The Ultimate Checklist for Efficient and Speedy Packing

Time-consuming? Check! Stressful? Oh yeah! Exhausting? Yawn… Very! Okay, so moving may not be the most thrilling experience, but there are ways to make it easier. All you have to do is take advantage of the packing checklist below that offers practical and logical tips to help you pack your home quickly and efficiently.

How to Pack Efficiently

Anyone can just throw their belongings into a box and slap some tape on top. But taking the time to pack efficiently will be well worth it. Not only will it make moving day more organized, but it will also make unpacking much easier. Here are some must-know tips for being an efficient packer.

  • Create an inventory of your entire home, and decide which items you will take with you and which ones you will leave behind. The less stuff you pack, the less money you will have to pay for supplies and transportation. Also, you won’t waste time packing things that you really don’t need or want.
  • Never underestimate the time required to pack your home for a move. So, start as early as possible to avoid the unavoidable buildup of moving stress.
  • Packing an entire house is a hard and near-impossible feat for one family, let alone one person. Ask for packing assistance from friends and professional packers to get the job done faster and more efficiently.
  • Request a list of non-allowables from your moving company in advance. This will ensure you don’t waste time and energy packing items that are forbidden from being transported (e.g., hazardous goods, explosive/flammable/corrosive substances, pets, plants, perishable foods).

How to Pack Quickly

No matter where you are moving (apartment, house, new office) or what type of move it is (local, intrastate), time is of the essence. Here are the top ways to pack quickly.

  • To be a quick packer, good organization is key. Create a customized and prioritized day-by-day packing calendar so you can make the most of the usable time you have before Moving Day arrives.
  • Use the pack-in-stages approach. This means packing a certain number of boxes every single day. Just make sure you stick to it!
  • Designate one specific room as your packing station. This will speed up the packing process considerably by allowing your other rooms to stay clutter-free and easily accessible throughout the most time-consuming pre-moving tasks.
  • Institute a master packing strategy to avoid wasted time on random and disorganized packing jobs. 1. Start with the toughest rooms to pack. 2. Pack items you use least before those you use most often. 3. Pack heavy/bulky items first.
  • Make an effort to stay focused. Keeping your concentration while packing will greatly speed up the moving process.

How to Pack Moving Boxes

If you’re going to move, you will need the ultimate packing supply – moving boxes! Purchase, or collect for free, a large number of cardboard boxes that are in good overall condition. You can get them directly from a local moving company or local business/supermarket/bookstore/electronics stores, etc. While at it, go ahead and gather other must-have supplies – bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, scissors and markers. Once you have all of your supplies, packing can begin. But before you start tossing things inside with no rhyme or reason, here are the best ways to fill those boxes.

  • For extra protection of your valuables from moving mishaps, lay a sheet or two of clean packing paper on the bottom of each box.
  • Reinforce the bottom of every box with a few lengths of high-quality packing tape. No matter how durable the moving box looks and feels, this will help eliminate the risk of accidental breakages.
  • Pay attention to the size of each box. Use small boxes for heavy items, such as books, and medium-large containers for lighter belongings, like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Ensure you use filling and padding materials inside boxes. The better you pack any unused space with soft fillers, the more immobilized your items will be.
  • Clearly label all moving boxes. By marking the content, destination room and special handling instructions, you will save time, confusion and nerves.
  • Pack a special moving box – or maybe a few – with the daily essentials you will need post-move (toothbrush, toilet paper, some clothes, etc.). This will save you time and energy trying to track down important belongings within the mountain of sealed boxes looming around you.

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Important Steps to Take Post Moving Day

Prior to moving day, you have spent a great deal of time planning, organizing and packing. When the big day finally arrives and the moving truck pulls up ready for action, you are probably more than ready to get the long, strenuous and stressful day ahead of you overwith so you can kick back and de-stress in your new home. But once moving day has drawn to a close and you look around your new place at the piles upon piles of boxes towering around you, you will quickly realize that you’ve only completed half of the moving battle. Before your stress level starts to creep back up, here are some ways to make the process much easier.

Steps to Take

There are five steps to take to officially complete your move:

  1. Unpack
  2. Shop
  3. Update registrations
  4. Eliminate packing supplies
  5. Write a review

Unpack

As you look around your new home, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed and wonder where you should start the post-move process. The best way to start is to begin unpacking. It probably sounds torturous to unpack all those boxes you just packed, but it must be done. The bright side is that unpacking is typically much easier than packing.

While you can tear into any old box, it’s a good idea to start with any “open first” boxes that contain the essentials you will need during those first few days after your move. These items will typically include toiletries, chargers, and some clothes.

Another thing you want to unpack first is your bed/bedding. If your bed requires assembly, the more promptly you tackle this task, the better! The last thing you want after a long and exhausting day of moving is to prepare for bed then realize your bed isn’t together and you can’t figure out where you packed your bedding. So make these items at the front of your unpacking list.

