Quick Tip: Packing
By Jeff Walker
Packing your household goods items is a long and often tedious process. Like most things, the more work you put in up front, the easier it will be later on, when you’re unpacking at your destination. Below are a few handy tips to keep in mind while packing for your Do-It-Yourself move.
Pack by Room
If you liked your items the way they were in your current house, chances are that you’ll want them in the equivalent room in your new home. Packing all the items in one room into a group of boxes can make your transition easier at your destination, so that the same group of boxes that left “master bedroom” will go into “master bedroom” in your new home.
Keeping it Together
When dismantling items for your move, make sure you keep items that go together with one another. Screws, for example, might be placed in a zip-lock bag and either taped to the furniture they go with, or placed in a box of the same room.
While newspaper can make a fairly good packing material, sometimes it’s not enough and you may want a little more protection for some of your more fragile items. You can purchase a roll of bubble wrap from most office supply stores at a fairly good price and you may save yourself from having to repurchase some items at your destination if they break.
When taping your boxes, make sure you don’t just tape the center line where the box flaps come together, but tape along the edges and corners where the box flaps meet the box. This way your boxes will be a little more stable and keep items from falling out or letting other items in (like rodents!). In addition to making sure your boxes are properly taped, you might consider taping similar items in to a bundle, such as brooms, mops and other similarly shaped items.
Labeling your boxes will help you determine which room the boxes were packed in, and which room they will need to be unloaded in your new home. It can also help you determine how to pack your truck, doing so by room so that your boxes are grouped by the area of the house they’ll be going into once you arrive at your destination. Professional movers do this with every move to make sure that all the items they packed arrive safely at their destination. Label both the top and the sides of the boxes, and if you have an item that has to stay upright, make sure you label which way is up.
Once you arrive at your new home, chances are very good that you’ll need something and have forgotten which box you packed it in. Creating an inventory list for each box can help you stay organized and find the items you really need when getting settled in. The easiest way to do this would be to create a list of all your items, with a separate field for box number. Number each box as you close it up, and note the box number both on the box and on the inventory sheet. If a professional mover is performing your move, they should do this for you.
Loading the Truck
Everyone seems to have an opinion about how best to go about loading the truck for a move. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is to load your boxes by the room they came out of, so that when you get to your destination, they can easily be unloaded one room at a time. Make sure you rent plenty of furniture pads to cover your furniture and anything that is breakable or that you want to keep soot-free. You’ll also want to wrap things like your washer, dryer and other large appliances with furniture pads in case they shift during the trip to your destination. This way there is less of a chance that items will get scratched or dented during the move. You might also consider using a little packing tape to keep the furniture pads in place, but make sure you can remove the tape so that you can return the furniture pads in the same condition in which you rented them.
Arriving at your destination, you’ll be tired and nervous, with a deep desire for all the work to be behind you. Taking the time and effort up front will lessen your workload right when you need it the most.