Fact: Moving is very stressful. But there is a method to the madness of packing and moving. Having moved a total of 12 times in my adult life, I have learned how to successfully pack to minimize stress, inconvenience and damages. I am proud to say, only two items have ever come up broken in all those moves. Yay me!!! I’ve never paid a moving company to pack for me, and I’ve never had packing parties with the help of friends. I am extremely picky and I never wanted to “feel some kind of way” about that friend who packed my favorite crystal glasses and they all wound up broken, lol! But as a result of my acquired packing skills, I’ve helped many friends pack up their spaces quickly and effectively, and I’m happy to help. I’m not saying it’s foolproof, but it has worked well for me, every single time. I look at moving as an adventure, a new beginning, and I get excited at the prospect of decorating an all new set of spaces.
This is me on the steps of my new home that I will be moving into in 4 weeks… God willing 🙂
I don’t function well in an “interim” living state too long, soI never start the packing process earlier than 7 days prior to the move date, making sure there is a weekend included. I’m a working girl so most of the work will be done after 5:00pm.
The first thing I do is designate a large area, most times the garage, to place items once they’re boxed and ready to go to the new home, as well as items that will be going other places. Even if I have to park my car in the driveway, this area will become what’s known at the time as “Move Central.” Times when I couldn’t use the garage I’d stage an area inside my home, moving all room contents to one side in order to accommodate everything that would soon be positioned there.
Now it’s time to de-clutter. The first of three rounds of de-cluttering. Taking into consideration where I’m moving to, and what my space requirements and décor desires are for the new place, I walk through the house and take inventory of items to be set aside for: 1) donation to organizations and/or individuals, 2) to sell, and 3) to simply be discarded. Typically all the items in these stashes will be gone, leaving nothing to pack when all is said and done. Round 2 of de-cluttering happens as I pack each box, and Round 3, when I unpack at the new place.
Here is where I take a walk-through to determine approximate number and types of boxes I will need. Once I get them, I leave them stacked against the wall at Move Central.
My main goal during the packing process is to keep my home as chaos-free as possible, so I typically won’t have open boxes everywhere with items strewn all over. I don’t start pulling everything out and sitting it in the middle of the floor. I only pull items out if I’m placing it in a box at that moment, otherwise it stays put. When I’m done, I seal the box and store it at Move Central.
Note: I never use newspaper to pack. The ink rubs off on your hands, and sometimes, whatever it is you’re packing. Use the real packing paper from places like U-Haul, or Wal-Mart or Target or wherever it’s sold.
Next, I take everything off the walls. Larger paintings are placed in the designated moving area for capping the ends and shrink-wrapping or bubble-wrapping them in preparation for transport, and I attach the hardware for each painting to the back of it. Any fabric on the walls and window treatments, along with the hardware, are taken down and packed. All window treatment hardware goes together in one box, as does all fabric.
After stripping the walls, I pull all sculptures, area rugs, large planters and pedestals, shrink/bubble-wrap them, and set them at Move Central.
Then I go through the house and pack all lamps, pillows, books, knick-knacks and accessories, including candles, candle holders and framed photos separately. I don’t include them in with the individual rooms they’re currently in because who knows where I’ll end up using them in the new place.
Following that, I strip the beds, clean the linen and pack it along with comforters, blankets and bed skirts. In this session of packing, I also pack all towels and bathroom accessories, with the exception of the master bathroom. This leaves all rooms, including the office, stripped down to just the furniture, ready for the movers.
Note: Don’t forget to schedule your electrician to come out to remove all your wall and ceiling light fixtures like sconces, chandeliers and fans. I pack these in large boxes, sometimes using towels, throws and even sweatshirts.
Then it’s time to tackle the boxing up of books, cd’s, dvds, cleaning supplies, tools, and any miscellaneous household items like light bulbs and extension cords. I use smaller boxes with handles on them for packing books and cds as they tend to be a lot heavier than most other items that are packed.
I save the kitchen for last because honestly, it’s the place I hate to pack the most, because it takes so many boxes, and requires the most time. But I turn on some good music and get to it. I pack every single dish, cup, bowl and platter separately in packing paper.
Note:Packing the box tightly reduces the likelihood of any damage and breakage.
And the very last thing I pack up is the master bath and closet, putting the clothes in wardrobe boxes, or I go the less expensive route, slipping large, contractor-strength garbage bags up and around my hanging clothes. For all other items like t-shirts, jeans, socks, underwear, etc., I pack them in suitcases and set them in Move Central, of course leaving the essentials for the next couple of days out. For local moves, I wash the linens just used for the 7-day packing period, as well as the towels that were used, the morning of the move, and pack in my laundry basket, along with all of my toiletries, makeup and the essential items needed for the next couple of days. These items will always go with me in my car. Other items I prefer to transport personally are my faux floral arrangements, a couple intricate sculpture pieces, and a few larger, more fragile pieces.
Note: Never pack important pieces of identification like your passport and social security card or any other important documents. Things are going to be EVERYWHERE once all your items are delivered, and you will want to be able to put your hands on these items quickly at all times if needed.
So I’ve made it to Moving Day, yay! While some use friends and family to help them move, I prefer to hire professionals. Again, I don’t want to have to look at family members later, “feeling some kind of way” about that time when they accidentally dropped the glass top to my dining room table, lol! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had bad experiences with so-called professionals too, but certainly there have been more good ones.
So there you have it. Right now all my home belongings are safely well-packed in storage.
In a later post I’ll take you through my un-packing process. It’s just as detailed, haha! That’s just who I am. Until next time…