, and seldom-used appliances should get packed. Bonus tip: use your extra towels, linens, and blankets to cushion breakable items.
  • Living/family room
    • Box up CDs and DVDs (does anyone still have those?), books (see tip #2 above), video games and consoles, board games, and hobby materials.
    • Carefully remove and wrap wall art, photographs, and decorative items.

Tip #4: Label and Color-Code Your Boxes

This tip will come in handy no matter if you’re moving yourself or using a moving company. Start with a rough sketch of your new home’s floorplan. Give each room and closet a name (bedroom 1, kitchen, pantry, linen closet, coat closet, etc.). As you pack, label the boxes according to their destination. Labels like these from Avery (available at Office Depot and other outlets) give you enough room to write at an easy-to-read size. If you’re super-organized, you can even stick a packing list on the side of each box with an inventory of the contents. Additionally or alternatively, you can color-code your boxes by designating a specific color of duct tape for boxes for each area. For example, blue for bedrooms, green for bathrooms, red for kitchen, etc. You can even find some great, colorful patterned duct tape (see this selection from Walmart).

Tip #5: Pack the Irreplaceable Stuff and Let the Professionals Do the Rest

Depending on your timeline and budget, this may be your best approach. After all, the professionals are professionals because they do this all the time. My one caveat if you go this route: pack and move your truly irreplaceable items yourself to avoid potential breakage and heartbreak. One of my clients recently moved and had a great experience with Elite Movers Denver; they have a load of 5-star reviews on Yelp (which is no small feat for a moving company).

Bonus Tip: Apps to Help You Prepare and Pack for a Move

You’ve heard the saying, “There’s an app for that!” Well, it’s true when it comes to packing and preparing for your move. Here are just a few, along with a little about what makes each one stand out:

  • Moving Organizer Pro ($0.99; available on Google Play): This app helps you keep track of boxes, their value, and their contents. Reviewers list this app’s powerful search feature as a highlight.
  • Pro Moving Planner ($1.99; available on Apple App Store): This app helps you manage all moving-related activities, visualize your new place, and keep your budget in check as you begin moving. Reviewers love the integrated 8-week timeline of moving tasks.

If you’re looking to make a move in 2019, it may make sense to look at that sooner rather than later. Give me a call at 303-204-6494 – I’m always happy to help!

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