So a couple months ago Jacob and I packed up our giant apartment in Warrensburg, MO to head to our new home in Lincoln, NE! Man I did not realize that we had so much stuff! I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things I learned while preparing to pack, packing, moving, and unpacking it all!
Preparing to Pack
One word. Purge. Get rid of all the junk you don’t need. The clothes that don’t fit and even if you did you wouldn’t wear them. Those shoes that you love that are falling apart and have no hope. Get rid of it! The more you get rid of now the less there is to pack, move, and unpack! We went through our clothes, old papers, craft supplies, old bedding and towels from high school and undergrad (Jacob is not a big fan of pink), movies and books!
Also…when I say get rid of the junk I don’t mean you need to throw it all away. You could have a garage sale or take your clothes to a local consignment shop. We took some movies and old game systems to an electronic place that will buy it for cash or store credit! We probably made at least $60 in cash and $130 in store credit from a place called Gamers! Whatever you can’t sell try and donate. They the rest should probably be thrown out!
Food: This was a big one. If you are moving across town this is no big deal but Jacob and I were moving 4 hours away and couldn’t really move the contents of our fridge and freezer. The month leading up to our move we started trying to use all the random food we had left in the apartment and only bought new food that we absolutely needed. We ate alot of weird meals but it was so worth it because the amount of food we had left at the end that we couldn’t take with us was very minimal.
Oh my this took forever! Here are some of my tips for packing!
Get lots of boxes!
I am lucky to have a dad that makes boxes for a living so we got a few more from him and had saved every box from the last time we moved a year ago! If you didn’t save all your boxes or have a dad that makes them check out your local grocery stores, Aldi, walmart, or if you work on campus sometimes the physical plant will have a bunch!
Buy quality tape
I know this seems a bit silly but I tried to buy packing tape from the dollar tree. Yes is was only a dollar but it was terrible compared to the stuff I ended up buying at walmart. If the tape won’t hold the box together the contents will end up on the ground.
Figure out a system
There are lots of ways to do this! Find out what you prefer and go that route. It all goes to the same place anyway!
- Write on the box where it goes (ex: Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Closet) (This is what I chose to do!)
- Get colored tape or dots – Make each color go to a certain location in your new house (pink=bedroom, yellow=kitchen) (I opted not to do this because we had a bunch of guys help us move in and I figured they wouldn’t get it or just ignore the colored stickers)
- Number your boxes – I have a friend who numbered all of her boxes and made a corresponding list of what each box contained. This could be a great option if you have a moving company moving you so you make sure all of your boxes ended up in your new place. (We had a bunch of little boxes so this was not a good option for us)
- Try to pack each box with things that all go to the same room. It will help later.
- Get creative. I used alot of our hand, dish, and bath towels to wrap our breakables. (picture)
- Don’t forget the empty spaces. For example pack your cleaning supplies in your empty trash can! (Picture)
- Packing the closet – I recommend using your packing tape to tape about 6 hangers together with the clothes still on them! Then fit two bundles of hangers (about 12 hanger) together. Make a hole in the bottom of trash bag and cover your clothes with the trash bag. This helps your clothes stay together very nicely for the trip. (Picture)
- Pack a 1st few days box and suitcase! – In this box I put all the essentials we would need for the first few nights and the beginning of unpacking. Items for box included – shower curtain, towels, sheets, clorox wipes, dish soap and sponge, tool kit, first aid kit (just in case), and scissors. Items for suitcase included – 2-3 nights worth or clothes and our toiletries we would need for that time!
- Give yourself time! Don’t try to pack everything in a few days. I would start a couple weeks out. Pack up the things you know you will not need like decorations, holiday items, extra towels and blankets. Pack a little every day and it makes the whole process seem less stressful. By the time both our Dad’s arrived to help us move we pretty much had everything ready to go! It made everything much easier! (My dad was also very impressed…I usually procrastinate when it comes to packing!)
This will be very different for everyone. We ended up renting a trailer from U-haul (The biggest on they have)! Jacob’s dad kindly offered to bring his truck down so we could rent the trailer over paying more for the moving truck. We loaded everything (for the most part) the night before. We have a handy dandy dollie/cart that we bought last summer before we moved back to Warrensburg. It was the best money we ever spend and definitely helped alot for this move too!
Find help! Our move would have been miserable if it was just Jacob and I. Both of our dads were there to help and we had a bunch of friends meet us in Lincoln to help unload. We bribed them with Pizza! With everyone’s help it only took us 30 – 45 mins to get everything unloaded and into the apartment which was on the second floor!
If you are moving somewhere where friends or family can’t help you load or unload U-haul has an awesome feature where you can hire a few people to help you load/unload your u-haul. I noticed it was alot more affordable than hiring a whole moving company!
Once everything is in your new place I would recommend cleaning a bit. We wiped out all of the cabinets and wiped of the counters before unpacking the kitchen. It was much dirtier than I expected it to be!
Start with the essentials like the kitchen, putting your bed together, in our house…the TV, and the shower curtain. If these things get done you will at least be able to eat, sleep, shower, and relax while unpacking everything else.
Power through. The sooner you are done unpacking the sooner you can enjoy your free time in your new home!