Packing to move into your new apartment can be a huge chore, but here are a few tried-and-true tips to make the job of packing much easier. And of course, when you pack well, the unpacking goes easier, too—making it way worthwhile to invest a little planning time in the process, first. Here are our favorite packing tips for moving into your new apartment home.
Make a place for what won’t get packed. If you’re using a professional moving company, check with them up front to determine what other items you won’t be able to put on the truck. This might include plants, cleaning chemicals, food items and more. Flammable items—including lighters, matches, chemical cleaners, oils, etc.—should never be packed, so set them aside in a cabinet or other designated area so that they won’t be accidentally placed in a moving box. Since most professional movers won’t carry food items; plan to move these yourself if you’re making a local move. If you’re making a long-distance move, use or give away what won’t be making the trip. Use a cooler to move refrigerated items for a local move and unpack them directly into the refrigerator in your new apartment as soon as you arrive.
Start early. Most movers find themselves surprised by how much time and effort it takes to pack. If you save it all for one weekend, you’ll end up too exhausted to make organized and informed decisions. Instead, start packing as soon as you find out that you’re moving. Your move will go far more smoothly and you won’t be so exhausted when it comes time to unpack and get organized in your new apartment.
Make a plan for what gets packed and when. It just makes sense to pack items that you don’t use often first because they won’t be missed while you’re in the process of packing. Leave most-used items for last and number boxes as you go. When you reach your new apartment, unpack the boxes in opposite order, so you’ll have quick access to necessities first, including things like: pots, pans, and important kitchen utensils; toiletries; and bed and bath linens. You’ll want to make your new apartment feel as much like home as possible when you arrive and a made bed and fresh bath towels are going to be greatly appreciated at the end of moving day.
Label and list! With a good, fat marker, label each box with a number (see the order/opposite order trick above), the room that most or all of the contents will go to in your new apartment and whether there’s anything inside that’s fragile. Use “this end up” arrows with orientation-sensitive items inside. Mark at least two sides of each box so you won’t spend the other end of your move shifting and turning boxes around to see what’s what. Finally, keep a numbered log of every box that you pack and its contents (be as specific as you’d like) so you’ll have an at-a-glance list of what’s where and a means of checking off boxes on the other end to ensure that everything has arrived.
Give breakables plenty of TLC. Pack the breakables—like ceramic figurines or glass items—for each destination room in their own box, carefully padded and packed tightly enough to keep them from jostling against each other. When it comes to protecting breakables, bubble wrap is your best tool. Use lots of it and secure it around each item with packing tape to create sort of a protective cocoon. Use generous amounts of crumpled paper to create cushions in the top and bottom of each breakables box, as well as to fill in any gaps between items. When you reach your new apartment, unpack breakables for each room last, after the other items in the room are in place and there will be less moving around to put them at risk.
Pack tight and pack right! Moving can be tough on your stuff, but it’s even tougher if you pack in such a way that the items in your boxes have room to move and bump against each other causing damage along the way. Pack each box as tightly as possible so that the items inside are as stationary as they can be. For example, pack dishes with Styrofoam or paper plates between them to cushion each piece. Pack books of similar sizes together, alternate the spines and open ends for a tighter fit. Use twist ties to bundle kitchen utensils and silverware together. Always cushion and fill gaps with crumpled paper to keep things where you want them to stay. Remember also that it’s not necessary to disassemble items in order to move and that a lot of them in your rooms can be packed together with relative sense. For example, there’s no reason to pack silverware separately from your silverware tray when you can easily pack the whole thing; your laundry basket makes a great container for packing your towels and linens or laundry supplies; and there’s no better container for a pair of shoes than a shoebox.
All it takes is a little planning and forethought, and you’ll be all set to start enjoying life from the very start in your new apartment home. Best wishes for a fabulous move!