Top 6 Packing Hacks to Make Your Move Easier

Whether this is your first move or you’re a seasoned mover, it is easy to get overwhelmed with so many little details to manage. Your kids are crying, you’ve been playing phone tag with your realtor all day, your cat is hiding somewhere in the house, and your partner already packed away the bathroom supplies, leaving you to root through the unlabelled boxes just to get your toothbrush. Sounds like a nightmare, right? But with some guidance, it doesn’t have to be.

While moving isn’t a breeze for anyone, there are ways to fill up the boxes faster, feel less exhausted, and ultimately make the process a bit more enjoyable than it might otherwise be.

When your life is being uprooted, keep grounded and organized with these six tips:

Packing Hacks

1. Create a packing checklist

It is tempting to procrastinate during your move, to put off the tasks that just aren’t fun, until suddenly it’s moving day. Creating a moving schedule and packing checklist which accounts for every task that needs to be completed before moving day (from packing the cutlery to hiring a moving truck) will help you avoid this stressful last minute scramble. Remember that you have other tasks to complete, as well, in your life. If you have to work an eight hour shift, you probably won’t have the energy to pack up your whole basement that day, too. So plan accordingly: make sure the move is sustainable and manageable for you.

Ensure a peaceful move by creating and following your personalized packing calendar. Starting checking the boxes— you’ve got this!

2. Start packing right away

Give yourself a head start to keep your stress low and your process flexible. Begin planning and packing a month before moving day.

Tackle the most difficult rooms to pack first. Complete the big tasks that you’re dreading first, while you still have plenty of energy, motivation, and time. As you approach moving day and get more and more tired, all that energy will start to wane. Save the easy packing tasks for these final days: you’ll thank yourself later.

You know that guest bathroom that never gets used? Why not pack it up now, before moving day gets too close?

The dreaded storage room, with all those boxes of random stuff that you haven’t used since 1995? Get them taped up and ready to go as soon as possible.

The wall hangings that you’re pretty sure are hiding hundreds of nail holes behind them? Take them down and fill in the holes now.

And don’t be afraid to break these big undertakings into minitasks. Rather than trying to pack up your whole bedroom, simply start packing your closet. Small tasks are easier to complete and less intimidating.

But here’s the conundrum: it will feel so good to have completed these tasks and be that much closer to moving into your new home, but where are you going to put all these boxes in the meantime? You don’t want a bunch of boxes crowding your living room for the next month, waiting to be loaded into the moving truck.

That’s why self-storage units are one of the best investments you can make during the moving process. Slowly transfer boxes into the storage unit and then slowly transfer the boxes out again once you’ve taken possession of your new home. Avoid the surplus of boxes crowding your house; your sanity will thank you.

3. Pack only the essential items you’ll need, plus the items that you really want in your new space

Moving is a great time to take inventory of the items you have collected over the years and clean out what doesn’t suit you anymore. Remember the storage room that we mentioned before? Now is a great time to peek into the dusty boxes and check that you really want to hold onto all your items before hauling them into your new home. Maybe you’ve wanted a new armchair for years: now is the time to donate or sell the old one and find a new one that will be perfect for your space. Try challenging yourself to donate at least one trunk load of items or list some old furniture and decor on an online marketplace (you might be able to make a little money in the process of moving!).

You’ll lighten your load and avoid packing what you aren’t going to end up keeping in the long run.

4. Prepare for moving day and your first days after the move

First things first: make sure everything is packed and ready to be transferred to a moving truck or is already stored in a storage unit before moving day arrives. Being prepared will make the process of transferring your items quicker and smoother, leaving you sure that nothing has been left behind in the chaos.

As part of your packing checklist, be sure to put together a supply kit for moving day. Grab a bag and collect the following items for your kit:

• Box cutters

• Tape

• Garbage bags

• Sharpies

• Gloves

• Extra boxes/containers

Avoid being caught off guard when a bag splits open or an unlabelled box is discovered with a moving-day supply kit.

Pack one moving box and backpack full of the items you need for the first night in your new home. Some items to include are:

• Toiletries

• Toilet paper

• Bed sheets/blankets/pillows (sleeping bags come in handy if you are too tired to make a bed after the day of moving)

• Spare clothes (and pyjamas)

• Prescriptions

• Cleaning supplies

• Flashlight

• Tool kit

• Notebook and pens

• Chargers for your phone and laptop

• Snacks

• Water bottles

• Shower supplies (and a shower curtain)

And anything else that you might end up tearing through boxes to find in a crisis. Keep these items, along with important documents and valuables, with you in case the moving truck doesn’t arrive when you do or any other issues arise. If you have these key items with you, your mind will be set at ease.

5. You Don’t Have to Cook

And you probably won’t want to, especially not before you’ve had a chance to deep clean the kitchen. Plan and budget for eating takeout the first few days, or purchase pre-made meals from the grocery store. You can also assemble your own meals before the move if you have the time. Casseroles and soups are great options for quick meals with minimal clean up—anything that can be quickly heated in the oven or in a single pot on the stove is perfect.

Definitely make sure you have disposable cutlery/plating at the ready for your first night in the new house. The last thing you’ll want to do is unpack all your dishes after a day of moving (it will be a relief not to have to scrub the dishes that night, either).

6. Keep your new home decluttered by using self-storage

Short-term self-storage can help relieve the stress of moving by allowing you to spread out the process and keep your new home organized. Rent out a storage unit for a few months, transferring boxes into the unit as you pack up your space. After the move, you can transfer the boxes into the new house at a pace that is manageable for you. If you are too busy to unpack the miscellaneous items in the first weeks of the move, they won’t be cluttering your space.

You can also save money by only having the moving company you hire transfer the items that you can’t move yourself, like heavy furniture. Most moving companies charge by the hour, so requiring them to move less items will result in a quicker and cheaper move for you.

Self-storage units will not only make your packing easier, but will also allow you to enjoy your new home free of stress and clutter.