Finding a new space or new city to live in is very exciting, however, getting all your belongings to the new apartment is no fun. You have to spend your free time packing, finding a moving company and going through that hall closet you’ve been avoiding for months. Don’t worry too much because we have you covered with these packing hacks and tips.
29 packing hacks to make packing and moving a breeze
Where do you even begin packing? What size boxes do you need? What should you get rid of? These are questions we’ve all had before. The truth is there’s no right way or place to start. Here are 29 packing hacks to make your move smoother and more efficient.
1. Create a schedule
The beginning of any move is overwhelming, to say the least. There’s so much to do, but where do you start? That’s where creating a moving schedule comes into play. If you have a busy life — and most of us do — then a schedule is going to help you get everything done in time for moving day. You could pack one room a day. You could back all similar items — blankets, linens, towels — each day. Or, you could assign different items to each family member to pack as part of the schedule.
2. Have a checklist
After you’ve created your moving schedule, create a moving checklist of everything important you need to remember to do. Write down everything from hiring movers to canceling your Wi-Fi plan. By doing this, you’ll feel more in control while moving.
3. Change your address
Before you’re anywhere near being completely packed, you should change your address. Give the post office a two-week notice so they can send your mail to the correct address.
4. Fill nail holes with a bar of soap
Every renter wants their security deposit back when they move out. To do that, you have to make sure your apartment looks great when you leave it. When you go to take down the art you’ve hung on the wall, you’ll find a couple of nail holes left behind. An easy way to fix this is by using a bar of soap to fill the hole. Rub the bar of soap over the hole until it’s completely filled in.
5. Color code
Color coding is a great way to keep all your boxed organized. All you need is different colored packing tape. As long as you remember which color means and the original box you put each item in, you’re good to go. For example, the yellow tape could mean dishware and blue tape is bedding.
6. Make an overnight bag
Before you pack any boxes, start by packing an overnight bag. The unpacking process takes a couple of days at least. In the meantime, you’ll want some of your essentials. It’s a good idea to have a change of clothes, one pair of shoes, some toiletries, toilet paper and maybe even a first aid kit on hand for those first couple of days in your new place. You can also put the valuable electronics you need access to in your overnight bag.
You know that old sweater in the back of your closet that you swear you’ll wear one day but deep inside know you won’t? It’s time to rid yourself of it and give it a new home. When you start to pack, consider going through your belongings and getting rid of unwanted items. It’s best to do this before you pack as it saves space in the long run. Plus, you’ll move into your new space with fewer items and feel more organized.
8. Sell what you don’t want
Once you have a pile of items to get rid of, consider selling them or giving them away. You could let your friends have first dibs, sell them on eBay or donate them to places like Goodwill.
9. Pre-clean your new home
Once you start unloading your things into your new home it’s nothing but a sea of boxes. If you have access to your apartment, take some time before moving to clean all your new home’s empty spaces. This way when you get there you might have a lot of boxes but everything is clean and ready to go.
10. Eat up
It’s enough to have to pack all your things but packing food is a monster in its own right. If you can, it’s a good idea to try to eat what you can before you move. This way you won’t have to try and pack your pantry or worry about your perishables going bad along the way.
11. Take photos of your furniture assembly
As you start to unassemble the bigger items of your home, such as couches or bedframes, take photos along the way. This will help you later on when you’re re-assembling them in your new space. You could also video yourself disassembling furniture so you know where all the screws go so you’re left with one stray screw.
12. Group the boxes
Now it’s time to put things into boxes. No matter if you’re using cardboard boxes, wardrobe boxes or plastic bins, it’s a great idea to group them. Have all the bathroom and bedroom items in separate boxes. You’ll probably need multiple boxes for each room. When you’re done packing everything by group, put all the boxes together by room or use. This will make unpacking so much easier.
13. Label, label, label
Labeling your boxes is one of those tried and true packing hacks. If you need to find things, labeling will make each box easily accessible. Staying organized ahead of time will make all the difference in your move.
14. Use clear bins
Pack things you’ll need or want first in clear bins. Seeing through them will give you easy access to your belongings. Pack items, such as clothes, toiletries or important documents, in these bins.
15. Roll your clothes
A good moving and travel packing hack is to roll your clothing instead of folding them. This will save you a lot of space and will allow you to put more in each box.
16. Make your own handles
We all know boxes are not the easiest things to carry. However, you can cut your own handles.
First, you’ll need a box cutter. Next, you’re going to cut a small rectangle on each side of the box. Once you’ve cut through the cardboard, you’ll now have two rectangular holes, which are now your handles. You can do this with large boxes and small boxes alike and will save your fingers in the long run.
