Moving season is underway. Nearly 80% of all moves happen between April and September, with the peak months being June to August. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, it doesn’t look like people are changing their moving plans. Now might even be the best time, given the massive drop in gas prices (just the other day, I saw gas selling for $1.99 per gallon!). If you’re planning on moving to a new home, however, you’ll want to make sure things go well. Careful planning can mean the difference between a fast, easy move, and one that takes months and leaves you with a mess.
How long do you think it will take you to pack up? However long you just said, you’re probably wrong. It’s practically impossible to accurately guess how much time something like packing up will take. Something always comes up to slow you down. When it does, it creates extra stress from the rush. So, to make sure you have enough time, plan on taking twice as much time as you think you need to pack. It’s far better to spend a couple of weeks with everything packed up but the absolute essentials than it is to spend a couple of days packing like mad and getting no sleep.
2. Schedule the Move Ahead of Time
Knowing when the best time to move is will really help. Certain periods are much busier than others. To avoid problems, you’ll want to schedule ahead of time so you can be sure that you have a truck ready to go when the time comes. If you want to be sure you have a truck ready to go, give yourself a minimum of two weeks. Scheduling ahead of time will also let you pick the best days to avoid traffic. Here’s a handy calendar by movinglabor.com showing the dates that are most likely to be difficult for moving.
3. Buy Packing Materials Ahead of Time
You’ll need a lot of things to move: packing tape, boxes, bubble wrap, etc. If you want to avoid trouble, you should buy everything you think you need ahead of time. Just like planning for time, it’s difficult to guess how much you’ll need. If you wait until you’re ready to start packing to buy things, that’ll eat up time in the moment. If you don’t buy enough, you’ll have to go to the store and get more. If you aren’t careful, you can end up causing a shortage in the store and not having enough. If you buy ahead of time, though, you won’t be buying large amounts all at once and the store is more likely to have more if you need it. This will also save you some time when you get around to packing up for moving.
Don’t forget that you can find free packing boxes if you know where to look. Supermarkets and warehouses often have spare cardboard boxes lying around that they’re more than happy to give away. Check around before you buy and find out where you can get some.
4. Lighten the Load
It’s a fact, we all own too much stuff. According to the New York Times, one out of every ten Americans rents a storage unit to hold their stuff. If you’re moving to a new home, it’s the perfect time to reduce the clutter. As you pack up, you’ll find plenty of things you can part with. Make arrangements with local charity organizations to take donations. This will save you money, as there’s less you need to ship to your new home. It also speeds up getting settled in, since there’s less to unpack.
You can also avoid accidents by packing light. Generally, your boxes should weigh less than 50 pounds. They’ll be easier to lift, and less likely to break things while sitting in the moving truck.
5. Pack One Room At A Time
The biggest barrier to getting things done is often motivating yourself. The best way to motivate yourself is to give yourself clear indicators of progress. To do that, it helps if you pack your house one room at a time. If you pack up each room completely before moving on, it’s clear how much you’ve got done and how much you’ve got left. That makes it easier to get started each day by dividing the job up into bite-sized steps. It’ll also help you keep everything organized.
And speaking of organization:
6. Label Everything
It’s an easy step to forget, but it’s one of the most important. To make sure things get packed properly and give yourself the easiest time unpacking, label every box. You want to be able to know what’s in a box just by looking at the label. This will help you in two major ways. First, you’ll know what items are fragile and need to be packed with more care and on top. For some additional tips on packing fragile things, Vernon Storage has another handy guide for you to read. Secondly, when it comes time to unpack, you’ll know what boxes to put up front to unpack first and which ones you can set in storage to unpack later. Proper labeling is a huge time saver.
7. Get Some Help
Packing up a house is a huge job. It’s not one you can do on your own, so don’t be afraid to ask for some help. Friend and family will gladly give you a hand if you ask. Not only that, having someone to talk to makes things more fun. Just make sure you don’t leave asking to the last moment. Just like with renting a moving truck, you want to give your helpers some advanced warning so they can keep their schedules clear.
Get It Started
Moving season is already started. If you’re planning on moving some time this summer, now’s when you should be getting ready. Even if you’re not moving for a month or two, you should be making plans for renting a truck and buying packing materials. The more time you give yourself, the easier the move will be.