How to Pack Efficiently: Packing Tips for Moving
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Packing for a move can be a stressful process. There is a lot that you have to think about: when to start packing, how to pack efficiently, and how to keep everything organized.
Whether you have ever moved from one apartment to another in the past or not, packing up an entire home requires hard work to execute. Packing tasks often demand the use of a considerable amount of time, energy, and effort. Also, within a single packing project, there will be various minor packing tasks to perform. For instance, you have to pack and arrange your storage areas before engaging other spaces such as the bathroom.
However, regardless of the time you have left before your moving deadline, never underestimate the packing job ahead. Do not underrate the energy and time required to pack small items, including those you find comfortable while packing or materials you usually pack and unpack daily such as clothes.
If you’re in the process of moving or about to begin the process, read this post for some great packing tips and guidelines.
When Should I Start Packing?
When you are thinking about how to pack for a move, timing is very important. Knowing when to start packing for a move and wisely budgeting your time will make your life a lot easier when moving day comes around.
4 to 6 Weeks Before Moving Day
At four to six weeks out, you can take the first step in your moving process by researching different moving companies and hiring someone. A professional mover can make your move go much smoother. If you do decide to hire a professional, you should set your moving date at around 4 weeks out.
If you decide to move by yourself, look into renting a moving truck to help carry your things.
2 to 3 Weeks Before Moving Day
This is when you should start packing. Look at the “Getting Started” section of this post to see exactly what you need to do.
At 2 to 3 weeks out, you can begin packing non-essential items like home decor or out-of-season clothing/items. You can also start packing up rooms you consider non-essential. Non-essential rooms are everything besides the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.
1 Week Before Moving Day
At one week out, you can finish packing up all your non-essential items and get started on packing things from the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Here, you need to be decisive about what you need and what you can live without for the next week.
1 Day Before Moving Day
On the day before the big day, you should finish packing up everything besides what you will need for moving day (which should already have been packed in your moving day essentials kit).
This is also the time to start cleaning the house, unplugging appliances, and double-checking each room for any missed items.
The beginning of the packing process requires a lot of organization. How you handle getting started will determine if the rest of your move goes smoothly or not.
Prepare Packing Supplies
The very first thing you need to do when you start packing is to gather your packing materials.
Advisable Materials to Use
It means things like cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, tape, packing paper, trash bags, permanent markers for labeling, scissors, etc.
Bubble Wrap is a packaging material with small air cushions designed to protect your breakable items. It comes in different-sized rolls and has different bubble sizes for different levels of protection.
Packing Paper will be handy to stuff boxes and wrap your fragile items before packing.
Plastic Wrap is good for securing your furniture, drawers, and doors. Stretch wrap leaves no residue behind, and it sticks to itself.
Standard Cardboard boxes are ideal for keeping almost all clothes pending the time you will unpack them. Consider using the medium or large sizes since most clothes are light-weighted.
Packing Tape – do not buy the cheapest packing tapes, as they aren’t going to be the stickiest. We also recommend using a tape gun to dispense tapes quickly. Make sure you buy more tapes because you’ll need more than you think.
Marking Pens – it’s better to use waterproof permanent markers for labeling your boxes.
Wardrobe Boxes – these containers will come in handy for your best clothes. Wardrobe boxes are tall, easy to handle, and contain a rack where you can position your formal dresses. This way, your clothes will be saved from getting wrinkled. However, be informed that it is an expensive option. Also, wardrobe boxes may cover more ground compared to conventional packing boxes.
Vacuum Bags – this option is quite useful, most especially because they only cover a small space once the air is sucked out of it. However, your clothes might not be given the maximum protection – but there is a solution. Get a soft packing paper and arrange your clothes into it since the paper will serve as extra cushioning.
Make a List
The next thing you need to do is make a list of things you want to pack. The way you set up this list is up to you. But, your best option is probably going room by room (kitchen, bedroom, etc.)
During this step, it’s also best to decide what items you are going to put in storage or say goodbye to. If you haven’t used it in the past year, it’s probably time for it to go. There’s no need to complicate your move with clutter.
Labeling is incredibly important when you are packing for a move. Once you have your moving boxes packed, label them right away. Write directly on the box if you can. You don’t want a label that will fall off in the moving process.
When labeling boxes, write the room name it’s going to and what is inside. It’s also important that you mark boxes containing fragile items. You might even consider color-coding. Really, the more specific you can be in your labeling, the better. There’s nothing worse than wandering through a labyrinth of poorly labeled moving boxes in search of dinner plates.
