8 Tips for Packing Boxes for Your Next Move


Moving can be an incredibly stressful time for most people, and simply packing up an apartment or house really isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you have children or you’ve lived in a place for a long time and accumulated what seems like a ton of stuff, the problem of packing boxes efficiently is exacerbated.

While packing may not be the most fun you have this year, it is something you need to do if you’re going to move. Use these eight tips for packing boxes to make your move a little less stressful and a bit more efficient.

Start Packing Early. When you know it’s time to move, one of the worst things you can do is put it off. Instead, start packing your belongings as early as you can and do it in stages, not all at once.

Trying to pack everything in your home in a weekend is a recipe for stress and broken items. Take a few weeks to slowly pack and make sure you’re doing it right.

Round Up Boxes. Buying moving boxes can be expensive, and if you have to pack a whole house, you could easily spend hundreds of dollars. There’s nothing wrong with a few wardrobe boxes or specialty boxes for TVs, but you don’t need to spend your savings on cardboard.

Go around to grocery stores, liquor stores and even businesses you frequent and just ask for some boxes. You could save a lot of money and get most of your boxes for absolutely nothing.

Leave buying as a last resort.

Fill Your Boxes. If you’ve moved before, chances are you’ve put something in a box only to find it in pieces when you arrive at your new destination. It might seem like an inevitable part of moving, but doing a better job at packing can prevent breakages.

Your best bet is to simply fill your boxes with shredded newspaper or packing paper to cushion any soft drop or fall the box takes. Extra-fragile items should be labeled as such.

Buy Bubble Wrap. Items that are very fragile can still be boxed, but they need to be securely wrapped in bubble wrap before the box is sealed. Buy some bubble wrap for packing, and buy enough.

A little leftover bubble wrap never hurt anybody.

Label Your Boxes. People who start packing in a hurry often forget to label their first few boxes. Some people – often those who have never packed before or tend to lack organizational skills – don’t label a single box while packing and moving.

Get a package of high-quality waterproof markers and label each box. Ideally, you should label your boxes on all sides. Even a single letter or abbreviation like “K” for kitchen or “MR” for master bedroom will make the process easier.

Pack Non-Essential Items First. You might love your books, but you don’t need them the week before you move. Pack non-essential items like books you don’t use daily well before your move date to cut down on stress and reduce your workload.

Don’t Box Bulky Items. Too many people make the mistake of boxing very heavy or oddly-shaped items. Instead, wrap them in bubble wrap and move them separately to avoid damage.

Consider Getting Help. If you’ve got lots of furniture and very little time, you may want to hire movers. They can help you pack and help you pack the right way, too.

Friends may be able to help too, but know that you’ll be asked to help them move when it comes time!

Moving During the Week vs Weekend

moving-during-the-week-vs-weekendIt probably comes as no surprise that the weekend is the most popular time for people to schedule a move. It’s easier to get time off work on a Saturday or Sunday, and for some this seems like a commonsense choice. However, the popularity of weekend moves is one of the biggest cons for this traditional schedule. Carefully consider both options to determine which is right for you.

Moving on a weekday has many benefits. If you have children, your weekday move can take place while they’re at school and not underfoot. Neighborhoods and apartment complexes are generally quieter and more deserted during a weekday as well. While you may find your new neighbors strolling over to poke around and say hello on a weekend, you’re more likely to enjoy a quiet solitary experience on a weekday.

If you’re able to take two or three days off of work, you can merge your weekday move with the weekend and potentially return to work on Monday well-rested, refreshed, and settled in to your new home. Schedule your move for Wednesday or Thursday, use two or three days to settle in, and relax on Sunday before you head back to the grind.

Rush hour traffic is often cited as a source of concern for families planning to move during the week. This is easily avoided, however. Simply schedule your movers for a little later in the morning so you’ll hit the road just after rush hour. Speak with your moving company about the size of your home. They can provide you with a good estimate as to how long it will take the movers to load and unload the truck so you can avoid rush hour traffic.

One of the biggest cons to moving on a weekday is the issue of taking time off work. For some, this may require unpaid days off. While this can hurt your income for the month, you should take a moment to consider the savings you’ll get from the moving company for choosing a weekday. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday moves are almost always more expensive.

If you’re still leaning toward a weekend move, you’ll find there are benefits to this choice, too. If you need extra hands to help you clean up your old home or prepare the new one, it will be easier to enlist the help of friends and family on the weekend. Older children may offer a great deal of help. If this is the case, it’s beneficial to move on a weekend when they’re out of school.

The ultimate decision of whether to move on a weekend or weekday is a personal matter of your schedule and preferences. Schedule your move well in advance to make sure you can arrange for the help you need from professional movers, friends, and others. A well-planned move will keep things running smoothly so you can get settled in your new home in no time.