17. Pack your jewelry tangle-free
While jewelry is pretty to wear, it’s a pain to untangle. There’s nothing worse than going to grab your necklace and realizing it’s attached to every other piece of jewelry you own.
To avoid this, get a couple of ice cube trays, depending on how much jewelry you have. Fill each slot with your jewelry, giving everything its own space. Once you have it all organized, cover it with plastic wrap and boom you’re good to go.
Say you have all your jewelry already organized on hangers well, there’s a way to pack that, too. Just plastic wrap the entire thing and pack it as one. That way when you get to your new home it’s all ready to go.
18. Keep clothes on hangers
Do not, under any circumstances, take your hanging clothes off their hangers when packing. Keeping them hanging up will save time and maximize space during your move. Put plastic bags around the bottom of the clothes to keep them together and organized. When you get into your new apartment, all you have to hang them up in the new closet you’re done.
19. Don’t empty your dresser drawers
Instead of taking the time to empty and refill your dresser drawers, just leave them how they are. Just put a piece of tape on the drawers or cabinets to ensure they stay closed. Just pack the dresser carefully and you’re all set.
20. Plastic wrap
Plastic wrap is your new best friend when you’re moving. You can use it for so many things, from keeping items together to adding an extra layer of protection to boxes. Make sure to have some on hand before you start packing.
21. Say goodbye to bubble wrap
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t enjoyed popping a few sheets of bubble wrap here and there? While it’s a fun pastime and oddly satisfying, it’s also expensive. There are some other ways to ensure your fragile items make it in one piece.
Instead of using air-filled plastic, consider using your own clothing or your kids’ stuffed animals. Pack your fragile goods in between two sweatshirts or put your china next to Mr. Bear and Ms. Bunny. You can also consider packing paper to pack glasses or plates. This will save you from having to use more moving boxes than you need to.
22. Use garbage bags or any plastic bag to save space
Garbage bags and plastic bags are good ways to pack things, such as bed sheets, blankets, comforters or pillows. This will allow you to keep all your bedding together without having to use a single box.
23. Use cotton balls for makeup safety
As a lot of us know, make-up is expensive and to save money, we want it to last as long as possible. When moving, there’s always the risk of items, such as blush or other powders, breaking in transport. A way to avoid this is to put a cotton ball or pad inside the make-up case.
24. Make your bottles spill-proof
Having your skincare or make-up explode while moving is the worst. Your best bet to keep this from happening is cotton balls. Put either one on the top of the bottle before screwing on the lid. This way, if it does decide to explode, you’ll at least trap moisture on the cotton ball or plastic will catch it. For a bit of extra caution, wrap your bottles in packing paper to catch any liquid that might escape the cotton balls under the lids.
25. Take a photo of your electronics
Before you unplug your T.V. and other electronics creating a mountain of cords, take a photo first of how it should look. You’ll be so grateful you did when you go to plug it all back in. You won’t waste time trying to figure out which cord goes where.
26. Make use of laundry bins and suitcases
While you can use moving boxes, it’s also a good idea to use bins you already have on hand, such as bags, suitcases and laundry bins. You can use these to put your clothing in to make it a bit easier when you unpack. Or, put your lighter items like toilet paper or paper towels in them instead of taking up space in other boxes.
27. Feed your friends
If you have friends that will help you move, congrats! You’re winning at life. While your friends are generous, it’s also important for you to thank them. A great way of doing this is by feeding them. On moving day, have some things to snack on to keep your friends full and happy while they’re helping you.
If you still have things you want to use up in your pantry, now is a great time to do that. You can also always order a pizza or have a little get-together at the end of moving day to show thanks.
28. Hire a moving truck
Even if you have friends that are willing to help, it’s still a good tip to use a truck and or movers. A moving truck ensures you have enough space to fit all your boxes and bags. It can also save you from making multiple trips to get your things.
If you don’t have friends that can help you out, then, hiring professional movers or a moving company is another one of the best moving tips to consider. You should always do your homework, though, before hiring anyone. Check out a couple of different companies to see who has the best pricing and remember to always read reviews. This will save you a lot of hassle in the end.
29. Load your moving truck correctly
When the time comes to load up the truck, make sure to do it correctly. Start by putting the things you need last towards the back and the boxes you’ll need first in the front.
Stress-free packing for your next move
We all know that packing and moving is a hassle. While we can’t take all the stress away, we know that these 29 packing hacks will make your move smoother, more organized and efficient and, hopefully, stress-free.