Once you decide it’s time to move to a new place, you’ll have a long list of things to do to get ready for moving day. Of course, the biggest item on the list is to pack up all of your belongings.
But do you really need to pack every single item you own? What should you toss instead of pack, and what do you need to keep handy during the moving process? Read on for some packing tips and what key items you should keep out of those cardboard boxes!
Things You’ll Need the First Night of the Move
You’ve probably heard that you should pack an overnight bag for the first night in your new place. It should have a set of sheets, a shower towel, and a change of clothes, as well as your bathroom supplies—anything you’ll need as soon as you get to your new place. Chances are you won’t want to tackle the unpacking process until day two, so keeping a few key items with you during the move will make your first night in your new home much more comfortable.
Try to avoid packing medications too—if those get lost inside a box, you could spend all day just looking for them! If you keep them in a personal bag, they’ll be easier to find and won’t cause you unnecessary stress.
You might find you need items like screwdrivers, duct tape, scissors and box cutters, as well. Be sure to pack those in your overnight bag, not a cardboard box.
Avoid Packing Dangerous Items
There are a few things you shouldn’t pack because it may not be safe; plus, most moving companies will have a policy against transporting these items in packed boxes. You may have a few dangerous items in your garage that should be recycled instead of packed and moved:
- Motor oil
- Lighter fluid
- Car batteries
- Other chemicals you have on hand to care for the outside of your home
Call your local recycling station or fire house to learn how you can dispose of these dangerous items before you move. This could include any type of gas in bottles or tanks, fire extinguishers, or aerosol cans.
Avoid packing some cleaning fluids, too, like liquid bleach, aerosol cans, and nail polish remover.
Toss Your Perishables Before Moving
Now it’s time to pack the kitchen. You may be tempted to toss those frozen peas into a cardboard box, but don’t! Packing perishables, even if they’re refrigerated or stored in your pantry, isn’t the best idea, and is probably against your movers’ policy.
- Perishables can make a mess in-transit, and attract bugs and rodents.
If you’re moving across the country, ask your friends and neighbors to help you clear out your pantry. You can throw an “I’m moving!” party and eat all of the random items in your fridge, or give away items in your pantry. You can also donate your food before moving to a local food bank or shelter.
If your move is local, after the movers depart, you can pack up a cooler and transport any items you want to bring with you. Just be careful to make sure that your food doesn’t reach dangerous temperatures—unless it stays frozen in-route, toss it since it may not be safe to eat.
Packing Plants & Flowers
Did you know that it might be illegal to bring your potted plants with you? Before you move, ask your moving company if they’re allowed to transport plants and flowers. If they are, check with the province or county to make sure you’re allowed to bring the particular species from your old neighborhood to your new one.
Moving Important Documents Safely
Items like cash you may have stashed at your place, bonds, securities, insurance policies, social security cards, passports and bank statements shouldn’t be packed. In the off chance that the box gets stolen, your personal financial information could fall into the wrong hands. Move these documents yourself or stow them in your safe deposit box until after the move.
Ask your movers before you start packing what they will refuse to move; each company will have a slightly different list. Make sure to leave those items and anything we’ve mentioned above out of your moving boxes. It’s important to make sure you follow policy when it comes to hazardous items, and you’ll want to have important things like cash, documents, and a pair of pajamas for when you arrive at your new place, handy and accessible—not buried in a box.