Careful packing is key to having a quick, safe, and cost-effective move. And although you might be dreading packing to prepare for your upcoming move, it’s important to pack your belongings well. Whether you hire a professional packing service or are handling your pack on your own, you want to make sure that your possessions are packed well for protection and moving efficiency. Here is everything you need to know about how to pack for a move.
How to prepare for your pack
You can have a faster, easier, and less-stressful move than you ever have before. And preparing for your pack is the first step! Being prepared and organized helps you stay on track and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed.
Here are a few ways that you can prepare for your pack and a stress-free move:
- Create a calendar. Start at least one month before your move date, and assign small tasks each day. When you break a large project like packing your home into smaller tasks, the overall project feels much less daunting.
- Be proactive about getting packing supplies. Whether you’re going to order reusable plastic moving boxes or purchase cardboard boxes, don’t wait until the last minute! Get those supplies as soon as possible so you don’t have to scurry around Chicago looking for packing supplies as your move date approaches.
- Purge and donate. There’s no need to move that old lamp that’s been collecting dust in your closet, or the ugly sweater that your cousin gifted you. Downsize before your move! Go through your home and decide what items you don’t want or need as you start the next chapter in your life in your new home. And instead of disposing of unwanted items, find a local donation drop off location to bring them to.
How to save money on your pack
Packing and moving can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to get the job done right on a budget. Here are a tips for your pack that can help keep your packing and moving costs low:
- Use what you have around the house. Pack your suitcases, duffle bags, and that stash of Amazon delivery boxes so you don’t have to spend as much money on boxes.
- Declutter. Get rid of clothing and other belongings that you don’t use or need, even if they’re sentimental. The less you have to pack, the less you’ll need to spend on packing supplies.
- Rent plastic moving boxes. Instead of wasting money on single-use cardboard and non-recyclable packing tape, you can rent plastic moving bins that will be delivered right to your home. These don’t just save you money over cardboard boxes and packing tape—they’re more eco-friendly, too!
- Hire a professional packing service. Your packing team will bring all the packing materials needed to pack your home carefully and effectively to protect against damages and help your move crew get the job done quickly. And since your moving service will charge by the hour, time is literally money!
Once you’ve set yourself up for a cost-effective pack, you can start focusing on how to pack for your move.
How to pack your belongings
In order to have a great pack, you’ll have to stay organized. First, download a free moving checklist or read a moving guide to put yourself on the right track. Then, start packing several weeks before your move date by boxing up seasonal items that you won’t need before your move. For example, if you’re moving in the winter, you probably won’t need your summer wear. And as you near your move date, pack everything but the essentials that you’ll need during your move.
Good packing is an art form. Before you begin packing up your home, do a little research on the best way to pack a box and how to pack oversized items that won’t fit inside a standard box.
What is the best way to pack a box for a move?
If you’re packing on your own rather than hiring a packing service, be sure to fill every box as much as possible. Add lightweight items like packing paper or clean linens, towels, and clothing to fill any voids inside each box and prevent your breakables from bouncing around inside. Be sure to label each box with the contents and the room it belongs in to make your life easier once the boxes have been transported to your new home.
Also, keep the weight of each box in mind. It might be tempting to pack all of your books in one big box, but it might be too heavy to move. Instead, pack your heaviest items into smaller boxes and reserve the big boxes for more lightweight items like lampshades, bedding, and stuffed animals.
How do you pack items that won’t fit in a box?
Everyone has some odd shaped items that just won’t fit inside a box. And that’s ok! You can still pack and protect them well. Try to tape a couple of cardboard boxes or sleeves together to make a custom box for any awkward items. Or you can wrap these items inside of moving blankets. Just be sure to protect any breakable components of each piece.
Keep in mind that moving companies won’t accept liability if anything you pack is damaged on the move. So if you have expensive or difficult-to-pack belongings like chandeliers, appliances, or oversized mirrors, it might be best to let a professional pack those for you. Just contact your moving company prior to your move to let them know there will be some specialty items you need help packing.
What items should you plan to pack and transport on your own instead of having your moving company handling them?
There are a few items that professional movers aren’t allowed to move. This varies by state, so be sure to check your local regulations. For instance, in the State of Illinois, moving companies will not pack or transport the following items:
- Currency, including coin collections
- Firearms or ammunition
- Flammable items like scooters, gas cans, and propane tanks
- Valuable documents such as passports, house deeds, and vehicle titles
Your local mover is not responsible or liable for these items. And in some cases—like a gas can or propane tank—it’s dangerous for them to move these materials on their moving truck. So plan on taking those items to your new home in your own car.
How to unpack at your new home
Once your belongings arrive at your new home, you want to unpack efficiently so you can settle right in. The kitchen is the first room you should unpack. Get that coffee pot set up and stock your fridge so you can stay fueled up as you unpack the rest of the house!
Next up are the bedrooms, followed by the bathroom. Don’t forget to get rid of the empty boxes as you unpack. Clearing out the clutter will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. And as you place your furniture and hang your wall art, your new place will feel more like your home if you’re not tripping over empty boxes.
Let’s get packing!
Remember: great packing is crucial to having a smooth and cost-effective move. And Chicago’s favorite packing service is here to help! Download our free packing guide to get started and then contact us to set up your packing appointment.