The date is finally set; you’re moving to a new home! Whether you’re upgrading to a larger place, downsizing to a studio, or simply starting anew, moving is a process that begins with a plan. When it comes to how to pack for a move, where do you start?
As professional movers, we understand that moving can be overwhelming. To help, we have a simple timeline you can follow that lets you get started months in advance. We also have a step-by-step guide on how to pack for a move the right way.
With our expert advice, most of our customers report smooth sailing on moving day simply because they planned ahead and did everything right.
Here’s what we cover:
- Your resources and limitations (and when to hire help)
- Your moving timeline
- Moving boxes and supplies
- Steps on how to pack moving boxes the right way
Understanding Your Resources and Limitations
Our best tip? Know what you can and can’t do.
When you know your resources and limitations, you can plan accordingly.
For example, some families don’t have time to pack their own belongings, so they hire us to do the job. Other families have plenty of time to pack, but they don’t want to be stuck driving a large moving truck across country. That’s where we come in.
Each move is unique. As you read our timeline and “how to move” guide, remember you can enlist us for all or some of the moving tasks required to get you home again.
Let’s start with your moving timeline.
Your Moving Timeline
It’s never too early to start the moving process. We recommend getting a head start, at least three to four months prior to your move. If you have 6 months, even better.
Keep in mind this timeline is just for the home moving process. This includes steps like when to buy moving supplies, how to pack the boxes, and when to book your moving company. It does not include tasks like switching schools or finding a new doctor in a new town.
- Let go of the old.
Before we can start fresh, we need to make room for the new chapter in our lives. This means letting go of items we no longer want or need. Moving is a great time to do this.
Discard items you don’t want or need; you can donate to charity, hold a garage sale, or simply give things away. This includes clothes, furniture, kitchen items, etc.
- Determine your moving budget.
This step is vital to a successful moving experience. You want to know how much money you can spend on the move. Once you know this, you can allocate funds to the areas you need help with the most.
- Collect moving estimates.
With your budget in mind, start getting estimates from moving companies in your area. Starting early will help you find a moving company within your budget. It will also give you more flexibility to pick the date and time that’s best for you.
Custom is key: Remember to make sure they offer long-distance moving services, and other specialty services you’re looking for, such as packing moving boxes and disassembling furniture.
2-4 Months Before
- Select your moving company; book your moving date.
This is when you can talk to the moving company about your needs and finalize your plan. It’s helpful to work with an experienced moving company that can help you manage the entire process.
Make sure you mention all the items that will be moved, including large appliances and furniture. Find out which items require disassembly or special care.
- Book your storage space.
If you’ve decided that you need to store some of your items, now is the time to book the storage. We offer both temporary and long-term storage units for storing items you don’t want to give away but can’t fit in your new space.
1 Month Before
- Purchase moving boxes and supplies. We offer a selection of quality boxes and supplies that can be purchased directly from us – just ask. What’s more, our trucks are always equipped with additional boxes and supplies in case you run out on the day of the move.
- Start preparing boxes for packing.
1 Week Before
- Disassemble furniture.
By now you should have talked to the moving company about which items need to be disassembled. Now is the time to do this. If you’re not doing this on your own, talk to the moving company about when they can schedule this task. Most often, it’s done on the same day as the move. Nice, right? Basic furniture disassembly and assembly is included our services.
- Start and finish packing boxes (in order of importance).
Give yourself a solid week to pack your belongings. After all, you might have an entire home’s worth of items to pack. This means your boxes are ready and your items have been wrapped and prepared. All you have to do this week is place the belongings in the right boxes, seal them properly, and label them.
- Prepare your first night box.
- Meet with the movers.
- Say a final goodbye to your old home.
- Arrive in your new place; celebrate new beginnings!
How to Pack Efficiently for a Move: 8 Tips
With your timeline in mind, here are seven detailed tips on the best way to pack for a move.
Use a Moving Timeline
Have we harped on this enough? A timeline helps you see in advance so that you can plan your time accordingly. The last thing you want is to delay your moving day and have to cancel services simply because you didn’t plan ahead.
Buy Moving Boxes and Supplies
Compile a list of the types of boxes and moving supplies you’ll need for the move. How many boxes will you need for the move? It depends on the size of your move; this article is a great guide. Make sure that you don’t use old boxes to prevent them from coming apart during the move.
Prepare Your Moving Boxes
Before you can pack your new boxes, you’ll need to assemble them. This step will take time and the right supplies, especially if you have dozens of boxes for each room.
Wrap and Prepare Belongings
To keep your belongings safe during the move, you’ll need to individually wrap and prepare your items before they’re placed in the boxes. This step requires time, and might take longer depending on the type of items and belongings. We have a detailed article on how to pack for a move based on the type of item (clothes, shoes, kitchen appliances, etc.) During this step, you might find that you’ll need to purchase specialty moving boxes to simplify the process.
Learn the Proper Way to Pack Moving Boxes
There is a right way to pack moving boxes, so it’s important to take the time to learn a few industry tricks and tips. For example, you don’t want to overstuff boxes or use extra-large boxes for heavy items. A box that is too heavy will be difficult to move. Knowing the right way to pack moving boxes will simplify and improve the moving experience.
Pack in Order of Importance
Start packing the items you use or need the least. This might include decorations, items in the garage, gym equipment, or belongings in the spare room. The idea is that you don’t want to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste a week before the move because you’ll need them up until moving day.
Pack Moving Boxes Room by Room
Divide and conquer is a great approach for packing. Make it easy on yourself by packing room by room. As you do this, make sure to pack similar items together in the same box. This will make unpacking go faster and smoother.
Properly Seal Boxes
If you learned how to properly pack moving boxes, you might have also learned there’s a right way to seal them. Using packing tape, seal the boxes so that they are secure and won’t accidently tear open during the move.
Properly Label Boxes
Since you are boxing room by room, label your boxes with either the name of the room or the items in the box. We recommend labelling by name of the room and type of items. For example, “Sam’s Bedroom: toys.” This way the movers will know which room to place the boxes in, and you’ll know which boxes to open first according to your needs.
Alliance Moving & Storage: Professionals Movers in Chicago
With your timeline in mind and these steps considered, we you have a great chance of mastering this moving process. If you’re ready to start getting some quotes for the move, you can complete our online form today. You’re always welcome to give us a call to start planning your move today.