Pack Like a Pro: 10 DIY Basics

November 4, 2015 | Posted in Packing | No Comments

There’s an art to properly organizing, packing and labeling boxes for your move. But most people take the “anything goes” approach to getting it done and simply shove what they can into a box and move on to the next.

Instead of throwing all of your random items into your moving boxes, here are 10 DIY basics to help you pack like a pro.

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  1. Correctly pack heavier items. Always place heavier items at the bottom of the box. Also, the heavier the item, the smaller the box should be. Remember, someone has to lift it – and you wouldn’t want to lift a large carton full of books!
  2. Label your lamps with either a number or alpha sequence. Use blue tape and label both the base and the shade with the same number or letter. This helps you get the right shade back to the right lamp. Always pack your lampshades separately to avoid puncturing the shade.
  3. Ensure items go back to their correct place. Number the shelf or drawers you are packing. Use packing paper to bundle the contents of each drawer or shelf separately. Write the shelf or drawer number on the paper bundle. This makes unpacking and getting things back to where they belong a breeze.
  4. Gather up odds and ends into baggies. Use Ziplock bags to keep small items contained and organized, such as small toys, toiletry items, pens, pencils and stuff in your junk drawer. You can then dump all of these baggies into a box or two.
  5. Keep like things together. On the same note, you can simplify your downsizing by grouping like items together, like books, toys, garden tools, etc. Doing so will help you see how much you have of any one thing. Maybe you don’t really need 10 cheese shredders or 40 plastic food storage containers. It’s a good idea to have your donation box close by!
  6. Label boxes with room names. On the top and one side of each box, write down the room it belongs to and what it contains, such as Kitchen Pots and Pans. This directs you or your movers on where to correctly place the box, and you’ll know what’s inside before you start to unpack.
  7. Use the right kind of boxes. Preferably, you should use standard moving boxes, the kind with flaps that you fold down and tape shut. Their consistent sizing makes them easier for movers to stack, and you can buy them at most moving companies, self-storage facilities or hardware stores.
  8. Label the wires on home electronics so you can easily reconnect them. You can purchase special tags for this but we usually use our favorite blue tape to label things for easy reconnect. For most of us a simple numbering system will work. For those with a high tech sound and electronics systems I generally recommending hiring a company to help come reconnect everything. Money well spent!
  9. Have an UNPACK FIRST box for each room. Choose one box and write the room and contents on the top and on one side. Only include essential items you’ll be looking for first when you unpack and set up your new house, like food and water bowls for your pets or blankets and pillows for the bedroom.
  10. Keep ALL liquids and flammables separate. Do not pack open liquids, flammables, aerosol cans, cleaning supplies or anything corrosive. Moving companies are not supposed to move them, so you should be using them up or getting rid of them! If you’re moving locally, use large Ziplock bags for liquid items and transport your box of cleaning supplies in your car.


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What are your smart packing tips? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.

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"If you want professional to execute a move in a highly competent fashion, at a reasonable price, and with minimal involvement on your part then Christy is your go-to person. Christy coordinated my mother’s move from an assisted living facility in Maryland to one in Bellevue WA—including finding folks to do all the packing and to transport the items across country, shopping around for the best price and acceptable delivery times, adapting to ambiguities and changes to plan along the way, and providing gentle reminders (when I needed to do something) and status updates along the way. I’m am very grateful to Christy for her help and recommend her without hesitation."
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