Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Packing 101

So you're moving out! It's such a fun new exciting thing, or maybe it's something you've done one hundred times but it's always a hassle. One thing that will make it easier either way is being an organized packer.

For me, I am simply packing up my childhood bedroom at my parent's house and moving into my first little two bedroom apartment with my growing family. It's a lot easier for me because all the appliances we have are still in their original boxes, taped up, just like they were given to us at our wedding, ready to be used. This may not be the case for you but either way, I hope these tips help.

Start packing early. Pack up things that will be going into storage or things you don't use on a daily/weekly basis when you find out your moving that way you only have the important things to pack when you're so busy later.

Clean up first. I didn't do this, and I wish I would have. Packing creates a ton of clutter, and that on top of my dirty room clutter really stressed me out.

Try to get some free boxes. I paid $3.00 for each of my boxes (I may have cried a little), and if I was more prepared I wouldn't have had to. You can go to your local grocery or dollar store after they received a delivery and usually they will have no problem sending the broken down boxes your way since they are just going to toss them anyways. Its a little awkward to ask, and usually the sales associate gives you a weird look, but it is a good way to save a little money in the moving process.

Use garbage bags to pack your clothes. There is no reason to have your clothes in a box. Can you think of one? No. And since moving is a very messy process, and odds are you won't have went to the grocery store moving day, you can unpack one of your clothes bags and use it for a garbage bag. Just make sure you label it clothes, so it doesn't accidentally get tossed.

Use every container you have to pack other things. I bought a bunch of storage boxes from IKEA to store different craft and computer things in, and they were never filled to the brim, but you can bet they are now with little knick-knacks that really had no place and my 4x6 pictures frames that I didn't feel like putting in a box.

Come up with a packing plan. Sit down and right down several packing projects you want to get done each day. You'll be getting a lot accomplished without feeling overwhelmed and it also gives you a lot to be able to check off on your to do lists, which is one of my favorite things to do. This is how I broke down packing my room:

Day One: Go through and get out the garbage
I don't know about you, but I'm a mini-hoarder. If I think I may need something someday, I will find somewhere to stick it until that day comes. Sometimes this really pays off and I'll have something I have no idea how to find right on hand. Most of the time, this just causes me to have a cluttered room.

So go through and get rid of all the junk you've been saving for a 'rainy day.' Moving into a new place is one of the only chances an adult has to start over, and make a shiny new life for themselves. Go through stuff you have stuck in boxes or around the room and ask yourself if that is something you want to be in your new life. If yes, keep it around. If you're just trying to wait for an excuse to use it or you don't think you'll need it, toss it. This will make packing a lot easier.

Day Two: Pack up the closet.
This consisted of me going through my clothes, deciding which ones I needed to take with me and what could stay behind in storage. Just make sure you leave out clothes for you to wear until you move. (My parents are luckily not trying to transform my room into a yoga room or anything, so I can leave literally anything I want behind to grab later.)

When that was done I went through my shoes and took out the ones I actually have worn in the last year or so and put the rest in a laundry basket on the floor.

{Anything I don't come back for in the next 6 months is going to Plato's Closet or Good Will. This way I don't get choosey like, well what if I DO need that sometime?}

I also cleaned out the top of my closet which was normally where I kept things for storage, so the majority of that went right into a box. This left a lot of room open for me to put large things I didn't know if I would be coming back for or not, and if not, it too would be put into a box for actual storage.

Day Three: Clean off Walls and Under the Bed
I had a ton of stuff hanging on my walls that I really didn't think fit the look or feel I was going for, so most of this went straight into storage boxes. Other stuff I decided to take with me. It really isn't that stressful when I broke it down as only removing the things on my wall instead of trying to tackle a floor to ceiling area like I had been dreading.

Cleaning out from under the bed wasn't so bad either when I looked at it as one goal. It was mostly empty shoe boxes or lost socks.

Day Four: Pack up the books
To some people, this probably isn't a huge task. You may have that one To Kill A Mockingbird that you had to read for English shoved under magazines and games on your desk. But for me, this was a huge challenge. The last time I counted I had over 450 books, and unfortunately for me, besides furniture, books are the hardest things to move. They are so heavy, so you need about 1,000 little boxes to put them all in.

I boxed them all up and left them in my room so each time I went to my moms house I could grab a couple instead of trying to figure out how to get them all out at once. If there is something you have a large quantity of like this, I definitely recommend moving them in increments to save your back the stress.

Day Five: Pack up the rest of the knick-knacks and clothes/linens
Yep, it's finally that time. Time to pack up everything that you want to take with you. I took the time to launder my remaining clothes and bed linens (no washer or dryer in the apartment) and finally packed them all away, except for what I'd need for the next day.

Go to your bathroom and pack up all your toiletries and make sure you put them in a box you'll be able to find easily. Morning breath never has an excuse, even if it is moving day.

Pack up all the stuff you haven't felt like you'd need to pack yet, because guess what, you do. And throw away or make a donate box for anything you might not need.

Get all your boxes and bags in organized piles to make it easy for your movers (or more likely you) to move and unload. Example: All the kitchen boxes together, all the bedroom stuff together, etc.

And then sit around and wait for the big day to come! There are so many good things and negative things when it comes to moving. What are some things you do to make packing up for a big move less stressful? Have any of you moved recently?

Happy Organizing! ♥ Jess

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I have moved so many times I've lost count! :-) Also, my Dad was in the Canadian Army so we moved as a family as well.
    The two main things my Mom taught me when moving: get the bed set up and then your kitchen.
    For you it's a bit easier since you're able to leave things at your parent's place and can pretty well move at your leisure. You still have the hassle of moving but it is easier.
    So once you have access to your apartment, start taking stuff over. For your kitchen, just put everything in smaller boxes but don't pack them. I use tomato or orange boxes as they're not too big and they usually have handles so they're not too ackward. Just put plates and everything into piles and carry the boxes that way. Clean your cupboards and line with something. I lived in Toronto for over 20 years and as in a lot of places we had to be careful of cockroaches. Yuck!!!!!!!!!!! What I was told was to put down Boric Acid (looks like salt) and then wax paper on top of that. The wax paper is cheap. The only thing I don't like about it is it wrinkles easily and gets caught up and rips. You can get that stuff that's like rubber but everything sticks to it and won't slide. That's annoying. I've just moved and put down the wax paper but I'm thinking of getting shelving paper (vinyl?) from the dollar store, leaving the back on it and using that on my shelves. Easy to clean and things will slide nicely.
    I put together a little emergency kit when I moved this time. I had a shower curtain, towels, toilet paper and all my medications as well as anything else I could think of.
    As far as packing, do not and I repeat, DO NOT use newspaper for wrapping. You just end up having to wash everything. It's worth the expense to buy moving paper. I got mine at a storage place and it made everything so much easier. Also, get a good tape gun and lots of packing tape. As for the boxes, because I have so much stuff (almost 40 years of accumulation!) I number my boxes on all 4 sides. Then in a steno pad I put what's in each box.
    I could go on and on ad nauseum but won't. I certainly wish you the best of luck in your new life and the new and wonderful things that are happening.