As you might already know, packing for a move is the most time-consuming task in any packing and moving checklist. Therefore, it makes sense that you’ll want to begin the job of packing up your things as soon as you possibly can.
The very first problem you might face?
You’re not sure how to start packing to move out.
Packing when moving is a very important task that follows its own internal logic – sequential, rational, and strict.
You don’t pack the bathroom too early simply because if you do, you’ll deprive yourself of essential bathroom items to use days or even weeks before the day of the move. Why would you do that to yourself?
It’s crucial that you know what to pack FIRST when moving house. Why? If you first start packing the wrong items from the wrong rooms, you’ll lose a staggering amount of time to fix the resulted packing mess and you won’t likely be able to finish the packing job on time. And that means extra problems for you.
Get a good head-start when packing to save time and spare your nervous system. Learn the answers to two critical questions:
1) WHAT ROOM to pack first when moving, and
2) WHAT THINGS to pack first when you move to another home.
What to do before you start packing for a move
Before anything else, you want to make sure that the household items that you intend to pack and move to the new home are ready to be
1) wrapped up in protective materials (packing paper, bubble wrap, furniture blankets), and 2) transferred to cardboard or plastic boxes of appropriate sizes.
The thing is that you should NOT start the packing process before you inventory, sort out and declutter your stuff.
1. Create a house inventory
Living under one roof for years is a good way to accumulate loads and loads of odds and ends, some of which you won’t even remember that you have. And that’s the very reason why you should create a house inventory list in the very beginning, right before you start packing for a move.
Inventory the entire home to refresh your memory about exactly what you own. Use the old-school pen-and-paper inventory approach or take advantage of cutting-edge inventory technology to make a detailed list of the items in each room of your house or apartment, room by room.
The good news is that you can choose to use the itemized home inventory list as a packing list later when you do start filling up those boxes. This way, you’ll have a reliable record to keep track of your possessions and ensure that nothing important gets left behind.
Also, upon delivery, you’ll be able to check the delivered boxes against your thorough inventory checklist and know right away if something is missing.
2. Sort out and get rid of the items you won’t need
A serious moving mistake will be to move all the items you have in your house without sorting them out first. Use the house moving checklist you just created to decide what will go with you and what will be left behind.
The easiest way to sort your possessions, without any regrets after you move into the new residence, is to divide them into 4 separate categories:
To be packed.
You should be careful here because each item you add to this category will cost you more time and money in the end – more time to pack them up and more money to transport them. To save money, remember to pack and move only items that you really intend to use in the future.
To be sold.
Some of the things you won’t be taking with you may still be in good overall condition. Try to sell those unwanted items, either online or at a garage sale, so that you can redirect the fresh cash toward your moving budget. Remember that packing and moving furniture is rarely worth it due to the big size and considerable weight of most furniture pieces. In most cases, it’s better to sell your old furniture and buy new one after the move.
To be given away.
Do consider giving away the things you haven’t managed to sell. Give away to friends or donate to charity any furniture, clothes, shoes, electronics, books, etc. that you won’t ever need again or maybe never liked in the first place.
To be recycled.
Any items that are too outdated, worn out, torn, or broken should be discarded properly – that is, taken to be recycled in an environmentally-friendly way.
What rooms to pack first when moving
Now that you have inventoried your stuff and got rid of the things you won’t be packing and moving, let’s focus on what room you should pack first when moving. There’s no question that this is a really important question whose answer will help you handle the arduous task of packing in the best possible way.
To understand the sheer logic behind choosing the best rooms to pack first when preparing to move out, there are a couple of principles that you should keep in mind throughout the packing process.
Pack least used rooms FIRST. As long as you start packing from the premises in your home that you use least often – usually all the storage areas and unoccupied rooms, you will be able to keep the rooms that you use on a daily basis fairly clean from the mess that packing creates.
Keep the bedroom the last room to pack so that you can sleep “normally” – that is, without having to weave your way through giant piles of cardboard boxes and scattered packing supplies just to reach your bed.
Pack toughest rooms to pack FIRST. The main idea behind this packing principle is that you are advised to initiate the house packing marathon from the premises that are the most difficult to sort and pack (again, all the storage areas in your home) simply because in the very beginning you’ll still have enough energy and motivation to tackle that challenging task.
This way, as you progressively get more and more tired with each day passed in packing your items, you’ll be steadily moving the packing action to the rooms in your house or apartment that are not particularly hard to pack up for moving – the bathroom and bedroom, for example.
So, what room should you pack first when moving?
Now that you know that the storage areas in your home should be the first rooms to pack for a move, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and enter your garage with sorting and packing in mind. As a rule of thumb, garages contain all types of things in them – car-related stuff, hand and power tools, and often items which you’ve long forgotten that even existed. Keep in mind that garages often have hazardous items in them that are forbidden for transport (non-allowable items). /How to pack your garage/
BASEMENT and ATTIC.
Basements and attics are usually used strictly as storage areas so you should expect tons of things to sort out before you can start the actual packing process. This is the ideal time to get rid of any possible junk items that have been collecting dust there for years. Be ruthless when deciding the fate of items left in storage and keep reminding yourself that moving any of them will cost you more money and will require more space in the new home.
