A move can always benefit from planning, but quicker moves don’t always get that benefit. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that they have to be disorganized or stressful. Whether you are moving to a new city for a job or have decided you need a change on a whim, there are a few things you can do when it comes to packing to make your quick move more enjoyable, less stressful, and more organized. Just follow these 10 tips.
Brush Up on Your Packing Technique
This tip may seem counterintuitive when you are in a rush, but learning to pack boxes properly will go a long way—especially when it comes to packing fragile items. It only takes a few minutes to brush up on this skill and it will help ensure you aren’t opening boxes of broken belongings once you’ve reached your destination. You should:
– Tape both the top and the bottom of each box with strong packing tape.
– Cushion all sides of your boxes. Your belongings should never be directly touching the box wall.
– Put barriers like paper or fabric between items. This ensures they don’t rub or clank against each other, meaning they are less likely to get damaged.
– Avoid packing boxes any heavier than 50 pounds.
Recruit a Few Helping Hands
See if you can get a friend or two over for a packing blitz. The more, the merrier! It is best to get them to help packing rooms that you need to get packed up ASAP. The living room and dining room are both excellent places to start. In these areas, your helpers can often pack everything in sight without asking if it needs to stay out a little longer. Hiring long distance movers or even one of the small moving companies listed here are always options as well. They can help with everything from packing to safely transporting your possessions.
If you are moving in a hurry and don’t have a permanent new home lined up, pack your stuff and place it in storage. This saves you the hassle and cost of toting these items with you and it allows your belongings to get cleared out of your home ASAP. When deciding what to put in storage, just be sure to keep essentials separate. You should have clothes, toiletries, medications, personal electronics, etc. to take with you. If you have any jewelry, deeds, or personal documents, leave them with a trusted family member or put them in a safe deposit box. While you can put most items in self-storage, these are best left out.
Take Advantage of Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is great for keeping things in place and you don’t need an industrial-sized roll, often called stretch wrap—unless you want one. A bunch of regular kitchen wraps will do the trick. You can use plastic wrap to:
Keep Stuff in Drawers: Take the drawers out of your dressers and furniture, then wrap them in a few layers of plastic wrap to keep the items in place. Alternatively, you can also use plastic wrap to keep the drawers shut when moving furniture.
Protect Furniture: Use a few layers of plastic wrap to protect any furniture you are worried about getting damaged. If you want to add some cushioning, sandwich a blanket between the furniture and wrap.
Bundle Items: Wrap items with plastic wrap to keep them together without worrying about the sticky residue that tape can sometimes leave behind.
Prevent Spills: If you are moving liquids, unscrew the cap and place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening, then close the lid. That way, if the items tips over, it is far less likely to spill.
Get Creative with Boxes
Chances are you will still need to pick up some cardboard boxes, but try to use anything you have on hand first. This may include boxes you’ve saved from electronics, laundry baskets, suitcases, or storage totes, woven baskets, etc. If you have suitcases with wheels, they are particularly great for packing heavier items like books since you can roll them around instead of lifting them. Then there are always reusable bags and plastic bags, which are fantastic for packing odds and ends, as well as lighter items.
Use Fabric to Cushion Boxes
Since you have to pack your clothes, bedding, and towels anyway, why not use them to cushion boxes? After all, fabric has also been shown to be an excellent shock absorber. Try using towels in larger containers to cushion the sides, wrapping socks around glassware to keep it from rattling around, and wrapping furniture that you are worried about damaging in a comforter or blanket (See tip 4).
Take Quick Breaks
Packing can be taxing even at a relaxed pace, so adding time pressure to the task can be overwhelming. Therefore, it can be a big help to take breaks. It may seem like you are losing time, but it will save you from staring at the room when you don’t know what to tackle next. Overall, small breaks are recommended to make moving less stressful at any stage.
Label Boxes Clearly
Take the extra few seconds to label your boxes in detail. Not only should you write which room they belong in, but try writing a few key items as well. Scribbling down contents is especially worthwhile if you don’t have time to sort boxes by rooms. Another quick tip is to label boxes on the side, as opposed to the top. This will ensure you can still read what is in them once they get stacked in a moving truck or storage unit.
Set a Timer
Put a timer on for an hour and get work. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in that timeframe and it can be motivating to see the progress. After the timer finishes, take a short break and repeat. Setting a timer keeps distractions at bay, helps you focus, and builds momentum.
Get Last-Minute Movers
And finally, if you want to skip the hassle of packing, some movers offer 24-hour service. This means that you only need to contact them a day in advance. While this can be a more costly option, hiring professional movers means you don’t have to worry about sourcing packing material, packing boxes, renting a moving truck, heavy lifting—the benefits go on and it is worth every penny.
Moving in a hurry comes with an extra set of challenges, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with the right packing techniques. Whether you decide to go with professional movers or a DIY move, you’ve got this!