At this point in your moving preparation, your priority has been decluttering, cleaning and storing valuables. Its time to start thinking about packing up the rest of your belongings. This task can start to feel daunting and seemingly overwhelming, however we have some great tips from our friend Ange McNamara from Klear Inc. on how to organize and pack efficiently for your big day.

What are your top 5 tips for packing?

  1. If possible, use the same size boxes or totes. It makes loading a truck or pod easier.
  2. Label, label, label! It’s easier to label the room the box should go to, as well as identifying the contents within the box when you are packing. It’s tough to find items on the other side of the move, if not properly labelled.
  3. Use a colour scheme to help you identify which rooms the boxes or furniture should be placed in at your new residence. You can buy colour coded labels with rooms preprinted e.g. “kitchen”, or “bathroom” – or another option is colour coded packing tape.
  4. You should pack important documents and valuables yourself. Keep these separate from your general move items and bring them in your car instead of packing them in the moving truck.
  5. Carefully wrap fragile items such as vases, antiques, dishes, etc. in bubble wrap. For added protection, surround them in packing foam peanuts when placing them in a box.

When should I start packing?

In my opinion, it can be very efficient to start packing at the declutter stage, before you’ve even listed your house. At this point, packing only refers to items you are decluttering for staging to work towards the sale of your house. This will save you time down the road and will allow your house to be more easily staged for sale.

After you’ve sold your house, you can start packing less frequently used items right away. This includes small items such as books, knick knacks, and off-season items. I would keep packing at a steady pace in this fashion until one week before your move. At this time, it’s important to get serious about emptying closets, cupboards, and drawers. Note that life may get a little difficult because it’s possible you’ve packed away things you might use on a weekly basis. If you can’t find a needed packed item, there are two options: a) improvise (e.g. a butter knife can be a substitute for a flat head screwdriver in a pinch) or b) search for the needed item out of your well labelled, packed boxes.

The key point is to not leave the majority of your packing until the last minute. You don’t want to have your family & friends or movers show up on move day to a house that isn’t already completely packed, give or take a few items.

What are some of the best tips for efficient unpacking & setting up of your new home?

  1. Have movers or helpers deliver boxes and furniture directly to assigned rooms, as per your labelling.
  2. Start with a good clean of your new fridge and freezer and empty the food coolers into the fridge.
  3. Setting up the beds in the new house on move day should be high on your priority list. If time allows, clean the kitchen & main bathroom before you unpack these areas as well. This is when it may be helpful to clean the new house before you make it your own – whether that be professionals or your family and friends who are willing to help.
  4. I would also start to unpack your kitchen essentials on the first day. Since you have packed an overnight bag with two days worth of clothing and toiletries, you can wait until the following day to completely unpack the main bathroom.
  5. Your kitchen & bathroom areas are the most frequently used and should get unpacked within the first two days of moving in.
  6. Next, unpack your clothing, linens and set up your electronics. At this point, you should have unpacked your essential daily items within the first few days of moving in. All other items can be unpacked at your own pace. Now you can enjoy your new digs!

Find this Helpful?

Last week, Ange McNamara gave some helpful advice and information on choosing the moving help that’s right for you. Click here to read more about it and stay tuned next week for our last moving step: Finding the Perfect Furniture.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about decluttering and have questions about where to start, contact a professional organizer like Ange to get your home ready for your big move.