How To Pack For A Move
In a perfect world, you’d have a couple of months to get ready for a big move. You could slowly go through your belongings, getting rid of items you don’t need, organizing everything, and being methodical about what to pack when.
But in the real world, all too often it’s more like “throw stuff in some boxes and tape ’em up” to move fast. Whether a job transfer, super-hot real estate market, or another reason are making it so you have to move in a couple of weeks — or even just a couple of days — here are some tips on how to make moving easier and faster.
When to start packing for a move
Most relocation experts recommend starting to plan for your move — if not actually packing — six weeks before moving day. The more time you have, the better, but in most cases, it’s organization, hard work, and some help from friends, family members, or pros that make all the difference in how long it takes.
Use these quick moving tips to pack for a move quickly
- Schedule moving services and support ASAP: If you’re hoping to use professional movers, booking them should be your first priority. Especially in the peak spring and summer moving season, truck rentals, hourly moving services, and cross-country moving companies book up quickly. If you’re planning on enlisting friends and family members to help, ask them as early as possible, too.
- Gather moving supplies:When it comes to how to start packing for a move, first things first: moving supplies. Gather markers, tape, bubble wrap, newspaper, trash bags, and boxes. Local “buy nothing” groups can be a great place to find gently used boxes. You might also consider renting reusable plastic bins, a convenient and eco-friendly option.
- Tackle one room at a time: It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so the best way to pack for moving is to tackle one big room first — the basement, a storage area, or a big closet, for example. Then, move room to room, crossing each one off your list.
- Sort your belongings:Even though you’re crunched for time, if you can stay organized packing for a move, it’ll save you time, because you’ll only have to transport the stuff you want and need. As you work through each room, sort your belongings into the following categories:
- Donate: Donate to charity or give to friends and family.
- Get rid of: Trash or recycle.
- Keep:Take it with you.
- Day 1:These are things you’ll need to access right away, like a change of clothes, bed linens, toiletries, some basic cleaning supplies, and a few dishes.
- Label everything: It may seem tedious, but labeling each and every box will streamline the unpacking process. Make sure to label boxes with where they’ll go in your new home, not where they came from in your old house. That way, anybody who’s helping you move can easily get things into the right room, which saves you from having to shuffle things around.
- Purge the excess:We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating: Get rid of stuff now! There’s no point in moving items you’re never going to use, so call your favorite charity to schedule a pickup and take a trip to the garbage dump.
Packing tips and tricks
- Hire a sitter: Kids and pets can make packing feel like one step forward and two steps back. Consider hiring a babysitter or pet sitter so you can make some real progress.
- Don’t call in the troops until everything is sorted: If you’re lucky enough to have help from friends and family, don’t have them show up until you’re organized. That way, you can give them clear instructions like “take that pile to the dump” or “box everything in this cabinet.” If they show up too soon, they’ll just slow you down with questions.
- Pack efficiently: Maximize space by finding the most effective way to pack. Use linens and towels to wrap breakable items, and make use of your luggage to pack clothing or household items.
- Pay attention to weight: It might seem obvious, but remember to pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter-weight items in big boxes. It’s much easier to move a small box of books and a large box of pillows.
- Pick the right date: When choosing your moving date, be strategic. Some movers offer lower rates for weekday moves. Or, there may be a day of the week when you’re more likely to get people to help. If you want more control over your moving timeline, consider selling your house to Courtesy Home Buyers. Get a cash offer through our Offer Form below, and you can pick a closing date that works with your schedule — and maybe even gives you a little extra time to pack!