Moving? 9 Tips to Make Packing Easier

You’d really have a hard time finding many folks who enjoy packing for a household move. Still, if you are moving, the packing part must be tackled — whether you do it yourself or hire a crew to do it.

“Packing is expensive, time-consuming and stressful,” said Denise Baron, a home and lifestyle expert in Philadelphia.

If you’re going the DIY route, here are nine tips to make the task simpler:

1. Clear out the junk

Get rid of items you don’t plan to move to your new place, said Lori Matzke, a home-staging expert and former home organizer in Minneapolis.

“If you
 intend to give something away to a friend or family member, either deliver 
it to them promptly, or set a deadline for them to come and pick it up,” Matzke said.

For those items that aren’t being handed off to friends or relatives, consider selling them at a garage sale or donating them to charity, or simply toss them.

2. Collect free boxes

Rather than forking over money for boxes, check with local grocery, liquor and hardware stores to see whether they can give you leftover ones.

“Liquor store boxes are ideal for books and heavier items, as they are 
usually more compact, easier to handle and sturdy,” Matzke said.

3. Label the boxes

Based on the rooms where they’ll go, label boxes on every side.

“You never know how things are going to end up being stocked in the 
moving truck, and nothing is more frustrating than having to flip a box 
around to find out what room it belongs in,” said Kevin Smits, a residential real estate agent in Frisco, CO.

Matzke recommended picking a labeling color for each room, such as red for the kitchen, blue for the bathrooms and green for the master bedroom.

4. Don’t skimp on tape

Smits said he’s seen far too many people buy cheap packing tape, and then apply just a single piece to the bottom of a box containing Grandma’s cherished china.

“Buy good tape, and buy a lot of it,” Smits said. “It is easy to open 
those boxes later with a knife or even a set of keys.”

Don’t forget to pick up a heavy-duty tape 
dispenser made for shipping, Matzke advised. You can buy one for $20 or less at office supply stores and other retailers.

5. Consider the weight

“Remember, the bigger the box, the lighter the content,” said Chantale Bordonaro, a professional organizer and relocation specialist in California.

For instance, books should go in small boxes, shoes and clothes in midsize boxes and bedding in large boxes. “It is easier for the movers and won’t break their backs,” Bordonaro said.

6. Stay focused

Finish packing each room before switching to the next, Smits said.

“We tend to get distracted and 
fail to finish,” he said. “All this does is leave you with a whole lot of last-minute 
packing by throwing unrelated things into a box.”

7. Don’t waste space

To conserve on boxes, you should pack belongings into coolers, totes, laundry hampers, baskets, empty 
suitcases and empty drawers, Matzke said.

8. Throw in the towel

Save money on bubble wrap by using towels and clothes as cushioning for glasses and other breakables, Matzke said.

9. Pack the kitchen last

Chances are, all that packing will make you hungry, and you don’t want to be scrounging around for plates, utensils and cups.

“That last farewell dinner in your old home 
just isn’t as memorable if you are drinking out of a red Solo cup and
 eating on a flimsy paper plate,” Smits said.


John Egan is the editor in chief at SpareFoot, the country’s largest online marketplace for self-storage.



Moving In Together? Make Moving Day Go Smoothly

Planning on taking the plunge and moving into a new place  with your significant other? Moving day can be one of the most exciting experiences of the journey — as long as everything goes smoothly, of course.

By the way, you’re not alone. A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found 48 percent of women aged 15-44 interviewed between 2006 and 2010 had lived with a male partner before marriage — compared with 34 percent of women in 1995.

Use these tips to keep the first day you live together organized and easy.

Toss What You Won’t Use

Many couples move only to realize once they start packing that they have more than they know what to do with. To reduce the excess, you and your partner should spend a few days clearing out your respective clutter before you move. Go room by room and take out anything you…

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Do You Buy or Sell First When You’re Ready to Move?

Homeowners who decide they’re ready to become move-up buyers face a chicken-or-egg dilemma: Should they sell their current home first and then buy another, or buy a new one and then sell? The answer depends on several factors, including your local market conditions, your financing options and your feelings about potentially moving twice if you sell your home before your next residence is available.

Buy or Sell First

Market Conditions

Before you blithely assume that your real estate market is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, you need to realize that you must be very specific about the market for your particular neighborhood, the style of home you own, and the price range for your property. In addition, you need to assess the availability of homes that meet your criteria. You’ll need to work with a knowledgeable, professional REALTOR® who can talk to you about how quickly homes that are similar to yours…

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How to Bridge the Gap in Moving With Temporary Housing

Whether moving by choice or because your company requires you to do so, temporary housing is often necessary to bridge the gap between arrival in a new community and finding a permanent residence. This interval can extend from a few days to several months, so any short-term move needs to be planned accordingly.

For individuals and families seeking temporary housing, there are three main options: regular hotels, extended stay hotels, and rental homes/apartments.

  • Regular Hotels: Regular hotels are good options when you need temporary housing for just a few days. They offer full-service amenities such as restaurants and daily housekeeping. Although convenient for shorter stays, the costs associated with those amenities can take their toll on your relocation budget.
  • Extended Stay Hotels: Extended stay hotels should be considered when you require a longer timeframe for your stay. Extended stay lodging provides a more home-like environment by offering full kitchens and…

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Odd Moving Tips That Really Work

You’ve got the basics — cardboard boxes, newspaper, the phone number of a pizza place so you can feed the friends helping you move all your worldly goods. But do you have enough socks for the stemware?

Odd moving tips that really workAs with any major home project, there’s always someone out there with more experience and a host of clever ideas. Moving is no different. We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite quirky-but-useful tips to make trading one roof for another go a little bit smoother.

1. Footwear, Meet Stemware

About those socks and glasses . . . If you can double up and use some of your belongings to protect others, you cut down on space and moving supplies. Socks slipped around the wine glasses can help pad the delicate stems.

2. Plates on Plates

Instead of painstakingly wrapping each dinner dish in newsprint or bubble wrap, or purchasing those…

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