There are a million different guides out there that deal with the process of moving. This is a perfectly natural thing since moving is such a frequent event. On top of this, it is an event that involves doing a lot of work in a short amount of time. Many things about moving are inherently problematic. But one area that is not written about so frequently is the first step: packing for which need to find a packing box.

Have you ever had to move in a really big hurry? The kind of move where you had to leave quickly and didn’t really have time to pack everything up properly? If so, I would bet you ten dollars that you ended up breaking at least one item in transit. This is why you don’t simply throw everything in the back of a truck and roll with it.

The best thing to begin your process is a list. Start by going through your house, garage, sheds, etc, making a list of all the things that can take as-is. By that, I mean items that do not have to be packed or boxed. Once you have done that, pack all those items up (except for the things you still need in the meantime, naturally). Now we get to the fragile items.

As you go, keep putting things on your list. The idea is to create an inventory of everything you pack so that you can verify that nothing has been lost in transit. This is especially a concern if you are hiring people to help you move. If you are employing strangers to help you move, make sure that you haul your valuables. While your moving guys might seem very nice, you never know for sure what a person will do when they think no one is watching.

Your two best friends here are newspaper and bubble wrap boxes. The combination of bubble wrap and a sturdy cardboard box alone are usually sufficient to protect most breakables. However, if you have multiple breakables in the same box, you need to wrap each one in a thick layer of newspaper and tape it together. This is done so that the breakables will not be knocked against one another as the box is carried from one place to another. Bubble wrap is even better than the newspaper, as it provides a much greater degree of protection for anything it is wrapped in. Combine that with bubble wrap boxes and you have a pretty high degree of security.

Bubble wrap can also be used on its own. For instance, let’s say you have a tall floor lamp with a partial glass stand. There is no need for a box here, just roll some bubble wrap around it, tape it together, and it’s good to go. Similarly, any large and potentially breakable object should be moved in this way. As tempting as it is, tries not to let your kids pop all the bubbles.

Time management is something to consider as well. Chances are, you have a specific timetable regarding when you have to be out of your old place and into your new one. This deadline may be imposed by a landlord, or it may simply be a matter of meeting your own schedule. Either way, you must make sure that you have sufficient time to do things right. As the old saying goes, “haste makes waste”.

One of the best things about taking your time during the packing process is that you can take the time to keep things organized. This will save you a lot of time when you start unpacking. One way is to keep all boxes from the same room together. That means one stack for your living room, one stack for your bedroom, with each box clearly marked. When you unload your cargo at the new house, you want both you and anyone who is helping you to know exactly where each box is supposed to go. Orderly packing equals orderly unpacking.

Moving can be a great opportunity to trim your personal belongings down to size. If you are seriously considering leaving something behind, maybe you should. For instance, that old pile of scrap wood behind the shed might have seemed like a good idea when you first picked it up, but it probably isn’t worth the trouble of moving it. Or maybe if you have some old clothes that you know you will never wear again, consider the possibility of just leaving it behind. Besides, someone else might come along and make better use of it!

Some people recommend a technique called “gang boxing”. This means that you take all your smaller moving boxes and put them inside of larger boxes so that they don’t get lost. I’ve never done this myself, but it seems like a good idea, especially for a long-distance move. It is definitely true that a smaller box is much more likely to be lost or crushed than a large one. However, you also need to look at your budget and see if you can afford the extra boxes. Personally, I would rather just put everything in bubble wrap boxes to begin with. These kinds of moving boxes do a very good job of cushioning impact and protecting whatever is inside. As I said, make sure anything breakable inside the box is wrapped in bubble wrap as well and you should have no problems.

Unpacking is usually not a quick process. It is a task that seems far easier until you actually start doing it. This happens because you cannot duplicate your old home setup, and you thus need time to decide where this goes and where that goes. Unless you are moving into a home that is very similar to your old one, it will likely take awhile. As such, it is a good idea to take your household essentials-the things you use and need more than all other things-and put them aside in boxes marked as “essentials”. This allows you to do the equivalent of setting up base camp when you finally arrive at your new house with all the moving completed.

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