Give yourself plenty of time
Packing doesn’t have to be a manic sprint the week before your moving date. I recommend starting to pack at least 6 weeks before your move date. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t need 6 weeks.” And the answer is, yes you do. Even if you only pack one hour a day, just begin packing as soon as you are able. Start by packing things you (almost) never use. These can be items such as books you have already read, movies you do not plan on watching, paperwork, notebooks and other office supplies, and board games. If it’s either summer or winter, you can pack the reciprocal season. You know that Dutch oven that your grandmother gave you (but you still don’t know how to use or what goes in it?), you can pack that up too.
Sort your household items by category
Sort not only by room but also by category within the rooms. For example, your living room can be sorted into books, movies, electronics, large furniture, and nick knacks/decorations.
Sort rooms by color
Moving can be stressful especially once you get to your destination and you realize you have no idea which boxes go to what room! You should grab multi-colored duct tape to make your boxes stand out by room. As well as labeling every box on the side. This will ensure you can read what is in each box even when they are stacked on top of each other.
Get rid of those items you never use
That pair or earrings from an ex or the shoes that are falling apart, do those really need to go with you to your new home? You should use this move as a way of cleaning out your space and your mind. You should have a garage sale for the items that have value, but not necessarily for you, is a great idea! Someone else would love that couch that you’re ready to upgrade from or those clothes that you have had since high school, that don’t actually fit anymore. And of course, you should donate! Donations are a great way to give back to the community and not have items that still have use end up in the dump.
Hire a reputable company
Packing is already stressful enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about moving that heavy furniture as well. Nor will you have to beg your friends to help you move, “It’s just one weekend bro! Please, you’re the only one I know with a truck.” You should not have to deal with that when you’re heading to your next adventure.
Get the right boxes
You’re attempting to pack that large lamp into a too small box, what a nightmare! Gather boxes of all shapes and sizes so that you can pack all your household items no matter the size. Also get free boxes from liquor stores, big box stores, and even grocery stores. You can also buy boxes from office supply stores and shipping stores.
Use packing tape
Don’t cheap out and use duct tape or folding boxes. That will not work and will lead to your items either falling out or getting broken, possibly both! That will leave you way more frustrated and will be more expensive than just getting the proper tape.
Protect your fragile items
You can use bubble wrap or newspaper, but it can be simpler (and more cost effective) than that. You can use blankets, clothes, and even towels as a cheap and useful way to protect your glass and fragile items.
Put your toiletries in their own (waterproof) bag
It’s happened to everyone; you pack up and get to your destination only to realize your shampoo has leaked all over your clothes! Don’t let that happen to you, pack up your toiletries in a waterproof bag or even put saran wrap over the tops of each one. However, I would still recommend putting them in a bag of their own.
Pack an essentials bag last and be sure to keep it with you
This bag should have everything you could possibly need within a week (or two) of moving to your new home. Be it a tote bag or a box, just make sure you have it in your car with you and not in the moving truck. I recommend your toiletries, tissues, medication, towel(s), wash rag(s), make up, a hairbrush, and even a couple of comfortable clothes. Of course, don’t forget your chargers for your phone and laptop!
Take pictures of your electronics
If you aren’t very tech savvy, I recommend taking photos of the way your electronics are set up so it will be easy for you to watch your favorite movies again.
Pack with unconventional items
That laundry hamper can easily become storage for clothes. Every purse and bag you own should be filled with items that will fit in them. Also, don’t forget that luggage! Why buy tons of boxes when you can make your own packing “boxes”.
Pack cleaning supplies last
When moving, especially from an apartment, you need to clean up the place before you can head out. After you pack up everything and have the movers take it to the truck, have your cleaning supplies in a separate box so you can do a quick clean before you leave for good.
Be sure to prepare appliances for moving
Unplug and defrost your refrigerator at least one day before the moving company shows up and be sure to drain your washing machine hoses.