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Every year, 40 million Americans move at least once, so chances are, you’re one of them. Moving can be very exciting, but it can be stressful as well. It can be hard trying to decide what you want to take with you, what you want to sell off, and what you want to leave behind in a storage unit.
To help ease your stress, here is the ultimate guide to packing and moving supplies.
Sort Your Belongings
Before you can figure out what packing and moving supplies you need, you need to determine what you’re packing first. You might want to take everything with you in the move, but it’s not always possible.
Starting as early as you can, start sorting your possessions into three piles: keep, keeping in storage, and sell/give away. For the items you want to sell or give away, start asking around if people want to purchase or take them. You can also start listing them online so you can slowly start getting rid of unwanted items.
Once you have definite “keep” and “keep in storage” piles, then you can determine what exactly you need to pack them safely.
Check out Storage Units
The next thing you need to do is shop around for storage units that are suitable for your budget and needs. Since you have a good idea of how big your “keep in storage” pile is, you’ll be able to compare prices for decent storage unit sizes. If you find that you can’t afford your desired storage unit size at any company, you’ll have to consider whittling down your “keep in storage” pile even further.
Reassess what you have in that pile; does it have to go with you, or can you just buy a new one when you move into your new residence? If it’s not of sentimental value, a good rule of thumb is to just get rid of it. However, if it’s expensive and will be costly to replace, you might want to keep it in the pile and get rid of something less pricey.
Are Your Possessions Temperature-Sensitive?
Many storage businesses offer climate-controlled units, which is useful in keeping your belongings from weathering and deteriorating if they’re sensitive to temperature changes.
Even if they aren’t, climate-controlled storage units can be beneficial in preventing your items from mold and mildew, especially if you’re planning on leaving them in there for a long time. If you decide to go with a unit that isn’t climate controlled, you’ll have some extra steps in packing to ensure your possessions stay in good condition while in storage.
What Packing and Moving Supplies to Get
Now that you know what you want to keep in storage and what you’re working with in terms of space and temperature for your unit, you can go get your packing and moving supplies. Before you pack away anything, make sure they’re nice and clean so they’re more resistant to growing mold and mildew.
You might be tempted to grab some boxes from your local grocery store; they’re free, after all. But you might be paying for it in the long run.
These boxes may have weakened due to moisture, plus they’re likely contaminated with whatever foods they previously contained. This means you can inadvertently bring a pest infestation to your brand new home. The boxes can also fall apart while you’re in the middle of the move.
Purchasing boxes specifically made for moving is well worth the investment, plus they’re not expensive at all. Plus, you can flatten them, put them away, and save them for your next move if they’re not too beaten up.
If you have fragile items, then bubble wrap is a must. They come in different sizes (for both the sheets and the bubbles) so you can use it for both large and small possessions.
Plastic wrap looks and feels like Saran wrap, but is much stronger. You can use it to keep parts of the furniture in place, such as drawers. You can also wrap things that have liquids in them so they’re spill-proof during the move.
While plastic wrap can be good reinforcement, you don’t want to use it on furniture. It can cause your pieces to mildew.
If you still get newspapers, start saving them early on so you can use them for wrapping fragile items. If you don’t have any newspapers, then you can buy packing paper. Use this to stuff into glassware to keep them from breaking while moving.
Should you have some boxes that have room in them, use packing paper to stuff the empty spaces so everything fits more snugly.
You might have Scotch tape lying around the house, but it’s definitely not strong enough to pack your boxes up, especially when they’re going to be moved around from place to place. This is an area worth spending money on; if your boxes split open, then your things can get broken.
Make sure you buy heavy-duty packaging tape, which can be found in both your local market and post office. Once you’ve bought the packaging tape, you’ll also need to use it strategically. It’s always better to use too much tape than too little, so go all out when packing up your boxes.
Here are some other purchases that can be useful for packing and moving:
- Permanent markers
- Trash bags
- Ziploc bags
- Box cutters
- Bungee cords
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper towels
- Moving dollies
Start Prepping for Your Move Early On
It may be tempting to stick your head in the sand and ignore your upcoming move, but the key to avoiding high amounts of stress and anxiety is to start early. Use our guide, and check everything off slowly, but steadily. When you tackle a huge task by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, you’ll be surprised at how much easier and smoother everything goes.
If you have too many belongings to bring with you on your move and need somewhere safe to store them, get in touch with us today.