More and more people are emigrating, which is a major move, but even if your move isn't that big a swing, packing up your life is never easy, and you certainly want to make sure that when you do pack, you do it well.
A box isn’t just a box – choose the right one
You can go down to your local supermarket to get used boxes but I would recommend buying smaller double-walled boxes to pack your heavier items from your local storage facility. Lighter items such as pillows can be packed into bigger ones. If you are going to pack a box with some lighter and some heavier items, pack heavier things at the bottom.
Fill up the empty spaces in the box
If gaps aren’t filled in when packing, it is a lot easier for damages to occur. Movers are also skeptical of boxes that rattle and some have been known to refuse to move them in case of breakages so use clothing, towels or packing paper to fill those gaps.
Pack items destined for the same room together
When you reach your new spot, I can assure you that searching for your pillow isn’t going to be fun so labeling your boxes and keeping items for the same room together is key. When we moved, I created an inventory. Whenever I packed a new box, I put it’s number on the inventory with a brief description of the items in that box as well as which room it was destined for. When the movers unpacked, I just looked for the number and was then able to tell them which room to place it in. It made our lives so much easier and this tip is even more relevant for those packing items for storage. You will forget what you’ve packed after a while and the inventory will be your saving grace.
Take time to pack breakables properly
When packing dishes and breakables, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below to fill in gaps and to add padding. Add fragile stickers onto the sides of the boxes.
Tape boxes well
It stands to reason that one should tape boxes well but believe me when I say that one line of tape along the bottom is not going to be enough. Rather use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams. My rule of thumb is to not have any open seams at all – as if I am securing a box in order to post it. I would also recommend buying decent tape and a tape dispenser if you have a lot of packing to do.
My top 10 tips for packing for a move or to place items into storage
- As soon as you decide to move, start de-cluttering your spaces. Don’t spend money to move things you no longer want, need or love.
- Use online selling portals as much as you can and if you’re inclined, organised a garage sale day. A few extra bucks for renovations or new fittings at the new place will be well worth the effort.
- Create an inventory of your boxes, their contents and the rooms they are destined to be unpacked in.
- If you can afford it, use wardrobe boxes to make it easier to move your clothing.
- Pack important and sentimental documents separately to be easily accessible including: children’s health records, passports, family records, insurance information and photo albums.
- If you have kept the boxes for your electronic equipment then use these to pack them. If you don’t have them ensure they are very well packaged using bubble wrap and perhaps some blankets for even more padding.
- If you have furniture or fittings that come apart, make sure to tape all parts to the main base or into a Ziploc bag that is clearly labelled. If these items are going into storage, keep all those Ziploc bags in a clearly marked clear container near the front of the unit.
- Pack a box of essential items that you will need immediately after the move and make sure it’s the last thing added to the truck. This should include some snacks for the day as well.
- If you are packing away collectibles for storage get advice on how they should be stored. Paintings, ceramics and linens can get damaged easily so a little extra care may go a long way. For example, using packaging materials that contain acid could damage paintings and photographs.
- Lastly, when unpacking into a storage unit, organise it so that you have an aisle going down the middle so that you can easily get to the back. And don’t forget to pack the things you need to get to often, in the front.