If you’re in the process of moving, you’ve probably realized just how stressful it is. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans say that moving is more stressful than planning a wedding, while 27% of Americans find moving more stressful than a job interview.
Moving is a huge financial, logistical and emotional undertaking. As a professional organizer, I’ve helped many clients throughout their moves, and I’ve seen firsthand how all that stress can impact what should actually be an exciting time in our lives. After all, for as difficult as moving is, it’s also an opportunity for a fresh start, and fresh start starts with letting go of what’s holding us back.
In the case of moving, this means clutter. When it comes to packing for your fresh start, it’s all about leaving behind things you no longer need and protecting the things that you do. I recently shared 15 tips for making your move less stressful, but today I want to focus on 5 quick tips on how to pack for your big move.
1. Pack only what you need
When it comes to packing, the mistake many of us make is leaving everything to the last minute. The other mistake we make is packing everything we own instead of only what we really need. Depending on how long you’ve lived in your current home, you may have years’ worth of belongings to sort through, and you’ll need to make choices about all of them. Do you want to keep or toss, sell or donate?
It’s one decision after another, but they’re all necessary in making sure you’re not taking any extra baggage with you – literally. Before you pack, make sure you allow yourself enough time to declutter. That way, you’ll be packing only what you’ll need. This may cost you a bit of time now, but it will save you space, stress and sanity later – trust me!
2. Consider your packing materials
This may sound strange to someone who hasn’t worked in the moving industry, but I know my tape. I’ve worked with many different brands of tape across many different budgets, and I know the difference between the ones that are good-quality, easy to work with and the ones that aren’t. The difference isn’t always in price, but in frustration. Believe me, moving is stressful enough without your tape constantly malfunctioning or your boxes breaking mid-move.
No, you shouldn’t have to go spending an arm and leg on tape, but it is important to consider the quality of your packing materials. While you can reuse old boxes or use newspaper as padding to save some money, you do want to make sure you’re generous with reinforcements. Especially if you’re moving far away, you want to ensure that your boxes are durable enough to handle a bit of ware and tear throughout the journey. Or, if you’re moving boxes into storage, you want to make sure they are sealed well and protected from the elements (pro-tip: throw a few silica packets in each box to absorb possible moisture). Invest in the materials that will protect your belongings.
3. Label Effectively
It should come as no surprise that as a professional organizer, I love a good labeling system. This love for labels extends into packing for a big move. Labeling is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to stay organized while you move.
The mistake people make is being too broad. While you don’t need to specify every single item in each box, make sure you have enough details to help the unpacking process run smoothly. Label each box with what room you’d like it to go in in your new home. When applicable, make sure to label your boxes as fragile or heavy to prevent you and your things from damage.
4. Document Everything
With so much going on and your attention spread so thin throughout the moving process, it can be easy to forget all the details later on. Keep a record of everything throughout your move. When you’re labeling your boxes, think about numbering them and keeping a more detailed inventory of what’s inside them.
You may also want to take pictures of the moving process, not necessarily for sentimental reasons, but to help you remember. For example, it can be difficult to recall where wires go on things like TVs or sound systems, so take a picture of how your electronics are connected before you unhook everything and refer to it later to save time and frustration.
5. Unpacking – reach out to a professional organizer!
After you’ve gone through the process of sorting, packing and moving, you now have to go through the process of settling into your new home. By now, you’re mentally and physically exhausted, but there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to unpacking.
Take this time-consuming process off your plate by hiring a professional organizer. Hiring a professional to get you settled will take away some of your stress and help ensure your new home is organized and looking its best, not just when you move in, but in the years to come, so you’ll be happier in your new home even when it’s no longer new.
Now that you’ve read these tips, you’re ready to get packing! Planning ahead and preparation is important in anything you do, but it’s also important to expect and accept that some things will not go according to plan. Along with your family, pets and prized possessions, don’t forget to pack your sense of humor, and the phone number of someone who can help: 201 214 0652