Moving can be an extremely stressful activity, and many people dread packing for a major move. However, when people pack efficiently and intelligently, moving can be made much more simple. A good job prior to departure will also make moving in to a new home a great deal more pleasant. If you move frequently, establishing a system will also really help.
The first step is sensible packing is to assemble all of the tools that you need. Start with boxes. Use uniformly sized boxes which will nest or stack neatly together. Start with a small number of big boxes, double that number of medium sized boxes, which can be stacked on top of the big boxes, and add a very large number of small boxes. Many moving supply companies sell boxes which are specifically designed for the this purpose. Be sure to look for sturdy, durable boxes which will hold up through multiple moves, making your investment worth the money. You should also make a habit of saving electronics boxes and packaging materials, so that you can pack electronics up in boxes specially designed for them, thus preventing potential damage through moving.
Small boxes are extremely useful for heavy items, to ensure that you do not overload a box, making it too heavy to move. Get more small boxes than you think you need, as a house always contains more belongings that meet the eye initially. You should also assemble packing tape, paper to protect delicate items, and an assortment of labeling pens. Many people find it helpful to color code their labeling, using different colors for different rooms, to make finding things on the other end even easier. Make sure to strap boxes well with tape, as you do not want them flying open during the move.
Packing room by room is often the most simple way to move. By doing a room from start to finish, you can ensure that all of the objects kept in it will be kept together. As you work, discard items that you no longer use or do not want. Do not pack with the intention of going through the boxes on the other end, as there is no sense in moving things you do not want. Make a pile of items for recycling, garbage, or donation. While you fill boxes, make sure that the space inside the box is used effectively, and that the boxes are padded with paper inside, if necessary, to prevent breakage.
Labeling is a crucial step in packing. Make your labels as descriptive and useful as possible. “Kitchen” is not a helpful label, because although it tells you that the contents belong in the kitchen, it does not tell you what might be in the box. “Kitchen — pots and pans” or “Kitchen — fine china: fragile” is much more valuable, as it helps you load up the truck safely, and unpack it easily on the other end. Make sure that boxes with breakables are clearly labeled “fragile,” and consider setting them aside for loading at the end.
After you have packed your entire house, focus on loading a moving truck. Whether you are loading it or hiring people to load it, make sure that the load is evenly and safely distributed. Take the time to pad furniture so that it will not be scuffed or damaged, and stack your boxes cleanly, with their edges neatly squared, so that they will not slide during the move. Set aside boxes of items which you will need immediately so that they are loaded at the end, making them readily accessible for you when you need them.
If you have animals, it can add a new dimension of stress to packing and moving. Try to isolate the animals in an empty room while you work, to avoid upsetting them. Load them, along with their accessories, at the last possible minute, and make sure that the animals have tags with usable contact information, and that crates are clearly labeled.