If you have never moved house before, or the last move was a disaster, here are some packing tips for moving that will help to keep your sanity.
1. Get Ruthless with Your Stuff - If you have some notice, or even on short notice, if you plan this right, you can get rid of a lot of stuff before moving day. Work on a room a day to get things going. Set up 3 boxes. One for donations, one for garbage and one for keeps.
Starting with your closet, take things out one at a time and quickly, using the 5 second rule (this means that within 5 seconds you should be able to decide whether it can go or not) pick a box. Keeping in mind that what you keep will have to be packed and moved. This will quite often motivate you to have a good clear out. Stick to one room at a time.
Once you have cleared the closet, if you still have some energy, go to work on the dressers. Same rule. Even if you have to haul out extra garbage bags to do this job, this one is important. Not only do you now become totally familiar with what is going with you, but you will be moving less stuff.
After you have completed a room, take it right away to your car or van or whatever you have to get rid of the pile of donations, and garbage. Now when you come back, you can start packing that room up.
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2. Source Cheap Moving Supplies - Try and source these as soon as you know you are moving. This gives you time to accumulate them. If you don't like the idea of used boxes, or cardboard moving boxes, or maybe your things have to go into storage for a long time. Then one tip for moving is to invest in those plastic tubs with well fitting lids. By the time you purchase cardboard boxes, sometimes the price is the same for something you can keep.
Sometimes you can get a good deal on them, if you check places like Wal-Mart and other similar stores. If you have cut down on the clutter in your room, then you could invest in color coordinated plastic tubs. Meaning, you could use pink for one bedroom and blue for another and gray for another one. This way you will know which room they belong to right away at the other end.
If your things have to go into storage for a long time, then plastic tubs might be the better way to go, for protecting your clothes and other things.
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3. Shredded Paper. If you have a lot of delicates to pack, you can use purchase packing peanuts, or bubble wrap, but you could also try using shredded paper. If you work in an office, that constantly shreds paper, then take in garbage bags and start collecting it, as soon as you know you will be moving. This is great for dishes and glasses etc. Whether you use cardboard moving boxes or plastic tubs, shredded paper is a great way to protect things. Plus it can be recycled afterwards.
4. Pack Up Trinkets Right Away - If you have some time, and don't want to completely pack, you can get started in the living areas, and start wrapping or packing your trinkets and anything on display such as pictures and small frames. Totally clean off all your living room furniture. In the dining room pack up your china and anything else you will not need from day to day while waiting to move.
Pick a corner of the room to start storing these boxes. Label them with what the major content is, just so you know where it belongs at the other end of the move. Every day do some more. This way you can see if you are going to have enough packing boxes to get you through your move.
It is best to get started as soon as you can, so that as you get closer, it is not as frantic to get things packed, and you will be ahead of the game when it comes to packing and moving supplies. Don't pack too much though, as you don't want anyone opening boxes to find their favorite cup! Just start with all the things you don't use on a regular basis. Plus this way it will be easier to keep things clean.
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5. Clean - Give all the furniture that is going a good clean. Once you have emptied your buffet cabinet for example, clean the shelves and clean everything, so you are not moving dusty furniture. You don't want to have to start cleaning at the other end.
6. Moving - Keep a few boxes aside, for moving day. There will always be something that someone has forgot to pack, from under the stairs or under the bed. This way you are not running around town trying to find more boxes. Keep a few garbage bags to, they can be used for packing any last minute things if needed.
7. Keep your basic cleaning supplies until last. This way you can give the house a good vacuuming or sweeping before you leave. Actually following the rooms as they empty is the easiest. Once a bedroom is empty, then quickly clean it. Unless you have arranged for a cleaner, this is a better way to leave the house before you move. This way you have your cleaning supplies ready for the new place.
8. Pack a Starter Box - Basically a few necessities to use at the next house, such as some towels, soap, toilet paper and shampoo, the kettle or coffee pot, just in case you can't unpack right away, or are just too tired to do so! Take this with you in the car.
Hopefully the above 8 tips are good packing tips for moving, and help to keep the day as calm as possible. If you have small children it would be better if they could go to a sitters house rather than have a sitter there. It can be upsetting for kids to see their things being taken out of the house, even if they are excited for the move. Plus it can get dangerous with people moving heavy furniture.
Don't forget to keep out some money for Pizza on Moving Day! You deserve a treat after all of that. Now you just have to unpack!