Build Your Moving Day Essentials Kit Beforehand
There are some things that you’re just going to want to have on hand when the moving day arrives. Usually, what you decide to include is something you should talk about with your family, partner, or housemate.
To get your ideas flowing, here are some things we recommend:
- Towels, clean bedding and pillows.
- Basic cleaning supplies: all-purpose cleaner, hand soap, dish soap, sponges, broom or dustpan, paper towels, toilet paper.
- Phones, electronics (iPads, tablets, laptops) and chargers.
- Snacks and drinks.
- Small overnight bag: new clothes for the next day, pajamas, shower essentials, toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Small emergency kit and medications.
- Scissors or a knife.
- Pet food and dishes if you are moving with pets.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but it should get you thinking about what else you might need.
Keep your documents, important records, credit cards, IDs, passports, etc. with you, don’t pack them into boxes and don’t put them into a moving truck.
How to Pack Efficiently for a Move
Figuring out how to organize your moving boxes efficiently can be intimidating. Instead of just throwing things into each box without thinking, it’s best to follow these steps on how to pack efficiently for a move.
Step 1: Preparing Your Moving Boxes
You should put some sort of barrier on the bottom of your moving boxes to provide an extra layer of protection. For example, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even an old towel or old clothes.
Step 2: Weight and Size
The order in which you place items in each box is important. Pack items that are heavy on the bottom and the lighter things on top. Think of this step like bagging groceries, you don’t put the milk on top of the eggs because if you did, the eggs would be crushed and the milk would be tumbling out of the bag.
It’s best to put heavy items in smaller boxes and light items in larger boxes. This will help you avoid the mistake of overloading a big box with lots of heavy items, making it impossible to carry. You need to avoid making your boxes too heavy unless you’re packing clothes.
When packing clothes, there is no need to be concerned about how to handle the packed boxes alone, as most pieces of clothes are light-weighted. However, you will find a large suitcase full of heavy clothes to carry, especially if you have to pass through several stairs. But the good news is that clothes are not eggs, meaning that you do not have to worry if you drop them on the floor accidentally. In addition, regardless of the condition in which you find your garment after unpacking them, they will still stay intact without damage – only a few wrinkles will be apparent.
Step 3: Taping and Labeling
Once you have your boxes completely full, you need to tape them shut and label them. Make sure each box fully closes and the tape is secure. When labeling, remember to be as specific as possible.
Step 4: Organizing
You have to organize how you will stack the moving boxes. Think about what boxes you will want easy access to and make sure that those go into the moving truck last.
You also need to think about weight and size. Heavy boxes shouldn’t go on top of small boxes that weigh practically nothing. Consider planning how you will organize your moving boxes ahead of time.
Hiring Professional Packers
Undoubtedly, several tasks are involved with packing materials before moving. However, if you feel that the task is beyond your capacity or you do not have the time, you may contact professional moving companies to perform the job on your behalf.
Do you need an extra hand in packing? Rockstar Pro Movers will be delighted to help you. Our packing experts are always ready to advise you and provide guidelines on how best to pack your home for a seamless move.
Let’s say that you are looking for a group of professionals to help you safely pack your belongings. In this case, you would ask yourself how much do packers charge per hour. The cost varies depending on the moving company.
Usually, established moving companies have a minimum number of hours for labor-only moving services. A 3-hour minimum is very common nowadays. It is fair because businesses need to make money. If packers drive several miles to do an hour-long job, the company won’t make any money. They might lose more money. However, smaller moving companies might be able to accommodate you within less than 3 hours.
How much do packers charge per hour?
Below is the average cost for packing services in the United States, according to Thumbtack:
- 2 packers at $42.50 per hour per worker – $85 per hour total.
- 3 packers at $35 per hour per worker – $105 per hour total.
- 4 packers at $32.50 per hour per worker – $130 per hour.
Remember that the actual costs may vary depending on the time of the year and the cost of living in your city. In winter, when there is less demand for movers, it might cost you less compared to the summer. Also, San Francisco packers might charge more per hour than Charlotte due to the cost of living.
Supplies are sold separately
Pricing above doesn’t include supplies. It is hard to tell exactly how many boxes, tapes, shrink wraps, etc. will be used in your move. However, you can get a price per unit:
- Small moving box on average costs $3.
- Medium moving box on average costs $4.
- Large moving box on average costs $5.
- Dish-pack moving box on average costs $8.
Almost all moving companies bring their packing supplies when you hire packers. Don’t forget that specialty items might need custom crates.
If your packers do a great job, don’t forget about the tipping etiquette.