When I was packing and planning my move I did a lot of googling. There were so many questions I had and I found there wasn’t really much advice out there. I am going to try to dive deep into my experience moving, but to start small… here are the five main tips I can offer if you are packing to move across the country.
3. Use clothes and linens to bolster your flatware and decor boxes.
Whenever you are using movers it is really important to make sure your boxes/tubs leave no space for movement of your items. Hiring movers is great because they are quick. But with that quickness comes the increased chance that your belongings may break if you don’t pack them correctly.
Instead of buying a ton of newspaper to fill every single open inch of my boxes. I used all my athletic wear, socks, t-shirts, pillowcases, dishtowels, basically anything I had on hand to fill the space. It was a time saver, budget saver and I was able to condense the amount of boxes/tubs I packed by adding it all together.
I did use newspaper for all the extra space once I had packed up my whole closet and there were no more clothes to be used.
2. Pack and weigh your suitcase before you ship your belongings.
Lucky for me, my mother was able to keep and store anything I wasn’t ready to ship out to Alberta for me when I moved. Otherwise I would have been in for a ton of fees. I made the mistake of packing my suitcase but not weighing it before I shipped the rest of my belongings.
I knew it was going to be about two or more weeks for my furniture and boxes to arrive in Alberta. So, I made sure to pack a perfectly interchangeable small wardrobe for those weeks including work wear, comfy clothes, outdoor gear and a few luxury items to tide me over until my stuff arrived. BUT because I didn’t have a scale in my condo I didn’t weigh my one perfectly-packed-and-planned suitcase and realized I was almost 20 pounds over the weight restriction.
I had to lose 20 pounds worth of the belongings I had pretty much promised myself I could live on for two weeks. Save yourself the heartache and hastle and just give’er a little weigh before it’s too late.
1. Label and inventory all of your pieces.
The first question the movers asked when they saw my stuff was, “Do you have an inventory of what’s in all the boxes?”. No, I did not. Did i have a sticky note with a number on two sides of every box? Yes. Had I been sure to tape the boxes in all different directions and on every seam? Yes. He had to call his supervisor and with a little luck and trust they decided it was okay and they would inventory them all as ‘customer packed’.
Apparently, if you are crossing any border, domestic or international, the company can refuse to move you without proper confirmation of what is in your boxes. This never even crossed my mind nor did it come up as a tip in my online search.
With my long-distance move, my belongings did not have to cross any international borders and I got lucky with friendly, helpful movers. I had packed all my boxes taped them up, labelled them individually and had them all piled in my living room the day they were arriving but none of that would have mattered without proof of what was in them.
I already had an extremely difficult time planning with the moving companies (which I will share another time) and this was the icing on the cake. I am not sure what I would have done if they had refused my move as my flight was the next day.
The next time I move I will absolutely be labelling my boxes to keep track of them, but also creating an inventory list for each box. Having a list probably would have helped me with unpacking too, that was a messy adventure.
Let me know if there are any other moving questions you have in the comments below!
Keep an eye out for part two of this series, coming soon 🙂