Chances are sooner or later, you’re going to be facing a move. The average person in the U.S. packs all of their belongings and transports them to a new home nearly a dozen times over the course of a lifetime.
For some of us, practice makes perfect, and moving feels easier if we’ve done it before. But whether you’re doing it for the first or fifth time, all of us could use some moving prep tips to save time and prevent stress.
Here are eight ways to make your next move faster and easier.
1. Start With a Major Decluttering
Few among us would want to pack up any unwanted possessions that we’re just going to end up tossing after settling into our new home. So it’s a good idea to always plan for a move by getting rid of clutter. The sooner you can go through your home and discard of unwanted or unneeded items ahead of a move, the better.
You can hold a yard sale or sell items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, donate them, give them away, recycle them, or throw them out. You can also consider putting some items into safe storage. Unloading junk and unnecessary items will save you time and work when the packing process actually begins.
2. Gather Packing Supplies
Another task you should do in the months leading up to your move is to gather all necessary moving supplies. You can never have too many boxes. Ask around local grocery stores, restaurants, and liquor stores for any extra boxes you can take off their hands.
You’ll also need plenty of bubble wrap and other padding materials for packing fragile items. Other moving supplies on your to-buy list should include tape, labels, sharpie pens, and scissors. If your moving company doesn’t provide them, pick up some furniture pads to protect the corners and legs of your furniture pieces.
3. Start Packing Ahead of Time
Packing is a laborious process, and the bigger your current home the more you’re likely to own. It’s never too early to start packing; even if you don’t have a move-in date yet, set aside an hour at a time.
Obviously, at this point you’ll be packing items you don’t need immediately, but you’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ll make by chipping away at it every day.
4. Leave Clothing in Drawers
There’s no need to remove all of your clothing from dresser drawers, creating more work for you. Leave any clothing items you don’t need right away inside your bedroom furniture. Just make sure all drawers are securely taped shut so the contents can’t spill out when the movers pick it up.
We advise placing only unbreakable items in furniture drawers. This will prevent breakage and avoid added weight.
There’s also no need to remove the clothing in your closet from their hangers. Pack them as is and placing them in your new closet will be a snap!
5. Pack Electronics Carefully
Your electronic devices should be treated with the same care as delicate items when it comes to packing them for a move. Television sets, computers, stereos, and other electronic items are susceptible to breakage so it’s important to pack them properly.
Take photos of any complicated cord hookups such as those found on your TV. These can come in handy later when you need to reassemble your entertainment center. Label cords and place them in plastic bags so you know what item they belong to.
If you saved the original boxes and packaging your electronics came in, great! They usually have styrofoam compartments designed to hold the item and accessories in place and prevent them from shifting and breaking. If not, make sure to wrap items in bubble wrap and place them in boxes with enough insulation so they don’t move around.
Heat can damage electronic items, so you may want to take them with you in an air-conditioned vehicle to keep them safe during the move.
6. Take Valuables and Important Documents With You
Even if you’re working with a trusted moving company, we always recommend taking valuables including jewelry and cash along with any important papers with you personally. You’ll eliminate the worry of these items getting lost or stolen in transit. Keep them with you in your vehicle when you move to the new address.
In fact, it’s a good idea to pull together these items ahead of the move and put them in a safe place so you won’t lose track of them.
7. Make a Moving Day Survival Kit
As it’s going to take you a while to unpack and locate some personal items, we recommend creating a moving day survival kit for you and your family. Your survival kit should consist of any medications anyone needs, toiletries, a change of clothing, snacks, bottled water, and instant coffee in case you can’t find your coffee machine right away.
Trust us—whether you’re moving into a new apartment or a house, you’ll be glad you took the time to pull together these emergency items. They’ll make your moving experience a little less stressful.
8. Always Do a Final Walk-Through
Even if you think you packed everything, it’s a good idea to always do a final sweep through your home, room by room, to make sure nothing gets left behind. Check medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and cabinets, and other fixed storage areas to make sure you have all of your belongings.
It’s also a nice gesture towards the new owners if you sweep away debris and remove all trash before vacating your home for good.
Remember These Moving Prep Tips
Moving may be considered one of life’s most stressful events. By following these moving prep tips you’ll know what to expect and how to get ready for it.
If a relocation to a new address is in your future, American Moving & Storage Solutions can give you a worry-free moving experience. Learn more about our Columbus residential moving services.