My first apartment was a studio, a very cozy one, but rather tiny. When I decided it was time to move up in the world, I anticipated an easy move I could accomplish in a matter of 48 hours tops. It took 48 hours alright, but I was shocked when I realized it also required seven trips with a good size hatchback car, and that did not include furniture. Where did all that stuff come from?
Since we tend to live in increasingly streamlined environments, it can be difficult to imagine how much time and effort might be required to move all our belongings. It is when we begin to fill boxes that we realize there is a science to this madness after all. The decorative items that fit neatly in the bookcase, for example, suddenly become pieces to a puzzle that is not as easy to solve as we had originally believed.
If you plan on doing a lot of your own packing, here is a good place to begin. You do not have to purchase boxes from a supplier, however, it does not hurt to consult one. Most moving or truck rental companies also carry packing supplies and can provide guidelines based on the square-footage and the number of rooms in your home. Notice that it does pay to get your packing supplies from these establishments. They can provide guidelines for packing weight, box sizes and strengths to accommodate varieties of items, ensure the boxes are suitable for their contents and also ensure they can be handled without harm to your body or belongings.
Here is where you can save some money: do the bulk of the packing yourself. Leave the furniture and appliances for professional movers. Remember this important rule: The heavier the item or contents, the smaller the box. If you can’t lift the box easily, it is too heavy and at risk of splitting open in transit.
If you choose to have movers pack some or all of your belongings, it is highly recommended you leave a few items out. These would include valuable jewelry, legal or financial documents, collectibles and any other item you deem to be priceless. Movers are well-insured, but their insurance cannot come near to replacing such items. Pack these yourself and take them with you. If this is not convenient, perhaps trusted friends or relatives can hold on to them until you are settled in your new home.
Finally, designate a room in your home where you will store boxes ready for moving. Ideally, this should be as close as possible to the door you will use for moving. Keep all kitchen-related boxes together and the same for living-room boxes, and bedrooms and so on. This will make unpacking much easier.
When movers arrive to pick up your belongings, make sure you point out the boxes you have packed yourself. They are required to inspect each box to ensure it will withstand handling and transportation and can point out boxes you might need to repack more securely so your belongings arrive intact. Keep in mind that movers will not take hazardous materials.
There is a proper packing strategy for every thing in your home. This is actually quite fascinating. You can find a complete list of items and corresponding packing instructions HERE. Tune in later this week, when it’s time to load the van!
Also Read: Ready or Not…
Also Read: Loads to Load – Packing the Moving Van