Over the past 48 hours I have packed up my entire apartment & learned quite a few things I kind of wish I knew before I packed 85 lbs worth of books in a box without taping the bottom first…. So I present to you:
Some (obvious & not so obvious) Moving Tips & Tricks!
- Boxes are your soul mate. If you’re like me & have tons of those reusable grocery bags, you might think “oh why don’t I just use these?” Do. Not. Do. That…. Boxes are such a necessity when it comes to moving, especially if you are using a moving truck. It is beyond easy to stack uniform boxes on top of each other than trying to squishy bags together so your stuff doesn’t topple out.
- Always make sure you tape the bottom of a box first. If you don’t, there is a 96.7% chance all your belongings will come tumbling out of the bottom when you least want them to… usually onto your big toe.
- Use smaller boxes. I first used those nice, large size boxes (22″ by 22″ by 21″) before coming to this mind-blowing realization. Sure I got a lot of stuff in those boxes, but there was no way I would ever be able to move that box. Ever. In my life. Thankfully my work gave me these nice little boxes (16″ by 12″ by 6″) that once held books & could easily hold everything in my apartment. They ended up being the perfect size for someone of my strength (a.k.a. zero strength).
- Do not over pack a box. Seriously. I cannot emphasize this enough. Pulled back muscles and strained biceps are never worth saving 1 extra trip to the truck.
- Do not pay for moving boxes. If you’re an introvert like me, this may sound uncomfortable, but oh the money you will save! Go visit your local library or local farmer’s market & politely ask if they have any boxes they plan on recycling. Usually they do & would love to give them to you. Plus these boxes are on the smaller size which as I mentioned are what you want! You can try larger chain grocery stores, but chances are they reuse their boxes & only have odd shaped ones available (like Publix Supermarkets).
- Boxes within boxes. Place smaller boxes within larger ones to help keep everything together. For example, use a shoe box to put all your nail polish & whatnots, then place that your designated “bathroom” box. This keeps the smaller stuff from getting banged up in a larger box (especially important for delicate things like perfumes or nail polish).
- Socks are your friend. Don’t buy packing material, but rather use your socks to protect your fragile items. Use them to stuff between glassware or empty vases. Use them to wrap around sharp objects, like knives! * One fun trick is to place your glass inside a sock & use the other sock (hopefully it’s pair) to stuff inside the glass. This protects your glass both inside & out!* Please use clean socks…. I shouldn’t have to explain why. Also, by using socks as your packaging material, you are also technically packing them ^.^ One less thing to worry about.
- Beans and rice are also your friend. Any sort of dry grain in a bag can be used as packing material as well! Use these for “heartier” objects like pots & pans. This helps keep everything from moving inside your box while you’re driving through town, because remember, we aren’t over packing our boxes!
- Clothes are great liners (& of course, your friend). Line your boxes with a t-shirt or skirt to ensure your more valuable stuff is kept safe. They also make for great empty space stuffers!
Staying Clean & Organized ~
- Pack by room. Trust me. This will make your life so, so much easier.
- Label your boxes & be specific. Always. Or you will regret it & end up opening 10 boxes to find a cup. Label by room & write what is in the box (ex/ Kitchen- cups, bowls, ladles, tumblers). Also make sure to label boxes as “heavy” or “fragile”, especially those boxes with cookware or wine glasses.
- Clean as you go. As you tackle each section of your place, try to clean when you’ve packed everything away. If you finished packing your bathroom counter, go ahead, wipe it down & scrub out that mascara stain on the mirror. Not only do you get a mini-break from packing, but you also cut down on that final clean after moving everything out!
- Use a damp paper towel. If you don’t have those fancy Swiffer dust sheets, sometimes you have to opt for the good old paper towel. Never use a dry paper towel to clean that 1/2 cm layer of dust. A damp paper towel will pick up the dust without launching it into your breathing air. Then use a dry paper towel to remove any excess water/wet dust (ew).
- Donate. A good way to clean up your closet (or any room) is to create a donation box. Not sure if you really want to give something up? If you’ve haven’t used/worn it more than 7 times in the past year, you probably don’t need it anymore. Also, if it’s over 5 years old, you might really want to think about it, unless they are an awesome pair of jeans that you’ve worn in & will never give up.
Packing Weird Things ~
- Secure your fluids. Nothing is more heart wrenching than seeing that bottle of mouthwash all over your cotton balls & makeup. Tape lids shut (ex/ shampoo bottles) or use a plastic bag & a rubber band (ex/ lotion bottles).
- Separate your chemicals & use a bag. Make sure to pack your cleaning chemicals separately from everything else (like food…) You also probably want to put them in a bag because they should be transported via your car. You really don’t want mixed/spilled chemicals so it’s best to not pack them up in a truck & have them slosh around.
- Secure your pointy stuff. Just like fluids, you really don’t want to open a box and realize your size 1 knitting needle poked a hole through the box & snapped off. Secure pointy things by placing them in a jar/vase/tall cup with the sharp end down. Then use a vegetable plastic bag (you know those long, thing bags in the produce section of the grocery store?) and secure with a rubber band. By doing this, your pointy ends are down & they won’t fall out.
- Put your pens & pencils in a ziploc bag. Don’t leave them in your pencil holder… Most pens and pencils will fit easily into a quart size ziploc bag so you don’t have to worry about any accidental pen marks or broken pencil tips.
- Pack a bag or two. Most people always suggest to pack a bag for that first day you move in because after lugging a billion boxes, you’re too tired to actually start unpacking. I personally would suggest packing a bag for the day before you move & the day of because hopefully all your stuff is packed a couple days prior to your move. Set aside clothes & toiletries for those days so you can simply pack & forget (sort of. It’s kind of hard to forget 15 boxes in your living room, but still.)
- Take-out is recommended. It’s pretty annoying when you have perishable foods in your fridge on the day you move. Try to keep those to a minimum by not grocery shopping a week or two before the big day. If you happen to run out of food, fear not. Take-out is a blessing from above ^.^
- Use your car. You don’t have to pack everything into boxes, especially if they aren’t going in the moving truck…. Some things are not worth packing, like long trench coats or dresses you should probably on a hanger & place neatly into your back seat or trunk. Leftover food (both refrigerated & pantry) should probably not go into a hot moving truck, but rather your air conditioned back seat…
- DO NOT WAIT UNTIL 48 HOURS TO PACK UP YOUR ENTIRE APARTMENT. You will cry & cry & cry some more because you didn’t realize how much stuff you accumulated throughout your 12 month lease that it’s almost unbelievable. Also, you will have realized that nothing is more teeth-pulling than packing without internet because no Netflix & no Songza….. It gets awfully quiet & then you start to think about all the things & please, just don’t do what I did….
Hopefully some of these tips help you if you are planning a move in the future! Remember, these are tips & tricks I have learned from packing an apartment (a.k.a. <5 rooms). I have never packed an entire house so I’m not 100% sure if these are applicable, but I’d like to think they are!
Just remember to stay safe & sane! Moving is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that stressful. If you have any additional tips & tricks, please comment below & share your secrets with us ^.^