how to pack for a move

How to Pack for a Move – The A to Z Ultimate Guide

How to pack for a move? If done properly, moving doesn’t have to be a bore. However, you will need to plan ahead.

Think of it as deciding on a full strategy to ensure all of your belongings get from point A to point B safely - a strategy that must account for every object so as to make sure you don’t lose anything on the way to your new home.

So here’s our take: relax, take a deep breath, read through this guide on how to pack for a move, and then stop dwelling in anxiety and start packing!

We’re going to show you how to make a budget for moving, what packing supplies you’ll need, how to label your stuff for moving, and how to unload all your precious possessions into your new home.

Needless to say, after this, you’ll probably be your friends’ go-to expert on how to move!

  • PREPARATION & Checklists
  • Packing & LABELLING
  • d-dAY: MOVING IN
Tips for Creating a Moving Budget

Tips for Creating a Moving Budget

Drawing up To-Do Lists and Checklists

Finding and Choosing the Best Moving Supplies


How to Pack for a Move: Preparation & Checklists

All that heavy lifting will often put a strain on your back and on your budget. However, the latter doesn’t have to be the case. Preparing a move is just an important a step as the actual move, if not more important since you get to decide what goes where and not rely on a momentary whim to get things into place. A well thought-out strategy of moving can save not hours but days on your moving time and a lot of pounds on your budget.

In the process of how to pack for a move, it’s of paramount importance to have three things: a moving budget, a checklist, and a stash of moving supplies. A moving budget will make sure you don’t spend more than it’s worth on moving. A checklist will ensure that you don’t forget anything. Lastly, the moving supplies will prove invaluable for keeping things together. Especially breakable things.The following sections will highlight the right way to do each of these three things efficiently. Let’s get to it!

Tips for Creating a Moving Budget

How to Pack for a Move – The A to Z Ultimate Guide

Invaluable as it is to create a down-to-earth budget for one’s moving needs, most people make grave mistakes when trying to do this. To avoid this being your case, you have to follow a few simple steps. Just remember that money is an issue, no matter how much you may think that moving things from one place to another will be super easy and cost nothing. So it’s better to plan ahead!

List what you need to pay. First of all, you need to figure out where your money will go. If you think you won’t be spending extra cash, I’m sorry to break it to you: you will! That’s especially so if you’re moving to a house instead of an apartment. Here’s a hypothetical list of expenses to think about:

· The moving company fee. Moving companies are not cheap. If you’re looking for how to pack for a move across country, you will definitely need to save a few hundred pounds for the moving company.

· The moving company tips. Now, many people think that movers already get paid enough. No matter whether that’s true or not, common courtesy in how to move dictates that a tip of 5% to 20% is in order. The tip may vary depending on the distance of the move and the way the movers handled your objects. The largest cut should always go to the driver.

· Travel expenses. Again, if you’re looking for how to pack for a move across country, you should plan stops along the way for you and your family. Lunch at a restaurant by the driveway, a night at the hotel, a stop for coffee, and many more possible expenses (not to mention for gas).

· Extra pounds. Maybe your new neighbours or their kids will offer to help with unpacking. Save a few pounds for them as well, they’re probably not doing it solely out of the kindness of their hearts.

· A lot of leeway for error. Don’t think for one second that you will meet your budget. Plan more extra money, just in case.

Think of where you’ll get the money. If you already have the money nicely put aside in your bank account – you’re a lucky one. However, not everyone is in this fortunate situation. Ask your new employer for an appropriate stipend if it’s the company that you’re moving for. If not, then check with friends, with the bank, and with your family, of course.

Think of ways to save money. Remember those extra pounds you’ll want to have for neighbourly assistance in unpacking? Here’s a tip on how to save them: borrow boxes from friends, from family, even from co-workers. Everybody knows the hustle and bustle of how to pack for a move and will probably be wholeheartedly understanding at your request.

Drawing up To-Do Lists and Checklists

What are checklists good for? After all, you do know everything that’s in your house, everything that you need to do, everything that you want to move, and everything that you want to leave behind, right? Wrong! You need not one, not two, but several checklists accounting for different things.

We suggest going about this on a time-basis. Make separate checklists for each week for as much as 2 months before the actual move.

