Moving Tips and Tricks—Secrets to Packing and Moving Like a Pro
Whether it's your 1st or your 40th time moving, there's always a way to make the process smoother. You can learn about the basics of moving in our guide to Insurance Tools and Tips When You're Moving, including a Moving Checklist, People to Contact Reminder, and Household Inventory Worksheet, but read on for our top 10 moving tips and tricks that are less commonly known.
Tip #1: Packing Your Place
There's more to packing than hunting down used boxes online or at the grocery store. Packing moving boxes is a special art. The trick is to get specialized boxes for fragile or oddly shaped items. You can purchase these boxes from moving or storage companies. You may have to shell out a few extra dollars, but it will be worth it when your items arrive in one piece.
- For kitchen breakables, purchase "dish barrel" boxes to hold your dishes in place.
- Wall art and mirrors are better protected in long, flat boxes.
- Cylindrical poster tubes are an ideal container for art that can be rolled up.
- Wardrobe boxes with a bar for hanging your clothes may seem decadent, but they're huge timesavers when it's time to unpack.
- They're not exactly boxes, but vacuum-sealing bags for coats and other clothing can help you save a lot of space.
So how do you find the right agent for you? Here are some helpful tips.
Tip #2: Don't Resist Labels
You really can't over-label when it comes to moving. Consider numbering your boxes and keeping a reference list. That way, if you need to find something, you'll know which box number to look for. Some movers will even color code each box to its appropriate room. Make your labels highly visible. Mark boxes on their tops and sides so you can read them even if they're vertically stacked.
Tip #3: Leave a Paper Trail
Packing paper is extremely useful and fairly cheap. It's also easily recyclable, as opposed to Styrofoam or bubble wrap. Newsprint can serve the same function, but the ink may stain your belongings. You can use packing paper to line the bottom of boxes and to wrap fragile items like dishes, mirrors, or pictures in frames. Crumple it up and you have the perfect cushioning material.
Tip #4: Everything in Its Place
Try to leave items in their usual places so you don't waste time putting everything back when it's time to unpack. For instance, make sure knives are firmly secure in their knife block with lots of sturdy packing tape and paper. Do the same for silverware in fitted trays. If you have clothing in your dresser, tape the drawers shut and secure them closed with tape and moving pads.
Tip #5: Books—Great for Your Brain, Terrible for Your Back
The pursuit of knowledge is a noble endeavor, but heavy books are often the cause of pulled muscles on moving day. If you can bear the loss, now is the time to pare down your library to the essentials. If you can't sell them to used bookstores or online, consider donating them to a good cause. Prisons, public schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and literacy centers are usually happy to accept your books if they're in good condition.
Tip #6: High-End Packing for High-End Electronics
Your electronics are pricey, so pack them carefully. The best containers for costly electronics like computers or televisions are their original boxes, but many people throw these away after purchase. If you can't find the original box, find a sturdy, appropriately sized substitution or purchase one from a moving company.
Remove the item's cords, wrap them, label each appropriately, and then pack them in a bag that you will include in the box. Use a blanket, towel, or moving pad to wrap the item, then slide it into the box. If there's still space left over, use crumpled-up packing paper or rolled-up socks to fill in the holes.
Tip #7: Designate a Packing Room
Pick a room in your house or apartment to be your center of packing operations. This makes the process more efficient and limits much of the mess to one room, which will help lessen the stress of moving. Choose a room with a large table surface so you can wrap while standing up.
Tip #8: Throw a Reverse Housewarming Party
Everyone knows that holding a yard sale and donating your unwanted belongings is a great way to de-clutter before a move, but not everyone has time. If you find yourself short on time but long on unwanted items, invite your friends over for a "Reverse Housewarming" party. Instead of bringing something to share, party guests have to take an item home with them.
Tip #10: Plan a Homecoming Celebration
Moving is tough work, physically and emotionally, and you deserve a break. Plan to enjoy a special event in your new home, even if it's just takeout from a restaurant in your new neighborhood. You don't want your first night in your new home to be a stressful one.
A little preparation goes a long way—if you can, visit your new home before moving day. Stock the fridge with champagne and do some research online to find out what the popular restaurants are in your area.
Move in Good Hands
Moving is stressful enough without worrying about your new home insurance policy. Let Allstate do the heavy lifting. Talk to an Allstate agent today to find out about the right home or renter's insurance policy for you. Call 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828) or get a quote online in minutes.
And take the guesswork out of property insurance with our convenient Tools and Resources. Like the Digital Locker app, which lets you create a digital inventory of your possessions on your smartphone.
Published: June 2011