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Thinking "In the Box" When It Comes to Packing for a Move

September 27th, 2017

There are no shortage of adages about the importance of planning - things like "the devil is in the details" and "measure twice, cut once." Usually they're just trite, but sometimes they're all too true - especially when it comes to packing up a house. Everyone can use any advice available to help them on both ends of the moving process. Below you will find just that: some quick insights into one aspect of said process - boxing.

All the news that's free to pack
First, let's consider something that will warm your heart after being nickeled and dimed while buying your new home: the potential for something that's free. And that "something" is packing newspaper.

Sure, you can go to the local big box store and buy packing peanuts and rolls of packing paper - but the cost can start to add up. Try talking with the manager of your local convenience store(s) about taking their day-old (and older) newspaper off of their hands. Every day, piles of it get thrown out or recycled - and more piles continue to be made.

While moving professionals typically recommend against using newspaper to sheath fine china and other precious valuables, it can be used to wrap a myriad of other things, as well as serve as helpful cushioning and "space-taking" material in boxes.

Double-duty packing
If you run out of newspaper or need something to wrap breakables that won't rub off, here's a secret that's not so secret: your towels, bed linens, etc., make great "bubble wrap" for delicate items and space filler. They have to be packed - and you'll probably want to wash them anyway after they've been in boxes and in trucks and/or storage - so why not let them serve double duty as protection and shock absorption?

Know thy mover
If you are using a moving service, the first step before putting together a single box is to find out precisely what can and can't go in the boxes. Moving companies usually make available, either online or in hard copy, a list of non-allowable items that they will not move or, if you aren't going right to your new home, store. Also, familiarize yourself with the moving company's policies on damaged goods, especially if you are packing themselves, because you'll be asked, as part of the claims process, how you packed your boxes.

With that being said, while packing a box might seem like an intuitive process, consider doing a little research as to how to best box different items, from books to crystal, and keep track of how and what you pack. Again, a little extra work while packing could help you avoid unpacking headaches.

Track what you pack
There's only one worse feeling than, "I know l left that around here somewhere..." and that's, "I know it's in one of these boxes..." Three packing tips can help you know where everything is when you start to unpack:

  • Pack one room at a time. Resist the urge to tackle multiple rooms at once (unless you have a partner or partners in packing). This will help you prevent "cross pollination" of belongings and things getting misplaced.
  • Label the tops and sides of boxes. Typically, movers will leave stacks of boxes throughout your new house. Labeling or marking the sides will save you from having to un-stack boxes to reveal their contents.
  • Keep a manifest. It might add additional time to the packing process, but keeping a list of the contents of each box on a mobile device or in a good, old-fashioned notebook - and remembering to clearly label the box on all sides - will help you minimize unpacking time and searching for that prized item that "should be in this box..."

A better organized "move out" makes for a smoother "move in"

A smooth move in starts with an organized move out - and when it comes to dealing with a house full of boxes "unpacking" and "digging through" are two different things. If you start your move by making and executing a well-thought-out packing plan, the faster you'll be able to unpack and enjoy all of your belongings in your new home.

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