Moving into a new house has a lot going for it; after all, you are shifting to a new neighborhood, a new home, making a new beginning and you get the opportunity to re-decorate. However, packing and moving can be a pain in the neck. Don’t let the packing ruin the pleasure of moving to a new place. Let’s keep a step-by-step guide handy to help us pack without pain.
It is a good idea to begin packing well in advance, say a month before you move. Remember, you will have too many things on your plate in the last few weeks so it’s better to start early.
Get some packing boxes and a marker, and begin packing. Pack things from one area at a time.
All boxes / cartons of one area should be marked clearly on two adjacent sides of the carton so as to be visible while stacked as well. For example, all kitchen boxes would have KITCHEN printed boldly. Feel free to add labels such as “Breakable” or “Fragile” on boxes containing such items. Doing so would help you put the boxes where they belong when you move-in to your new house.
Let’s begin with the Kitchen
Kitchen items can be broadly divided into steel utensils, plastic items, breakables (glass items and crockery) and food items such as spices etc in use. It is best to pack each category separately, and label it accordingly below the general label “KITCHEN”
All steel utensils can be packed together in a box. As this box would be the heaviest, it would be wise to use the sturdiest carton for this purpose. Some newspaper would be handy for items such as lids and spoons so that they don’t keep jangling during the move. After sealing the box, write ‘Steel Utensils’/ ‘KITCHEN’ on it.
Similarly, all plastic items go together. This carton would generally weigh the least, unless each plastic container is full of food stuff. If so, mark the carton with an upright arrow and write “This side up” Label: Plastic vessels/KITCHEN.
The most sensitive things to pack would be crockery, cup and saucer sets, bone china, glasses and other breakable things. Use tissue paper and or newspapers and bubble wrap to pack each item individually. . NOTE: If you run out of newspapers or bubble wrap, you can use clothes (sweaters and woolens work best). You can also use socks to wrap small glasses, bulbs and small lamps. Label: Breakables /KITCHEN.
While packing food stuff in use, seal containers of oil, spices, dals etc soundly to prevent leakage and spillage. Use of good quality polybags are a must. This box must be the last to be packed while moving and the first to be opened in your new house. Label: Food Stuff / KITCHEN and “This side up”.
Usually bathrooms don’t have much that we need to carry, but stuff like soap, lotions, shampoos etc. are essentials. Of these, many would be in use when you decide to move.
Here’s a small trick to help you pack bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions etc. without making a mess. Simply open the bottle’s cap and close it with small pieces of polythene film in between.
All these small containers / bottles etc. can be put in a few plastic buckets and then sealed, making self-evident packages that do not need labeling.
NOTE: While packing the bathroom, identify what you may need on the go or as soon as you move in, like toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, hair oil, pads etc. Pack these separately in a hand bag.
Almirah and cabinets
You would need several boxes for this:
- Wardrobe (clothes) box: There will be clothes which need to be washed but could not be. Store these in a
separate box. Label the box: Laundry Wardrobe. Label clean clothes: Wardrobe or Clean Wardrobe
- It’s my advice to pack expensive clothes like business suits, lehengas, saaris etc. separately and carry them with your hand luggage. Don’t leave it to the Movers.
- Shoes and sandals box: Preferably, put all shoes in their boxes. If you have lost the boxes, use easily available shoe bags or plastic bags.
- Make up kit/cosmetics box: Use bubble wrap to pack cosmetics. It’s also a good idea to pack them between blankets so that they don’t break.
Pack your TV, microwave, refrigerator, oven, etc. in their original packing. When you bought them they came with plastic, thermocol and cardboard coverings, I hope you kept the boxes safely including thermocol strips. It always helps to add a few yards of bubble wrap while packing these devices. Your refrigerator is the last appliance to be disconnected and the first to be installed in your new house.
While loading, try to keep these items at the forward most part of the truck – just behind the driver’s cabin, since the jerks are the least there.
Other important things
There would be some important things like personal documents, keys, car papers, insurance papers etc. Keep these in a folder where they can stay safe and keep the folder in your handbag.
Everything cannot be unpacked as soon as you move in. Keep a box that contains necessary items like mobile chargers, bed sheets, blankets, pillows, towel, extension board, nightlights, cosmetics etc.
More packing tips for moving:
- Make sure you choose reliable transportation services for your stuff. If required, get help from professional packers and movers.
- Make a list of the boxes before handing them over to the transport company. Once you receive these boxes (at your new house), check that they are all there. Also, email a soft copy of the list to yourself.
- Make sure you carry a bag with essential items. There is a possibility that your stuff might reach much later than you, especially if you are shifting cities.
- Make sure you move in before noon so that you have a lot of time to unpack. You would have some time to settle, freshen up and take a nap.
- Make sure you take an evening stroll in the locality to familiarize yourself with the new location.
- Before your cargo arrives, you could invest some time in cleaning up the place and planning your unpacking and organizing the house strategy.
- Try to set up the bedroom and the kitchen on the first day itself. The rest of the house can be set gradually even if you join work.
- Consider Insurance if moving between cities, it always reduces risk. At times, the packers and movers include this in their package deal – do ask them.
- We’ll help you with “Cleaning Tips for Moving-in” in our next blog. Till then, HAPPY PACKING!
P.S. So, if you got a chance to move to a new house again and start afresh, what would you do differently?