Since so many leases end in May and families with kids in school often choose to move after school lets out, I thought now would be a good time to share some packing tips.

Do yourself a favor by de-cluttering as you pack.  You will decrease buyer objections, sell faster, reduce stress, save money not moving unnecessary items and make unpacking easier.

Packing up an entire home is daunting!  There are so many rooms and so much stuff, even if you don’t have a clutter problem.  Where, when and how to start are the tough questions.

  • Buy moving boxes, moving paper, tape and markers now.  Moving boxes are designed to cube out perfectly inside a truck.  The small boxes are perfect fmoving truckor heavy items like books and the garment boxes make moving hanging clothes a breeze. Find out how many boxes you need here. I highly recommend moving paper to wrap your items over newspaper.  Moving paper won’t leave ink all over your stuff and your hands!
  • Start packing whatever you can now.  Areas to target first are: out-of-season clothes, storage areas, garage, holiday decorations, seldom-used kitchen items (small appliances, china), seldom used toys, extra linens, paper files, memorabilia, books, CD and DVDs.  Packing and storing these items will make your house feel more spacious!
  • Purge as you pack.  There is no sense in packing, paying to haul and unpacking things that will never be used again!  Lighten your load now rather than later.
  • Purge what?: items that you haven’t used in one year or longer, things you don’t love, clothes that don’t fit, broken items, dead electronics (recycling sources), outgrown toys, bags, craft supplies, sports equipment, kitchen gadgets, DVDs, CDs, out of date files, expired food, shoes and appliances. (donation sources)  By decluttering, you are increasing the value of your home and will put more money in your pocket!
  • Set up labeled boxes for donations, recycling or garbage to make this process easy for everyone. If you have a larger volume of unneeded items, try calling a service like College Hunks Hauling Junk.  They recycle and donate the majority of what they pick up.
  • Pack like items together.  When starting a new box, write on it (with those markers you bought already) what room it should go to in your new home and only put items in this box that would go in that room.  List on the box the main items inside or the general category. This will make your unpacking efficient and it will be easy to find much-needed items right away.
  • Label cables and cords with what appliance they go to.  Also, take pictures of the wiring of your systems before you unplug.  This can be a handy way to troubleshoot wiring when you set up again.
  • Set up a box that has a large label stating “open me first”.  This box should contain cleaning items, vacuum bags, toilet paper, paper towels and plates, snacks, box cutter, screwdriver, garbage bags, sheets for everyone’s beds, pens, paper, tape, calendar, alarm clock, diversions for the kids, corkscrew (maybe that’s just me that would want that right away!), etc.  Transport this box in your own vehicle so you’ll have access quickly.

What items can you easily get rid of before you pack?  Share your favorite moving tip in the comments.