The list bellow will show you how to pack for a move in an orderly way. These are the general things that you should do. Print out the list and then split it into between 4 or 8 separate lists. Each task listed here can definitely be split into several subtasks; so do that!

how to pack for a move checklist

Finding and Choosing the Best Moving Supplies

How to Pack for a Move – The A to Z Ultimate Guide

Moving supplies are mandatory if you want to get into your new home in one piece. Your precious things, computers, TV sets, glassware, silverware, porcelains, jewels, and books, all need to be carried swiftly and efficiently to your destination. Simple cardboard boxes won’t work for everything. You’ll need a bundle of supplies if you want to survive the D-Day of moving.

Here’s another list of how to pack for a move and what packing supplies to use:

The list bellow will show you how to pack for a move in an orderly way. These are the general things that you should do. Print out the list and then split it into between 4 or 8 separate lists. Each task listed here can definitely be split into several subtasks; so do that!

• Boxes. We said that moving boxes won’t be okay for anything you try to move, but they are exceptionally good to have. Things like books are perfect to be fitted into boxes. Computers and other electronics may work just as well. Pro tip: save your computer’s original box when you buy one, your future self will thank you.

• Plastic bags. A lot of them, to be honest. They’re great for a lot of items you will want to move: from little items lying around the house, to kitchen utensils, bathroom items, etc. We recommend trash bags for this and we’re not even joking. Just be sure to grab the expensive, sturdy ones that don’t tear.

Tape, tape, and tape. You will need tape to secure the boxes or anything inside the boxes. Make sure that you buy several types of tapes of different sizes.

Bubble wrap. How to pack for a move? This very complicated question can have a simple answer: bubble wrap. Whatever you do, don’t leave the bubble wrap near the kids! You can let them have it afterwards. Be sure to stock up on it as you will most definitely need a lot. Pro tip: use different types of bubble wrap for extra-fragile things.

• Padded bags. Files, documents, and various papers can be stored in padded bags. Don’t trust anything else!

• Heat sealer. If you will carry a lot of things in plastic bags, there’s only one foolproof way of making sure they won’t open and spill out all your things during transit: a heat sealer. One of those is a great thing to have around the house, not just as a packing supply.

Had enough of our moving tips? We’re just getting started! We can’t talk about how to pack for a move unless we actually mention packing and labelling things. The next section will focus on that.

Packing & Labelling

It’s uncanny how common many mistakes are when packing things into boxes. People seem to think that something will be of use: like an overly complicated label, an empty piece of furniture, or packing all items of one category together. The truth is that neither of these things will be of any actual use except for making you terribly confused once you get to unpacking.

Organizing and Sorting Things

How to pack for a move efficiently? There are multiple steps you’ll want to take to ensure everything is properly organized and at your disposal throughout the moving process. Here’s what to do:

· Save all important papers. Put all of your important documents in a file. Store that file either in your car, in a suitcase, or in a safe box (more about that later on). You will need these papers for various things once you move and sifting through boxes isn’t an option.

· Make suitcases for each family member. You won’t be fully operational the instant you move into your new home. That’s why you should plan ahead. In a suitcase, store some wear-and-tear clothes and two changes of work clothes. Then, add a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a toothpaste, a towel, and a disposable razor (for him). These boxes should be kept separately.

· Remember how to set up things. A lot of appliances have too many wires. To remember how they need to be set up, carefully take notes on a piece of paper and attach that to the device. Alternatively, you can take a photo of the setup.

· Clear up a room. Find the least-used room in your whole house. Take out everything inside that room and leave it especially for storage purposes.

· Pack things up neatly. Make sure that every box that you pack is full. You need to leave no open space in between the items you’re packing. You can use newspapers to fill these gaps.

· Take apart large items. Big furniture must be taken apart. Do this with caution and store the screws and other small pieces in heat-sealed bags taped to the furniture.

· Pack a box to open first. The very last thing that you will want to do is pack a box with small stuff like soap, paper towels, scissors, gloves, bath towels, and a few pots and pans. These will probably be needed upon arrival, so it’s best to keep them close by.

· Dishes are your record collection. That means you should place them vertically. If you’re looking for how to pack dishes for a move, we recommend you use basic Styrofoam plates in between regular porcelain or glass plates. No more glass fragments spread about your boxes!

