Packing sounds simple – you just put things into boxes, right? – but it can actually be more complicated than you think. Depending on how you pack, you can make a move stressful or stress-free. We’ve compiled some of the most common packing mistakes that can make your move miserable. Avoid these blunders and your move should be a success!
Mistake #1: Waiting too long to begin.
Packing takes time. A LOT of time. The biggest rookie mistake when it comes to moving is putting off packing until the last minute. In fact, we recommend that you begin the packing process at least four weeks before the move! Check out our Most Epically Comprehensive Moving Checklist for a detailed timeline of what to do before, during, and after your move.
Mistake #2: Choosing not to declutter.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to declutter your home. Not only are you getting rid of things you don’t need, but you get to pack less stuff! It’s pointless to pack and move items you don’t want or never use, so decluttering will make your entire move more efficient. Read our decluttering tips if you don’t know where to start!
Mistake #3: Not using the right materials.
Using the appropriate packing materials is vital. Inappropriate materials can rip and tear, making your move a disaster. High-quality moving boxes ensure your move runs smoothly – and make sure you have the right amount! (Check out our handy-dandy guide to how many moving boxes an average 3-bedroom move will need.) Also, don’t underestimate the importance of bubble wrapping your valuables to avoid chips and breaks.
Mistake #4: Overpacking your boxes.
You want to fit as many things as you can into each box, right? Wrong! It may seem like the less boxes you have to move, the better, but overpacking your boxes actually makes your move harder. Heavy boxes can be difficult to lift and will slow down the moving process. And boxes that are carrying too much weight can even bust on the bottom, sending your belongings crashing to the floor! Consider utilizing movers with packing services to ensure all your stuff is packed correctly.
Mistake #5: Not filling your boxes.
So you don’t want to overpack your boxes, but leaving them half empty isn’t good, either. If a box isn’t filled to the top, the lid will cave in when other boxes are stacked on top of it. Use wadded paper to fill any empty space before closing and taping your box. This makes sure the box is full, but still a manageable weight.
Mistake #6: Packing fragile items incorrectly.
It’s vital that fragile items be packed with care. When packing anything breakable, like glasses and dishware, start with a layer of loosely wadded paper about 3” thick on the bottom of the box. Then once you’ve packed everything, add another 3” layer of paper on the top. This will help pad your fragile belongings.
Mistake #7: Packing liquids incorrectly.
Packing liquids, like cooking oils and cleaning supplies, has the potential to be disastrous. If there’s a leak in transit, the liquids may damage other goods. Always pack liquids in a leak-proof container like a plastic storage bin to avoid harmful leaks.
Mistake #8: Not packing boxes by room.
Don’t pack your boxes willy-nilly. It’s easy for things to get chaotic when you’re not categorizing your things – or you’re categorizing them incorrectly. For example, you may want to categorize your boxes by item, like a box of just books. But if you fill a box with books from all different rooms in the house, you’re going to be running all over your new space when it’s time to unpack. Organize everything according to what room in your new home it belongs in and unpacking will be much simpler!
Mistake #9: Not labeling your boxes.
Along with organizing your boxes by room, be sure to label them by room as well. This helps your movers know exactly where to place things so you don’t have to move them again later. You should also include a brief description of what’s inside. This will help you prioritize your unpacking – for example, you’ll know you need to unpack the box labeled “clothes” before the one labeled “Halloween decorations.” And don’t forget to note if anything is fragile!
Mistake #10: Forgetting to pack a “First Night” box.
So you’ve made it. You’ve moved into your new home. Now, where did you pack your toothbrush…? A “First Night” box will keep you from digging through all your boxes to find those first-night necessities! Use luggage and pack as if you are going on vacation to ensure you have everything you need. Don’t forget to pack those often-forgotten first-night items.
Avoid these major mistakes when packing, and moving should be a breeze. Are you interested in having your things packed by professionals, or still looking to book your movers? Reach out to your local Little Guys to get a free quote for your move!