Packing Articles

When to Start Packing For A Move

As a part of their marketing, some realtors tell you, “Call me and then start packing.”  That advice could be too little, too late. 

A household move is a strategic endeavor that requires equal parts decisions, logistics, and pre-planning. Using a professional mover can be an asset, but knowing in advance how to pack, store and transfer will create an event with fewer hassles during a stressful moment. 

Got a Clue? Get a Plan!

The best time to think about moving is when you have the first inkling that you are going to be moving. Why you are moving can help determine parts of your strategy. A young couple growing their family may be looking for a spacious place with lots of room to spread their wings. A senior couple may want to have a place featuring less maintenance, less clutter, and unused rooms. Once you determine your objective, this is when the mental process and emotional energy starts.

Take and project ahead 90 to 120 days on the calendar. What season will it be? What items will you need as a result? 

This idea can determine the mixture of items you will need up to the last moment. Summer sunshine and warmth mean different clothes than winter wind and cold.  What tools and household items do you need?  Mowing the lawn in July versus snow blowing come December can determine many of the items you can pre-pack.  Moving in July means keeping your garden and lawn tools handy so the grounds look tip-top, while it also means less call for snow throwers and leaf blowers. In terms of your wardrobe, this also means you may want to organize and pack clothes such as winter boots, sweaters, and coats early in the process.  Over in the kitchen, baking tools, fine dining, and entertaining sets, and turkey roasters can be packed first during a summer move. Many people enjoy decorating lavishly their homes for holidays such as Christmas and Halloween. A warm-weather move means that those items can be inventoried, sorted in advance, and then secured to find them quickly in when you want them during the fall and winter months.  

A late-season move means the opposite. Chances are that the seasons may be in flux while you move, so you could need a just warm sweatshirt one day, rain gear the second day, shorts on the third day, and even a parka on the morning of the fourth. Plan accordingly, but don’t let the idea of this bog you down into not making a decision.  You will know the conditions in the area where you will be living, and how to pack to be ready for them. 

Staging Your Home for Maximum Value

Another concept important to how you will be packing is the process for staging your house for viewing by prospective buyers. Many realtors offer the assistance of a professional home stager or have experience in preparing your home to fetch the best offering price. They offer object ideas on what buyers want to see and how to put the best face on your place. Put your ego to the side and listen to them. When preparing your house, professional staging consultants try to strike the equilibrium between content and clutter. Too many household knick-knacks, tchotchkes, family heirlooms, and other items can obscure the vision of a potential buyer. Just because you appreciate Grandpa John’s rocking chair or Aunt Jerri’s china, a prospective purchaser may not. Too few items in an empty house will suggest that it’s been on the market for a long time, even if you just listed it. Once you identify what items will be used in home staging, then take that moment to pack the excess items for storage and moving. 

Know Before You Go

Create a simple inventory system for what you are packing that you can understand and stick with. Take a pad or notebook and make several lists while you prepare and pack. Items you designate as ones are objects that you will need up through your last night in your current location. These can be things such as phone chargers, pillows, toothbrushes, personal grooming items, and your favorite coffee mug. Twos are things you may need but should be organized and ready 72 hours before moving days. These can include clothes for work, basic kitchen items, entertainment and technology, and items that are your individual creature comforts. Threes are in-season items that you will want to unpack first. Fours can be the off-season items that you only use once a year. Fives are the items to throw out, donate out, and won’t be needed at your new location and/or return if borrowed to their rightful owner. Make these lists as a way to cross-reference for how you pack. Put the number and a brief content description multiple times and angles on every possible box, bag, and container you move. This way, you can find a #2 box that contains someone’s blow dryer and curling wand on that first morning you want it. 

Talk to A Pro

Consult with your mover in advance. His job is to have the right amount of space on a truck combined with the right number of team members to get the job done quickly and efficiently. No matter how many times you have changed addresses in your lifetime; you will still never have as much experience, both good and bad, as the foreman of your moving crew. Don’t let price alone sway your good judgment.  Work with a moving consultant in advance so you know what pieces they can handle with ease and other items that you will want to move yourself. Whether your move is across town or across the country, having someone to delegate tasks to and knowing what tasks they handle can let you focus your energy on the other parts of the move.  They can’t help you with transferring utilities and selecting paint colors, but they know how to pack items safely and securely so they won’t be lost to a sharp left turn.


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