Moving can be stressful, especially if you're moving due to a new job or change in marital status. "Moving can be overwhelming, but a little planning goes a long way to simplify and expedite the process," says Susan Fleischman, professional organizer and home stager and founder of clutterfree, who blogs about home and office organization for YouCopia.com. Here are some of Fleischman's tips:
Purge, purge, purge! Allow enough time to pack so you can purge before you move. Movers charge by the hour, so taking along stuff that you ultimately won't use again is a waste of money and a waste of time (to pack and unpack).
Use small boxes. You'll end up with more boxes, but they'll be easier to handle. Fleischman recommends corrugated bankers boxes for their handles, strength and value — about $16 for a 10-pack at office supply stores.
Pack LIT. The more you pack LIT (like items together), the easier and faster you'll unpack and organize your new home.
Take photos. Before you pack, take photos of all key areas, closets and cabinets so that you can replicate them in your new home. This is also helpful if others help unpack.
Supervise movers. If professional movers pack for you, be sure to supervise them to ensure LIT (like items together). Otherwise they tend to scoop up whatever they see and pack them together.
Avoid newspaper. Ink from newspaper can leave a dirty film on glassware and other fragile items. It's worth a few extra dollars to use packing paper. This paper also provides better protection because it's larger and thicker.
Use stretch wrap. An indispensable packing tool, you'll find tons of uses for stretch wrap, from bundling dishes (instead of wrapping each plate separately) and containing stuff in drawer-ready organizers, to corralling large items that don't fit in a box.
Wrap furniture and appliances. Insist that your movers wrap furniture and appliances in moving blankets, and stretch wrap all upholstered pieces. Some top movers charge a extra for this, but it's the best way to prevent damage and keep stuff clean.
Label everything. Movers typically label box tops, but also label the side of every box. Then, if boxes are stacked up, you'll know what's where.
Hydrate and eat. Plan ahead to have coolers of bottled water, sandwiches and snacks on moving day. A well-nourished moving crew is a productive and efficient moving crew.