When to start packing for a move


You can never start preparing for your move too soon. We are not talking about years, but a few months before the date would be a good idea. Generally speaking, two months are considered the norm. If you were in a pinch, sure, you would be able to pack all your possessions in a few days. However, if you want to avoid that kind of chaos, start packing for a move early and take your time.

How to start packing for a move

There are many things to consider when moving, and it takes time to organize everything. If you want to be truly thorough and make things as easy for yourself as possible, start by making a list. Brainstorm all the possible ideas you have about moving. Write down whatever comes to mind, and then go over the list and narrow it down to what makes the most sense. Get advice from your friends and family. Most likely, most of them have gone through a move at one time in their lives. They will have an abundance of advice that can help you. Your edited list should include:

  • A budget—how much are you able to set aside for the move?

  • A plan for packing—will you do it yourself or hire movers?

  • Items you need to purchase (bubble wrap, boxes, tape, vacuum-pack bags, etc.)

  • A plan for your large furniture, appliances, and musical instruments

The next steps

After you have somewhat organized your thoughts on the move, it is time to take action. Start small and do not try to do everything at once. If you are an overachiever, you will want to finish everything before the deadline. All this might end up frustrating you because moving is no small feat, and there is a mountain of things to pack and organize. If you are a procrastinator, on the other hand, you might put everything off until the last minute and then get way too stressed out. Do not underestimate the enormity of the task at hand. But also, do not see it as insurmountable. With week-by-week steps, you will thrive without fail.

Two months before the move

Now is the time when you want to do all the organizing and to think ahead. Tie up loose ends, finalize all the paperwork, think about all the services you need to cancel at your current place. If your current house or apartment is a rental, take care of everything that needs fixing before you leave. Think of nails on the walls that you might need to remove, furniture items you need to replace, etc. Organize the change of address so that your mail will arrive at your new home.


One month before the move

It is time to start taking action. Purchase all the items you think will help you pack. Get those boxes that you need and consider reusing them instead of buying them. There are plenty of places where you can get used containers, including online. This way, you can save money on your move and also be more environmentally friendly. Take into account that preparing your boxes before packing will also take some time. You will need to assemble all of them and tape the bottoms well to avoid accidents. Slowly start packing for your move; pack items that you are currently not using. You can begin with books, smaller furniture items, and wall art, to name a few. Once the two-week mark approaches, you will need to switch gears and actively pack everything else.


Decluttering when you start packing for a move

When preparing things for your boxes, you should seriously consider getting rid of some items. Create a decluttering system before packing for the move. Think about what you genuinely need and throw away things you don't need—there will be lots of them, believe it or not. Make sure you do this systematically and way before the move. Otherwise, you will get overwhelmed at the very last minute and start throwing away things that you might end up needing later. You would be surprised how panic can creep in after seeing piles and piles of clothes and boxes everywhere. For this reason, plan it out, make lists, and separate things that you might donate, sell or give to friends.

Finalizing your packing journey

If you are about two weeks away from your move date, you know it's crunch time. If you haven't already, you should start packing for a move. Here are some great tips for that final round before the big day, which will make your move go quickly.

  • Once you start putting things into boxes, make an inventory. Don't exhaust yourself by writing every single thing down, but note down the essential items. When you are packing, always try to think ahead—how can you make your life easier once you have to unpack. There is nothing worse than having to dig through random boxes looking for that one sweater or notebook and just making a mess while in a full-blown panic attack.

  • Label your boxes. You can do this in many different ways by using color, numbers, or stickers. If you have children, they would be a great help with this task. They would have fun with it and this way you can also make sure that they are occupied while you are trying not to lose your mind.


  • If possible, pack by areas of your home. Divide and conquer by packing as many items from one room as possible together. Also, label your boxes accordingly to have easier access to all your things when you start unpacking.

  • Pack a box with items that you will immediately need once you move into your new home. Think of your most necessary things like toiletries and a change of clothes. Additionally, include a few dishes like bowls, plates, and cutlery. You might want to have breakfast in your new home, and having those few things ready will make life so much easier.

Say goodbye to your old home

If you followed our advice on when to start packing for a move, you should have everything prepared and ready to go by the time the move date approaches. Stick to your plan, gradually pack everything, and you will be surprised by how easy and maybe even fun the process was.

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