Turn your attention to any closets inside your home, including walk-in closets. Closets are usually full of clothes, shoes, sports equipment and all sorts of bits and pieces – small and not so small household items, valuable and not so valuable things. Start sorting and packing your closets early as part of your good time-managing strategy.
If there are any rooms in your home that are currently unoccupied – like a guest room, for example, then those are the rooms that you should pack next. In general, spare rooms contain much fewer items than the rest of the rooms in the house so it shouldn’t be too tough to sort out and pack yours.
Don’t underestimate the time you’ll need to pack up your kitchen – just think about all the kitchen items hidden in different cupboards, cabinets, and drawers. Sorting the area under the sink alone will take hours! Also, kitchens are full to the brim with breakables – glasses, china dishes, etc. And what if you decided to move your fridge with you? While it can be really inconvenient to pack up your kitchen many days before Moving day, you definitely don’t want to leave it for last either.
Your desire to leave the living room for last when packing for a move is quite understandable – after all, it’s most likely the most fun room in the whole house. Nevertheless, you’re advised not to wait too long because you’ll be faced with a number of packing challenges there. First of all, it’ll be the huge furniture items found in most living rooms (couches, various sorts of cabinets, including china cabinets, bookcases, and so on) and secondly, it’ll be the expensive electronics there – TVs, stereos, computers, and so on.
Of course, you won’t want to create packing chaos in the children’s room too early in the moving process. Leave that room for the late stages of the move but be mindful that the kids’ furniture, clothes, books, and toys won’t be a breeze to sort and pack. If your kids are old enough, have them sort out their own stuff and maybe pack some of the easier items to pack. Ultimately, you should welcome any packing assistance you can get.
It’s time to end the list of what rooms to pack first with the room you should pack last – your bedroom. The reason behind it is that you’ll want to be able to keep having a good night’s sleep while working on your packing timeline – you’ll need the energy to finish the packing task on time. Expect plenty of lost time when sorting and packing your clothes and your bedding. Also, your decision to move some of your bedroom furniture can cause extra difficulties for you.
Leave packing the bathroom for last because you’re going to need it every single day, multiple times a day. Plan to pack your bathroom items, toiletries, and medicines from the medicine cabinet the day before you move-out day so that you can extend the period of having your bathroom fully functional and operational. Bear in mind that when packing for a move, one of your goals is to minimize the instances when you’ll have to inconvenience yourself.
What items to pack first when moving
Now that you have a better idea where to start packing for a move when it comes to the sequence of rooms to sort and pack, let’s see what things you should pack first so that you can reach a maximum level of efficiency during your preparations.
The term non-essential things refers to all items in your home that you can live without comfortably for the duration of the preparation period – that is, until the day of the move. All those non-essential items are still valuable to you – that’s why you’ve decided to move them – but you can definitely do without them until you’re in the new residence.
Needless to say, you’ll give you plenty of examples of items that you should pack first simply because you know you won’t really need them again until after the move. So, to keep them out of your way when you get to the truly essential things, you’ll need to PRE-PACK all those low-priority items. Doing this will enable you to pack up many of your items without inconveniencing yourself in the process.
So, what are the first things to pack when moving?
The crazy-busy moving period won’t really inspire you to marvel at the artwork pieces in your home, so you’d better pack them up safely to save time later on. Pre-pack framed paintings and photos, souvenirs, holiday decorations, figurines, sculptures, vases, and other types of art pieces and decorations found in your home.
If you’re a collector, it’s time to pack up your valuable collections of coins, stamps, action figures, etc. well before Moving day arrives. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your collectibles after the move.
CLOTHES and SHOES.
Pre-pack any clothes, shoes and accessories that you will not use until the day of the move – for example, off-season clothes and shoes. Will you need your winter boots during a summer move? Of course not. This way, you’ll save a good amount of time during the never-ending packing task.
Stop wondering what to pack first when moving house and box all the extra towels, sheets, pillows, blankets, comforters, etc. you’ve decided to take with you.
How much time do you think you’ll have during the packing process for reading books? That’s right, close to zero. Still, it’s a good idea to leave one or maybe two books to unwind in the evenings but that’s about it – pre-pack the rest of the books and magazines you’re moving with you.
It’s a bad idea to wear any jewelry pieces on Moving day and you probably won’t need to wear any before that, so do consider packing up your expensive jewelry pieces early to stop worrying about them.
Well, you’re going to use some essential kitchen items until the last possible moment but there is also some more special kitchenware that you won’t be using anytime soon. So, box those special-purpose kitchen items first to reduce the amount of work later when you re-visit the kitchen for the scheduled packing job.
GAMES and TOYS.
Getting ready to move out is anything but a game. When considering what to pack first for moving, most types of games, including board games, and children toys can be safely packed in advance. Leave only a few favorite games that you can enjoy with the family in the evenings when the work for the day is already over.
As a rule of thumb, consider packing first anything that you think that you won’t need until after the move is over. Thus said, keep in mind that the things you should pack last are the ones that you will definitely need prior to Moving day itself – for example, all the essential items that will make it into your Open-First boxes.
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