In an effort to save money, the fiancé and I made a big change – we moved in with my parents! Not only are we saving money for the wedding, but we got out of a tiny apartment, and we’re also saving for a new place. Even though there are tons of perks to this move, it’s definitely been a tough a process.
It starts and ends with packing. We had to get a storage unit because we’re essentially living in my parent’s basement. Space is extremely limited and we don’t know how long it will be, which makes it hard to know what to bring and what to store.
Even if you’re not packing to store, just packing to move, these tips will still be helpful.
Related: A Mover’s Guide to Decluttering
Tip #1 – Save Everything for Packing Materials
I’m not the kind of packer that goes to U-Haul or Home Depot for boxes. We did it the cheapest way we knew how. Packing materials typically include boxes and bubble wrap. However, it can be so much more than that! Like I said, I’m not about spending a ton of money on store-bought packing materials. I went around to different places and just asked for their boxes. Most convenience stores recycle their cardboard separately so it’s easy to take their boxes. Other materials can be:
- Old newspapers
- Mail flyers
- Coupon books
- Paper bags
- Plastic bags*
*Plastic bags are easy and efficient to use. Most people already keep a stash somewhere in the house. Also, you can always get more from grocery stores who recycle them. Just remember to recycle your bags after unpacking!
Related: Eco-Friendly Gifts
Tip #2 –Take Inventory of Your Boxes
Take inventory when you pack. Label each box with a label and a number – Living room #1. Keep a notebook with each label and a summary inventory of what’s in that box. That way, when you’re unpacking, you know exactly where everything is. (It also helps to color code the boxes by room.)
Tip #3 – Pack Things That Go Together
This makes it so much easier when unpacking! I started with the living room. All living room boxes only have living room related items. You can get even more specific too. For example, the bookshelf was packed by shelf. Granted, there may have been 2 or 3 boxes labeled top shelf, but you get the idea. Same goes for the coffee table and desk. Any related items should be packed together so that when unpacking, you can unpack one thing or area at a time.
Tip #4 – Last Minute Dishes
This one is tricky. Some might advocate using paper and/or plastic-wear in those last few days. Others might say to leave some dishes unpacked. My advice is to invest in some reusable plastic wear – plastic bowls, plates, and cups. In those days just before moving it’s easy to have a few dishes out that won’t break when you hastily pack them up at the last minute. Another option is to stock up on disposable fast food utensils such as forks and knives.
Tip #5 – Pack Cleaning Supplies Last
This tip might not apply to everyone, but chances are wherever you’re leaving, you’re going to have to clean especially if you’re renting. So be sure to dedicate some time in your packing and moving schedule to clean and pack up the supplies.
Related: 5 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips
Be Sure to change your address on USPS.com! It costs $1 to verify your identity but they will send you coupons to your new address. Not to mention, make sure your mail is correctly forwarded.
I hope that these tips were helpful for your move! Moving and packing can be fun but also really stressful. Let me know in the comments below if you have any helpful tips to add or if these were useful for you!
Be sure to check out my post about decluttering to get you started on packing!
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Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.