Start now! It’s never too early to start packing because it’s going to take you longer than you think.
Step #1: Get your supplies.
Start begging, borrowing or buying boxes. Better to have too many than not enough. Packing tape, packing tape dispenser, a big box of sharpies and newspaper will make a good start. Also stop recycling your plastic bags – they come in handy for wrapping and for holding hair accessories, batteries, hardware from disassembled furniture, and pretty much anything else you don't want to just dump in a box. It’s also good idea to put nail polish, half-used shampoo, and other liquids in sealed bags.
Step #2: Start sorting.
Don’t move what you don’t want! If you have boxes that are unopened from the LAST time you moved just go ahead and donate them without opening. You haven’t needed the stuff for tis long so you don’t need it now. Whether it’s not “sparking joy” or old and shabby or your tastes have changed – get rid of it!
Step #3: Rent a dolly.
Or buy one! They are not that expensive and I use mine all the time and it saves so much wear and tear on your back.
Step #4 Call the moving companies.
Don’t just get one quote – get three! All movers are not created equal. One thing you want to ask is what things they will NOT move. That way you will know to pack them separately and label the box carefully.
Step #5: Designate a “don’t pack zone”
There will be some items you don’t want packed or loaded into the moving truck – like the box mentioned above for instance. Think of items of greater importance or sentimental value like jewelry, family photos or financial documents. Additionally, professional moving companies prohibit moving certain items that are considered hazardous or perishable. Designate an area (like a closet or specific room) to put things you’ll want to keep with you. Make sure anyone helping you move, whether friends or professional movers, knows not to pack or load things in that area.
Step #6: Know what to pack first when moving
Start with the least used areas in your home (think storage and guest rooms) and work your way to the more commonly used areas, like bathrooms and the kitchen.
Step #7: Pack one room completely before moving on
Some items (like jewelry) are more difficult to pack than others. It’s tempting to leave those items for later. Resist that urge, and forge ahead. By getting one room completely packed before you move on, you’ll avoid leaving only the most difficult things to the last minute. It will make it easier to see your progress and gauge how much packing you have left.
Step #8: Use towels and clothes as packing materials
Towels, linens and smaller clothing items make great filler for boxes. Use washcloths and socks instead of packing peanuts to keep things from shifting in boxes, and wrap fragile items in thick towels to provide extra padding. This will help you use fewer boxes and save money on packing supplies.
Step #9: Pack essentials separately
Consider what items you’ll need in the first week or so after your move, and pack those items in their own boxes. For instance, you’ll probably want toilet paper, a shower curtain, towels, hand soap and similar items easily available. You don’t want to be digging through boxes looking for something you need immediately before you’ve had the chance to unpack.