Whether you're planning a local move, or you're preparing to move cross-country, most people dread the stress of packing up their belongings. The key to simplifying your move is to stay organized and pack your belongings in an orderly manner. That's why we've put together a list of 20 great tips to help you stay on track and reduce the strain in the days leading up to your move to Arizona.
Let's get started.
Take every opportunity you can get to go through your house and remove things that you no longer need. Old clothes, kids' toys, heavy furniture and more can all be sold online or at a yard sale. Not only will this minimize the amount of stuff you need to move, it also puts a little extra cash in your pocket for moving expenses.
Too often people wait until the last minute to start packing because they don't want to pack away items they might need in the final days at the old house. However, this leaves you without enough time to properly pack at the end. Start early, move slowly and diligently through your house, and don't procrastinate when it comes to packing.
If you're getting overwhelmed at just the thought of packing up your whole house, this is one of the best moving and packing tips for you. It is also directly related to tip No. 2 – instead of packing an entire room at a time, start by focusing on categories. For instance, just pack all of your books one day, and then your picture frames the next day, and your clothes the next day. These are bite-sized tasks that can be knocked out one at a time.
Set moving goals for yourself and write them down. Week by week, check in with your calendar and make sure that you have knocked out the items on your list. Breaking your tasks down into daily operations will help keep your whole family on track.
While you're busy making your calendar to prepare for the move, make sure you are clearly delegating tasks to each individual in the house. With the exception of very small children, everyone can pitch in to make packing go faster. For instance, color code tasks on your calendar so your kids know that they have their own goals to meet each week.
When it comes to long-distance moving tips, we'd be remiss if we didn't at least mention the fact that there are professionals available to help you through the move. Hiring a moving company may be less expensive than you imagine. Alternatively, hiring a professional organizer to help you pack may be a good middle ground.
Yes, boxes from the liquor store or the supermarket are free, but they aren't necessarily the right tools for the job at hand. You may want to take advantage of these free boxes for most of your items, but splurge on a few plastic tubs or wardrobe boxes to help you move specific items. You may also find used moving boxes online through yard sale sites and on Craigslist.
It only takes a few seconds but this is one of the cross-country moving tips that will make unpacking at your new location a breeze. In fact, you don't even have to break out the Sharpie anymore! You can now buy pre-printed packing tape that is already labeled "Bedrooms," "Kitchen," "Bathrooms" and more. Plus, you can color-code the labels so you can separate boxes for kids' rooms.
The last thing you want to do before you launch into a long journey is create a spreadsheet. However, making a simple list of how many boxes you have for each room is a great way to make sure nothing disappears along the way. If you know that Billy's room had eight boxes when you left, there should be eight boxes in his room at the new house to unpack. This is especially important for the kitchen when you are searching for the pots and pans.
Sometimes in the rush to get all the packing done, we start haphazardly stacking books and other heavy items all into a box together. It is only later that you realize the box is too heavy to lift, or that the box is bound to break from the weight. If you have a ton of books or other heavy articles to move, plan on moving them in smaller, manageable boxes.
There will be unexpected messes, and occasionally something will break. Make sure that you have enough cleaning supplies and basic hand tools accessible until the last day of your move. It will be a lot more stressful if you have to unpack a box to get to them.
Even if you decide to go with a professional moving company, there are likely some items that you just don't want out of your sight. Whether it is electronics or family heirlooms, create a plan for moving valuable items in advance so you can give your movers a heads up on what not to take.
Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are useful, but they aren't always necessary. As you pack, try to consolidate your items by taking advantage of packing materials you already have around the house. For instance, packing dishes with your towels or blankets will provide plenty of padding as you move, but will also help reduce the weight of boxes and minimize the need to pack bulky blankets all in one box.
Vacuum-sealed bags were all the rage a few years ago in TV commercials and they can still be found at hardware stores and big box retailers. When it comes to moving bedding, sweaters and other bulky items, using a vacuum bag can be a huge space saver. Plus, once you suck the air out, you can stack the vacuum bags inside of a plastic tub or box to keep them organized.
Shampoo, nail polish and other bathroom liquids are always a source of concern. One of the best tips for moving out of state is to use small plastic tubs to pack your toiletries in, and to place bottles inside of plastic baggies before you begin. This way they won't leak on anything else even if something goes awry.
Minimize your moving costs and risks by packing yourself a small travel bag in advance. This should include some toiletries, as well as a few changes of clothes. If something gets delayed during the move, you will always have at least enough clothes and personal items to get by until the issue is sorted out.
Moving budgets are tricky because you never know what challenges will pop up along the way. Extra fuel costs, eating out and other expenses can throw your budget off track. As you pack up for your move, make sure that there is enough money set aside to get you through any hardships.
Organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army are happy to pick up items from your home if you are ready to donate them. However, they are usually very busy with requests and it may take them a few days to get to you. If you know that you will be donating bed frames, china cabinets or other large items, make sure you call well in advance to schedule your pickups.
Nobody loves moving, but you probably have lots of friends who want to say their goodbyes before you make the trek across the nation. Order some pizzas and throw a moving party so everyone can help you get packed up and loaded into a truck. Don't forget to thank your friends for all their help.
Now that you know the proper way to organize your packing, and you've gotten long distance moving tips from experts, it's your turn. Don't waste any more time putting off the tasks that need to be taken care of today. Sit down with your calendar, plan a realistic moving strategy and then pick one category to focus on today to get you started. Each step you knock out now will make you feel better about the whole process.
The more time you give yourself to move, and the more you plan ahead, the better your chances of getting through the process as stress-free as possible. Write things down, check things off your list and don't be afraid to give up items that you just don't need anymore.
To learn more about moving tips and lifestyle advice in Phoenix, AZ, check out Heers Management. We have the latest tips for moving and keeping things simple so you can focus on where you're headed instead of stressing about the move itself. Contact us for more information or to tour our apartments throughout the Phoenix metro area.