5 tips to pack for a big move

Label, pack and plan early on to save yourself stress.

Preparing for a move takes time, mental energy and a lot of sweat. Some packing can be a big strain, and in certain cases you might work right up until the day of the move itself, especially when it comes to essentials.

Since we're heading into a prime season for moving, it's important to think of any of the ways you can make the final day itself less stressful. You could have lots of things to move, but that doesn't mean it needs to be a major burden if you plan well. Read on for a few tips for storing, packing and carrying before it is time to take everything over to the new home.

1. Find appropriate containers and material
Do you have the right boxes and other packing material? You need to look out for the substances that will keep contents safe, and this can all vary depending on what you're dealing with. You can be creative, but you also have to be practical. And that can come from finding your materials in potentially unlikely places.

"It can be good to give yourself more time than you think you might need."

Apartment Therapy had a list of different ideas for containers, including cardboard boxes. Some of these might be obvious standards, such as grocery and liquor stores, but the site also recommended that people who want to move can use fry boxes because they are strong enough to handle heavy contents. Really, any business that deals with bulk boxing could be a good source.

2. Start early and work for long periods of time
It can be good to give yourself more time than you think you might need to get everything packaged. If you clearly designate things for the very first day, you can separate out the objects that don't belong and can go over to you new residence.

A recent article from The New York Times pointed this out in a moving timeline checklist, which included "packing" throughout. As early as two months before the move, you can go through your possessions and identify for sure what will and won't be coming with you. Then you can pack up continuously over the next few months and not leave anything to the last minute.

If you're lucky and have the chance to move things in a little early, you might want to take advantage of this. Moving furniture and heavy items can also indirectly help with packing, as it gives you less stuff to worry about and more time to focus on packing.

3. Save perishables till the end (but not the very end)
You obviously won't be able to take any food that needs to be refrigerated over until close to the move-in date, but that doesn't mean you can't pack and plan a little beforehand. The same New York Times piece also suggested packing up food a day before the move, not the day of.

"You can single out which boxes go with whom."

With perishables, you can still try to dispose of old items, group like things together and perhaps set aside some to give away. All of this can make things less complicated on moving day itself. And if you have the time and extra grub, you can always just try to eat through it!

4. Label, label, label
We're not just talking "FRAGILE" or printing the names of where the boxes should go. If you're caravaning over in multiple cars, you can single out which boxes go with whom. And, similarly, if you're using professional movers, make it clear which boxes will travel in the big truck and which will stay with you.

One last very important note: don't forget to treat yourself after you move in!

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