9.8 percent of Americans move annually — that's 15.3 million homes per year. No one looks forward to the physical side of packing and moving or the massive organizational challenge that moving can entail. However, moving can be a fun, worthwhile, and relatively stress-free event as long as you plan for it. These four tips can help make your move much less stressful.
1. Devise a Sorting System
Moving even a small home or apartment can leave you with an overwhelming number of packages and belongings when all is said and done. The best way to avoid this is to create a system for the packing process.
Two of the most popular sorting methods for moving are packing room-by-room or by frequency of use. Sorting by room makes for more organized unpacking, while priority-based packing ensures that your most important belongings won't be spread out between different boxes.
Whichever sorting method you choose, establish a designated area for completed boxes in your home so that everything is ready to go when it's time to load the truck Even if you don't base your entire sorting system on frequency of use, it's always a good idea to keep an essentials bag on-hand for items like wallets, keys, electronics, hygiene products, and other personal effects.
2. Take Advantage of Household Containers
You can cut down on your need for packing supplies with creative use of things you may already have around your home. Try to reuse household containers for packing and moving, such as laundry baskets, suitcases, toolboxes, and even cookware for utensils and spices. Leave clothes on their hangers to keep them organized and easy to move.
Clear plastic bins and containers are especially helpful for organizing your move. Since these items don't hide their contents, you can see what they contain at a glance without the need to stop and read the label. This can help the process of unpacking go much smoother.
3. Don't Overfill Your Boxes
Minimizing the number of boxes and packages you use is one way to simplify your move, but be careful not to take it to an extreme. Overfilling boxes can cause your move to grind to a halt when it's time to load the truck. Moving heavy boxes is more stressful, more time-consuming, and increases the risk of injury. Furthermore, overfilled boxes are more likely to fall and cause significant damage to the items they contain.
A good rule of thumb to help you keep the weight of your packing in check is to imagine carrying a box ten times rather than once. While a box may not seem heavy on its own, you will likely have dozens of similar boxes to move, and fatigue can quickly add up.
4. Make Plans for Food and Drinks
While not directly related to moving and packing your items, a solid plan for food and drinks is a crucial part of any successful move. You're going to be busy packing, and it's normal to not have time for cooking or grocery shopping.
You can avoid waste and boost energy levels for your move by finding creative ways to use up any leftovers and perishables you have in your home. You should still expect to spend more than usual on takeout during your move, so budget accordingly. Keep a cooler with sandwiches, beverages, and other quick snacks in the cab with you in addition to your overnight bag.
When you're set on moving and want to make it as easy as possible, these tips should get you started on the right track. If you still feel overwhelmed with your move, a professional moving company can help. Remember to get multiple quotes from local movers so you can find the service that is best suited for your move.