We’ve all been there. You’re standing in your home, looking around at everything you have thinking “where do I even start?!”. Without a proper plan it can be difficult to get a handle on things the way you’d like to. In this guide, I will break down every key part of the process, with a few ‘Pro Tips’ for each. By the end, you should be set up with the knowledge to go start-to-finish, stress-free.
The first step in the process is figuring out which boxes to purchase and how many. To do this, start by going around your home, looking around for anything that will need a Large or XL box. Keep a tally list as you do this.
Next, do the same for medium boxes. Full dresser drawers usually fit nicely in these. Plastic kitchen containers as well. Pretty much anything that’s too big for a small box but would be too heavy for a large should fit in a medium box.
Lastly, for small boxes, ‘guestimating’ is important. Purely looking at certain items and visualizing them fitting into a small box (or not). This is something best done with as little thinking as possible. What I mean is: trust your gut! Take a quick glance; if you think “This will probably fit in a small” put a tally. Move on to the next.
With your list of boxes needed, head to your local hardware store to purchase them and the rest of the materials you’ll need.
Example Materials List
- 3 XL Boxes
- 7 Large Boxes
- 10 Medium Boxes
- 25 Heavy-Duty Small Boxes
- 2 Large Rolls of packing paper
- 4-6 Rolls of Movers Tape
- 1-2 Rolls of Bubble Wrap
Yes, there is a strategy to this. Breaking up each specific task into time blocks, in which you only do that one particular action until completion is key. This increases efficiency and prevents from having to expend extra time later on backtracking and relearning each. It can be boring, so turn on whatever music gets you energized or helps you get into a rhythm.
Step 1 – Prepare Boxes
Start by sitting down with a roll of tape in the dispenser and the new boxes in front of you.
Pick up a box, flipping it upside down, folding in the small sides first, then the large sides.
Grab the tape, and starting with the side furthest away from you, tape down that side with the tape as close to the middle part as possible. Try to stay on that side only.
Do the same with the side closest to you. Use your legs to gently push the sides as close together as possible. Leaving as small of a gap as possible.
With both sides each having their own strip, place one more right in the middle of both.
With the bottom firmly secure, start or add to a stack of finished boxes.
Once all the boxes are stacked up and ready for packing, move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Fill Boxes with items not needed for a while
You want to make sure to leave out what you need for the days leading up to your move. Leaving out only the essentials, start in the kitchen or by emptying drawers’ contents into individual small boxes.
Consolidate items into even smaller boxes you may have lying around. Try to arrange items neatly so as to utilize as little space as possible while not having anything poking or bulging out.
Do not attempt to fit items that exceed the box’s height. A box with a bulging top is something to be avoided. While it may not seem that bad, it’s one of those things that leads to possible issues during the move.
Once a box is full, set it aside with the flaps ready to be taped.
Label each box neatly, using ALL CAPS. If fragile, write FRAGILE twice on the top and on two of the sides for maximum visibility. Fragile boxes should not be too heavy as they will always go on the top to avoid damage during transport.
Do this for each room, sticking to it until you can mark the room ‘Completed’.
Each completed box should be stacked according to weight and size, with the heaviest on the bottom. Always stack boxes of the same size. Small: 4-5 High, Medium: 3 high, Large: 3 high, XL: 2 high. This will make it seamless when picked up with a moving dolly.
Pro Tip: When packing mugs, skip the packing paper and opt for the sock drawer instead. I find a pair per mug to be perfect. You may also do the same with other pieces of clothing to cover dishes, vases, bottles, or glasses. “Watering two plants with one hose”, if you will.
Step 3 – Finish Preparing for moving day – With pretty much everything tucked away in a labeled box besides the essentials for the days leading up to the move, it’s time for the final preparations.
Take everything off furniture, cleaning each piece as needed. Shelves should be taken out of book cases.
Turn over couches and chairs, vacuuming any loose crumbs, dirt, and pet hair. Take the cushions off and set aside.
Have all cords and cables out of the way or already boxed up.
Take lightbulbs out and remove lamp shades.
Have all boxes and small furniture placed near the front door or in the garage.
Take all art off the walls.
Contact your utility company, Internet provider, and post office to make sure those services no longer continue after moving out.
And… You’re all set!
If you followed this guide, you should be 100% prepared to have a quick and seamless transition into your new home. Customers of ours who prepare in this way tend to have much lower stress levels on move day and will often have their job come in under estimate. Regardless of who you hire, being prepared is a much-appreciated sight for any moving crew.
Want to skip this guide altogether? We offer a full packing service package that can be added on to any move. Get in touch with us to find out more!