When you move, packing efficiently serves you in multiple areas, keeping your stuff stable and reducing the number of trips (and therefore time and money) necessary. It also can save you on truck rental, as being able to downsize to a smaller vehicle usually gets you into a lower fee bracket. Use these handy tips to get all you can into your limited space.
Sort and donate.
Save your truck or car space for what truly has value to you and donate or sell everything else that’s serviceable. Unless something is a seasonal item or has sentimental value, the golden rule is to let go of it if you haven’t used it in at least six months. Some exceptions can apply, such as books or references that won’t get outdated, but even in these cases, it can be wise to invest in digital copies when they’re available. If you’ll be moving in with someone else, check that you don’t have duplicates. Remember, this process can take some time. Start as soon as you can so you really can think through your decisions and don’t feel stressed about the job.
Give unwanted papers a new purpose.
Sort through your filing cabinet and shred any papers you can–use the shredded paper in place of packing peanuts. Bonus? You’ll get rid of documents that have personal information on them, reducing the risk of identity theft.
Use your clothes and towels as packing material.
There’s no need to spend a ton of money on bubble wrap, peanuts or other materials when the clothes and towels you have can protect much of what you own. Even your kids’ stuffed animals can come to the rescue. Cram or wrap these around fragile items like figurines or dishes, or stuff a few into open spaces left by awkwardly shaped possessions. Don’t underestimate them for protection around your chair and table legs, either.
Think outside the box.
Boxes are great in that they stack well and are stable. The problem with them is that they’re not flexible. If you’ve got ones of different sizes, it’s difficult to play a perfect physical game of Tetris with them. Items like blankets can go into plain old garbage bags and fill the nooks and crannies different box sizes leave.
Some items in your home normally are placed horizontally, such as your mattresses. However, in the moving truck, put them vertically to keep the floor space open for boxes and bags. Secure them along the walls with moving straps or pulleys, keeping heavier items closer to the cab and balancing the weight on each side as much as you can. If you use a United Mayflower portable storage pod, you can use flush-mounted tie-down rings for easily securing items.
Forget that film “Short Circuit” and disassemble.
Take things like tables and lamps apart if you can, as this often lets you put them into a nook or place them more effectively against a wall for securing. Either tape the pieces together, use small cords or wrap them in towels. Put the screws or bolts in a labeled baggie and tape that to the larger parts.
So, with a little preparation, it’s possible to use most, if not all, of the space you have in your moving vehicle. Use these tips in combination with good lists and color coding to make your move even smoother and reduce costs or damage.