· What to pack first when moving? Seasonal items that are out of season (Christmas decorations, winter clothes, Halloween costumes), important items, money, and other things you simply don’t need for the duration of the packing.

How to label boxes?

One of the most important lessons in learning how to pack for a move is labelling boxes. First of all, boxes should be labelled with a number, a room, and a short description of contents. Put all the items in a room inside adequately labelled boxes. If a box contains fragile objects, you can use yellow tape to distinguish it. Don’t forget to label it as fragile. After all is done, recheck all of the boxes and bags to see if they are adequately labelled or need extra tape.

Making an Inventory – Is It Worth the Time?

How to Pack for a Move – The A to Z Ultimate Guide

Is making an inventory worth your time? When you’re figuring out how to pack for a move fast, you won’t have any moment at all to spare. So what will it be?

We suggest you go for the middle option. Making up a complete inventory of absolutely all of the items you’re going to move from one house to the other is incredibly helpful. When there’s no time for that, we’ve got another suggestion: number the boxes. If you’re doing the packing tips together with someone else, here’s another one: have your friend or family member write every single thing you add to a box on the box. That way, you save time and you will know exactly what you’re going to find inside. Furthermore, adding a count number to each box will help you out when you need to call the movers.

Lastly, group boxes by room. Say three boxes go in the living room; label these 1, 2, and 3. Repeat the same process for all of the other boxes as well. How to pack for a move has never been this easy!

Using a Truck vs Using Your Own Car

Now, for this one, it really depends on what you want to achieve. If you are moving your whole house from one place to another, you will have several options:

· A truck will take all of your stuff in one trip. However, it will cost you a whole lot more if you want to hire movers.

· A personal car can get the job done cheaper yet not necessarily better or quicker. With a personal car, you will most definitely end up doing several trips instead of just one.

Deciding on which is best for you depends on a few concrete details regarding how to pack for a move:

Do you have a lot of boxes? If your boxes are many, large, and heavy, you should not go at it alone. Hire a moving company before someone will suffer back pain.

Are you moving furniture? Most of the times, the simple answer to this question is “yes.” In that case, a moving company is your best bet for a hassle-free household move across the country.

Are you going far away? Have you decided to move to Glasgow? We really recommend this beautiful town. However, if you plan on going there by car, you’ve got another thing coming!

How big is your car? In the odd case that you drive a lorry out of pure passion, you should have no problem using it instead of full-service movers.

How much time do you have? Full-service movers also offer you packing services. If you don’t have time to turn your current house upside-down before moving, let them take care of everything.

Choosing both. Most movers today looking for how to pack for a move are opting for both options actually. They leave the largest of boxes to be taken by lorry across the land while they take the necessities along with them in the car. These often include the day-to-day items, the important documents box, the personal briefcases of all the members of the household, and kitchen items.

Here’s a table of things that you should move by truck and things that you should move with your personal car:

Any other items that you may want to move should follow the common sense principle of this table.

Building a Safe Box

A safe box, or jewellery box, is a great way to store all of your valuables. Of course, you won’t just store jewellery in it, but all the other valuable things you've got in the house. For instance, you’ll want to add in the money that you’re supposed to pay to the movers (if you actually do hire a full service movers).

Adding your valuables to a safe box is one of the crucial steps of how to pack for a move. Remember that even small documents like your birth certificate or student permit need to be safely locked away when you change homes. If you’re looking for how to pack for college, this is a really important tip that you should definitely not skip.

The safe box needs to contain all the things you couldn't live without and should be stored in your personal car under a sealed lock to which only you or your family have the key. The safe box is a good example of what to pack first when moving.

D-Day: Moving In

We've shown you how to pack for a move fast, but we’re not done yet! Now comes the hardest part: D-Day. In moving jargon, that means unpacking on the shores of your new home. If you’re like me, this should be the most enjoyable of the whole moving process. Therefore, if you've followed all of the moving tips we've given up to now, you should have no problem unpacking. However, when faced with such a variety of options, people who are just moving in are often at a loss for ideas as to how to arrange everything.

Should we unload everything in the living room? Should we unpack everything right away? Should we do anything before unpacking? These are all good questions and we will try to answer them right away. Though, if you've glanced at the following titles, you should already have some sort of hint to what’s coming.

