Packing up a home for a big move is a pretty monumental task. I mean, packing every single thing you own into boxes takes some planning and organizing and a lot of time. Of course, part of packing is trying to maintain some sort of order so that nothing is broken and then when the time comes, it’s easier to unpack. These packing and moving tips will hopefully help you on your next big, family move.
Since we were moving from a smallish condo, I didn’t think there would be all that much packing. I thought to myself, “I’m always spring cleaning and purging so it can’t be that bad.” That’s until…I started packing and packing and packing. I realized just how much of a task it is to pack up a home and move. Then, you realize how many fragile things you have and awkward shaped things that just don’t want to fit into boxes.
So then, if you’re anything like me – you start packing all of the easy things first and just keep putting off those fragile decor items. ;)
Our Moving Situation
Of course, every moving situation is different. We will be moving to a new home about 30 miles south from where we were living. As I referenced in my earlier post, we have a transition move to my parent’s house until our new home is built. So, we packed for our intermittent stay and packed the rest to go to storage. And, let’s not forget the packing for a beach vacation we had planned smack dab in the middle of all of this!
Our Packing and Moving Tips
Our packing system worked pretty well for us so I thought I would pass along all the tips and tricks we used during our move that just might make things easier for you!
Of course, a storage unit isn’t always necessary but for us it was. We found a storage unit near our new home and actually convenient from where we are staying at my parent’s house. We reserved a climate controlled unit so that we wouldn’t have any damage to our furniture from the weather changes. I recommend finding a storage unit that is conveniently accessible if you are arranging for movers to help with the move. We were happy to move boxes out as we packed them so that we had more room to keep packing.
Start by gathering any supplies you may need. Fortunately, we had some friends move a couple of months before us and they held onto their boxes. So, we acquired about 30 boxes from them to get us started. Then, we purchased bubble cushion, dish foam wrap, and additional boxes from Home Depot and Lowes. We also used a tape gun and large roll of white paper for extra padding during packing that my husband brought home from work.
- bubble cushion
- dish foam wrap
- white paper/newspaper
- tape gun
- extra rolls of tape
- permanent markers
Get Started Early
We started packing pretty soon after we got the ratified contract. This can be a little bit touchy though, since really a home sale is not finalized until closing. If our contract fell through, we didn’t want to be back on the market with a home and no decorations.
Timing is a big part of moving. Getting a head start, helps eliminate some of the panic and stress that starts to set in as the moving date gets closer. Start with items in kitchen cabinets, closets and the garage that don’t necessarily affect a home’s appearance. We started packing everything we knew we wouldn’t need the final month in our home. As we approached closer to the closing date and our contract still seemed like a solid deal, we started packing the decorations.
I packed the clothes we would each need during our transition since most of our belongings would be in storage. I set aside our toiletries, shoes, coats, and all other essentials that I knew we would need for 4-5 weeks. I had to remember that we would be transitioning into a new season during this time so I needed to get pants and long sleeves out before packing everything away…kinda like packing for an extra long vacation.
Labeling boxes gives you an idea of what is in a box and where the box should go in your new home. I also made sure to label FRAGILE on any boxes that should be handled with care. I tried to think ahead and label the room the box should be put in the new home. Of course, some boxes were various odds and ends. It’s not going to be perfect but being as organized as possible will be helpful when it’s time to unpack.
We made many trips to our storage unit ourselves loading and unloading boxes. But, we decided from the beginning that we would hire movers for moving the furniture out of our home. Moving furniture is a BIG task and it is well-worth the expense.
Our movers showed up the day of the move and disassembled furniture and maneuvered it down steps and loaded it onto the truck. They wrapped everything with blankets to protect the furniture from scratches. They put mattresses in boxes to keep them clean. Then, they unloaded it and stacked it in our storage unit. It’s a tough job and we were so thankful for their help. We will have the same movers help us the day we move into our new home as well.
Prepare the Kids
We talked about moving from the start. Our realtor actually gave each of the boys a KidsToGoBox. I thought it was a great idea and found that you can also order the boxes online. The boys colored a box that they could pack their very own favorite toys in for moving day. This is just one additional step to help make moving easier on your children. They feel like they have a helping hand and then they knew that their favorite toys would still be with them through the transition.
Leave the home clean and ready for the new owners. I made sure to go through the home one last time – vacuuming, wiping things down, and cleaning out the refrigerator. We left the keys, garage door openers, and ceiling fan remotes ready on the countertop for the new owners.
Moving is a lot of work! But, with the right supplies and systems in place, it will move along pretty smoothly. And, when it’s all over, you can look back with relief that you know the unpacking process should go smoothly after all of preparation and organization!