When packing for your move, you were probably told to pack one room at a time for the most efficiency. While you can do this when unpacking, a wiser choice may be to unpack a bit of each room at a time. This way you can distribute your time and effort into putting away all of your must-haves first while you organize and set up your new space.

Shopping

Moving into a new place is exciting. You probably have all sorts of ideas about decorating and can’t wait to get started. But before you start buying everything you see, opt for the better option – to take it slow. Take the time to really consider what items your new home needs. This is especially true when picking out expensive items like furniture that are difficult to decide upon and even harder to take back.

Another thing to think about is this: just because your home is new to you doesn’t mean you should only fill it with new things. Consider using items you’ve placed in storage. If you have a lot of stored items, removing some to use in your new place could mean you can pay less for a smaller storage unit.

After-Move Updates

If you moved to a new state, there will be a number of extra things you will need to take care of that someone who moved locally won’t. These things include:

  • Finding a local supermarket, pharmacy, hospital, school/daycare, doctor and dentist.
  • Collect numbers to the ER and nearest hospital, and police and fire stations.
  • Register your vehicle.
  • Renew your driver’s license.

Eliminate Packing Supplies

Don’t wait until you have officially unpacked your last moving box to begin clearing out empty, or leftover, packing supplies. Instead, clear them out as you go. Some boxes can be broken down and stored for future needs, while others can be tossed in the recycling bin. You may also want to ask around to see if anyone nearby is in need of boxes and supplies and is willing to take them off your hands.

Write a Review

When your move is finally all said and done, and there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your new home, you should consider writing a review on the moving company you used. Doing this while your move is fresh on your mind will make the task much easier. It is also an excellent way to inform others who are in the process of moving about your experience.

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Before Moving Out, Follow This Room-By-Room Cleaning Guide

Checklist - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)You’ve decided to make the huge commitment and move house. You’ve taken the necessary time to organize, plan and pack all of your belongings. But wait; isn’t there something you are forgetting to do? Before you carry out that last moving box and say goodbye to your home, you will need to clean it. After weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks, the very idea of scrubbing floors, washing windows, etc. probably sounds like a nightmare – especially when you are leaving this particular home behind. But cleaning your property before you leave it for good is an important part of the moving process. Leaving your old home in tip-top condition will ensure you get your security deposit back if you are renting,and if you are selling, it will make the property more desirable to potential buyers. To make the cleaning process easier, check out our room-by-room clean-up guide below.

Bathroom(s)

  • Tiles. All bathroom tiles, from the floor to the shower wall, should be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaner – preferably one with bleach. Also, be sure to clean the grout betwcleaning bathroom - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)een the tiles. After you have scrubbed, rinse all areas well with clean water.
  • Tub and shower. Your tub and shower can acquire quite a bit of soap scum and mold, so make sure to put these spots on your must-clean list. Using a disinfectant, clean and rinse the tub, tub fixtures, shower rod, shower head and shower enclosures. If your shower curtain is fabric, throw it in the washing machine and reinstall, otherwise toss it.
  • Sink(s). Sinks collect a lot of slimy gunk and more, making them a major area to clean prior to moving out. Pay extra attention to the faucet(s) and handle(s). For a handy tool, try a toothbrush, which will make removing mold and stains in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies much easier.
  • Toilet. The mere thought of cleaning the toilet may repulse you, but it must be done prior to moving out. Sanitize the toilet bowl, tank and seat; also wipe off the toilet paper holder.
  • Countertops, vanities and medicine cabinets. All of these places are hot spots for dust and grime. To clean them up, first remove all items from the shelves and drawers, and then wipe them down, inside and out, with a wet sponge. Also, clean any mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

  • vaccuuming - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Clean windowsills, frames, tracks, casings, blinds and glass panels;
  • Clean sliding doors and screen doors, inside and out;
  • Wash or dry-clean curtains;
  • Clean out and wipe down furniture. Polish wood surfaces and steam clean upholstery;
  • Steam clean rugs and wash/polish tile and wood floors;
  • Wipe down air conditioners and vents to free them of dust. Replace air filter (if applicable);
  • Empty storage areas – closets, drawers and wardrobes, and clean them, inside and out.

Kitchen

  • Cabinets and drawers. All cabinets and drawers should be emptied and wiped clean with a sponge and mild cleaner. Remove old liners, and replace them with new ones once surfaces are fully cleaning kitchen - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)dry.
  • Countertops. Using warm, soapy water, along with disinfectant, wash countertops to remove any stains, residue, mold, bacteria and grime.
  • Glass. Make all glass surfaces – windows, doors, tabletops, etc. – shine with the help of specialized glass cleaner.
  • Sink and faucet. Using a powdered cleaning product or chlorine-free bleach, scrub the sink and faucet. If you have a garage disposal, use lemon slices to remove unpleasant odors that have accumulated.

