Packing your whole house may seem like a massive burden but when you look at the bigger picture, breaking down the job into small tasks can make the moving process much easier.
Like any other large project, moving requires making a plan, getting organized and tackling a little bit at a time. Knowing how to pack is essential to have a stress-free moving experience and after decades of packing, FlatRate knows a thing or two about getting your inventory safely to your next destination.
Because we know packing properly is the essence of a successful move, we have created a packing and moving checklist so you have a guide to follow before the big day.
Start Planning Early
Have time on your side — start planning as early as possible by creating a moving checklist and dedicating chunks of your day for moving-related tasks.
The next step is to purge all your unwanted items at least a few months before your move-in date. The sooner you decide what you really need, the sooner you can get into actually packing.
At FlatRate, we partner with The Salvation Army for our UpCycle program — facilitating the donation process for our clients by providing moving boxes that will be dropped off at the closest Salvation Army after our team picks up your items.
Pack Off Season Items
If it is summer, get all those holiday decorations out of the way. If it is winter, pack your shorts, beach equipment and surfboards. Make it a priority to organize your inventory and figure out what you will need until you move and what can immediately go to a moving box.
Pro tip: don’t forget to color code the boxes or mark them with keywords like “Christmas decor” and “kitchen supplies” so the unpacking process is as quick and efficient as the packing.
Moving Box 101
Always stack with the heaviest boxes, containing books and other solid items, on the bottom. The lighter ones should go up on top. Pack boxes as tightly as possible to avoid shifting.
Once you start separating your inventory and begin the packing process, FlatRate recommends that you make three piles: items to keep, items to donate and items to throw out.
Do you remember that vintage pasta maker you bought for $10 at the flea market? Are you really going to use it? If the answer is no, now is the time to finally let it go.
Take that mentality with all the stuff you have stored in the basement and whatever you have not used in the past 10-12 months, should probably go to the donation pile.
Create Colored-Coded Boxes
Color-coding can be a life-saver when it’s time to pack. Once you really start packing, create a master list that has the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, living room, etc., matched with its own color.
Mark each box with a corresponding color so the moving crew can easily figure out where everything is going. Don’t forget to label boxes with fragile items and make sure this is marked clearly on the top of the box.
Use newspaper and packing peanuts to fill in empty space in boxes that have fragile items and draw an arrow on the sides indicating which way is up. Don’t forget to reinforce the bottom of your boxes with extra packing tape.
Focus On the Kitchen
Not everyone knows, but packing your kitchen is usually the most difficult part of the packing process. You need to spend a lot of time and energy properly packing kitchen items in order to prevent a load of broken dishes.
Load up the bottom of the boxes with some packing paper or newspaper to create shock absorption. Then individually wrap plates, cups, glasses, etc., in order to create the most protection possible.
For utensils and silverware, place 3-4 items in a piece of paper and roll it twice. Since these are lighter items, you can repeat that process multiple times and place a bunch of silverware rolls on top of heavier items like plates, bowls and mugs.
Set aside medium-sized boxes for pots and pans. Since those items are so heavy, you don’t want to load too many into larger boxes. Make sure to label those boxes clearly to keep your movers in the know about heaviness.
Use Clean Paper For Fragile Items
Paper towels and tissues can be your best friend when packing up the fine china and wine glasses. Use the clean paper for interior protection and then wrap it all in newspaper.
Take Your Time With Electronics
If possible, use the original packaging to box up your flatscreen, DVD players and computers.
When disassembling your electronics, keep all the cords, remotes and smaller parts organized, either with twist ties or plastic baggies. Taking pictures of the setup before your disassemble is also smart, because it gives you a guide for how to put it all back together.
Not the most tech-savy? FlatRate offers exclusive IT & audio installation services so you don’t have to stress about putting your electronics back together. Let your Relocation Specialist know, and we’ll have our IT experts ready to set up your stuff when you get to your new home.