We have begun the final countdown– 9 days until my parents arrive for their visit, 14 days until graduation, and 15 days until we move out of the apartment. Sadly that meant we couldn’t put off packing another weekend.
As a UMPK (code for United Methodist preacher’s kid), my childhood was marked by the regular process of packing and moving and since graduating from high school I’ve moved almost every 9 months. That experience combined with what my cousin Emily and I like to call the “Bagwell Efficiency Packing Gene,” you might say that I’m a bit of a packing expert. [smile] Over the years of learning what boxes are best for books, breakables, framed art/photos, and linens I’ve had very few casualties from the packing process.
Given my proven track record, I thought I would use this opportunity to share some wisdom. So here are my top 3 packing tips just in case you find yourself in moving mode sometime soon:
- Whenever possible keep original boxes. So to some of you this may sound completely impractical and you may be asking: why use up space storing all those boxes and Styrofoam packing material? Well, if you are someone who has moved regularly you know how helpful it is to have a store of appropriate sized boxes at your disposal when its time to move. As an added bonus, the original packing materials for breakable nic-nacs is better than any bubble wrap you can buy. I mean, the original producers of that figurine or appliance already went to the trouble of figuring out how to get their product to you without it breaking so why not get more use out of their ingenuity.
- Pack boxes tight. Don’t leave extra space at the top of the box. Try to fill that box to the brim. Think back to what makes original packaging so great for breakables or appliances– those Styrofoam molds hold every delicate piece of equipment or figurine in static place. Try to model that whenyou’re packing things your boxes. The less space left for movement in the box the less likely it will be that things will shift and possibly break. Additionally, using all the space efficiently means less boxes and fewer trips back and forth from the moving truck. All together a win-win!
- Pick the right sized box for the right job. Even though you… and by “you” I mean us [smile]… have tons of books and it might make it easier to ensure that they all end up in the same place by packing them together, a big box of books will be impossible to move because it will weigh a ton! More boxes in sizes that are easily carried makes the work of unloading so much more practical. Save those extra big boxes for pillows and linens!
Bonus Tip: if you are in the need of boxes check the local liquor store. Liquor boxes are both really sturdy and usually the perfect size for packing books. Of course, if you are a pastor in a tea-totaler tradition you may have some explaining to do if members of your new tradition show up to help you unpack. [smile]