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Pack like a pro

April 13, 2010

We spent the last two weekends packing things up over here at the Borrowed Abode, and wouldn’t you know –  I don’t feel anywhere near finished.  To think I thought my apartment was clutter-free!

At least I know I packed like a pro, staying organized and structured despite the upheaval.  I tried to keep things eco-friendly, opting for “green” packing materials rather than the standard bubble wrap or foam peanuts.  If I lived in California, I’d surely have opted for the Earth Friendly Moving company, packing all my items in rented plastic storage bins.

Heaven knows I’ve packed and moved more times than I’d like. Here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way for organizing an easy and chaos-free move:

1.  Start early

Start packing so early that you think you’re nuts for doing so.  Trust me, it always takes longer than expected.  At least a month ahead of time, save money and a few trees by snagging free boxes and packing paper off Craigslist or Freecycle.

2.  Hunt and gather

Go through your house, gathering up everything in categories, so you can pack like items together.  Here’s my dining room-turned-packing area with all my books, candles, and small decor items ready for packing.  (Yikes.  We’ll have a yard sale after the move to pare down the junk to just our favorite stuff.)

2.  Label everything

Know where your stuff is, even when it’s in boxes at your new house:  label everything. In detail.  Each box gets at least two labels:  Contents and Location.  Prior to packing, I print adhesive labels for every location in the new house.  Those labels get stuck to the upper right hand corner of every box, to help the movers know where each box goes.   I also print out large adhesive labels that read “Contents”, so that I can create uniform, easy-to-read box inventory lists as I pack.  When the box is full, and I tape it up, I slap the contents label right next to the location label.   Sounds OCD?  Maybe.  Uber-useful?  Definitely.

If the box is fragile, I stick those labels on every side.

3.  Wrap resourcefully

Save the environment and your wallet.  Use towels, sheets, rags, and fabric to wrap breakables.  I also picked up some Geami paper for wrapping the super fragile items.  It’s good stuff – made from recyled paper, and just as good as bubble wrap at swaddling wine glasses and other delicate items.

4.  Make space

Let’s face it, you’re gonna have to have a spot to pile all those boxes you’re about to pack.  And if you’re like me, you want to keep the house feeling uncluttered and organized despite the upheaval.  Corral the clutter as much as possible by devoting a wall or section of a room to stacks of boxes.  Bonus:   Storing them in one place makes for a faster, easier move on the day-of.

That’s it for my tips.  Did I leave anything out?  Any other tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated – we’re moving soon!

Speaking of moving, this will be the last you hear from me until after the move.  I’ll return on May 1st bigger, bolder, and better than ever!  (Or not.  I just liked the way that sounded.)  But I will be blogging from a new borrowed abode, and will have a fun surprise to share with you all!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    April 14, 2010 9:08 AM

    thanks for the tips! you have inspired me to start packing. now i just need some free boxes and some time.

  2. April 14, 2010 11:45 AM

    Whoa, want to come help me pack up my manhatten apartment in a month??? You’re a serious pro!

  3. April 20, 2010 2:07 PM

    Oh, I’m packing too! Thanks for the tips! I had my yard sale before moving, though, so I wouldn’t have to move stuff I don’t really want to keep. Good luck with the move- can’t wait to see the new Abode!

  4. April 29, 2010 7:43 PM

    as another frequent mover, this makes a lot of sense!!
    i wrote a few posts on moving when i was faced with the trauma of moving across continents with bag and baggage (and canine)!
    http://ughsome.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-nightmare-that-is-moving-with-a-capital-n/
    http://ughsome.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/wrapping-up-a-checklist/
    and
    http://ughsome.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/vociferous-baggage-of-the-four-legged-kind/

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