10-packing-tips-for-an-easy-movePacking your belongings to move from one home to another is stressful. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that will make it less stressful and help ensure your belongings get where you’re going undamaged. Whether you’re migrating across town or across the country, keep these tips in mind.

1. Eliminate the Unnecessary

Moving is a great opportunity to purge. Why pack items you can live without at your new home? You can sell your goods on Craigslist or eBay prior to moving. Anything you can’t sell can be donated to charity or given away.

2. Make an “Open First” Box

Have a bin or two filled with essentials to make the first day or week easier. Things for your “open first” box include: box cutter, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, garbage bags, power strips, phone chargers, flashlight, and basic tools. Remember other things like must-take medications, a child’s favorite toy and/or a pet’s preferred bed.

3. Code Your Containers

Label boxes with their contents and the room they belong to. You can even color-code them and assign a color for each room and mark each box using colored tape; at the new place, add a piece of colored tape to each corresponding doorway. This will help you have at-a-glance info on what boxes go where.

4. Breakables

Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are expensive. To protect your fragile items, wrap breakables such as dishes and pottery in towels or T-shirts, slip glassware into socks, and wrap old sheets and blankets around furniture legs and corners to act as bumpers.

5. Keep Things Together

Put hardware, such as screws for mounting your flat screen, in small clear sandwich bags and tuck them into the item’s box. If you were fortunate enough to keep the original boxes, re-insert your stuff for safe transport.

6. Capture Images

Take a photo of the way your electronics are setup so that you’ll quickly know which wires go where when you’re ready to plug in at the new place. Also, if you want to reconstruct any gallery walls or other decorative arrangements, capture those before disassembling.

7. Pack Bottom Heavy

Heavy items belong on the bottom of a box, with light items placed on the top. A full, but not overflowing, box is best so there’s less banging around during the move.

8. Break Down Your Furniture

Remove dresser drawers and secure the contents in each by covering it with plastic wrap or sliding the full drawer into a garbage bag; then label pieces for moving.

9. Bag It Up

Gather closet items on hangers and slide them into large garbage bags. Tie the drawstring around the hooks.

10. By the Book

Pack hardcover and paperback books of the same size together in small boxes for less strain on your moving muscles. Use extra packing tape to avoid damaged boxes.