You're about to put everything you own in cardboard boxes. There's no denying it - it's overwhelming. For this part of the process, it's all about organization and simplicity.
- Use your calendar to determine how to pack for the least stress. For some, it might be an hour or two a day. For others, it might be three straight 10-hour days. However you do it, be realistic and provide yourself plenty of time.
- Consider buying your packing materials online. Many companies will bundle boxes, bubble wrap, tape and packing paper and send it right to your home for a lot less money than if you bought it all at a retail store.
- Need extra packing materials? Hit your local storage place. Hint: Ask if you can sell back any boxes you don't end up using.
- Save even more money by visiting local sites like Craigslist.org, where people are often looking to get rid of boxes from a recent move.
- Get creative with packing supplies: You don't always need to use paper and bubble wrap. Use suitcases to pack clothes you'll want to wear right away; use towels to protect breakables.
- Save space by packing unbreakable contents in tightly loaded drawers. Simply tape the drawers in place with strips of wide masking tape and then remove the tape as soon as the furniture arrives at your new home.
- Color-coordinate or mark each box by room, not by type of contents. This will save time for the movers (and you) when it's time to unpack.
- Moving a refrigerator? Throw a couple of charcoal briquettes or newspaper inside the unit to absorb left-over odors.
- Pack ahead of time - but not too far! Inevitably, you'll want that book in the bottom of that large (and heavy) box.