Packing Tips for Moving: If You’re Hiring Movers or Moving Yourself

Written By

Machaela Casey
A stack of packed and sealed moving boxes inside of a house

Packing and Moving Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Packing your entire home for a move. That just sounds overwhelming. And, to be honest, it involves quite a bit of time and energy. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. We’ve written this piece to give you easy packing tips for moving and reduce moving day stress for you and your family.

Mature man seals moving box shut with tape gun.

In fact, breaking up your move into manageable chunks can really simplify things. With some careful planning, you’ll be able to get your move done right. Without losing your mind.

What are the Different Ways to Move? Decide: DIY or Hire Help

The first thing to understand is what are the best moving options for your move. Basically, you will want to decide whether you need professional help or can you pull a DIY move off yourself? The answer to this question will depend on your needs and budget.

If you’re moving one small space to another nearby, a DIY move may work. Or, if you have a lot of helpers, and just need to rent a moving truck, it might make sense to move yourself. Finally, if you have a strict budget or timeline, you might prefer a DIY move.

But, if you’re moving a large home, or if you’re moving a far distance, you’ll probably want to hire movers. When you need support, full-service moving companies are probably your best bet. Professional movers will have the equipment, the trucks, and the professional movers to organize and haul your entire shipment safely.

Plan Ahead: Set a Date

Ideally, set a moving date eight weeks ahead of time. This will allow you time to find the right moving support, source all packing materials, and pack your entire space without being rushed.

Planning ahead will also allow you to do other important things related to your move. For example, you’ll need to transfer utility service and forward your mail to your new address.

How to Book a Mover

To land the right moving company, start searching early. About three months before your target moving date, begin looking online. Research at least three different companies. Then, call each company on your list and ask for a quote. Book your mover by signing a contract.

Shrink Your Shipment to Save Money

Before you pack one box, go through your entire space and get rid of unused and unwanted items. Be ruthless. You don’t want to pay to move things to your new home only to throw them away when you get there.

Purge your space room by room. Put unusable, damaged items in a pile for trash or recycling. Place salvageable items into another pile to sell or donate.

Consider selling valuable items to neighborhood groups online, or have a moving sale. Donate whatever doesn’t sell. Finally, if you need help getting goods out of your house, removal companies can clear your space.

Start Collecting Boxes of All Sizes

As soon as you book your mover or rental truck, begin collecting moving boxes. Source boxes of all sizes-small, medium, and large. It’s important to buy a variety of different sized boxes so that you have the right size boxes for all your needs.

Small boxes,12-24 inches long, are perfect for heavy things, like books or pantry items. Medium boxes, 14-18 inches long, are ideal for kitchenware, toys, and bedding. Finally, large boxes, 18-24 inches long, work for bulky items that aren’t that heavy, like blankets, paper products, and more.

Get Specialty Boxes, Too

For fragile items or for paperwork, buy the right boxes. Moving large, bulky pieces, like artwork or mirrors, may require a telescope box. These boxes consist of a top and bottom piece, which fit together to protect the contents inside from damage. Telescope boxes are great for moving flat screen TVs, artwork, or mirrors.

To organize and transport documents and office supplies, use bankers’ boxes. These carboard boxes are stackable, which makes them easy to load on the truck and in your office. In addition, they come equipped with handles and lift-off lids, so they’re easy to carry and easy to access.

Keep your glassware safe with sturdy boxes built for the job. These carboard boxes are often double insulated to protect fragile items and come equipped with dividers to place inside each box. Dividers create separate space for each piece within the box, which will prevent items from touching during transport.

Find the Right Insulation Materials

Once you have the right size and type of boxes for the job, it’s time to prepare to pack. But first, you need proper insulation materials. Buy a large roll of bubble wrap. You can use this to pad fragile items and to fill bare spots in boxes. Also, pick up some industrial-sized plastic wrap. Use this to protect items and to bind them together. For example, you may want to wrap dresser drawers (with clothing still inside), couch cushions, and more.

Finally, get some furniture pads and cardboard sheets. Furniture pads are great for protecting large appliances and furniture. You’ll use cardboard sheets to protect your carpets and floors while loading and unloading the truck. These will be especially important in bad weather-you’ll want to protect your flooring from wet, muddy boots.

Don’t Forget the Right Tape(s)

You may be surprised to learn that you’ll need more than one type of tape for your move. First, you’ll need packing tape to seal and secure moving boxes. In fact, you may want to invest in one or two tape guns to help seal boxes more quickly. In addition, you’ll want masking tape for labeling boxes and duct tape for reinforcement.

Avoid Damage: Pack Right

Pack your boxes right to avoid damage to items inside. Start by placing insulation material at the bottom of each box to provide a strong foundation. Then, load items in the box carefully, with the heaviest items on the bottom.

Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap. Add padding to fill in any empty spaces. You can also use clothing, hand towels, or bedding as padding. Place insulation on top of your final layer of items before sealing the box shut with tape.

Have a Packing Plan: Four to Six Weeks Out

You’ll want to start packing right after you donate or sell all unwanted items, about six weeks before your moving date. Begin by packing the areas of your home that contain items that are infrequently used, like your attic, basement, or shed. Next, pack up any out-of-season clothes or recreational equipment.

Also, begin making a plan for all of the food that you have in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Moving companies will not move fresh food, like meat, dairy, or produce. And, you may not want to pay movers to move all of the pounds of canned goods in your pantry.

Decide what you will be able to consume before you move, and make a plan for the rest. Many moving companies participate in Move for Hunger, a nonprofit organization that helps transport surplus food to communities in need. Many movers will donate your nonperishable food to a local food pantry at no extra cost.

The Final Countdown: Two Weeks to Go

Two weeks before your move, start packing bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen, only leaving out items that you’ll be using in the immediate future.

One week before your move, start packing everything else. Pack clothes, bedding, toiletries, and electronics, only leaving out the most essential items.

Nelson Westerberg: Your Home Moving Partner

At Nelson Westerberg, we know what it takes to move you right. We offer all kinds of support for your move. If you’re doing a DIY move, we can provide the truck or a labor-only team to help you load and unload your shipment. And, we’ve got the perfect moving checklist for your local move.

Or, if you want more complete support for a stress-free move, we can do that, too. Our expert packers and movers can even pack and transport your entire shipment for you. Plus, we have the resources you need. Our home moving guide will provide all of the tips you need to make your move a success. We even have suggestions if you’re moving with pets.

Finally, we’re a proud Move for Hunger partner. We’ll gladly re-distribute your leftover canned goods to local food pantries.

Give us a call for a free, customizable quote. Whether you want tips for moving or even if you want to know how to pack for a move, we can help. Our professional agents are standing by ready to answer all of your questions.