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Packing for the Smooth Move

Pack it Up

Packing is far from the most exciting aspect of moving, but it is a necessary one. With a little preparation and the right supplies, you can simplify the packing process and make your move to Tampa Bay, Orlando, or Gainesville less stressful.

Gather Your Materials

Create a staging area where you can store your boxes, packing tape, box filler and wrapping paper. You'll need a fat-tipped felt marker and a notebook to record the contents of your boxes.

Start Early

Give yourself plenty of time to pack. Box up unessential items like framed photographs, knickknacks, books and artwork as soon as you begin planning your move.

Protect Your Valuables

Family heirlooms, jewelry and other valuables should remain with you or be shipped separately via a special carrier. Consolidate birth certificates, health records and other important documents into a single briefcase or file box you can carry in the trunk of your car.

Pack a Bag

Before you get into heavy-duty packing, assemble an overnight kit of necessary items including a change of clothing and toiletries for every member of the family. Keep these bags with you during the move in case of unexpected delays. Don't forget a bag for the pets if they are traveling with you.

Tackle One Room at a Time

Make a plan and whenever possible pack each room individually. An organized approach will cut clutter and make it easier to keep things together during the move.

Pack Standing Up

If you own or can borrow a folding card table, move it from room to room as you pack. Getting up off the floor will make packing more efficient and save your back in the process. Take an Inventory As you finish each box, label and number it and record the contents in a notebook. This will make it easy to check off the boxes as they arrive in your new home.

Watch Your Weight

Pack heavier items on the bottom of boxes and lighter ones at the top. Use a bathroom scale to weigh the boxes before sealing. They should weigh no more than 50 pounds each to prevent breakage.

Purge as You Go

Moving professionals suggest you pare your belongings by one-third when relocating. Now is the time to recycle those old magazines, discard or sell unwanted items and fill a bag with outgrown clothing for charity.

Moving is often especially difficult for children. If you have children, you'll want to take a few extra steps to make their move a smooth one.

  • Pack Children's Rooms Last - Maintaining established routines and preserving their personal space through the stress of packing will ease your children's transition and give them a safe place to decompress when they feel overwhelmed. Packing their belongings last also makes it possible to get them off the truck first, so you can quickly make their new rooms feel like home.
  • Involve Children in the Packing Process - Don't send your kids off to school with an intact room and have them come home to a collection of boxes. Assisting with packing can help children feel secure. Allow them a second backpack or overnight bag for a few cherished books and toys.
  • Keep Comfort Items Close - Keep that special blanket or stuffed animal in a safe place so it doesn't get packed by mistake.