Packing is certainly one of the most time-consuming aspects of moving. However, it does not have to be that bad if you're careful to implement some time-saving strategies along the way. Here are seven quick tips to save you time, energy, and packing supplies the next time you relocate to a new home.
1. Use the padding you have rather than buying bubble wrap.
Instead of buying bubble wrap or tissue paper, wrap your dishes, glasses, and other fragile items in your towels, sheets, dish cloths, and other plush items. You'll save money on wrapping supplies, plus you will save time since you don't have to pack the plush items separately. You can probably wrap eight or ten glasses up in a single sheet; just make sure you put a layer of sheet between each one.
2. Go for smaller boxes.
A smaller box fills up more quickly, so you feel like you're accomplishing more. This keeps you motivated throughout the packing process. Plus, carrying a small to medium-sized box from one room to the next is a lot easier, so your arms don't tire so quickly.
3. Put a "donate" box in the corner of each room.
Many people spend a lot of time going through everything and designating items to donate and get rid of before they actually start packing. A more efficient way to handle this is to place one box labeled "donate" in the corner of each room. Then, go about packing the items in those rooms. As you come across something you want to get rid of, toss it on the donate box. At the end of the day (or week) you'll have pre-packed donation boxes ready to go.
4. Start with the items you don't need.
There are few things more frustrating than packing up a kitchen item, a shirt, or some other necessity only to unpack it the next day because you find you need it. If you pack in the order of least-used to most-used, you won't run across this problem. Start with items like holiday decorations and formal wear, and don't pack the things you use on a daily basis until the last minute.
5. Schedule breaks.
If you pack and pack until you're totally worn out, you'll be forced to take a break and then you'll have a hard time getting started again. So, schedule breaks every hour or two. Take five minutes to sit down, sip a drink, enjoy a snack, or chat with friends. Then, get right back to packing. These frequent breaks will keep you on an even keel so you don't hit a wall in the middle of your packing process.
6. If you have helpers, give them all specific jobs.
Having friends and family members help you move really only saves time if you can keep them all organized. Give each of your helpers some specific jobs so they are not all stumbling over one another and trying to complete the same tasks. You can even write each person's jobs down on a master list and hang it on the wall for easy reference. If friends and family aren't around to help, contact a packing service in your area for professional assistance.
7. Tape drawers shut rather than packing the items separately.
Why would you take the time to remove everything from a dresser drawer and pack it in a separate box? It's already packed in the dresser! Just use a piece of tape to secure the drawer, and make sure whoever loads your moving truck puts the dresser with the drawers facing the side of the truck so they don't slide open. You just saved yourself a half hour of packing time. You can use the same strategy for night stands, storage cabinets, and more.
Packing will probably never be your favorite thing to do, but with the tips above, it at least won't be something you dread.