Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Tips for More Compact Packing During Your Move

We're in the mist of our 3rd long-distance move within the last 13 months..  

Yes....I am just as pained by this as you are.

Moving is expensive and tiring and all sorts of annoying.  Trust me..I KNOW. 

One of the hardest parts is trying to fit all your STUFF into a moving truck, the back of your car or in a trailer.

We've done one long distance move where we took nothing with us other than what we could fit in the back of our two vehicles.  Yes...there was LOTS of declutterng and selling of furniture and wailing and gnashing of teeth going on.  But, you know what...we honestly never missed that stuff. 

And, we still had to pack what we did take in the most compact way possible.

So...over the years, I've learned a trick or two. 

1. Get rid of ALL THE STUFF.  Have a yard sale, donate it, give it away, throw it away...whatever you do, just get rid of ANYTHING you haven't used in the last year, anything you've never used, anything broken and anything you have duplicates of.  In my current stage of frantic declutting, I realized we have no less than 5 extension cords.  Do we need 5 extension cords.  No, no we do not.  Off they go. 

Scale back as much as possible.  Does your child really need 24 t-shirts?  Probably not?

That pair of shoes you never wear because it doesn't match anything you own....donate it.

That third winter coat...donate it.

“The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.” - St. Basil the Great. 

Pretty  So, donate everything. 


So, now that you've gotten your possessions down to the bare can you pack it the most compactly.  Or, in other words, how can you cram the most stuff into the least amount of space? 

Avoid space-wasters. Things like newspaper and bubble wrap are space wasters.  You don't need that stuff.

Use your stuff to protect your stuff.  Wrap your breakables in towels or blankets or t-shirts or pillow cases.  Yes, it might make a few extra steps when you are unpacking..but extra steps is good for you, right?  Just think of it as a way to get more exercise.


No Empty Space in Furniture.  None, zero, zilch.  Pack every drawer full.  This makes it easier to unpack.  Leave your clothes in the dressers (and fold/roll them so they take the least amount of space).  Leave papers, pens, batteries and odds and ends in desk drawers.  It helps if you pack up those odds and ends into bags or little baggies or pencil cases.   Heck..if you have a paper it up and put stuff inside it.  Just don't forget what you put in there, so you can be sure to unpack it. 


No Empty Space Anywhere. Put your silverware in your Tupperware.  Put your spices in your blender. Put your dishtowels in your food processor.  Anywhere you see empty space...stick something in it.  It may be weird, but it works. 


Boxes are not your friend. Boxes are actually a pretty inefficient way to pack wise.  Bags are much better. You can always shove another bag in.  Sometimes one more box just won't fit..but a bag, a bag can be shoved in there.  It's flexible and smooshable and can take up a lot less space than a boring ole', inflexible box.  If you have one last box you can't fit in, unpack it, stick everything in a bag and you just might find that your stuff fits after all. 


Leave a kitchen box. I'm a real-food, gluten-free, make everything from scratch girl...which makes it super hard to pack a kitchen.  Because I need my kitchen...I use it all the time.   So, what I do is plan out our last meals (that sounds pretty ominous) and then leave one box with things like a knife, a cookie sheet, a pot, a wooden spoon.  Those items which will allow you to do some cooking while most of your cooking stuff is all packed up. 


Think of things in a space/cost way. Get rid of things that take up a lot of space and are cheap to replace.  This includes things like stuffed animals, super large toys and beach balls.  Totally not worth keeping. 

(Linking up with Team Whitaker who is hosting this weeks 7QTF). 
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  1. I moved 18 times by the time I was in 5th grade, so this rings so true. All of it. I love that quote. Good luck on the move and the unpacking!

  2. I love the idea of using all the space! Good luck on your move!

  3. safe travels and stress-free unpacking to you!

  4. This brings it all back! I absolutely dread ever moving again, but since we're renters, it's inevitable. Great tips. It's always shocking to me how much STUFF I find out I have when it comes time to box it up and move. Ugh. Good luck to you guys!

  5. All your tips are accurate and very helpful. Thanks for sharing.


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