Moving is a big job—don’t make it harder on yourself. Even if you plan on packing everything away on your own, the process can be easy when you follow a few basic rules of thumb.
Pack on a schedule. Once you’re ready to move out (or ready to start the process, at least), the prospect of packing your entire home into boxes and trucks can be intimidating. But start by taking simple steps. Put in boxes everything you know you won’t need during the few weeks or months before moving day: cold winter sweaters, boots, etc. Even consider taking lightweight decorations from the walls to save time later. By spacing out the amount of things you pack away between a few weeks, the entire process will be much less daunting.
Don’t leave drawers full of breakables for moving day. Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a safe bet to not leave glass or otherwise breakable items in dresser drawers when you’re moving. Of course shirts, linens, and other soft, lightweight materials are fine.
Be careful about packing your dishes and other breakables. Another obvious tip, but it’s hard to know exactly what’s “safe” for delicate materials on a moving truck. You can use a dish pack which is specifically made for transporting dishes, or place plenty of cushioning material and wrap dishes or other items in layers of newspaper or bubble wrap to prevent breakage.
When choosing box sizes, go standard. Choosing boxes of the same size (and weight, if you can pack them right) makes stacking them on a moving truck that much easier. If you have smaller boxes, however, you can place them inside larger ones and the same goal will be achieved. Just place crushed newspaper on the inside to prevent the smaller boxes from shifting during the move.
If they go together, move them together. Not only does this make the move safer for fragile items (a pillow can’t harm another pillow, but a box of messy arts and crafts just might!), it lets you place items together that are likely going to the same destination anyway.
Label away! This will help you and your movers. If you self-pack with unmarked boxes, make sure to label “this side up” if necessary, and label all your boxes with their respective destinations. If you want to be extra efficient, add the same labels to rooms in your new house. “Kitchen” and “living room” are no-brainers, but “bedroom 1” and “bedroom 3” aren’t necessarily that distinguishable.