Packing to move is a big job for anyone, and it takes a lot of preparation and time to make sure everything gets safely put away in time for the movers to haul it all away. With such a big job, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and at a loss for how to pack an entire home’s worth of possessions in a timely manner, so here are seven effective tips for any homeowner to help make sure all their things get packed up in time for the big move after selling a home.
1. Start Sooner Rather Than Later
It’s easy to get behind with packing when focusing on selling a home, so as soon as the homeowner knows they’re going to sell, they should pack some of their extra things that aren’t used often. Getting started earlier will mean there’s less that needs to be done later when it’s crunch time. Homeowners should take care not to leave boxes lying around the home when showing it to potential buyers, though, as this can make it look cluttered, which many buyers find unappealing.
As soon as a homeowner knows they'll be moving, they should sort through their belongings and get rid of whatever won't make the move with them. Sorting items into three piles (keep, donate, and toss) will help. Then, they should box up the things they're keeping but won't use until after the move, such as seasonal clothing and decorations.
While it may be tempting to get rid of home clutter in the "toss" pile by throwing it away, here are some better ways to get rid of the excess stuff in a home.
- Sell things of value. Hold a garage sale to sell small items like clothes and books. Sell valuable items like electronics, bicycles, and furniture online.
- Recycle. Recycle paper and plastic products to reduce waste in landfills.
- Give to charities. Contact local charities and organizations like homeless shelters, schools, community theatres, and churches to give away household products like paint, cleaning supplies, sheets, blankets, and other useful items.
Even if a homeowner isn't sure when they'll sell, preemptively organizing the home has many of the same steps and will make things much easier later down the line. Plus, the homeowner gets to have a clean, organized, uncluttered home in the meantime.
Moving in Summer?
Summer is generally a great time to move, since the weather is nice and kids are on summer break from school. The problem is that everyone else thinks so, too. Homeowners should start booking a moving company earlier than they think they have to—if they don't, they might find that they've all been booked already. Strive for at least two months before the moving date. In the off-season, booking two weeks in advance might suffice, but not in the summer.
2. Move More Easily With Luggage
It’s common for homeowners to have a few suitcases hiding in a closet somewhere that only get used during vacations. When moving, put those suitcases to use by loading them up with clothes or items that are difficult to carry. Luggage can be especially helpful for moving because it means the homeowner gets to spend a little less money on boxes, and luggage is designed to be easier to transport.
Suitcases can also come in handy once a homeowner has moved into their new house. A suitcase with clothes and toiletries for the first week after the move means they don't have to unpack right away.
3. Pack One Room At a Time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about packing an entire home’s worth of possessions, so to avoid this, homeowners should break up the giant task into smaller pieces. The easiest way to do this is by focusing on just one room at a time. Good rooms to start with are areas that don’t see much traffic, such as guest rooms or closets. Packing one room at a time is an excellent way to create a feeling of progress, which may help homeowners stay motivated as they work.
It’s easy to lose track of time when in the middle of a home purchase and a move. Make a schedule and packing plan for every room of your house, then stick to the schedule. This will help ensure you'll be fully packed by the time the deal closes on your new home.
4. Label All Boxes—Colour-Coding Helps
After moving, no one wants to have to play a guessing game every time they want to find something that’s been packed away. To avoid this, keep a marker on hand while packing boxes. Once one has been filled, clearly label what sorts of things are inside it and which room it belongs in at the new home. This way, the homeowner will never have to go digging through a dozen boxes to find something, and the movers will know where every box belongs.
Labelling boxes can get tedious after a while, but keep at it—a bit of extra work now means a lot less hassle later. For a quicker method of organizing packed boxes, label them with colour-coded stickers to save time. Assign a colour to each room in the house, then buy stickers in those colours. When each box has been packed, put a sticker on the box to show where in the house the box should be placed when it's time to unpack.
5. Keep Lots of Packing Supplies On Hand at All Times
The best part is that homeowners are likely to already own quite a few. In addition to scissors, tape, bubble wrap, and boxes, keep these supplies on hand:
- Sandwich bags and gallon bags are helpful for packing items that might leak.
- Tools may be necessary for disassembling some household items before placing them into boxes.
- Grocery bags can be incredibly helpful while packing. They’re useful for wrapping fragile items and can also be used to contain loose items.
Basic packing supplies have a way of getting lost or misplaced while packing is taking place, so keep an eye out. Here are some other tips for specific items:
Use Clothes for Extra Insulation
Many people have fragile glasses and dishes that won’t survive a fall if dropped while being carried into the new home. While clothes aren’t a substitute for a thick layer of bubble wrap, they can provide some extra padding in boxes that need it, especially with things like plates that may have a lot of empty space surrounding them when placed in a square box.
Wrap Toiletries with Plastic Wrap
Unscrew the cap on products like liquid soaps and other toiletries, then place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the bottle. Screw the lid back on with the plastic wrap in place. This will help prevent messy leaks.
Take a Picture of Electronics
Worried about having trouble hooking up electronics when in a new home? Take a picture of your stereo, television, DVD player cords before unhooking them. These pictures will serve as a guide when it's time to hook up electronics devices after moving.
6. Keep Boxes Manageable
When packing, it can be tempting to use the biggest boxes available because it means fewer will be needed, and the job will be done faster. However, big boxes get heavy quickly, and homeowners may lose track of just how heavy a filled box is. To avoid this, use many smaller boxes instead of just a few big boxes. This way, they will be easier to carry, and it will lessen the risk of being dropped during transportation.
Remember the tip about using suitcases? If the suitcase has wheels, it's a great candidate for heavy items since it doesn't need to be lifted to be moved around.
7. Keep Empty Boxes Handy During Unpacking
Even if a homeowner sorted their items before they moved, it's inevitable that they'll find a few things that they don't need anymore. Instead of letting them clutter the new space, donate or throw the items away after unpacking. Having empty boxes close at hand to place the items in will make the process more organized and stop them from getting in the way.
Packing to move to a new home may seem daunting, but by following these seven tips, any homeowner can help themselves move successfully into their new home.