What To Pack Last
The stuff that is used on a regular basis is typically the last to be packed. Identify and collect all the items that you don’t want packed until the last minute, and identify the boxes they’ll be packed in. Make sure everyone is aware of these items.
Packing their rooms last gives them a sense of normalcy until the last few days or so before moving. Out-of-season clothing and infrequently used toys can be packed early. All of their stuff should be packed in the same boxes so they can have access to it right away after moving in.
Most people will wait until the last few days or so to pack electronics, such as the TV, computer, and video games. Keep all the wires, parts, and remote controls with their respective items so they can be put back together quickly. Use plastic bags for storing nuts, bolts, and screws; use twist ties or rubber bands for wires.
The boxes that electronics originally come in are best, but most people don’t keep them around. Some are very large and take up a lot of space, so it’s understandable. Cardboard boxes are available for packing flat screen TVs and various other electronics, such as computers, stereos, and video game systems. Small or medium moving boxes are usually large enough to store these items.
Towels, packing paper, blankets, and bubble wrap can be used for wrapping and cushioning electronics. TV’s should be loaded on the truck in an upright position.
Keep power cords and connectors with the equipment they’re used for. To be on the safe side, attach a piece of masking tape to each cord and write the name of the item that it connects to.
Electronics must be packed carefully to ensure their safety. Look in the owner’s manual to see if there are any instructions on the correct way to pack them. You may even want to contact the manufacturer if you aren’t sure.
I would highly recommend backing up all the files on your computer. I use Livedrive, a service that charges $3,5/mo to back up every file on your computer. You can also purchase an external hard drive as well. The key when packing computers is to make sure that they’re locked in place. Any shifting could cause damage. Use packing peanuts or foam inserts.
Chandeliers, hot tubs, grandfather clocks, pianos, glass-top tables, large mirrors, artwork and pool tables all require special packing. Read the owner’s manuals for instruction. Movers can be hired to transport these items.
Your area may have also have specialty services that can move these items, such as Craters and Freighters. However I suggest you to use shipping calculator on the right, to get quotes from many professional moving services. You can then compare their price and also their credibility before you choose one.
Pack your kitchen last so you can use it as long as possible. Figure out how many dishes and glassware you’ll need to get by until moving day, then pack the rest. If you have five sets of dishes for example, then you can pack four early and use the other set. Paper plates and plastic cups can be used as substitutes for the last few days so you don’t have to wait until the last minute to finish packing.
Old sheets are useful for cushioning and wrapping fragile items. Put your good sheets in a garbage bag and close with twist tie before packing them into a box. This will keep them clean so they won’t need to be washed. You’ll need sheets the first night after moving in, so be sure they’re packed in one of the boxes that will be opened first.
Most people have a cell phone nowadays, but many still have landline phones as well. If all you have is a cell, then be sure it’s fully charged on moving day. If you don’t have one, then your phone(s) should be one of the last items packed. Pack it in one of the boxes that will be opened first.
Cable And Internet Boxes
The cable and internet box will have to be returned. You will have to call the cable company to discontinue the service. Drop the boxes off at least a day or two before moving day.
Out-of-season clothing can be packed first, but a lot of clothing can’t be packed until the last week or so before moving. Anything that you haven’t worn in a long time or no longer want can be donated or used as packing material. Coats, sweaters, sweat shirts, scarves, can all be used for cushion.
If clothing is packed into cardboard boxes, put them in plastic bags so they’re protected from the cardboard smell. Leave the hangers on the clothing can they be transferred directly to the closet. Wardrobe moving boxes are best for transferring your closet.
Most movers will allow you to keep your dresser drawers filled, but double check to make sure. They may take out each drawer before loading, so cover up anything that you don’t want them to see.
Furniture is best taken apart whenever possible so it’s easier to carry and to prevent damage. After removing the legs on each piece of furniture, wrap them in towels or bubble wrap and secure with a rope. Screws, bolts, and nuts can be put in small plastic bags and taped to the furniture. Label the bags just in case they become detached.
Glass doors have to be removed from cabinets and entertainment centers and crated. Stretch wrap or sheets can be used to cover sofas and cushions; tape the wrap/sheet to the bottom.
A mattress can be packed in a mattress bags or stretch wrap. The most inexpensive option is to cover it with an old sheet and secure it with duct tape. I would only recommend this for short distance moves. What matters most is that protect the mattress from dirt and possibly inclement weather.
Consider having rugs professionally cleaned before moving. They will be returned rolled up in plastic and ready to be moved. Small rugs can be used as cushion inside of a box.
All appliances must be first disconnected before moving. Shut off the faucets and disconnect all drain hoses. Wrap the appliances in moving pads or pack in a large box for protection. Rent a dolly to move the appliances if necessary.
Stoves. Unplug and remove stoves from gas supply. Check the owner’s manual or contact the company for special instructions. Tape electrical cords and any other parts that might come loose.
Refrigerators and Freezers. In the last few weeks leading up to the move, eat up all the food you have left in the refrigerator and pantry before buying more. Clean out the fridge a few days before moving day, and leave the door ajar so it can air out. Once your freezer is empty, let it dry and defrost for 24 hours prior to loading. Read the manual or call the manufacturer for information about your model.
I personally don’t recommend packing and transporting food. Donate or finish eating everything before moving day. When the big day comes, you can buy food and drinks and place them in a cooler or eat at a restaurant.
Put together a shopping list as you finish up food items so you’ll be well-prepared when you move into your new home. Be sure to put it in a place that you’ll remember.
Washers And Dryers. Both have to be disconnected and serviced. Hoses have to be drained and sealed off with a plastic bag and rubber band. Many storage and packing supply companies offer special inserts to brace the tub and secure the spring-mounted motor of your washer during transport. Clean up any water that is underneath the washer before leaving.
Plants should be able to be transported successfully for short distance moves. If moving to another state, find out what their rules are about bringing plants. Ask movers ahead of time whether they will move plants and under what conditions.
If you aren’t going to hire a cleaning service to clean your house once it’s empty, you’ll need a box of cleaning supplies. Pack this box the week before your move. Some of these supplies can’t be transported in a moving truck because they’re considered hazardous. Once you’ve finished cleaning, these supplies with either have to be taken in the car (if you are driving), disposed of, or donated to someone.
Coolers are great for storing cleaning products and other liquids because they can absorb leaking. Another option is to place them in a plastic bag, then in a bathroom waste can. Keep all liquids together, such as shampoos, soap, and so on.