The thought of moving into a new home can be overwhelming, and even more so if you have to plan lugging your belongings all the way across the country. Given the already stressful frame of mind that moving brings, being able to pack your belongings as easily as possible can help you make the most of your move.

Here are five tips from Zoocasa on how to be efficient when packing for your cross-country move.

Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Need

If you’ve been putting off doing a deep clean of your home, now is the time to finally get down to it. A new home means a fresh start and getting rid of items you no longer use or need is the best way to achieve that. Begin by deciding which items are absolutely necessary, and plan to take these with you on the move. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of things you haven’t used in over six months, unless they are seasonal items.

When you are left with the things you are going to keep, it’s time to decide how you are going to get rid of everything else. To avoid creating extra waste, consider giving clothing, appliances, and furniture to any friends or family, donate items to local shelters, or even sell them online.

Make Use of Storage Already Available

Once you have completed the decluttering process, use furniture that you already own to double as a storage bin. To help cut down on space taken up in your moving truck or to reduce the number of items you ship out to your new place, think about packing some of your belongings in any storage spaces you already have. For example, keeping clothing items in your dresser or filling ottomans and bookshelves with your belongings is a good way to make use of otherwise wasted space and also to create more room in your boxes and trucks at the same time.

Find Smart Packing Solutions

Besides simply putting things into regular moving boxes, it would be a good idea to figure out if there are any packing solutions that would make your task a lot easier. For example, instead of taking all your clothes off their hangers for the move and then having to put them back there in the new home, there are wardrobe boxes with clothing rods specifically designed for moving. This will help to cut down on the time spent packing and unpacking.

Take Furniture Apart

If you have any larger pieces of furniture that can be taken apart, go for it. Though it may take a little more time and some patience, doing this will allow you to fit more things into your moving truck and improve efficiency by lowering the number of trips and/or the number of vehicles used.

Make a Master List

In order to keep the moving process efficient, the most important packing tip is to create a list. Although it may seem fairly obvious to keep track of where you packed certain items, this part of the process is often overlooked. Staying organized can cut down on time wasted looking for things when it’s time to unpack. While most people find it easy to simply label or color code each box according to which room it belongs to, taking things a step further by outlining what each bin contains can also assist in a speedy unloading process.

Making a move across the country will take time and requires patience as things can sometimes go wrong. To ease the stress, renting a storage unit at your destination can be a very good idea — that way you’ll have a place to put the things you’ve moved even if your new residence is not quite ready. As you prepare for your cross-country journey, and a new life in one of the condos or townhouses for sale, keep these packing tips in mind to help take away some of the stress.


Francis Chantree is a writer and editor for Yardi, focusing on real estate and lifestyle content. He is a former programmer and researcher who exchanged computer language for his greatest passion, human language! When not writing and proofreading text, he can be found gardening and reading.

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