4 Best Practices for Packing & Moving

*I have been compensated for this post, however, all ideas are my own. When it comes to moving, I’m usually a pre-planner. I like to ...

*I have been compensated for this post, however, all ideas are my own.

When it comes to moving, I’m usually a pre-planner. I like to be prepared, packed up, and ready to go on moving day. In the past, we’ve typically had to be out of one house and into the other on the same day - as renters, that was usually how our leases were set up. But our journey to purchasing our first home was quite a bit more complicated.

We started house hunting back in June, and during our search, things were not easy. You always hear how stressful buying a house is, but I truly didn’t expect it to be the way that it was. Houses were flying off the market so quickly, some even the same day they listed. We looked at some that were sold before our scheduled viewing took place. And many that we offered on, we were beat out by those tricky investors. Back in the fall, we had an offer accepted only to find out during the inspection that so much was wrong with the house - asbestos, cracked foundation, a gas leak, and more. So we quickly backed out.

In February, we finally had an offer accepted on a house we loved and the inspection went well. But after eight months of looking and being let down, we obviously couldn’t quite get our hopes up until we actually signed and had ownership of the home. So I didn’t pack. I didn’t take photos and art down off the walls. I didn’t prep at all. So we continued living in our rental, and didn’t even buy boxes or anything until after we actually made the purchase of our home. What’s even crazier is that we didn’t buy our house until most places started closing or moving to remote work environments due to COVID-19. And let me just tell you, moving during that time was so stressful. Luckily we had a month to move, so we were able to break things down into small pieces, which helped a lot.

So if you find yourself needing to move during a stressful time, or finding an organized way to move, check out these recommendations below.

Be creative with your packing options

We didn’t want to go to the grocery store and request boxes because grocery stores were not in a state for me to run in and request some free boxes. They were swamped with folks rushing to buy up the full grocery store. So we bought a handful of boxes at Home Depot, but we were actually really creative in our packing, and even reused boxes since we had time to go back and forth. We utilized suitcases, duffel bags, and even plastic garbage bags.

All dresser drawer clothes, all linens, all stuffed animals and pillows, and most shoes in garbage bags. Dressier shoes (mostly heels) went into hard rolly suitcases. Also in hard suitcases were smaller framed pictures, some accessories, and knick knacks. Duffel bags held all the random stuff that just piles up over time, plus some electronics (like our entire Wii system and all accompanying games).

Go room by room

When getting things packed up, or at least ready to pack, I went room by room - starting in the bathrooms because there were a lot of items we weren’t using regularly. We cleared out the bathrooms, then the guest room, and so on. We made sure to pack up the things we weren’t using daily or weekly first, only taking over our daily items in overnight-type bags when we spent our first night in our new house.

Organize as you go

This recommendation is probably on every single packing and moving list ever. But that’s for a reason. As we packed, we placed things in different bags or boxes depending upon whether we wanted to keep it or get rid of it. Since no donations centers or consignment shops were available and open when we were moving, we left the donation or “get rid of” boxes as the last items at our rental (and, of course, all of our cleaning supplies). It actually worked out nicely that way, because there was an item or two I may have put in the boxes that I decided was actually something we could use in the new house. But as of now, there are a few bags of clothes and couple a boxes of other “housewares” in my car just waiting to be taken to consignment.

If you have any fine jewelry you’re deciding to get rid of, then consider selling it for cash. Whether it’s scraps of broken jewelry or just something you don’t wear anymore, you can sell jewelry in Atlanta, GA or the surrounding areas with a visit to Chapes-JPL. For clothes, I usually take to my local consignment shop, where I get half of what they sell for and any clothes they can’t use are donated locally. So it’s win-win. Most housewares I just donate to a local charity shop. Any books go into a local Little Free Library.

Forget about cleaning until the end

When it comes to cleaning, I don’t use this as an opportunity to clean as you go. Instead, I leave all the mess, just picking up bigger items or random loose change off the floor. Don’t get me wrong, I do clean/dust items as I pack them. But for the floor, the fans, the walls - I leave all of that until the very end, so I can do one big deep clean after the house is totally empty. That way I don’t have to do the same job twice.

We may still be unpacking a bit, but we are totally settled in. And while it was definitely challenging to move during a pandemic, we did it. We didn’t have the help of my family, like usual, and we had one friend help us with the big uhaul/furniture move (which we were so appreciative of). But we were fortunate to be able to travel back and forth (about 30 minutes one way) to bring all our smaller items - I even just piled up books in every nook and cranny of the car so I didn’t have to pack them in boxes (reusable grocery bags worked really well).

What are some of your packing “best practices?”

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