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Packing Tips for Moving to Your New Apartment

Yvonne Boulay
A cute couple moving to a new apartment.

Moving to a new apartment is an exciting milestone. It shouldn’t be overshadowed by the stress of your move-out day. 

Whether you're upgrading to a larger space, downsizing, or simply looking for a change of scenery, the process of packing up your belongings and settling into a new place can be both thrilling and challenging. To help make your move smoother and more organized, here are some essential packing tips to help you seamlessly transition into your new home.

Get All Your Ducks in a Row

Before you even start packing, take some time to plan and prepare for your move. Create a checklist that includes all the tasks you need to accomplish leading up to the end of your lease, such as notifying utility companies, updating your address with important agencies like insurance companies and the DMV, and scheduling movers or renting a truck. This tip also applies to purchasing packing supplies like moving boxes, packing tape, and storage containers. A well-thought-out plan will reduce stress and ensure you don't forget anything crucial.

Packing Tip: Instead of overpaying for new boxes from a hardware store, ask your local grocery store or liquor store if they can spare any boxes. More often than not they would be happy to get them off their hands. Liquor boxes in particular are great for transporting plants!

When and Where to Begin

It’s easiest to pack for a big move by doing a little at a time, well in advance. First, start packing things you know you won't need handy in the coming months. For instance, if you have a bookshelf of books you know you won’t be reading in the next month, start a box. If you have board games, wall art, or cookware you seldom use, start a box. Additionally, packing by room will also keep you organized. Start with rooms that you use less frequently, like the guest bedroom or storage areas, and work your way towards the most essential rooms like the kitchen and bedroom. If you like to cross things off your to do list, going room by room will be less overwhelming as your move-out day approaches. 

Packing Tip: Label. Every. Box. You’d be surprised how you may forget where you placed certain items. A simple labeling system on the outside of each box that includes key items or their designated room can save you a lot of time sorting on move-in day. 

Declutter As You Go

I’m sure while you’re cleaning out different areas of your apartment that you’ll stumble upon some items you’ll want to donate or sell. Moving is an excellent opportunity to declutter and downsize your belongings. Go through each room and decide what items you want to keep, donate, sell, or discard. The less you have to pack, the easier and cheaper your move will be. Plus, it's a chance to start fresh in your new space with only the things that truly matter to you.

Packing Tip: Donate items to a consignment store for a small tax write-off, or make some extra cash for new furniture off of Facebook marketplace. This will help you save money for new items for your place.

Creative Ways to Save Space

It’s important to get creative when it comes to compacting your items and utilizing extra space. Investing in vacuum sealed space-saver bags is a great way to store throw pillows, large duvets, and throw blankets. 

Additionally, you can utilize your sheets and towels as extra protection. Instead of making a run to the store to buy bubble wrap, you can cut down on boxes by using sheets and towels to cushion fragile items like plates, vases, and gaming consoles. Of course bubble wrap may be worth the investment for valuable items such as fine china, but you’d be surprised how secure your pots and pans will be with a protective layer of cloth. 

Packing Tip: Be careful of the weight of your boxes. Even if you’re hiring movers, you should be cautious of overstuffing boxes because they can bottom out. A good rule of thumb is trying to pick it up yourself; If you struggle, perhaps disperse heavier items into smaller boxes, and lighter items into bigger boxes. 

Packing Your Clothes

If you’ve moved before, you may know that the awkward shape of clothing hangers makes them very complicated to pack into a box. Investing in garment bags just for the move may not be worth it, and vacuum sealing your favorite, expensive suits or dresses may mean an unnecessary dry cleaning bill. 

A hack is to use large trash bags. Keep your clothes on the hangers and cover a handful with an upside down trash bag. Pierce a hole in the bottom of the bag to expose the metal hooks, and tie the opening of the bag at the bottom of your clothes into a knot. This way, your clothes can be easily hung in your new closet and can be pre-organized by clothing type or color. They will be safe from random stains, dust, and wrinkles during the move.

Packing Tip: Luggage is a great way to transfer shoes to your new place. It helps to reduce the weight you need to lug around if you have the luxury of wheeling them around instead. Also, smaller, lightweight items like socks, underwear, belts, and hats can be stored inside your shoes. Every nook and cranny can be utilized, you just need to think outside the box!

Packing Toiletries

Whether you’re moving via your own car or using a moving company, accidents can happen. If you’re moving with an extensive skincare routine or have a lot of liquid items such as cleaning products, it’s best to use a plastic container for these items. In the event of leakage or an unfortunate explosion of a shampoo bottle, a plastic container will contain the mess better than a cardboard box. 

Packing Tip: Buy your plastic containers with cabinet space in mind. You can reuse them to store your cleaning supplies under the sink in your new place, making unpacking that much easier.

The Last Step Before Move-Out Day

Make sure to have a “go” bag that will not leave your side during your move. These items should be the last to be put away, and the first to prioritize when you unpack again. This includes any medications, important paperwork, a roll of toilet paper, chargers, and an extra change of clothes. Additionally, you can have a box of cleaning supplies handy so that you can do one last deep clean of your old place, and a quick clean of your new place. 

Moving to a new apartment is an opportunity for a fresh start and exciting changes. With proper planning and organization, the packing process can be much more manageable and less stressful. By following these packing tips, you'll be well-prepared to transition smoothly into your new home, making the entire moving experience a positive one.

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