Packing for Your Move - The Basics

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Packing for Your Move in Little Rock - The Basics

Packing and purging go hand in hand--while you're purging, you need to be packing, too. If you are managing your move yourself, you're responsible for gathering all the packing equipment you need. Your community big-box store, self-storage company or the mover you've employed are all good resources for your materials. If you buy from your mover, ask if you can return any unopened or unused boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or paper.

Here's a checklist to help you get going:

Small boxes for books, heavy items, toys, appliances, fragile items

Medium boxes for the kitchen, accessories, lampshades, linens, shoes and boots

Large boxes for lamps, window treatments, pillows--items that are bulky but lightweight

Packing tape and tape guns

Newsprint, bubble wrap, packing peanuts or your shredded paper

Markers and labels

Small tools--screwdrivers, hammer, box cutter, scissors

Camera or smartphone

For a more comprehensive list of tools to make your move easier, click here.

Getting Started

Last used, last boxed is the rule of thumb for the boxing process—generally, the coffeepot and microwave are the last things to be packed in boxes. Since you're boxing in unison as you purge, start with the low-hanging fruit in chests and cabinets; you can knock out one or two of those in an hour. When you've gathered enough for a donation or dump run, do not exit the house until your packed boxes are taped and labelled. You could utilize distinguishing color-coded labels (blue for the kitchen, green for the master, etc.) or use masking tape with a heavy black marker; just be sure you label all sides of the box and note if the contents are fragile. A couple of minutes spent listing the contents are very important later when you can't locate your shoes in all the boxes marked "master closet".

Organization

Purging assists with organization, and so does tidying up the closets, attic, and garage at the beginning of the process. You will have to fine a storage location for all your packed boxes, and the garage is the perfect place as it's going to be nearby to the moving truck. However, the garage has to be clutter-free for this to work, so get to work on the garage project early on—plan on at least a weekend for the garage purge. Once you've got the garage under control, sort your boxes so that the movers can get to them with no problem on moving day; they will load the truck so that the weight is correctly distributed and so that the first items that you need at the destination are the last put on.

If you're the sort of person who keeps original packaging, you may now congratulate yourself. Electronics are fragile and if you have the original packaging, you can re-use that. If not, put everything connected to the device in a box--power cords, modems, power strips, instructional CDS--and label it all. Take photos of the cords before you pack them in case something gets misplaced.

Fragile!

It's staggering how many things you use regularly are super fragile. Dishware, glasses, light bulbs, lamps--all need a little extra care when you are packing them. Wrap dishes and glasses in newsprint, and place the plates in the box on end like records. A layer of bubble wrap protects them further, and stuff the empty spaces with some sort of shredded paper or packing peanuts. Don't overload the the boxes of delicate, and don't use big boxes for delicate items. Boxes from the liquor store work well for fragile things; they come in different sizes and may not have tops, so with a box cutter and tape you can customize boxes.

Don't just toss your lamps into boxes, remove the shade and harp and remove the bulb. The bases can go in a large box with the harp taped to the base, the shades can nest in a separate box, and the bulbs need to be packed separately (an ornament box is great for this) and marked fragile.

In our next post, we will delve into packing dos and don'ts.