We just sold our third home and are now pending on home #4 (surprise)! I can’t wait to share the details and what I’m most looking forward to about this home, but I’ll save that for another day! Having had three homes, two of which were custom builds and required us to move in (and out) with family between each build, it’s needless to say we have a lot of experience with moving in the past 10 years. It can be incredibly exhausting and frustrating but along the way we have found ways to make the packing, loading and transitioning stages easier.
Before You Begin Packing
Before you can even begin to start thinking about packing I highly recommend you look around and see what you can get rid of. This is great to do before even listing your home for sale. The less clutter you can have on your countertops and in cabinets and closets, the better it will show and the easier it is for potential buyers to envision your home as theirs. Plus the less you have to pack, the less headache and expense it will be. Go through your clothes, shoes, kid’s toys, home decor, holiday decorations, tools and more to see what you can do without going forward (or easily replace after moving into your new home).
When it comes to getting rid of items I prefer to take my family’s clothes and shoes to a local second hand store or I send them to ThredUP. Though you don’t get the highest payout with ThredUP, it is incredibly easy and saves me so much time. You request a bag, they deliver it to your door, you fill it and then schedule a time for USPS to pick it back up off of your doorstep; shipping is free for you! You can claim a $10 off coupon to shop at ThredUP with the link HERE. I have had great success selling our household items on Facebook Marketplace and if you have a lot of various items, garage sales are still a great option. Advertise them on your personal Facebook pages, group selling pages, Craigslist, in your local newspaper and/or with signs. We just did a last minute garage sale with only Facebook advertising about a month ago and just about everything sold!
When packing, I like to start as soon as possible to limit my last minute chaos and stress. I prefer to do a little bit here and there as time allows until it is crunch time at the end. I always pack less frequently used items, things we can do without for a month or two, first so that they can easily be out of my way and will not be missed by us in the last weeks/months. This includes items such as: formal dinnerware, holiday decor, family photo albums, the kid’s baby books, paintings and home decor, extra bedding and linens, clothes and shoes that are out of season and won’t be needed until in the new home, etc.
Another benefit of packing over time and eliminating the less frequently used items first is that it leaves the items you use daily or a couple of times a week for last so that they can all be packed close, if not together, and easy to access first once you are unpacking at your new location. I usually leave our coffee pot, silverware, toaster and personal items like body wash, shampoo, etc to pack at the last minute.
I like to get creative and pack our items in nontraditional ways to save money and space in the moving truck or storage box. For example, if you are bringing suitcases with you to your new home, pack items into the suitcases to make the best use of your space. Pack spices inside of your crockpot, etc. and don’t forget to use your towels/blankets as packing materials to prevent items from rubbing against each other and getting scratched or broken. I used our beach towels to wrap around our fragile home decor when packing into boxes this time. I needed to pack the towels anyway and saved space and money by using them instead of purchasing bubble wrap.
When loading a moving truck or storage container we find it best to pack all boxes and other more linear shaped items such as dressers first. We have found that we make the best use of our space by doing so and saving odd shaped items such as exercise equipment and bikes for last. Be sure to stack the boxes all the way to the top and start with heavy boxes on the bottom and lighter as it gets to the top to avoid heavy items falling off of the top and breaking.
Label, Label, Label!
You may think it will be easy to remember what you packed where but after all of the stress and chaos involved in moving and selling/purchasing/renting homes these details can escape your mind. Trust me! I like to boldly label a box with what room it is for (ex. KITCHEN, KIDS BATHROOM, etc) then in smaller font underneath include a few of the key items inside of that box (ex. silverware, crockpot, wine glasses, etc) to make it easier to get to the items that I need and want first upon arrival in the new home.
Additional Tips & Reminders
•Keep clothes on hangers; pack sections into garbage bags
•Label breakables in large bold writing: FRAGILE!
•Use paper/styrofoam plates, that you may already have on hand, between your plates/dishes vs. purchasing packing material
•Check grocery and liquor stores for free boxes (I do prefer purchasing boxes that are all the same size, making packing a truck or storage container much easier, but I know many that do this, especially for close moves!)
•Set up/make appts for utilities, cable, internet, etc
•Make sure bedding is easily accessible
One last thing: be sure to keep track of your moving expenses! Save receipts; some of your expenses may be tax-deductible which can be a huge benefit and save you money when completing your annual taxes!
Have you moved recently? Any tips that you would add to the list?
This post was written in partnership with The Jerry Blankers Team and is published at www.jerryblankers.com/blog. All opinions are my own. If you are in need of a realtor in Whatcom County, WA, we used them for our most recent land purchase and home sale and I highly recommend them! You can give them a call at 360-410-1297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Kassi@muljatgroupnorth.com. Instagram: @blankersrealestate