Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making the Most of Your Move: Pre-Packing

Today we signed the leased on our new apartment - a condo actually! We'll be moving at the end of this month. Yay!

 Moving is super exciting, intimidating, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Last time I moved, it was sort of a mess - boxes breaking apart, contents spilling everywhere...the worst part was having to dig through boxes to find one small item, because everything was jumbled together! 

 So this time...we're doing it right. 

 And I decided to chronicle the move, so that you the reader can hopefully learn from our experiences, mistakes, and my OCD tendencies. I want you to not just "get through" your move, but to make the most of it! Moving is a great time to pare down your belongings, get organized, and make a fresh new start in your new place. 

 Getting started can be one of the hardest parts of any project, and that definitely includes moving. If you want to do it right, don't just jump right in - you need a plan. Keep reading for some pre-packing tips! 

#1 - Gather your packing supplies (and a lot of them) 
Click here for a comprehensive list of packing supplies! 

 Having a generous amount of supplies on hand before you start is extremely helpful. You will be going through plenty of packing tape, boxes, and packing paper, and running out of necessary supplies in the middle of a packing spree is never good. If you're like me, my "packing mode" switch gets flipped on and off without warning, and having all my supplies ready and waiting means I can take advantage of those times when I'm rarin' to pack. 

 #2 - Write out a timeline/to-do list 
You can start with a standard list like this one and tailor it to your needs. 

 Giving yourself goals, and deadlines for those goals, is an excellent way to stay on track and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Trying to remember everything you need to do before you move is an unnecessary stress, so just write it down already! Print out your timeline and put it by the fridge or the calendar, or anywhere you'll see it daily. 

 #3 - Start a "Giveaway box" 
One of the first things I did when beginning to pack was to set out a large box in the living room - the "giveaway box". As I am going through parts of the apartment, packing away the things we want to take with us, I place everything we don't want and/or need in the giveaway box. (Technically, not everything in the box is stuff we want to just give away - we will try to sell some of it.) It's much easier to stay organized when you have somewhere to put the things you no longer want, instead of letting them linger around your home. 

The number 1 tip in all of moving tip history is to GET RID OF STUFF. Seriously, just do it. Unless you are someone who is super tidy and never lets anything into the house that you don't absolutely love or know 100% you will probably have some belongings you can part with. If you do, not only will you have less boxes to move, you will have more space in your new place, and less headaches trying to figure out where your giant breadmaker that you use once a year or your 50+ T-shirts should go.

 If you have some things you think are money-makers, Craigslist is always an option. A better option, I think, is to search on Facebook for a Buy/Sell/Trade group for your county/city. These groups are excellent ways to sell your possessions and avoid creepers/stalkers/murderers. Just search "[insert county/city] buy sell trade", and chances are you'll find one that works for you! 

Want to really start planning ahead? Get the measurements of your new place (every last detail!) and map out each room on paper - graph paper works best. You can even make little paper versions of your furniture (scaled down the same amount as your room graphs) so you can do a little pre-move layout arranging. Try it if you have the time - it is quite helpful, and pretty fun too ;)

 Do you have any pre-packing tips? I know you do! Please share below!

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