Whether you’re a take-charge person or are looking to save some money, moving by yourself has its challenges. Here’s a list of do-it-yourself packing tips that will help to alleviate stress, while saving you both time and money during your upcoming DIY move.
Tip #1: Plan
Now that you decided on a DIY move, how hands-on will you actually be? Are you going to rent a truck and haul everything or will you hire some cheap movers to help you lift, load and carry your items? While this choice often comes down to your budget, remember that it always takes longer to than anticipated to transport your belongings, so it’s best to add two or three hours to any time and cost estimate you come up with during this planning phase of your DIY move.
Tip #2: Purge
Packing lends itself to purging. Start by tackling each room individually and create two piles: the first is the pack pile and the second is the giveaway/sell pile. Host a garage sale for all items you won’t be packing or moving or sell them on a local site, like Kijiji or Craigslist. Items that don’t sell can be donated. Not only will this reduce what you take to the next home, it may help defray some moving costs.
Tip #3: Packing Supplies
What do you need to successfully pack your belongings? Packing paper, duct tape (or any heavy-duty tape), black marker (for labelling), bubble wrap and peanuts, and sandwiches bags so, you don’t lose screws and other hardware. (See below on how you can act like a pro!!)
You will also need boxes. One option is to grab free boxes from your grocery store. Keep in mind, though, that they are often stained, cut or soiled in some way. Another option is to buy flat-pack boxes from your local hardware store. These sturdy boxes come in a variety of sizes, are extremely sturdy and provide speciality items, such as flat-screen TVs, with superior protection.
Another great non-traditional moving option is to rent boxes for your move. Bungo Box and PODS rent plastic moving boxes and storage pods. These companies deliver boxes right to your doorstep. You pack; they come pick the full boxes up, deliver them to your new home and then take away the box clutter. It’s as easy (and affordable) as 1-2-3.
Tip #4: Start Early
There is nothing more frustrating and stressful than waiting until the last second to start packing. We recommend you start packing at least four to six weeks before your move date. Why? This will allow you to strategically pack making sure breakables are packed securely, boxes are labelled and organized, and nothing is left behind.
Of course, when confronted with your entire home it’s hard to know where to start. To pack strategically start with the non-essential items first, which include off-season clothing, books, artwork, anything that you don’t currently need on a day-to-day basis. As you go, try and pack similar items together, as this will make unpacking at the other end much easier. Save those last couple of boxes for the essential items—the items you need on a day-to-day basis. This includes a few days worth of clothes, beauty supplies, bathroom accessories, snacks and cleaning supplies.
Tip #5: Act like a pro
One way professional moving companies stay on time and on budget is by adhering to disciplined organizational practices. For instance, most professional movers will create a roster or master packing sheet that lists the contents of every box or bag. Then each box or bag is labelled with a corresponding number. When you get to your new place, all you have to do is look at the roster to find the box or bag with the items you require. Search for that number and bingo! You’ve found what you need.
Another option is to use bingo daubers or different marker colours. Use one colour for kitchen items, another for bedroom items, and so on. When you arrive at your destination you can easily and quickly identify which box goes where.
There you have it, five tips to help make your DIY move smoother and as stress-free as possible so you can enjoy your new home.