How well you pack your items will make or break your moving experience.
When your items are securely packed, then you increase the chances of having them arrive at your new home in good condition. If your items are not securely packed, then you increase the risks of damage occurring.
Packing is more than how you put items into a box. How you pack your furniture, appliances, and similar items on the truck is just as important to think about too.
If you are completing a DIY move in the near future, then here are some packing secrets to try using, taking directly from professional movers who do this work every day.
What Is the Best Way to Pack When Moving?
#1. Have lots of boxes and plenty of packing supplies.
Running out of packing boxes can make it difficult to stay productive. Running out of necessary packing supplies can put your items at risk. Think about how much you will need to complete the move, then order more than that. It is always better to have too much than not enough. Then get all of your packing materials assembled into one location.
#2. Group up all your items.
It is helpful to group all your items into designated categories. Room-based categories are very common, packing all the kitchen items into one box, for example. It can be helpful to create categories for specific items as well, such as toys, dishes, or garage tools.
#3. Keep the weight of your boxes down.
You should aim to keep every box that you pack to 50 pounds or less. That will make it easier to move the boxes onto and off of the truck. Lower weights will also reduce the amount of impact force that occurs during the move, which reduces the risk of damage during transportation.
#4. Fill every box to the top.
If you have empty space within a box, then you have an increased risk of damage to those items. Always pack the heaviest items at the bottom of a box. Then pack the lighter items on top of them. For those boxes that are only filled halfway, use your pillows, socks, towels, jackets, or other items to take up the rest of the space.
#5. Do not overfill your boxes.
An overfilled box can still be packed. The problem is that you cannot close the lid of the box to a flat position when it is overfilled. That makes it difficult to stack the boxes when you are putting them onto the truck. If you must overfill boxes, try packing them into a larger box instead, filling in gaps with soft items to prevent damage and increase the ease of stacking.
#6. Purchase heavy-duty garbage bags.
If you are packing a lot of clothing or stuffed animals, heavy-duty garbage bags make the process faster and easier. Avoid the cheap garbage bags because they almost always tear during the moving process. Soft items tend to get squished during a move and if the bag tears, your items could be ruined.
#7. Leave your items assembled whenever possible.
Make sure you have plenty of plastic wrap as part of your packing supplies. Whenever you can keep items assembled during the move, you’ll make your life easier. That applies to furniture, such as dressers, by wrapping them closed with the drawers in place. It also applies to small items, like your silverware tray.
Here’s a helpful hint: when moving a dresser, get the furniture onto the truck before wrapping it. Then fill the drawers with fragile items that are well-protected. Leave no empty space in the drawer. Then use the plastic wrap to secure the drawers to create more space in the truck.
#8. Secure everything.
Whether you are driving the moving truck, or you’ve hired someone to do it for you, make sure that everything is secured. Tape down small items that could become unsecured. Strap furniture and appliances to the side of the truck. If you have the space, consider running straps along the walls of boxes you’ve packed as well. This will further reduce the chances of damage happening.
#9. Store loose screws, nails, bolts, and washers with the item they’re for.
Losing the screws or bolts for a bedrail could mean that you’re sleeping on the floor at your new place. If you must disassemble furniture items, keep a large freezer bag next to you to store all the components you’ll need for reassembly. Clearly mark the bag just in case it gets lost for some reason. Then secure it to the item in question with painter’s tape to avoid damage.
#10. Pack your tools last.
When you get to your new place, you’ll be doing a lot of assembly work. By packing your tools last, you’ll be taking them off the truck first.
#11. Keep important documents in your vehicle or ship them to your new address.
Packing your important documents is not a good idea. Your birth certificates, passports, and other forms of identification can get lost in the shuffle of items. Keep them in your vehicle with you instead. Choose the most secure location possible. Consider purchasing a small safe for storage that bolts to your vehicle for added protection. You can also send your important documents through certified delivery services to your new address if you prefer.
#12. Label your boxes on the side.
If you label your boxes on the top or the bottom only, then you’ll need to unstack them to know where they should be placed. Labels on all sides of the box will reduce miscommunication.
#13. Add box contents to your labels.
It takes a little extra time and will take your packing to the next level. Add an inventory to your labels to know what is in each box. This practice allows you to prioritize which boxes should be unpacked first.
These Packing Secrets from the Pros Make Moving Easier
Moving can be a complex, intensive experience, even if you’re just moving a few blocks down the street.
With a little planning, you can eliminate many of the stresses that happen during the moving experience. Packing like a pro will help your items with a lower risk of potential damage.
Do you have any packing secrets you’d like to share that didn’t make this list?