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How, When and What do I pack first?

Congratulations! You’re moving to a new place soon! It’s both a very exciting time, and can be quite a stressful one too!

There are so many things to keep track of, and soon, you end up with lists and lists of things to do. But, where do you start? How do you start? It can become overwhelming!

You’ve come to the right place! We will walk you through, in easy to follow steps, where you should start and when. If you didn’t hire a professional mover to help you pack, then you’ll need the below steps to help guide you as to where to start.

First things first, WHEN do you start?

Start as early as possible! In fact, as soon as you figure out your move-out date, you should begin thinking about what you’ll need to start packing, and giving/throwing away.  The more stuff you can get rid of before your move, the less “junk” you’re likely to end up packing and moving. (which ultimately, saves you money!)

Assuming you don’t encounter delays that come with everyday life, it takes an average person about 3-4 days of packing to pack an entire 3 bedroom home. So, don’t procrastinate, get moving!

Take an inventory of the things you don’t need or use anymore and try to sell them or give them away. Throw out anything that’s no longer working. This all takes time, so give yourself at least a couple of months prior to your move to get all these things sorted.

Second, HOW do you start packing?

Now that you know when to start, now you need to know how to begin!

Carve out a designated zone

Set aside some space in your house that will be solely dedicated to packing things and storing your packed boxes. Ideally, this will be an empty room or empty closet. You’ll also want to store all your packing material in this space too.

Gather all your packing materials

You can either purchase good moving boxes from your moving company, or go to your local grocery store and ask for empty boxes. (Just be sure that they are sturdy boxes!)

Buy packing tape, labels and bubble wrap. Be sure to gather up all your empty suitcases too because they can be used to pack stuff away too! If there are extra linens and towels laying around, set those aside too because they can be used to wrap around fragile items.

Label everything!

Make sure you label all your boxes as you pack things away. Be sure to indicate which rooms they will be moving to so movers have an easier time knowing where to place the boxes, and you will also have an easier time unpacking!

Third, WHERE do you start packing?

Pick a room, any room, and start there. The key is to start somewhere and start early! 

Just don’t leave your kitchen to the last minute because it typically takes the longest to pack (due to all your breakable dishes and big appliances that will need to properly be packed and protected).

You might want to start with a room that’s not occupied too often, like the guest room or basement.

Now that you’ve got your momentum going, here are some tips to make the whole packing process easier: 

1. Start packing non-essentials

Start packing things that you won’t be needing to use in the immediate future. Here are some things you can start packing right away:

  • Seasonal items
  • Good China your grandmother gave you that you only use during special occasions
  • Photo albums and other decorative items around your house

2. Give or throw away items you no longer need

Have a garage sale or just donate/throw away as much as you can as you pack. 

3. Keep a list of essential items not to pack

You’ll want to pack yourself a day bag filled with essential items to get you through the first few days after your move. After all, you probably won’t have everything unpacked that first night you move in, so it’s definitely a life-saver to have one bag dedicated to holding all the essentials you’ll need to survive the first week after a move. 

4. Do one room at time

As the move date draws closer and closer you’ll want to actively start packing entire rooms up. Don’t forget to label boxes as you go! 

5. Pack sensibly

Make the move as easy as possible for both the movers and yourself. Limit the weight of your moving boxes to about 50lbs a box so you don’t end up hurting yourself if you move them or your friends who come help you! And, as strong as movers are, they’re human too! So be sensible when packing up boxes.

Also, try to pack heavy stuff on the bottom and lighter items on top. This will prevent the most breakage as they are moved around.

Be sure to wrap fragile items up in bubble wrap or linens and make sure you don’t pack any prohibited items either. (like perishable foods, jewelry, cash, medicines, hazardous materials, etc). Be sure to get a list of prohibited items from your moving company. Most moving companies will have that checklist for you to ensure no delays happen on the day of your move.

6. Protect your home before your move

Wrap towels around stair banisters to prevent scratches from furniture as they’re being moved out/in. Lay floor coverings on your carpets to protect them from dirt that will get tracked in and out as people move around.

7. Have a plan on moving day

On the actual day of your move, be sure to have a checklist handy of what you need to do. Things like making sure your moving company has a spot to park when they arrive, making sure your utilities and mail are forwarded to the new address and making sure the rooms are labelled properly at your new place so the movers know where the boxes belong (assuming you’ve also labelled your boxes correctly as well)

If you still find the whole task of moving daunting, then it might be worthwhile hiring a full-service moving company that will do all the packing and moving for you! We, at Airdrie Movers, would be happy to provide you with a customizable quote for your move. Give us a call today!