You’ve hired a moving company, and you’re preparing for the big cross-country move. There’s no better time to go through your things. While there many things you’ll need to remember to pack; there are also a few things you won’t want to pack.
Here are our top packing tips for this big transition.
5 Packing Tips for a Safer Move
Whether you’re going across the state or across the country, these packing tips can help create a streamlined move:
1. Safety First
Packing tip 101: always be safe. If there’s anything that comes to mind while you’re packing up your home for the moving company that makes you stop and think, it’s probably too dangerous to pack. Things like firearms, fireworks, explosives, and toxic substances should be on your no-go list.
If you have firearms you want to leave behind, check with your local police department. Many cities will collect your unwanted guns, no questions asked. Whatever you do, don’t leave them unattended when you’re packing up your home, especially with small children. You want to protect against any accidents.
Should you happen to have any hazardous material in your possession, check to see if there’s a nearby chemical recycling company that could help you properly dispose of the items. Best to get rid of them before you move, so you don’t have to try and figure out what to do with them while you’re working to get settled in a new city. In general, some things that moving companies won’t pack include:
- Darkroom Chemicals
- Motor Oil
- Lighter Fluid
- Car Batteries
- Nail Polish & Remover
- Liquid Bleach
- Pool Chemicals
- Chemistry Sets
- Paint Thinner
- Loaded Weapons
- Weed Killer
- Lamp Oil
- Cleaning Fluid
If you do have these items, either properly dispose of them or see if a neighbor can use them.
Make yourself familiar with shipping restrictions, too. The United States Postal Service publishes a list online of things that are illegal to ship. Be sure you review the list to ensure compliance if there are any boxes that you’ll be sending to your new home.
2. Foods Should Not Be Moved
You’ve probably got a pantry full of canned goods and non-perishables that have been sitting around collecting dust. The hassle of packing, moving, and unpacking those is often not worth it for some of those items that will continue to collect dust in your pantry. Instead of just throwing them away, consider donating your non-perishable foods to a local food pantry.
We’ve partnered with a local nonprofit, Move for Hunger, that will come around and collects non-perishable foods from your home and deliver them on your behalf to a local food bank. Not only does this save you time, but it’s actually an excellent way for you to give back to your community before you move.
In addition to your non-perishables, you’ll want to go through your refrigerator and freezer. This is a great time to do some deep cleaning, throw away expired food items, and really only keep the essentials – but only if your move is relatively local. If not, you’ll just want to dispose of all perishables. Chances are, they won’t be stored properly during the move and won’t be any good.
3. Important Documents Should Stay With You
You most likely have a safe in your home that contains important documents.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a safe, make sure you invest in one soon. Even a small one that can hold a handful of sensitive documents will suffice and give you peace of mind.
While the safe itself is probably quite heavy and something you’ll want the movers to tackle for you, you’ll want to keep your hands on those documents. Things like your birth certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, insurance papers, pet records if you are moving with a pet, etc. These are documents you wouldn’t want to get into the wrong hands. Plus, you might actually need them handy once you get to the new city.
Pro tip: Pick up a small file box to transport them in. It won’t take up much space in the car, and you can still keep them organized.
Be sure to remember to secure them in the safe once it’s been moved to the new house. This will also help you always to remember exactly where they are in the house.
4. Prescription Medications
If you’re on any prescription medications, another excellent packing tip is to talk to your pharmacist about best practices for transporting them. You’ll want to get your prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy near your new home.
If you have any prescriptions on hand, make sure you transport them in your purse or briefcase. Doing this will ensure they arrive to your new home safely and securely as you’ll be aware of where they are throughout the entire journey.
Another great packing tip to remember is to transport your items of value personally. This includes high price value, and those can’t live without sentimental pieces, too. There are also creative ways to hide your valuables while you travel such as hiding money in your old deodorant bottles
High-value items might include computers, jewelry, artwork, collections (coins, stamps, etc.). By not leaving these items for the moving company to pack, you eliminate any chance of something happening to them as they’ll be in your personal care.
And don’t forget those sentimental pieces, too. Your old family videos, photo albums, and children’s artwork, to name a few, are irreplaceable. I recommend packing these items in your car, too.
What Can I Pack for the Moving Company?
While the above lists just a handful of valuable, sensitive things that you won’t want the movers to handle, there are all sorts of packing tips about how to get the rest of your house ready for the movers. From packing your kitchen to preparing your electronics and appliances, there are plenty of things that the movers will take for you.
The most important tip – be ready when the movers arrive. This means your whole house is packed up and prepared for them to swoop in to load the truck and hit the road. Just be aware of what can and can’t be packed. Have all that can be packed ready to move, and the moving company can work much more efficiently when they can show up and get right to work.
Have questions on packing tips or things that can’t be packed for a moving company? Get in touch us here at Colonial Van Lines and we’ll give you some guidance, and even a free quote.