Packing for Your Move - The Basics

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Packing for Your Move in Houston - The Basics

Packing and purging go in concert--while you're purging, you should be packing, also. If you are overseeing your move yourself, you are responsible for accumulating all the packing supplies that are required. Your community big-box store, self-storage company or the mover you have hired are all good resources for your equipment. If you buy from your mover, ask if they will take back any unopened or unused boxes, tape, bubble wrap, or paper.

Here's a outline to assist you:

Small boxes for books, heavy items, toys, appliances, fragile items

Medium boxes for the kitchen, accessories, lampshades, linens, shoes and boots

Large boxes for lamps, window treatments, pillows--items that are bulky but lightweight

Packing tape and tape guns

Newsprint, bubble wrap, packing peanuts or your shredded paper

Markers and labels

Small tools--screwdrivers, hammer, box cutter, scissors

Camera or smartphone

For a more extensive list of tools to make your move easier, click here.

Where to Begin

Last used, last packed is the unwritten for the packing process—usually, the coffeepot and microwave are the last things to go in boxes. Since you're packing as the same time as you purge, start with the things that are easy to get out of the way in chests and cabinets; you can knock out a couple of those in an hour. When you've purged enough for a donation or trash run, don't leave home until your packed boxes are taped and labelled. You can utilize specific color-coded labels (blue for the kitchen, green for the master, etc.) or use masking tape with a heavy black marker; just be sure you label every side of the box and note if the contents are require special handling. A couple of seconds spent listing the contents are very important later when you can't find your shoes in all the boxes marked "master closet".

Organization

Purging helps you get organized, and so does cleaning out the closets, attic, and garage early in the process. You'll have to fine a storage spot for all your packed boxes, and the garage is the best place as it's going to be near to the moving truck. Alas, the garage should be free of clutter for this to work, so tackle the garage project early on—carve out at least a Saturday and Sunday for the garage purge. Once you've got the space freed up, sort your boxes so that the movers can get to them without issue on moving day; they will load the truck so that the weight is properly distributed and so that the first items that need to come off are the last put on.

If you're the type of person who keeps boxes, you may now pat yourself on the back. Electronics are fragile and if you have the original wrap, you can re-use that. If not, put all cords connected to the device in a box--power cords, modems, power strips, instructional CDS--and label it all. Take photos of the cords before you pack them to make it easier to hook back up at the destination.

Fragile!

It's astounding how many things you use regularly are super breakable. Dishware, glasses, light bulbs, lamps--all need a little special handling when you are packing them. Wrap dishes and glasses in paper, and place the plates in the box on end like records. A layer of bubble wrap protects them even more, and stuff the empty spaces with some sort of shredded paper or packing peanuts. Do not pack too much in the boxes of fragile items, and don't use large boxes for breakable items. Boxes from the liquor store work wonderfully for fragile things; they come in odd sizes and may not have tops, so with a box cutter and tape you can customize boxes.

Don't just toss your lamps into boxes, unscrew the shade and harp and take out the bulb. The bases can be put in a large box with the harp taped to the base, the shades can nest in another box, and the bulbs need to be packed separately (an ornament box is great for this) and marked fragile.

Next time, we will look at packing dos and don'ts.