7 Common Packing Mistakes

It’s commonly accepted that packing is the most begrudged element of a move. Cramming your entire livelihood and possessions into a ton of cardboard boxes doesn’t sound fun for anyone – especially when you know you’ll have to painstakingly unpack and organize them after the move. While packing might seem like a mindless chore, it’s actually not – you can certainly make things more difficult for yourself. By avoiding the below common packing mistakes, you can ensure that your move goes smoothly and professionally.

 

Don’t forget about your immediate essentials

It’s a common refrain to keep your essential items handy; however that doesn’t just mean a tote bag with a paperback and a toothbrush. It’s likely that you won’t be able to be fully unpacked for some time after you move in – it’s a process that can even take weeks. You’re going to need to pay attention to every single item you might need while you’re in the “cold-open” of your house. Make sure to include inside any “essentials bag” that you’re packing things like towels, first aid kits, snacks, journals, cosmetics – and especially toilet paper.

 

Make sure to do some advance planning.

By packing proactively, you can make unpacking much less of an ordeal. You might be wondering what this entails. Well, for a start, imagine your needs once you’ll be inside your new space. What’s the space like? How much room do you have? Where will each of your items go? Where are you going to want to store dishes, silverware, toiletries, clothing? By having an internal map of your new space ahead of time, with a rough idea of how it will be organized and laid out, you can pack boxes accordingly, and make sure each box goes to it’s designated room upon arrival, as opposed to putting them all in one room and stressing out over sorting them later on. One important tip is to put any loose miscellaneous items into a labeled Ziploc bag together which makes it much easier to eyeball and unpack than anything inside a dark box.

 

Don’t be OCD about Labeling

Labeling is important, but you don’t want to label so much you end up in a straightjacket. We recommend labeling according to rooms so unpacking will be much easier. Additionally, make sure to not label valuables too conspicuously so anyone who encounters it might not get bad ideas. Instead of labeling a box “vintage heirlooms”, try labeling it “Special Dishes” – something vague enough to be discreet but specific and coded enough for you to understand the nomenclature.

 

Don’t pack fragile items roughly

Pack all plates on their sides, where they are much less likely to shatter upon impact. You can use bubble wrap to pad any breakables – but an even better option is to use recyclable paper as a shock absorber – if you’re packing glass items, it’s important to make sure they don’t touch other glass items – using a simple shock absorber like paper can provide an instant safety solution in a pinch.

 

Don’t overpack boxes

You don’t want a hernia. Make sure not to pack boxes too heavy to carry – it’s better to have more smaller boxes than a couple impossible to carry ones. Books for example are notoriously heavy – try keeping them in smaller and easier to handle book boxes. If you’re packing expressly heavy items like weights, keep their true weight in mind and distribute the items or their parts evenly in multiple boxes – keep weights separate for example inside boxes lined with rags or newspapers to act as shock absorbers.

 

Don’t fall into a nostalgia wormhole

If you’re uncovering keepsakes and photo albums that you haven’t looked at in years, the sentimentality of leaving your living space might get to your head. This can be a major time waster that sucks up time that could otherwise be spent productively. Don’t sit on the floor glancing through photo albums – instead choose rooms to complete first as a priority – and then if you want to take a trip down memory lane, do so, but only when the majority of the tough labor is actively completed.

 

Make sure to look over the entire home before moving

Before you get rid of your old housekeeper, look through every corner of your former home, under beds, in corners, behind the oven, washing machine, dishwasher, etc. You’re going to have a much more pleasant and relaxing time in your new home if you can be certain that you didn’t leave anything essential or irreplaceable in your old home.

 

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