Where to Start Packing When You Move

Whether a person is moving for the first time or the fifth, moving is notoriously stressful. Here are some of the best ways to not overstress yourself while packing:

1. Decide what you don’t want to keep first

Moving often represents an opportunity for change, with new jobs, new places to discover, and new communities. However, even moving across town to a new apartment complex can be a call for change – why not use moving as an opportunity to declutter?

One way to reduce the stress of moving is to reduce the number of items that need to be packed and unpacked. Before providing some tips on what to start packing, here are some suggestions on what not to pack:

Old clothes, stacks of papers, miscellaneous items from the junk drawer, or other items that haven’t been used in months or even years are good candidates. Most people have at least a few items laying around that they no longer want or use. Putting them into a box is often not worth the trouble when it comes time to take them back out and find a new place to put them away. There are more important things to focus on – dinner after a long day of moving or setting up an internet connection and utilities, for example.

2. Keep essential items labeled and in the same box

Focus on unpacking what is most important first, and make sure it’s easily accessible. This might sound like common sense, but without proper planning, it’s easy to forget an item or two that could’ve come in handy that first night.

The exact items will vary from person to person, but some good general examples will include toothbrushes, a spare change of clothes, towels, or other general care products. For those planning to cook at home on the first night, having a skillet or a slow cooker within easy reach on the first night is also a great idea.

Definitely don’t forget a can opener!

Again, it’s recommended to make and check off a list of things you’ll need. The more things you’re attempting to mentally balance at one time, the easier it will be to misplace something or forget which box a particular item is in later.

3. Pack like items together

Another helpful way to keep things organized is to pack similar items in the same boxes. The most important thing to remember here is that a box filled with books will be a lot heavier than a box filled with clothes!

However, you can still keep a general theme while packing. Instead of having a box labeled “books” that may be too heavy to carry or potentially rip while moving, make it an “entertainment” box filled with a mixture of books and more lightweight items, such as puzzles, DVDs, or favorite toys that also fall under the category of “entertainment”. If you are looking to play a particular game or read a specific book on the night of the move, be sure to pack that separately so it’s easier to find.