How to Avoid the Biggest Mistakes When Packing for Your Next Move

In the words of famous fashion designer Marc Jacobs, Change is a great and horrible thing, and people love it or hate it at the same time.” This statement holds true for every aspect of life, including moving. Whether you are planning a cross-country move or relocating to another country, planning out a million things, getting documents ready, and packing are all important aspects. We have already given you packing tips to make your transition as smooth as possible. However, there are many common mistakes people make that hamper that move.

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Packing for Your Move

Packing is perhaps the most difficult part of moving, after the heavy lifting of course. (But for that you can always hire a professional freight forwarder.) For the packing, you can take the initiative to keep things organized. Packing your boxes the right way reduces the chance of your personal effects getting stained or damaged. Improperly packing your boxes can only create more difficulty moving them. Here is a list of packing mistakes to avoid while you build – and improve – your packing skills.

1.   Not Having a Plan

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when packing is to start the process without proper planning. Many people tend to simply pack any household items they can get their hands on without thinking about it. It may seem to be time-saving initially, but in the end, it just creates more confusion. Taking some time to invest in a proper plan goes a long way towards increasing the efficiency of your packing as well as saving time. It is better to write down everything you need to take, and then pack those items one by one.

2.   Not Sorting Correctly

Try to create a timeline to keep things in order. That way, you will know which items need to be packed and which you need to buy.

One key factor when packing is to never ignore the importance of sorting. It is simple: without organizing your list, packing and unpacking will take up a lot more time. When you do not pack in an organized way, chances are the items needed for one room will be scattered in different boxes.

Not sorting also increases the chance of packing unnecessary items. When you move and unpack, you do not want to clutter up your new place with junk. So, sort your belongings according to their importance – and the boxes by their destination – to remember exactly where you put what.

3.   Leaving Things to the Last Minute

This is one of the biggest and worst mistakes you can commit. Moving is stressful enough, what with all the shifting of boxes and keeping track of documentation. Add the stress of packing and you may end up panicking. To prevent that last-minute time crunch, give yourself enough time to prepare beforehand. Try packing a little bit daily to avoid rushing.

4.   Choosing the Wrong Packing Materials

Packing materials are very important. Along with needing proper-sized boxes, try to keep things simple. Make sure you have enough packing tape, packing paper and a marker for labelling boxes.

The size and number of boxes are both important. That simple cardboard box you are cramming will be carrying a lot of weight. Not having the proper packing materials will increase the chance of damage while lifting and moving your boxes.

5.   Choosing the Wrong Weight

Boxes that are too heavy can cause damage or injury while lifting. The standard is to keep each box within 50 lbs, after packing, to maintain its integrity and stability. Always try to use small boxes for packing items like books, files and canned goods.

6.   Using Poor Packing Supplies

Insufficient quantity and quality of packing supplies can be a major problem, and this is why you need to properly plan and not leave things to the last moment (refer to point number 1 and 3). For example, inadequate packing tape can prevent you from properly packing and sealing your items. Whether it is the boxes, the tape, the blankets or the bubble wrap, the quality of your packing supplies is an essential element for keeping your possessions protected during shipping. If you are keen on working within a budget, compare different websites to get a quote on the most cost-effective shipping rates, rather than compromising on the quality of your packing supplies.

7.   Overstuffing

In the words of celebrity fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, the essence of proper packing is to “get ideas about what’s essential when packing.” Refrain from cramming your boxes with unnecessary items. Just like you need to know which things to pack, plan to get rid of things you do not need.

8.   Not Packing Fragile Items Properly

Identify your fragile items and pack them separately, with a lot of precautions. Not packing fragile items with extra protection is a recipe for disaster. You may need to take some additional time to wrap fragile items properly so they reach their new destination in one piece. The best way is to use a lot of soft packing paper, bubble wrap, or even towels or blankets. This provides extra cushioning against any impact on the journey.

9.   Not Labeling the Boxes

This is not the biggest mistake you can make, but it can cause major problems when it comes time to unload and unpack. As stated already, proper organization is an important task, and labelling is the best way to keep things organized. Once you are done packing, label boxes according to which room they should go in, as well as which ones need to be unpacked first. It is also a good idea to label fragile items separately to more easily identify them.

An additional tip: when moving, label the boxes that contain items you will not need immediately, such as seasonal clothing and holiday decorations. In this way you need not rush to unpack those items.

10.  Not Keeping Essentials Separate

Just as you should get rid of unnecessary items, keep essential ones in one place. For this, you can even maintain a special moving box, or essentials box. Pack daily essentials such as medications, toiletries and non-perishable snacks and drinks, as well as a few spare clothes in this box. Make sure you pack an essentials box for each member of the household, including pets.

Moving requires that you to be prepared for every situation, and packing properly, where you avoid the above-mentioned mistakes, will ensure a safe and smooth transition. In case, you do not feel confident about (or interested in) doing all the packing yourself, you can always hire professional packers from a renowned shipping company.