Once you’ve made the decision to move, there is one important step lying between you and your new pad: packing. You might feel a little overwhelmed just thinking about all of the things you’ve accumulated and must now put into boxes and move to another apartment.
And while there is not much you can do to make packing more enjoyable, here are some tips that may make packing (and unpacking) slightly easier and more efficient.
While it may seem time consuming at first, taking an inventory of everything you own can help with tracking your belongings during the move. Check out Digital Locker, a free tool to help you take a digital inventory.
After you’ve taken inventory of everything you own, consider grouping your belongings on paper before you begin packing. This may not only help make unpacking easier, it can also make packing seem less overwhelming because you’ll have a set plan on what to put into each box. And as a general tip, Real Simple suggests packing heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes to help prevent boxes from breaking open during moving day. Once you’ve packed a box, make sure you label it with what room it belongs to and the contents inside, adds Real Simple.
A few weeks before you begin packing, start thinking about the supplies you need. While the essentials like boxes and tape are a given, depending on what you have, you may also need plastic wrap, foam packing peanuts and special padded boxes. If you are trying to save money, consider asking local businesses and friends for spare cardboard boxes and using clothes instead of plastic wrap to protect fragile objects, says HGTV.
Instead of trying to pack everything at once, consider blocking out two or three hours each day dedicated to packing up a certain room. That way, you can help minimize and isolate messes to one room at a time, according to SpareFoot.
One of the hardest things you can do to help make packing easier is to part ways with things you no longer use. If you haven’t worn or used an item more than once in the past year it might be time to get rid of it, says SpareFoot. But before you throw unneeded items out, you may be able to sell lightly used name-brand clothes to your local consignment shop. You should also consider donating them to your local charity.
With a little organization and planning, you can help make your move a little more efficient this time around.
Originally published August 10, 2010.