It doesn’t matter if you’re moving from an apartment to a house or vice versa, there’s one step that you cannot skip and that’s packing. For most people, packing is the task that they dread the most because it’s time consuming. Doubly so if you want everything to arrive in one piece to your new home. Luckily, you can make the process easier on yourself by following the packing strategies below. Now only will you save time, you’ll also save yourself some money in the process.
Moving is the perfect time to take stock of everything you own and keep the items you truly want even if you’re moving from an apartment to a larger home. Unless you’ve lived an incredibly minimalist lifestyle, you probably own a lot of stuff that you don’t need or use that often. The less you have during a move, the cheaper it will be since less boxes = less time it takes the NJ movers to load and unload their truck. This is especially important for long-distance moves as these get calculated by volume, weight, and distance.
While it will be hard to part with your stuff, it’s important to set aside a few days to sort through your belongings. When choosing what items to say goodbye to, ask yourself how often you’ve used it in the past year or two. For expensive items like furniture, you should take into account its condition, whether it will fit in your new home, and if it will match whatever aesthetic you want for your new place. Buying a new couch isn’t cheap, but lugging one to your new home and realizing there isn’t a place for it is even more expensive.
Once you’ve separated out all of the items you don’t plan on taking with you, host a garage/yard sale. It’s a great way to make some extra money to pad your moving budget. Of course, you won’t sell everything, so try and donate whatever you can. Items that aren’t in good condition you should recycle if possible. If not, then throw it out.
Have the Right Supplies
There’s nothing worse than starting the packing process only to realize halfway through that you don’t have everything you need. You might think that boxes and some tape are enough, but for a smoother move you should consider investing in the following:
- Bubble wrap, packing paper, packing peanuts to secure fragile items
- Plastic bags to group smaller items together like toys, pens, etc.
- Sharpies to label your boxes
- Stretch wrap to secure your dressers drawers or keep items together
- Mattress bag to keep your mattress from collecting dust and debris
- Packing tape to close up your boxes. Don’t skimp, get more than you think you need!
- Boxes to pack your items. While you can always try and find free boxes, it might be worth it to purchase boxes specifically designed for moving as they are more durable. You should also get a variety of sizes to account for the different items you are moving.
Buying all these supplies can put quite a dent in your wallet, so ask around to see if you have friends or family that might have some of these items.
Create an Inventory
Before you start packing, you’ll want to know exactly what you plan on bringing with you. A well organized inventory can help you manage what’s in each box, where each one needs to go in the new house, and keep track of valuable items. If you’re using professional movers, they will always request an inventory of items to make sure they don’t forget anything during the move.
Creating an inventory might sound difficult, but it’s a relatively straightforward process. It does require you to keep track of everything you plan on moving right down to the last nail. For best results, you’ll want to do this while you pack. A good moving inventory lists the following:
- Box number to keep track of boxes
- Contents of each box
- Room where each box came from
- Whether items are fragile
- Whether items in the box are valuable
- Color code/label used for each box
- Picture of fragile/valuable items in specified boxes and market value
- Take pictures of your electronic setup so you know how to set everything back up in your new home
It might sound funny, but there are proper ways to pack a box. In fact, you can train yourself on the best way to pack a box to make the most use of the space while still keeping your items safe. Plus, a well packed box also makes unpacking a lot easier as everything will be properly organized. If you’re not sure where to get started, below are some useful packing tips:
- Use the right box size – heavier items should go in smaller boxes and lighter items should go into larger boxes. You should also put fragile items in smaller boxes as you want to reduce the amount of pressure you put on the fragile items
- Put heavy items on the bottom – this sounds like common sense, but many people simply toss everything into a box without considering the weight. If you put heavy items on top, they will crush and/or break the lighter items.
- Don’t leave gaps in the box – these gaps can jostle your belongings, which can lead to damaged items. Fill any holes with packing paper, towels, etc.
- Tape boxes securely – use more tape than you think you need and tape both the top and bottom. Then wrap a couple times around the edges. You really don’t want the boxes opening up on the top or bottom during the move.
- Buy speciality boxes – They might cost a bit more, but things like wardrobe boxes, speciality boxes for art, dishes/glassware, and televisions are designed to provide an extra layer of protection. If you don’t know where to find these boxes, the NJ moving company you use might have some.
Another useful hint is to pack similar items together – books with books, toys with toys, etc. Go a step further and organize by room. So if you have books for the living room and books for your bedroom, put them in separate boxes. It might seem like a hassle, but you’ll be able to unpack a lot faster when you put the effort into the initial packing.
And sometimes the right way to pack is to not pack! For example, if you have clothes on hangers, don’t take them off. Instead, bundle the clothes together and then wrap it in a garbage bag to protect them. For clothes in dressers, simply wrap the drawers tightly with stretch wrap.
You’ll also want to back a separate box specifically for essentials like clothes for 2-3 days, toiletries, bedding, toys for children, food for pets, etc. That way, you won’t have to dig through all the boxes to find exactly what you need and you can take your time unpacking since you already have the essentials easily accessible.
Get Professional Help
If you’re strapped for time, you can’t go wrong with hiring professionals. Luckily, many moving companies also offer packing services. Naturally, it will cost you more money, but if you simply don’t have the time or energy, it’s a great option. Plus, you can have them pack up certain rooms or areas instead of the entire house to save some money. Sure, you’ll still need to do some packing if you choose this option, but it can reduce your overall workload significantly.
The reason it’s better to hire professionals than asking friends is that they know exactly how to pack your boxes and will handle each item with care. Your friends or family members won’t have as much experience and knowledge so could inadvertently pack your boxes incorrectly. Or perhaps they’ll simply jumble all of your belongings together so you don’t know where anything is. Obviously, those who volunteer to help mean well, but they don’t always know the best practices. It’s well worth it to find some money in your budget to hire packers.
Make Packing Less Stressful
Following the packing strategies above does mean you’re putting in more upfront work. However, it is well worth the time and effort as you won’t have to worry as much when you’re unpacking. And if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, then you can call in professional NJ packers like us!
How can I make packing more fun for the family?
Liven up the process by playing some music. Make sure to have plenty of snacks available and don’t forget to take some breaks. With kids, have the younger children pack some of their toys and clothes. With older kids/teens, they can pack their room.
What happens if a box breaks during the move?
If you’re using professional movers, they will provide a new box and re-pack it. This might cost you some extra money though!
What do I do if the movers lose a box?
Let the moving company know immediately. If they are not able to locate the box, they will then reimburse you. All items are covered by basic moving insurance which provides $0.60 per item per pound. You can also pay extra for full service, which is great if you have more valuable items.