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Pop quiz time! What do you think is Action Moving & Storage favourite two-syllable word? If you guessed ‘pizza’, you are close, but still off the mark. If you guessed ‘packing’, then you are on point and probably deserve some sort of gold star.

That’s right folks, aside from providing a seamless short and long distance moving experience for our clients, we also have a knack for packing the items that they will be bringing along with them. While packing may seem like a pretty mundane and simple activity, it actually is a nuanced art form. Since most people aren’t Action Moving & Storage employees, and therefore weren’t destined to become the Michaelangelos of moving, we have decided to put together a guide for those looking to pack up their belongings on their own.

As with anything in life, timing is key here. Simply put, the earlier you start, the better. Procrastination is simply going to lead to stress, which will lead to a poor packing job, which will lead to more stress, and, next thing you know, you choose to live on the streets rather than transport all of your bits and bobs.

If you own a three-bedroom home, give yourself at least three to four days to get your packing done. While this may seem like a lengthy stretch of time, it is better to be safe rather than sorry, and you will be surprised as to how much stuff you actually own as the work progresses. If you are a real go-getter, you can even begin the process weeks, or even months in advance! Just remember to pack up your kitchen last, you may be eating your cereal with bare hands. Think about what you consider to be non-essential in your home – things that are stored away in your basement or guest rooms, valuables such as fine china that are seldom used, or decorative items such as paintings – these should ideally be packed up first.

Getting Started

Once you have determined when you are going to proceed on your packing adventure, start the process by first choosing exactly where you plan on gathering together and storing the items that you will be boxing up. Having a designated ‘pack zone’ will save you frustration and headaches down the line. Make sure that this area has plenty of space, and that you strategically position your boxes, tape, and other materials. Ideally, you will have a whole room or large space put aside just to start off.

Next, make sure you have adequate boxes to handle all of your possessions. If you are willing to spend the extra money, consider plastic storage containers, cardboard boxes are flimsy and can only handle so much weight. Be sure to use a marker or labelmaker in order to indicate which box contains what, whether or not they are fragile, and which room its contents belongs in. If you have hired Action to help you out, we have our own boxes that we are happy to provide.

If there is one thing that should not factor into your packing process, it is nostalgia. Chances are you will come across a number of artifacts from your past that will stir up memories and have you reminiscing about days gone by. While this does sound lovely, it is going to inevitably dig into your time, so, save the memories for when you are ready to unpack and have all of the time in the world.

Survival kits are not only intended for excursions to deserted islands! Be mindful of whichever items you use on a daily basis, such as a toothbrush, toilet paper, and changes of clothes, and practice extra caution so that you do not box them up by accident. If possible, designate a box, backpack, or other method of storage that will be used to contain these ‘survival’ materials. If you are working with a team, be sure to point out that you do not want this precious package to be stored away with the others.

Last, but not least, try to put together the tools that you will need to assemble your new home once the unpacking process starts to unfold. Screwdrivers, hammers, and nails are just the tip of the iceberg, depending on what will have to be done in order to properly settle in.

As if that weren’t enough steps…

Time For The Fun Stuff

Geared up for your packing extravaganza yet? Excellent. It is time to begin. To start your spree, decide the order that you are going to pack up the rooms in your house. As noted previously, leave the kitchen for last. Provided that you have your survival kit handy, most other rooms should be fair game to start. Work in a consistent pattern as you start to pack, and be sure to retrace your steps to ensure that nothing gets left behind.

By this stage, you should ideally have a trusty team of helpers, either the Action Moving & Storage staff, or at least some friends who have been drawn to your house for a ‘party’. Pretend you are planning a war here and that these are your troops – everyone should have specific instructions and also understand the order which you will be packing up the individual rooms. In terms of equipment, the whole squadron should have easy access to boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and whatever else they will need.

There are certain things that will inevitably have packed themselves, so you won’t have to. A classic example is your dresser. Why unpack all of your clothes, when they are already neatly folded (or at least hastily stuffed) into convenient drawers. The same rule applies to your cutlery drawer, just be careful that the bottoms don’t fall out.

Unless you are a power lifter, you should always be mindful of the weight of the items you are moving. Try to always keep heavy objects on the bottom, and light ones on top. If you are using cardboard boxes or any other flimsy type of container, be cognizant of what they contain, and try to carry them exclusively from the bottom. Do not pack boxes so that their weight limit exceeds fifty pounds. Overstuffing can only lead to injuries, broken items, or resentful friends.

While you are indulging in the art of stuffing individual containers and boxes, think as if you are playing a game of tetris. Try to visualize which items fit together, which ones are more likely to break when placed with others, and how to reduce the amount of space left behind. Soap bottles, oils, and dry goods such as rice present spilling hazards, so be extra careful when packing these together. Long items, including curtain rods, rakes, brooms, and your stuffed python collection, can all be grouped together and bundled using tape.

It goes without saying (but sometimes a reminder is important), but glassware such as lightbulbs and dishes should be individually packed and handled with care. Action Movers has taken this into consideration, and we even have specialized containers for carrying such delicate items! Other hefty or fragile articles, including electronics and appliance, should ideally be packaged within their original boxes and sealed using your trusty roll of packing tape.

Planning a successful move is never easy, and the whole process starts (and ends) with your efficiency in the realm of packing. This guide is just a basic tutorial, when it comes to moving house, there are infinite realms of possibility in terms of how you can optimize performance. Happy moving!