Summer is officially upon us. For Texans, that means hotter temperatures, out-of-school children, and summer vacations. And because summer weather is more accommodating to moving than frigid winter temperatures, it’s also one of the busiest times of year for people to move.
Whether you’re moving near or far, packing a lot or a little, moving can be an overwhelming experience. In fact, a recent survey found that moving was ranked as one of life’s most stressful events — outranking even divorce. Three guesses what respondents identified as the worst part of moving: packing their belongings.
8 Tips to Pack Your Home Safely & Efficiently
There’s really no way around the fact that getting everything prepared, in boxes, and ready to go is a lot of work. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand that will make it happen in seconds. But we have the next best thing: practical tips to make safely packing your home an achievable goal.
1. Get Rid of Clutter Ahead of Time
One of the fastest ways to slow down packing is to turn it into a decluttering session. Keep in mind that packing is one task, organizing is another. With that said, moving is an excellent opportunity to purge the stuff you don’t need and start fresh in your new home. All you need to do is get started earlier. For example, if you need two weeks to pack, then four weeks out, start decluttering, donating, and selling the excess. Find timeframes that work for you. You’ll find that packing and unpacking go much smoother.
2. Get Your Supplies Ready
Boxes, packing tape, markers, bubble wrap, extra cardboard, and moving blankets are all essentials for safe and effective packing. Everything is available at your local moving store, but you can also use Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and get some items for cheap or free.
Or post on social media and ask if anyone has moving boxes they want out of the way. Movers in the unpacking phase are very motivated to get rid of boxes! Those old shipping boxes occupying space in your garage are also great for moving, as they’re often in great shape when they arrive. Old towels or blankets can protect the corners on your furniture just as well as moving blankets, and wrapping your breakables with repurposed newspaper is an alternative to buying new bubble wrap.
3. Pack Your Boxes Like a Pro
Any professional mover will tell you that there’s a right way and a wrong way to pack boxes. One of the best pro tips is to pack boxes so that one person can lift them. Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes and voluminous but lightweight pillows and cushions in the big boxes. Pack one room at a time and keep like items together. Securely wrap your breakable objects and clearly label each box with its contents and corresponding room.
4. Be Especially Careful With Glass
Wounds and lacerations from broken glass are a common cause of visits to the emergency room, so be especially careful when you’re packing and moving breakables. If you have large frames with glass or mirrors, wrap them generously with padding. And, to minimize danger if something does break, use packing tape to put an X across the glass.
5. Pack Hazardous Materials Appropriately (Or Get Rid of Them)
Not everything is fair game to throw in a box with the contents of your sock drawer. Don’t pack dangerous items. Dangerous and hazardous material requires special handling or may not even be allowed at all. Household chemicals, ammunition, fuel, and fire extinguishers are just a few things to consult the moving company about, or simply dispose of it at a hazardous material collection site.
6. Keep Your Essentials Handy
Even with super-specific labeling, locating a needed item in a pile of moving boxes is essentially a modern-day metaphor for finding a needle in a haystack. In other words, don’t inconvenience yourself by packing your favorite bottle of shampoo at the bottom of a box that ends up in the bottom of a pile of boxes. Keep your daily essentials readily available by packing a bag as if you’re going on vacation for a week. Having your necessary items will set you up for a much less stressful move.
7. Hold Onto Important Papers
A box of bathroom towels? See you at the new place. But the birth certificates, social security cards, school records, recent bank records, and current bills? Don’t put those in the pile for general transport, as they should be personally hand-delivered — by you. Regardless of how insured and licensed the moving company is, it’s safest to keep important documents in your possession.
8. Get Assistance, If You Need It
Moving is arduous. Depending on your situation and the size of the job, you might need to enlist some help — or outsource the task entirely. Professional moving companies typically have a sliding scale of offerings. So if you want help moving the heavy stuff but don’t want anyone touching the dishes, you should be able to get the service you want a la carte. And if you do go solo or enlist the help of friends and family, remember that a dolly is invaluable for moving heavy boxes and appliances.
Start Fresh At Your New Home With Energy Texas
Packing and moving isn’t always the most fun event, but if you do it safely and effectively, it can signal an auspicious entry into your new digs. Here at Energy Texas, we’d love to help you settle in and provide you with a clean, renewable energy plan at a competitive, fixed-rate. After you make the move, make another one and join the thousands of satisfied Texans we’re proud to call customers.