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Follow This Simple Guide to Packing – We Promise, It Will Save You a Headache or Two Later

Posted by Sara MacLennan on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 12:58pm.

So you've finally found a new home and you're preparing yourself for a fresh start in a new location. The stress of finding the perfect new house or condo is behind you: the rest seems easy! Well, barring any major renovations, that's mostly true, but the minor chore of packing for your big move can quickly turn into a major headache without the right preparation. Follow these quick tips to make sure your packing and moving leads to a smooth transition to the new life that awaits you in your future home!

Make Sure You're Prepared with the Tools of the Trade

Nothing will lead to frustration quicker than having your packing process interrupted by a shortage of supplies. Start building a list of essential packing supplies long before your move, and make sure you have lots of extra boxes and tape for any unexpected items. You can get free boxes from your local grocery store, but depending on demand, you may have to wait in line or check in frequently with the supermarket manager to catch them after a large shipment.

Another reason to start early is so you can start collecting paper from flyers and newspapers, and packing supplies from parcels. If you have no reason to pinch pennies and you'd rather cut to the chase, you can also purchase pre-made packing kits from furniture and hardware stores or even shipping outlets. You can also rent reusable, stackable plastic boxes from places like FrogBox, BungoBox, and Box & Go. Either way, make sure you can get the necessary supplies well ahead of time, and make special consideration for any unusual collectibles or antiques you have that may require odd-shaped boxes, extra drop-sheets, furniture pads or Styrofoam. Also be sure to have plenty of Ziploc bags on hands for keeping small items clean and organized.

Some Disassembly Required: Be Nice to Your Furniture

Sure, putting that Ikea wardrobe together was a pain, but moving it all in one piece will be even more difficult, and is likely to result in a broken, bent or warped piece of furniture. For your own safety, the safety of your movers, and of course your furniture’s safety, clear out and disassemble it as much as you can with standard tools like a screwdriver or electric drill and a pair of pliers. Tape loose screws to bigger pieces to keep it organized; box smaller pieces together. If you're worried about the complexity of the furniture, see if you can dig up instructions in your files or online before disassembling; failing that, take some quick digital photos of how everything fits together to help jog your memory after the move.

The Fewer Boxes the Better, With Some Important Exceptions

It's the age-old dilemma: too many boxes means lots of trips to and from the moving van and a lot of confusion trying to find that darned spatula when you unpack; too few boxes and you'll have to explain to your doctor that you broke your back because you insisted on putting your complete Star Trek VHS collection in one giant packing crate. Generally, when it comes to boxes, less is more, but try to keep each one under 50 pounds. For most moving companies, 50 or 60 pounds is the limit that one employee will be expected to handle on their own. More importantly, it's also the safest, most reasonable weight. To keep the number of boxes down, keep them mixed within reason; put heavy, flat items like books in the bottom and lighter items on the top. Fill in nooks and crannies with articles of clothing to save on space and protect fragile contents.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Make a rough list for the contents of each box and tape it on the side. This will save you having to rummage through your boxes later and making a mess when you unpack. Additionally, put a special label on boxes that contain high priority items and fill them only with 'must have' items like basic clothes, toiletries and easy-to- prepare food; keep these boxes accessible during the move so you can unpack them first.

Moving can be stressful and overwhelming, but with proper planning it can also be relatively painless. Packing is what makes or breaks a move. Start off on the right foot in your new home by using simple, thoughtful packing techniques to create a simple, relaxed move-in. Are you thinking of selling your home and moving to the Edmonton area? Contact us today to search homes in the area – your next home could be just a call or click away.

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