Moving can be an exciting and stressful time in anyone's life. Perhaps you are setting out on a new adventure or taking advantage of a great opportunity. Or maybe you're moving back home to the familiar places of your childhood. Whatever the kind of move you're making, you definitely want to minimize the frustrating parts of it as much as possible.

The more planning you put into your packing before you begin, the easier the entire process of packing and unpacking will be. A little effort up front can save you a lot of time down the line.

Before You Pack

  • Gather together your packing materials – boxes, packing tape, markers or pens for labeling boxes, and packing filler.
  • Re-using old boxes may make you feel virtuous, but you don't want to have a worn box come open and spill your stuff all over the place. Choose the sturdiest boxes you can find; consider getting new boxes from a moving company or a packing store.
  • While packing peanuts and bubble wrap are options for protecting fragile items and filling up empty space in boxes to prevent shifting, don't overlook using your own stuff for packing filler. Crumpled newspapers, towels, old linens, blankets, and pillows are all good for cushioning your boxes.
  • Consider a color-coordinated system for your boxes. Label the boxes for each room using a different colored marker, and you'll be able to easily see where each box needs to go later.

While Packing

  • Keep an inventory as you pack – it can be as simple as writing the rough contents on each box as you fill it, or you can go all-out and record every item. For added security, rather than writing all the contents on the box, number the boxes and then record each number's contents on a separate piece of paper.
  • Make notes on boxes with fragile items and boxes that must be kept upright – and make the notes large and easily visible.
  • Avoid the urge to overpack. While choosing large boxes and completely filling each box may make you feel like there will be fewer boxes to unpack at the end, keep lifting a box periodically as you pack. You don't want to end up with boxes you can barely lift.
  • Keep electronics together with their cords or label your cords clearly; you don't want to be stuck trying to remember the uses of multiple nearly-identical power cords when you unpack. For complicated systems with many cords, take a photograph before unplugging everything. Then you can reference this if you forget where any cables go.
  • Pack one box or suitcase with the things you will need right away: some clothes, toiletries, prescriptions, toilet paper, and anything else you might want access to before you finish unpacking.

Unpacking

  • Consider cleaning the rooms of your house before you move in. It might seem like overkill, but with no furniture around, cleaning will never be this easy again.
  • If you've moved furniture to your new place, set it up first before you start unpacking your boxes.
  • Since you know what room each box is going to, you can start by moving the boxes to their destinations – this will keep each room a little less cluttered as you go.
  • Before you go from room to room and unpack each box, think about what rooms you'll need to use first. It might be a good idea start by unpacking a bathroom, for example – it's probably one of your smallest rooms, and you'll definitely be using it throughout the day.

If you're looking to purchase moving boxes for your move, visit Target Storage.

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