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8 Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Posted by: Mira Roberts

You finally scored yourself the perfect new apartment, and you've celebrated accordingly. As your moving day creeps nearer, it's time to put your party hat away (at least temporarily) and get organized so you can pack up and move without stress or anxiety.

Packing up all of your belongings certainly isn't the glamorous side of moving into a new home, but it is necessary. If you do it with a clear strategy and process, you can take the grunt work out of moving, and get into your new home with more ease and in no time at all!

Here's a list of 8 tips to keep your packing process smooth and simple, so your stuff finds its way safely and securely to your new home. After all, moving day should be filled with happiness. You're coming home at last, so congratulations...and get to work!

Start Now
It's easy to put off packing and planning until, well, it's too late. Procrastination seems like a good idea until it's really, really not. When you find yourself staring back at your stuff in complete disarray, you will wish you'd started sooner, so start packing the moment you sign your new lease. Begin by going through each room of your apartment and packing up items you no longer need. Donate these items, sell them, give them away or send them to the trash, but don't take them with you! Once you've weeded through the rooms of your home, begin packing 1-2 boxes a day of items that you don't need on a daily basis.

Organize By Room
Pack up and organize your boxes by room, so that you end up keeping items together and streamline the process when you actually move out and move in. Once you're in your new home, you won't want to have to search through scattered boxes to find your kitchen utensils or bath essentials, so keep your boxes in their designated rooms.

Label Everything
In addition to organizing your stuff by room, you'll want to label every box appropriately so that you know what's inside. Get yourself a thick, black sharpie and write directly on the box-both the name of the room that the box should go in and a list of the contents (you can stay broad here, depending on how much is inside). This will help you to move fragile items more carefully, and make unpacking a cinch.

Be Picky About Materials
Keep your home, your stuff and your hands clean by choosing to pack with materials that don't leave a mess (think dirty, old boxes, excessive newspaper for wrapping, etc.). Consider investing in quality packing materials to help you pack up neatly and effectively. Wardrobe boxes will keep your clothes from wrinkling and picking up dirt or moisture, and boxes designed for moving tend to hold your items more reliably, so you don't end up breaking your stuff or losing items along the way.

Appliances and Electronics
Packing and hauling your washer, dryer, television or desktop computer can seem seriously daunting, but it doesn't have to be. When packing electronics make sure to label your plugs and wires for easy setup, and check the manufacturer's guide for special instructions regarding moving. Toners, ink cartridges or anything with spilling capability should be sealed in a plastic bag and packed separately. Try to pack in the original box, but if you don't have it, choose electronic specialty boxes from a nearby packing or moving store. Before you move your washer and dryer, check your owner's manual for special instructions. Secure the drum on your washing machine, and pack up all hoses separately. Secure cords to the back of the machines, and make sure that all parts and doors are contained, closed and properly sealed.

Put Your Valuables Aside
You won't want to pack up every item in your home and throw it into a box, so put your valuables, important legal documents or hazardous items aside and transport them appropriately (legal documents go in a tidy binder, valuables in a locked box and hazardous items in a safe container). You'll feel relaxed knowing that you've kept the most important items safely with you, and you can quickly find them a new home once you begin to move in.

Pack an Essentials Box
You're going to need clean clothes, your toothbrush, glasses to drink from, some silverware, maybe a plate or two (and even a bottle opener or wine key), among other things, during your last few nights in your old home and your first few nights in your new home. Pack a box of everyday essentials to keep you going from day to day. You'll be able to grab this and move it easily on the day of your move, and you'll have daily access to the stuff you just can't live without (keep that wine key handy!).

Ask for Help
At the end of the day, when you get overwhelmed, ask friends, family and anyone you trust to give you a hand. It's amazing what people will do for free pizza, snacks or beer, and getting your stuff packed up quickly and on time will help you get up and out and onto the next chapter of your life with a smile on your face.


Photo | By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons



Filed Under: Apartment Living

About the Author
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Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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