Overwhelmed by the thought of packing up your home for an upcoming move? Unsure where and when to start? Below we have some key tips and tricks to help you organize your belongings, pack intentionally, and streamline the moving process.
One of the first things to do when planning your move is choosing your movers. If you opt for a paid service, contact at least 3 moving companies to compare quotes. Check out our Referral Directory for a list of our favorite service providers in the area. For the best price, try locking in a moving company a month in advance. If cost is a big concern for you, schedule your move on a weekday and/or during the middle of the month. Typically, movers have less demand during these times and will offer lower rates. Remember when using professional movers to take photos of any fragile items before packing them away. If these items are damaged during the moving process, you’ll need “before” photos to file a claim.
It’s easy to want to wait until the last minute to start packing, but the earlier you begin going through your belongings the lower your stress will be. We recommend starting the decluttering processes a few weeks before your move date. This will allow you plenty of time to pare down your belongings and donate what you no longer use, ultimately saving you packing time and moving expenses. Community Warehouse and Habitat for Humanity ReStores are both currently accepting donations in Portland, Oregon for a number of household items and building materials. For items you’d rather sell, websites and apps like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and 5miles provide easy platforms for peer-to-peer sales. Taking these steps early allows you more time to focus on the packing process the week leading up to your move.
It may seem logical to pack up your home one room at a time, but deciphering what’s in multiple boxes all titled one name can become an unpacking nightmare. We prefer the Marie Kondo method of packing by category. Use general category names like “Shoes”, “Books”, “Dinnerware”, “Towels”, etc. and start packing what you can early. Decorative items like wall art are great to start with and allow time for you to find the right size boxes and packing materials. Don’t forget to label every box with the category name and if you want to have fun with it try a color-coded system with bright tape or post-it notes. Once all your possessions are packed, number each of your boxes so it’s easy to spot if anything is missing on moving day.
If it’s been a while since you last had to pack up your belongings here are some quick tips to help you along the way. Start packing with items already in your home, utilize hampers, baskets, suitcases, and any other storage items to limit the number of boxes you need to find or purchase. Bedding, clothes, and towels make great padding for more fragile items you’re transporting and will save you packing material costs. Speaking of fragile items, dishware can be one of the most nerve-racking items to pack. Remember to always pack items vertically and utilize dish rags, towels, and tees for padding and protection. Another time-saving tip is to take pictures of how your electronics are set up. A quick look at your phone to see where your chords were previously plugged in will save you time when you’re setting up your TV in your new place.
If you’re embarking on a large move, whether that means packing up a big house or traveling a long distance, it may be a good idea to bring an overnight bag. Pack the essentials like toothbrushes, toiletries, pajamas, and a change of clothes so you don’t have to worry about finding those items after a long day of moving. Whether you’re headed across the country or down the block, it’s also a good idea to leave out cleaning supplies you may need right away (i.e. brooms, mops, disinfectants). We suggest making a list a few days in advance of everything you plan on using during moving day. Packing these items separately from the rest of your boxes will help to reduce unnecessary anxiety on the first night in your new home!
The moving process can be hectic, but by following the tips above you should be on your way to a low-stress moving day! For additional help managing your move, we offer all our clients premium access to the Updater moving app. This tool allows you to plan everything you need for your move in one place including ordering packing materials, comparing and hiring movers, switching your utilities, updating your address, and more! To get started, request an Updater invite from your agent, input a few details about your move, and you’ll receive a personalized to-do list. Plan ahead for this move and take advantage of a chance to get organized for your new home!