We recently moved from Orlando to Atlanta, and like most things, I shared my packing process on Instagram. I received messages like, “Wish I knew this when I was moving” and “Help me pack next time!” Since I can’t be there to help you pack in person, I figured I would write this post to share what we did. I hope that it is helpful to anyone who is moving. These tips made our packing and unpacking processes stress-free.
If you would like to see a talk-through version of any of these tips, check out the Moving highlight on my Instagram @iamtaylorreign
- Cardboard rolls and cling wrap
Other than boxes, these are the most important supplies to purchase for packing. Cardboard rolls and cling wrap are versatile, and make packing easy and secure. We literally used them on everything from separating glasses to wrapping our TVs and furniture. Wrapping items in the cardboard and cling wrap kept them from getting damaged (we didn’t have any scratches or breaks), but there’s also another amazing benefit. Consolidation. Cling wrap like items together to make your life easier. Pro tip: wrap items in cardboard first, then add cling wrap to secure the cardboard in place.
The photos below show some of the ways that we used the cardboard and cling wrap:
- No bubble wrap!
Don’t waste your time or money dealing with bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or foam sheets. Everything can be protected using the cardboard roll and cling wrap. If you need to fill in space at the top of your boxes, use a fluffy blanket or towel instead.
- Put everything in a box or bin – no floppy bags!
Every single item needs to be in a box. You will significantly increase your chances of losing or damaging something if it’s not inside of a box. For small items, use sandwich or gallon-sized bags to gather like items together before packing them into boxes. For clothing, towels, and linens, use vacuum bags to save space. The cube shaped ones are just like boxes once they’re packed and vacuumed.
- Buy new boxes
Ditch the crumpled old box from your Amazon delivery a few months ago and the soggy boxes from the back of the closet. New boxes are more reliable. The last thing you want is for everything to fall out of the bottom of a faulty box. Getting all of your boxes from the same store also means that they’ll stack up nicely and be easier to organize.
- Go for medium sized boxes
Medium sized boxes for the win! Medium sized boxes are big enough to hold a lot, but not big enough to get crazy heavy. They’re also the easiest to maneuver and carry. Large boxes work well for items that are lightweight.
- Use a spreadsheet to keep track of it all
Number your boxes and create a spreadsheet to stay organized. This is super helpful when you first get to your new place and need to know exactly what box the pots and pans are in (or where the bubbles are because your toddler keeps asking for them). Typing “bubbles” into a search bar and immediately finding out that they’re in box 54 creates a special kind of joy.
I used Google Sheets to make the checklist so that we could each access it at anytime. The first two rows represent if a box has been moved out of the old place or into the new one. Transport Vehicle refers to the vehicle that the box can be found in (U = U-Haul, X = my car, Z = August’s car). We were able to use Ctrl+F to find anything that we needed.
- Take apart the furniture
Okay, I know you think I’m crazy, but there are a few good reasons to consider taking apart your furniture. The biggest reason is that it’s easier to carry. Not only are you taking away some of the weight and awkwardness, but you’ll also seriously decrease your chances of damaging your furniture or your walls. Plus, it will be easier to consolidate and pack the furniture into your moving truck. So consider taking apart your furniture, within reason. Meaning, take the legs off of your dining room table, but don’t disassemble your IKEA desk. Pro tip: Use a sandwich bag to keep each set of hardware together, and label the bag with a sharpie. Wrap the bag up with the furniture as you cover it in cardboard.
- Pack essentials separately
More than likely, you’re going to have a day or two at your old place after packing and a day or two at the new place before you unpack. Gather a few outfits and essentials (toilet paper, medication, toothpaste, etc.) in a duffle bag or suitcase for immediate access.
- Put all of the boxes into one room
Bring all of your boxes to a specific location as you pack. We stacked our boxes in the dining room. This is helpful because you don’t have to work around boxes in every room, and you can walk into a room and see exactly what needs to be packed. Plus, this helps the actual box transport run quickly and smoothly. If you’re using movers, that means spending less because they’re not wasting time going from room to room.
- All of the items you need for perfect packing!
These are all of the packing materials that we used for our move and how we utilized them:
- Corrugated Cardboard Roll – Wrap and protect furniture, dishes, TVs and more!
- Plastic Stretch Wrapping Film – Consolidate dishes, protect lampshades, roll and wrap rugs and more!
- Handheld Tape Dispenser – Seriously made taping 152 boxes so much easier. Tape with one hand!
- Sandwich bags – Perfect for keeping small, like items together.
- Gallon bags – I loved using these for hair products and other liquid containers in case of leakage. Don’t want my boxes getting soggy!
- Cube Vacuum Storage Bags – Storage bags are perfect for clothes and towels. The cube shape makes them easy to manage.
- Mattress Bag – Did you know that a stain on your mattress voids the warranty? Use a mattress bag to protect your mattress and save yourself the headache.
- Sofa Cover – Hands tend to get dirty while moving. Keep your couch clean and protected.
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