What Do You Pack First?

The first things to pack will be the things you need the least.

Storage Area Items
Anything & everything that has been safely stored away and hidden out of sight such as in garages, basements, or attics, is certainly rarely used and little needed (if at all). It is highly unlikely that you will need any of these half-forgotten items in the time left until moving day. Start organizing them and packing them away as early as possible. Remember that going through the storage areas in your home and sorting out all the miscellaneous things kept there will take a lot of time and effort.

Tips: Sort in piles:

Pile 1: “Discard Pile” All the items that are damaged pieces should go in the discard pile, to be thrown out.

Pile 2: “Donated/Give Away/Moving Sale Pile” The knick-knacks, decorations, old furniture, specialty equipment, craft supplies, tools, etc., that are still in good conditions but you don’t like anymore or won’t be able to use in your new surroundings.

Pile 3: Pack For Moving Pile” Anything that has considerable practical, aesthetic, or sentimental value and you don’t want to part with.

Needless to say, you need to dispose of the first pile immediately and take care of the second one as soon as possible (otherwise you may reconsider your decisions and start pulling items out of that pile). Organize a moving sale or sell online any costly possessions of yours that you’re not taking with you (artwork, sports gear, specialized tools, etc.), donate practical items of little market value (old clothes, toys, furniture pieces, etc.), and give away to friends and family whatever they may like or need.

All the rarely used items from the third pile (things you intend to take to your new home) should be packed and prepared for shipment a month or so before the actual relocation. Make sure you:

-Create a detailed inventory of the items you are packing and document their current condition;
-Provide your items with excellent protection against moisture, dust, bugs, etc. (have in mind that the first things you pack for moving will stay in the boxes for quite a long time);
-Label the boxes properly as you won’t remember which items went where;
-Stack all the packed boxes in a separate area where they won’t get in your way;
properly prepare the large tools and equipment you’re going to take with you (lawnmowers, snow blowers, bikes, etc.) – any fuel should be drained out of the tanks, sharp edges and cutting parts should be safely wrapped, and so on.

Have in mind that most moving companies are not allowed to relocate certain typical garage contents (motor oils, antifreeze, paint and paint thinners, charcoal, propane tanks, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, car batteries, as well as any flammable, explosive or corrosive items) for safety reasons, so you should not waste your time packing them. Unless you can move the non-allowables yourself, you’ll have to get rid of them before the relocation – use them up, give them away, etc.

Non-Essential items
The term “non-essentials” refers to everything you can live without for a few weeks – things in drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. that you won’t miss if they stay packed away in boxes for a month or two. Have in mind that fragile items should be packed with utmost care & marked “fragile”.

Rooms To Pack First
Now it’s time to move on to the other less commonly used rooms in your home, such as the guest rooms and the living room. The most essential rooms – the kitchen, the kids’ room (if applicable), the bedroom, and the bathroom – should be packed last, of course.

Make sure you have enough clothes to last for the next few days (including appropriate attire for moving day), take out the plastic utensils (forget all about cooking during the last day or two before your move), have your kids each choose one set of toys they want to keep out for the last few days, put aside the items that will get into your box of essentials and pack all the rest of your belongings (do not forget to prepare household appliances and disassemble large furniture pieces, as well). Keep a few extra boxes and bags handy for last-minute packing endeavors.