Tips for Packing

March 2, 2016

Moving an entire household of belongings can feel like an overwhelming chore, but with a little organization and pre-planning, it’s not such an unmanageable task. Here are a few pointers to help get you started packing.
It’s great if you’ve planned ahead and saved items such as old blankets, boxes, newspapers etc. for your move, but if you’re short on space, saving up these supplies just isn’t always a reality. So head to the grocery store and speak with the produce department about obtaining some boxes for your move.

The LCBO often has sturdy, clean boxes as well (they have to safely hold several heavy glass bottles, so they must be strong!) Pick some large boxes for light bedding etc., and some smaller ones for heavy items such as books, so you and your movers won’t strain your backs lifting them. Then head over to your local thrift shop and purchase some gently used bedding that you can run through the wash and then use for packing your furniture safely. Once you have completed your move, you can then donate the bedding back to the charity shop of your choice if you decide not to store it for another purpose. A stop by the newspaper office should yield you a stack of out of date newspapers you can use for wrapping breakables.

Don’t forget to go to a business supply store before you head home to start packing. Here you can purchase items such as packing tape, bubble wrap, permanent markers, scissors, etc. Your moving company will have hand lifts for moving larger items on moving day.

Once you have gathered all your necessary supplies, start by taking inventory of everything you’re bringing. If you can cut down the amount you are moving by selling or donating some items, that’s great. Then decide what items can be packed up early. All books, knick-knacks, seasonal items, etc. can be packed up ahead of time and not be missed. Try and keep items from the same room in the same box- when searching for something, it’s much easier to find this way. Label each box clearly with A) what room it contains items from, and B) a brief description of the items inside. Jewelry and valuables should be packed carefully and kept in a safe spot. Medications need to be stored according to the manufacturer’s directions and thus should be packed with care.

Packing your clothes can be simple and quick. First, keep out enough clothing for each member of your family that you will be using up to the move. Then, decide which items of clothing would be safe to use for packing breakables. Fleece sweatshirts, bathrobes etc. will keep your breakables safe from shifting in a box, and these items of clothing aren’t likely to be ruined by using them for packing temporarily. Then grab a few garbage bags, slide the open end up from under a group of your hanging clothes, and tie the top of the garbage bag around the hanger “necks”. Voila! Quick and easy packing- and just as easy unpacking once you’re in your new home!

Label, label, and label some more. When you are taking apart items of furniture (futons, desk with a bookcase attached etc.), put all the hardware and corresponding Allen keys etc. in a re-sealable bag with the furniture they belong to clearly marked on the front. Put these important bags of hardware in your purse or in a box with your valuables. It’s also nice to have your boxes numbered in order of importance so when you arrive at your new abode, you will know to open the #1 box first. This box should contain items that you will need right away- chargers, plastic utensils, plates and cups, perhaps you packed your medications in this box, toilet paper and other personal hygiene supplies etc.

Don’t forget, if you have excluded any items in the real estate agreement, such as a favourite light fixture or curtains, remember to take these items with you! In the hustle and bustle of moving day, these items can be easy to forget, as they’re usually part of the background.

With a little preparation and organization, packing for your move doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Once you have all your boxes carefully filled, it’s always a good idea to give your moving company a call to see if they have any preferences on how to arrange your items to go into the moving truck. Once you are settled in your new home, you can begin to unpack your belongings in the nice, organized fashion that you first packed them in.

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