We all remember the stress and frustration of lugging boxes, yellow moving bins and bags of miscellaneous items up stairs and into elevators in the August heat. It is once again time to move out, and many are starting to dread the idea of cramming our lives back into cardboard as the semester comes to a close.
Moving out, however, doesn’t have to be as stress-filled as moving in. Making sure you are efficient when packing can turn a frustrating afternoon into a logical and productive one.
The best way to start clearing out your room is to sort through the clutter. Accumulated items from the past semester, recent purchases, a few Red Bull cans and water bottles from late nights studying for finals, you name it. Getting rid of items you aren’t packing is the most efficient way to start.
Once you are left with the items you want to pack up, it’s time to start the hardest part: the packing itself.
When deciding what you want to use to store your items, keep a few things in mind. How are you getting your items from point A to point B? Where will they be kept for the near future? Are they delicate or breakable? Are there lots of small items like jewelry that can get lost easily?
Categorize your items into cohesive groups that make sure they will be safe when moved. For example, pack breakable items in between sweatshirts to keep them safe. If there are smaller items that have the potential to get lost easily, pack them in a closed box rather than a bag.
When you organize your items into these categories, you can figure out what you want to use to pack them, and how many of each you require. From different-sized cardboard boxes to reusable shopping bags, backpacks, or plastic storage bins, your items will be best suited to one or another.
Avoid overpacking in one vessel by organizing not by type of item, but by overall weight and area taken up. For example, putting all of your books in one box may cause the box to break, become excessively heavy, or be difficult to move.
Another common packing mistake is not making the most of the room you have. Rolling your clothes rather than folding them is a great way to compact them, and will allow you to maximize the space you have. Filling things like purses, shoes, or pockets with small items and even socks or underwear can help to maximize space as well.
The most helpful tip for packing efficiently, is most efficient if done far before your move-out day. As packing your things and moving out all in one day can be overwhelming, organizing your things and beginning to pack in advance can make things go much smoother the day of.
If there are items in your closet you don’t plan on wearing before leaving, pack them up. Decorations, extra pillows, winter boots and coats can be put in boxes in advance. This will make the overall experience of efficiently packing the rest of your belongings that much more efficient when the time comes.
Before we know it, we will be putting all of our things back into boxes, bags, and backpacks and bringing them up sets of stairs, and pushing yellow moving bins into elevators. Until then, having the most efficient and stress-free moving-out experience is right at your fingertips.