Moving is often the first step in a new chapter of your life. A new job may cause you to move. Maybe you found a new house, are moving closer to family, or perhaps just want to experience a new place. This article goes through a week-by-week description of when to start packing for a move.
No matter the reason for your move, the big step can be a significant source of stress. It can be overwhelming to see how much stuff you have inside your house. If you have decided not to use a moving company with a packing service, you will need your own packing process.
Even if you have decided to use a moving company, you will want to plan out as much of the process as possible. This will make packing for a move much easier for your family because you will know where everything is when you move into your new home.
In addition, planning out the moving process will help you avoid losing the belongings you need while you continue to reside in your current home. No one likes not knowing where essential household items are just because they have already been packed in a box before moving.
Planning out the process may seem like overkill. After all, why can’t you throw things in a box? But having a packing process will help your move go more smoothly.
Follow these packing tips for a stress-free moving experience.
Table of Contents
Gather Packing Supplies
Before you put your entire house into a bunch of cardboard boxes, ensure you have the supplies you need to pack for a safe move. You will need various packing materials, such as packing paper, moving boxes, wardrobe boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and cleaning supplies.
Establish a Packing Process
One of the best moving tips is to establish a moving process. A moving timeline includes a packing calendar that leads up to your move date. When you start packing to move, having a goal in mind will be a massive weight off of your shoulders.
Moving can be a long process, especially if you are moving a long distance, so start packing to move at least eight weeks from your move date.
6-8 Weeks Before the Move
In some situations, moving may happen quickly. You may not have much time to plan or pack. If this is your scenario, consider renting a storage pod or storage unit to help hold your possessions while you find a new place to live (1). A storage unit can buy you some time while you figure things out.
If you have two months or longer to move, you can plan out a process that will not be too stressful when moving day comes.
Clean your home. Get rid of any clutter by donating items you don’t need. Packing your belongings will be easier if you have fewer things.
Remember to keep essential documents in a secure location while packing for your move into your new home. These need to be easily accessible just in case you need them before moving to your new location.
You should research storage units and moving companies. Decide if you want to do the move yourself or hire a packing company or moving company.
This is also the time to decide on a budget and stick to it.
Begin packing fragile items in bubble wrap or packing paper. Delicate items are likely non-essential items or out-of-season items and are not necessary for everyday use.
Packing these items first will protect them from being lost as you move all your other personal belongings to pack items.
Related: Where to get Free Moving Boxes
Go through your entire home one room at a time and determine the non-essential items. Seasonal items or a guest room are great places to start. Then, begin packing these items because they are not used daily.
Most people don’t use a guest room every day, so start packing the things you will not miss in your everyday life. Packing boxes according to room will make unpacking these boxes easier after moving day.
Related: Free Moving Labels
3-5 Weeks Before the Move
Recheck Your Packing Materials
Around one month before moving to your new home, start packing the more used items. Continue to pack room by room and label the packed boxes clearly so you can unpack much easier on moving day.
Keep tabs on your packing materials to ensure you have all the necessary supplies.
Decide if you need to hire professional packers for your more valuable items. Check if you need larger boxes for bigger items, and start thinking about if you want to hire professional movers or a moving company for your heavier items, such as furniture.
Decide if you want a storage unit for extra storage in your new home. If you plan to save money by packing and moving yourself, make sure all fragile items are packed with packing paper before placing them in moving boxes.
Begin packing your garage space. Label all boxes clearly before you finish.
Pack books, out-of-season clothes, photos, and sentimental items. Move room to room so that your boxes stay organized. Use packing paper to ensure that all sentimental items and photos are safely packed (2).
As you pack, you may want to consider taking photos of the inside of each box before you seal it with packing tape. These photos could help you determine where things are located after your move.
3 Weeks Before Move
Take all art and photos off of walls so you can repair any wall damage before moving. Then, pack all these items in boxes labeled with the room they belong in your new home.
1-2 Weeks Before Move
It’s getting down to the wire. In the weeks following your moving day, your home may start to look sparse as you pack away your life and belongings.
2 Weeks Before Move
Pack the kitchen and bathrooms. Box up all the dishes and kitchen appliances you do not use regularly and the under-counter areas and linen closets. Leave a towel, hand towel, and washcloth per person for the next two weeks.
Plan on using the groceries you already have in your cabinet, and do not buy more unless necessary. Keep a few dishes, such as plates, bowls, and silverware, as you use the last of your groceries. Use a parts box to divide dishes and glasses and protect them during your move.
Box up the rest of the dishes, and consider using paper plates and plastic silverware for the next few weeks as your moving day comes and you pack up everything else.
Consider packing a “day of” box for your move. This box will be easily accessible in the moving truck. It should contain a few days of clothes and linens, a few dishes, medicines, important documents, toilet paper, toiletries, phone and computer chargers, and maybe some snacks.
A “day of” box will help you have everything you need in the days before your move. It will also have everything you need in the first few days after you arrive at your new home.
Last Week Before Move
It is time to pack clothes and linens. Some people find that packing what you need before moving in a suitcase helps box up everything you will not need. So choose what clothes you will need for these last few days in your home.
Pack shoes at the bottom of the box with lighter items on top of them. Pack haircare, jewelry, and toiletries that will not be needed until you reach your new location.
Prepare your furniture for moving day as well. Strip and take apart beds—cover furniture with tarps or old sheets to protect them in the moving truck.
Use the last of your groceries in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Defrost your refrigerator and freezer to avoid any smells for the new owner of your house. Make sure you clearly label any appliances you are not taking to your new home.
Finalize the items in your “day of” box. Make sure there is enough in the box to last you for a few days when you reach your location.
Only a few more boxes will need to be packed when moving day arrives. So pack the dishes and toiletries you kept out to use in these last few days.
Ensure your furniture is protected and begin loading the moving truck. Heavier and bulkier items are loaded into the truck first, followed by the boxes with lighter items.
Make sure that your “day of” box is easy to access in the moving truck or in the car with you. This box will ensure you have the essentials you need when you get to your new house, eliminating the stress of unpacking so you can enjoy your first night in your new home.
When the truck is loaded with all your belongings, do a final walk-through of your home to ensure you did not leave any of your possessions behind. Check every cabinet, drawer, and closet. Remember to look in the garage, hot water heater closet, and utility room.
Ensure that the utilities are turned off and all lights are off before leaving your keys on the counter and walking out the door.
Moving out of a home can bring up a lot of emotions, and moving day is exhausting and rewarding. You have begun a new adventure with all of your possessions in tow.
Following these moving tips, you can start packing early and have a stress-free moving day.
For more moving tips and home information, check out more articles here at Millennial Homeowner!