Investing in the right supplies before you start the packing process will make a real difference at every stage of your move.
Boxes: Boxes can be picked up inexpensively through resources such as Craig’s list, but there are other more non-conventional resources. Printing companies such as Kinkos and Alphagraphics go through boxes and boxes of paper in a day. Those boxes are sturdy and the perfect size for your papers and books. Stop by and find out the best times to grab those boxes at the back of their stores. Most people seriously underestimate how many boxes they will need. It pays to add 20% to your original estimate.
Packing tape: With all the box sealing you will be doing, it’s smart to invest in a packing tape tool that allows you to seal a box quickly one-handed. That way you can pack a number of boxes and then seal them all at once, and save time. These tools are relatively inexpensive and work well.
Large Markers in Red and Black: Use the black to label your boxes with the right room and the red to mark fragile boxes. Be sure to get wide markers. You will want three or four of the black markers – one for each room where you’re packing.
Other tools such as the labeling tape shown above can be convenient, but they aren’t essential. The right tools make any job easier, and packing is challenging enough without short-changing yourself with less-than-adequate tools.
This is the hardest part of moving, but it really pays: discard everything you can before you start packing. Here are some suggestions on how to approach this.
Take a room-by-room approach: Go through each room and get rid of the obvious things. Is it time to recognize that you will never use that mini-trampoline? Then let it sit in someone else’s garage. Be brutal. Call Goodwill or your favorite charity and get that stuff out of your house. It will give you more room for your packing process and boxes.
Don’t pack anything that you won’t look forward to unpacking in your new home: Can’t see that gift from Aunt Betty in your new family room? Let it go. There may be things that you have been living with so long that you no longer see them. Packing them up is a good opportunity to give them a second look.
Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, talks about holding things in your hand to see if they give you joy and letting go of anything that doesn’t. This is actually a smart approach. Are their kitchen utensils, cleaning tools, or other household items that you have held onto but never use? Maybe now is the time to discard them rather than bring them to your new house to never use them there.
Help your spouse and children to go through this process too: Whether it’s clothes or toys, talk about letting go of those things that you no longer use, need or want. That way you can all start fresh in your new home, and only bring those items that you truly value and want to take with you.