Americans move…a lot. On average, Americans move about 11 times in their lifetime, while Europeans only move 4 times in their life. Whether we’re moving to start a new job, be closer to family, or move to a new climate, Americans move more than any other county.
In fact, we move so much that May has been named National Moving Month.
Moving can be an exciting time—but the actual act of moving can be a major undertaking that requires logistics, muscles, trucks, and a LOT of assistance.
While hiring a professional moving company can help make a big difference when it comes time to transport furniture, boxes and other items, there is still a whole lot of coordinating and organizing that needs to happen before you’re ready to make the big move.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get rid of what you don’t need. One of the benefits of moving is that you can start over with a clean slate at your new house. Sort through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, donate, or toss. A good rule of thumb is to purge anything that you haven’t used in a year.
- Purchase plenty of supplies. You’ll need plenty of boxes, a tape gun, bubble wrap, permanent markers, packing tape, storage pads, and any specialty containers like wardrobe boxes, dish boxes, etc.
If you haven’t moved before, or if it’s been awhile since your last move, you might be a little unfamiliar with the golden rules of packing.
- Label your boxes. It seems simple, but it can be a nightmare finding your belongings if you forget this step. Label each box so you know what’s in it, and what room it belongs to. Never pack items from two different rooms in the same box.
- Place heavy items in smaller boxes. It’s much easier to carry heavy items when they’re in a small box. Never over pack a box, or it will be too hard to carry.
- Pack decorative items a few weeks before the move. You won’t need them in the meantime, and they can be rather large and bulky so use the extra time to figure out how to best transport them.
- Keep important items with you in a separate box or overnight bag. It’s best to keep items like jewelry, cash, important documents, or prescriptions/medication close at hand. Pack a personal overnight bag with toiletries, clothes, and other the day-to-day items you will need.
- Wrap all fragile items separately in bubble wrap or packing paper. Pack dishes vertically, filling the empty spaces with bubble wrap. If you’re hiring a moving company, take “before” photos of the items. If the item is damaged in the move, you may need to use these photos as proof.
- Put most needed items into clear, plastic bins. These items might include cookware, toilet paper and paper towels, small tools, etc.
- Pack cleaning supplies last. You’ll need these items for one last deep clean.
Planning a major move soon? Check out this moving checklist for a full breakdown on everything you’ll need to do to prepare for the big move.
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