Moving Out: How to Make a Packing Plan
So you’ve found a new apartment, gone through the application process and been accepted. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders … until you realize you have to start packing.
Packing is one of the most stressful parts of moving because it involves trying to stay organized while going through every single one of your possessions item by item. And for those of us with a decidedly large amount of possessions, keeping everything organized becomes even more complicated.
If you’re moving out of your apartment in the near future, there are ways to make packing easier so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Here are some tips for creating a packing plan that will keep you organized:
Mark Your Calendar
As soon as you find out your application has been accepted, settle on a moving date and mark it in your calendar. This will allow you to physically see how much time you have to plan, and it will make scheduling your packing a lot easier.
Go through the calendar day-by-day until your moving date and plan specific packing projects for each day.
If either of your apartment buildings (the one you currently live in and the one you’re moving to) require you to schedule moves ahead of time, make sure you set that up as soon as you can to get the date that works best for you.
Once you have the moving date set up, get an early start on some of the preliminary packing projects, like decluttering and researching movers (if you’re using them). The earlier you start preparing to pack, the less stressed you’ll be in the days ahead of your move, so work now in order to relax later.
Declutter and Donate
Before even picking up a moving box, go room by room and decide what you’re going to save and get rid of. You don’t want to do this while you’re packing, because doing both at the same time can be pretty overwhelming.
Sort through everything in each room and start getting rid of anything you don’t use. If the item is broken, stained or otherwise unusable, simply toss it. If it’s in good condition but you haven’t used it in several months, put it in a donation pile.
A good rule to keep in mind: If you didn’t even remember you had the item until you found it, put it in the donation box – you don’t need it.
Figure Out What You’ll Need
Once you’ve gone through everything and (hopefully) downsized, you’ll have a much better idea of how many boxes and other moving supplies you’ll be needing. Start gathering enough moving boxes or bins for each room, along with packing tape and a lot of packing paper or newspaper.
Check out your local grocery store to see if they have any extra boxes you can use to save a little money. If you have a lot of breakables, you may want to invest in some bubble wrap to keep everything perfectly safe.
Create a Packing List
No, you don’t have to make a complete packing list for all of your belongings, but it’s a good idea to make a priority list of all the items you use most. That way, you can keep all of those items together and easily find them once you’re at the new apartment.
Also consider making a list of everything you’ll need right away at the new place, like essential bathroom supplies, bed sheets and some kitchen utensils. You can pack those items together in one box so you’ll immediately have everything you need when you get there.
Come up with a plan for identifying what items you’re packing in each box. Many people list every item in marker on the sides of the box, but do whatever you find easiest.
Some professional movers suggest taking pictures of all of the items that are going in each box. If you take the photos on your phone, you’ll be able to scroll through your gallery and quickly find whatever you’re looking for there first.
Pack for the New Place
Many people pack room by room, but that strategy may not make sense when it comes time to unpack at your new place, depending on how different the setup is there. Make a list of the rooms you’ll have at your new apartment, and organize your belongings that way to make the unpacking process that much easier.
Consider an App
There are several apps out there that make the packing and moving process a thousand times easier. The Sortly and Moving Day apps both offer unique ways to inventory your belongings and organize them by what box they’re in.
The Move Planner app allows you to create a checklist for your move using one of their prepopulated checklist items or one you enter in yourself. Apps are a great way to organize any aspect of your move, including packing, unpacking and getting organization tips once you’re at the new apartment.
Remember: The more organized you are while packing, the easier the rest of your moving process will be!