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Are you moving?
During your move, use some of my favorite packing tips. Here are twelve of my most ingenious packing tips, with pictures. Enjoy!
1. Use hangers, trash bags, and rubber bands to pack your clothes. Your clothes will be easier to move and rehang in your closet. Plus, they won’t get dirty during the move.
Method 1 – Use trash bags with drawstring ties. While your clothes are still on the hangers, pull a trash bag over your clothes and tie the drawstring closed around the base of the hanger hooks. For extra stability, crisscross the drawstrings before tying them or put a rubber band around the hanger hooks to keep them together.
Method 2 – Use trash bags without ties. While your clothes are still on the hangers, pull a trash bag over your clothes. Pull the bag to the base of the hanger hooks and put a rubber band around the hooks and the bag. This will close the bag and keep the hangers together. Alternatively, if you do not have rubber bands, tape the bag closed or use string to tie it closed.
2. Use towels and clothes instead of packing paper and bubble wrap. Instead of buying rolls of bubble wrap, use your towels, clothes, and scarves to protect fragile, breakable items. After you wrap and pack each item, give it a squeeze to make sure it is properly cushioned and protected.
3. Use your rolling suitcases. Pack heavy items, unwieldy items, or your clothes in rolling suitcases. If you pack heavy items, be mindful that you may have to lift the suitcase onto a moving truck, or carry it up a flight of stairs. Roll your belongings out of your old home and into your new home. Your back will thank you.
4. Put screws and bolts in labeled sandwich bags. Write the name of the piece of furniture on a sealable sandwich bag and put all of the screws, nuts, and bolts for that item in the bag. Seal the bag and either tape the bag to the furniture or put it in a specific box for all your screws and bolts. Use a separate bag for each piece of furniture. For desks and dressers, I tape the bags inside a drawer. For everything else, I put the bags in a labeled box (and make sure I know exactly where that box is at all times).
5. Put plastic wrap under bottle lids. Keep shampoo and other toiletries from spilling by unscrewing the lid, putting a layer of plastic wrap on top of the bottle, and screwing the lid back on. Make sure the lid is tight. This handy trick also works when you’re traveling.
6. Keep your cutlery together with a plastic bag and tape. Instead of removing your forks and spoons from their holder and packing them separately, wrap the entire cutlery holder in a plastic bag. Seal the bag by putting a few loops of tape around the bag. When you reach your new home, simply remove the bag and tape and put your cutlery and holder in a kitchen drawer.
If you have a knife holder or cutlery block, this tip also comes in handy.
If you prefer not to use a plastic bag, use a towel, shirt, or other item of clothing to wrap your items.
7. Use masking tape to keep loose items together. Tape together loose cutlery, pens and pencils, and matching knickknacks. After I wrap my knives in a kitchen towel or potholder, I add a plastic bag and a few layers of tape to keep the knives secure and reduce the possibility of injury when I unpack. You can use the tape alone, without the plastic bag. However, the plastic bag keeps the tape from sticking to the items; it also makes removing the tape fast and easy.
8. Use comforter bags to pack linens and clothes. Pack your bed linens, towels, or seasonal clothes in comforter bags. If you are packing seasonal items, the comforter bags also serve as storage bags. When you arrive at you new home, simply put the storage bags in their permanent location – no unpacking necessary. I save my comforter bags when I buy new linens, then repurpose them for storing spare sheets and extra blankets. If you forgot to save your comforter bags, no worries. You can purchase storage bags for your move and repurpose them in your new home.
9. Use your trashcans as moving containers. Pack small kitchen appliances and utensils in your large trashcans. Pack bathroom accessories and toiletries in small trashcans. The goal is to put items from each room in their corresponding trash bins (e.g., kitchen items in kitchen trash bins). If the trashcan has a lid, tape the lid closed to prevent items from spilling out during the move. If the trashcan does not have a lid, put a trash bag in the can before packing your items, then seal the bag closed when the bin is full. Alternatively, after filling a small trash can, put the can in a larger box or bin; this keeps your items together in the bin but minimizes the chances that something will fall out during the move. Before using your trashcans for packing, give them a thorough cleaning; make sure they are suitable for use as moving containers. The last thing you want is to have to disinfect your trashcan and your belongings when you arrive at you new home.
10. Get free boxes. Get free boxes from Uhaul, local stores, or friends who have recently moved. You can also search online. If you live near a Uhaul location, ask if they have any used, free boxes. Uhaul has a used box recycling program; customers return their boxes and other customers take the free boxes. Check with your Uhaul location often and early, as these free boxes can go quickly.
11. Label your boxes with color-coded moving labels. Use Order Your Life moving labels or moving kit to easily organize your boxes and get them to the right room. Remember to put the labels on the sides of your boxes so you will be able to see the labels when the boxes are stacked on top of each other. Use the ribbon labels to help you identify the room label from the side or top of the box.
12. Use a moving guide or moving checklist. There are many things to do during a move, and it’s difficult to remember everything. I wrote the moving guide and checklist and I still have to refer to them when someone asks me about moving. Checklists will save you time and preserve your sanity. Checking each milestone off the list reduces stress and brings order to the chaos of moving. Make your list and check it twice.
I hope these tips work for you as well as they have worked for me.