If you are leaving any appliances behind, don’t forget that these items should be emptied and cleaned too. You will also want to move them away from the wall so you can clean the areas behind them, including the floor where they stood.

  • Refrigerator. Before cleaning the fridge, empty and defrost it. All drawers and shelves should be taken out and cleaned appropriately. The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned as well. When fully dry, replace drawers and shelves. If the electricity will be turned off when you move out, leave the door open to prevent mold. You can also place a container with baking soda inside to absorb any odors.
  • Stove. To efficiently clean the stove, remove grills, oven racks and drip pans, and scrub them clean. For the interior, use steel wool along with a heavy-duty oven cleaner. *Note: wear thick gloves and ensure good ventilation while cleaning the oven. Oven cleaners, especially those with degreasing agents, can be harmful to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Dishwasher. Using a damp sponge and baking soda, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to the filter, rubbers, inside and door, including the edges. For an extra clean, add a small cup of bleach to a cycle. This will help kill any bacteria inside the machine.
  • Microwave. An efficient way to clean your microwave is by placing a bowl of water with lemon juice in the microwave, then heating it on high for several minutes. Once finished, let it cool, and wipe down the inside with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Using a damp rag, also clean the exterior.
  • Sweep and mop. The final step to clean your kitchen before moving out is to sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then mop it for a deeper clean and shine.

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Best Ways to Explore Your New City

Moving to a new city means embarking on an adventure. The opportunities are endless with new people to meet and places to see. But after your move is said and done, you may end up feeling confused – even depressed – by all of the unfamiliar that surrounds you. Instead of finding everything new and exciting, you instead find it difficult to fit into your new environment. While it may be a hard transition, with a positive outlook, open-mindedness and a dose of courage, adapting to your surroundings will eventually become easier. Here are some ways to explore your new city quickly and easily so you can better adjust to your new home.

Tap into Your GPS

Whether you decide to use the navigation system on your smartphone or in your car, tapping into your GPS is the ultimate way to find all sorts of places to go and things to do in your new city. You can also look for city maps that come with a listing of local businesses, essential services, places of interest and other key, up-to-date information about the community.

Use Guidebooks

Though typically intended for tourists, guidebooks can also be of use during those first travels around your new city. Inside, you’ll find handy information, like places to eat, things to see and how to get around. They also provide a quick introduction of the city and surroundings so you can learn important facts about the place you now call home.

Search the Internet

Searching the internet is a daily activity for most. Now, you can put your master Google skills to good use to find everything you need or want to know about your new city. Here are some ways to most efficiently tackle the internet.

Search engines – No matter which search engine you use (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), simply type in whatever it is you are looking for in combination with your zip code. This will generate lots of results, giving you a good idea of available options in your area.

Specialized websites – The internet is made up of zillions of specialized websites that are specifically designed to help you figure out how to get somewhere, how to find something, and so on. Need a list of family restaurants? Want to figure out if your new city has any museums or upcoming festivals? Specialized websites are made for exactly these types of things. Some sites that may be worth using include Good Maps, Yelp and Citysearch. All of these sites offer great suggestions as to the best places in town to eat, see movies, partake in hobbies and even simply hang out. What’s also worthwhile about specialized websites is that they typically provide you with detailed area maps and turn-by-turn directions, along with reviews, ratings and recommendations.

Social media groups – Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and the like) provide an easy way to meet new people in the area as well as stay current on what’s happening around town. Try following local business pages or local forums/blogs to better understand your new community and even get advice on things to see and do.

Get Out There

You may feel the most comfortable and secure inside your home, but staying behind closed doors will only keep you secluded. In order to adjust to your new world, you have to get out there. Exploring your city is the only way to reveal all of the amazing things it has to offer. Here are some good places to visit:

Library – Yes, it’s full of great books, but it also offers some wonderful opportunities to better unite with your city and community. Here you’ll be able to locate local maps and guides, and also browse community bulletin boards and meet people from the area. Community buildings, like local recreation centers and community halls, are a useful resource for learning about city events and information.

Hot spots – Hitting the town’s hot spots is the ultimate way to meet locals in the area. Visit coffee shops, restaurants, small stores, shopping centers and more. These places offer a great opportunity to introduce yourself, mingle with others and potentially make some new friends.

Become a Community Volunteer

One of the best ways to get to know your new city really well, and to meet some friends along the way, is to become a community volunteer. To do this, you will need to become active and involved. Here are some things you can do to become a valuable and trusted community member:

  • Engage in community services and other local organizations;
  • Volunteer at local hospitals, shelters or soup kitchens;
  • Show your compassion and voice by getting involved with hot issues concerning your community. Search for efficient solutions to common problems, offer resourceful ideas on how to improve situations, and get on a volunteer list to be called in case of emergencies or disasters.

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