Cleaning and Dusting

Cleaning your new place is far from an easy task. You have to do it methodically, lest you want a bit of that old unfamiliar smell to mix in with your smell and ruin your whole mojo. An important moving tip that we can give is to always show up one or two days prior to D-Day to see how things are in your future dwelling place. This is the very first step in how to unpack.

Here’s a rundown of things that need to be done in a new home:

Find the source of the smell. If the new house smells fishy, find the source. Look for areas that are generally prone to mould. Dust off specific areas that are usually forgotten (such as the top of the kitchen shelves, the corners behind old furniture). Before you bring your stuff in, you want everything smelling like Kleenex. Everything.

Eliminate all the dust. Even that little tiny spec in the corner must be dealt with. Take out the mop (or buy a new one) and the vacuum cleaner and have fun in an empty house. You know that the worst part of vacuuming is having to move everything out of your way. This inconvenience is gone now! Put on some music and have fun.

Double check the kitchen. No matter how much the owner swears that their kitchen is spotless, you should especially double-check this room. Look around the corners, behind the table, behind the fridge, inside the cupboards, under the sink, and inside all the appliances. If there’s even the slightest hint of smudge inside the stove, it’s clean, clean, and clean!

Inspect the walls. Look at the walls to check if they’re clean. More likely than not, there are a few cobwebs hanging (literally) around the corners of the rooms. Look also for fingerprints and for dust marks. Clean the walls with a sponge mop – it’s simply the best.

Clean the light fixtures. This is a very important step that people forget. If you’re going about how to pack for a move properly, you will want to do it right to the end. That means sticking your nose (not literally) under the lightbulb to see what wonders lay dormant there. Most likely – bugs. Throw out what you find and clean the fixture thoroughly with soap water. If it’s very dirty, let it soak for a full hour. While you’re at it, wipe the lightbulb itself with a dry piece of cloth. It will lighten up your day – literally.

Unpacking and Organizing Everything the Smart Way

There are several ways to get your empty home looking like the beauty that is that condo in the image above. We prefer the old-fashioned way of unpacking: on a need-to-use basis. Here’s how we like to unpack things in our new homes:

· The bathroom. You never know when you need to use the loo. It’s of paramount importance that the first thing you do is to equip the bathroom with all the necessities like toilet paper, towels, soap, and everything else while you’re at it.

· The bedroom. Make sure your new/old bed is clean and assembled. Fit it with clean linens and tidy everything up. After you’re done with that, unload everything else you have in your bedroom boxes. Why the bedroom? Well, where are you going to relax after a job well done?

· The kitchen. You’re probably beginning to get the whole picture. The kitchen is equally important as the previous two given that you need to eat. Arrange all of your kitchen utensils in your favourite order. Get some food to put in that refrigerator. Plug in the coffee machine and give yourself a boost of energy to get the rest of the rooms done properly.

· The closet. Lay out all of your clothes nicely in the closet. See if you have any room left, in which case it’s shopping time!

· The living room. Also known as the “dump-all-the-rest-of-the-boxes-in-the-middle-of-the-room-and-see-what-you-want” step. At this point into how to pack for a move, you’re probably exhausted. All that hustle-and-bustle has worn you out and you just want to unwind. Don’t worry, you’ll be done quickly. Put two boxes aside for things you want to leave in storage and start sifting through everything that’s in front of your eyes. Little by little, your new house is starting to look a lot like home. If you’ve followed out the packing tips above, this step should also be relatively easy.

· Don’t set up electronics. This needs to be the very last step. You don’t want distractions. Care for music? Use your phone or a radio! Mounting the TV will surely delay you from finishing up with the unpacking process.

Making the New Home Cosier

The next day, after a good strong cup of coffee, look through the house. Decide what looks well and what could handle improving. Then, open your computer and go to the internet. Figure out small things that would make your home all the better. If you haven’t passed your budget on how to pack for a move, it should be more than affordable to do this.

We hope our guide to how to pack for a move has been useful. We also hope that our packing tips have considerably reduced the time you spent preparing your new home and increased that which you spent enjoying it. If you've finished the moving process, good for you! If you’re about to begin it, good luck! This concludes our article on how to pack for a move. Whether you’re a student going to college, a new family looking for a home, or you simply want something new, I'm sure these tips will prove invaluable.

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