1. Identify what can be packed in advance of the actual move day. These would consist of seasonal items, artwork, specialty cooking appliances, yard tools, specialty tools, and crafts - anything that is non-essential. You may think you will miss them but you will be glad they were out of the way when moving day finally arrives.
3. Label boxes clearly on two sides: contents and room location. Everyone must know where the boxes belong and you will want to know what’s in them. Moving day is hectic enough without having movers/helpers asking unnecessary questions. If an item must be packed in a box of dissimilar items, note that detail on the outside description. If you have the time, create a moving manifest: number each box and list the contents on a clipboard. Some movers insist on this. Color code boxes by specific location.
3. Anticipate what you will need for the first few days after the move such as essential toiletries, cleaning supplies, basic cooking equipment, and a toolbox for assembling furniture. Hand carry these or ensure they are well labeled and go on the truck last. Critical items like medications and important papers should not go in the truck at all but should stay with you. Likewise have a first aid kit within reach and crucial pet supplies as well.
5. Don’t leave the difficult to pack things until the last minute. At the very least anticipate how they will be packed and ensure the materials are on hand. Alternatively, plan to hire someone to pack them for you. These might include lamps, electronics, fragile items, artwork, piano or large unwieldy tools.
6. Make use of specialty plastic film to secure awkward pieces together like mops and brooms or long handled garden tools. Use it to secure things that might slide like drawers in chests.
7. Purchase plenty of packing paper – it’s well worth the money. Packing paper is versatile. It cushions the bottoms of boxes, fills the tops of boxes, wraps fragile items, and keeps small items together. It can easily be written on to describe contents. Purchased paper keeps dishes and hands clean compared to using newspapers.
8. Communicate with your moving company if you have questions about what they will take or how things should be packed. Usually they will not move hazardous materials or flammable liquids. You may prefer to transport potted plants on your own. Keep in mind some plants are not allowed to cross state lines. Check to be sure.
9. Save time by not removing items from dressers drawers. Moving companies will usually move dressers intact. Hanging clothes can be kept on hangers and wrapped in trash bags with their hooks secured together by rubber bands or cording. Hanging clothes can also be hung in wardrobe boxes for transport. Moving companies often lend these (as well as boxes). It’s worth asking.
10. To avoid confusion on moving day, draw a floor plan of the new place with all rooms clearly labeled. Hang it in a common area both in the old place (to aid packing and labeling) and the new (to aid unpacking). Everyone, including helpers and movers, will get a visual sense of the layout and use consistent naming for the various spaces. Write matching labels on paper signs taped to the door of each room.
11. Visit a couple moving company websites that offer checklists and/or videos or search Youtube for additional packing strategies that will ease the stress and work of moving.