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Packing Tips /

A major question when relocating is how to decide what to keep when moving. With so many things collected everywhere in your house – basement, attic, garage, shed, bedroom, etc., not to mention the storage if you have it the question becomes quite logical. Some things are dear to you and others – you have accustomed to see them around and you’re having a hard time letting go. It is important to know what to take when moving out and what to get rid of. The reason is that one of the factors that define the cost for your move is the weight of your home. With this moving mileage calculator you can see as a 1st step what is the distance at which you are going to be moving and as 2nd – how much weight you can expect to have for moving approximately. Decreasing this weight will mean lower moving cost. What things to throw away when moving? See below how to decide what to keep when moving and what to throw away.

How to Decide What to Keep when Moving

There are two main factors that will influence your decisions on what to leave when moving and what to bring along:

  1. How much emotionally attached are you to it? If it is one of your favorite items in your home, then take it. An exception could be made for an item that is large and/ or heavy and consequently more expensive to move. You can skip to pick up a large item you have no place to put at your new home unless you have decided to use a storage of course.
  2. How much do you use it? If it’s useless, you don’t need it. If you use it once in a while think about what to do with it and will you include it in your inventory list with what to get when moving.

What to Throw away when Moving

Make a list with what to throw away when moving. You can use it to catalog the items later for recycling. When moving certainly consider getting rid of these things:

  • To begin with the obvious, start by filling in everything broken, worn out and simply useless to you and any other member of your home.
  • Moving garbage is pointless. That is why before you move out clear well all premises of your home from it.
  • Things you are not using. If they are not broken or worn out, you don’t have to send them to the garbage. There are many ways to get rid of them – on a moving sale in your yard or garage, by placing them on eBay or craigslist, or other online websites, etc. You can also give them away to family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc.
  • Things you don’t like or want any more, items out of fashion, clothes/ shoes that don’t any longer fit to the person in your family who had them.
  • When considering what to throw away when moving you may decide to leave behind even more things. Especially if you are relocating long distance or to another country you may find out that the price is going to be very high so you may want to cut it down a bit more. You have some options here – for example if you are living in your own place you can give it for rent as it is furnished. And in this way you will have incomes in the state/ country you’ve moved to and a home, should you decide to go back.
  • Medications, food, paint and other items that are expired are some things to throw away when moving. Check on their package their usability.
  • Magazines and newspapers. Paper is heavy anyway and unless you decide to use it for packing there’s no sense to take it with you.

What to Take When Moving?

This is an easier question once you’ve established the majority of items to be left behind. You may be hesitating about a number of things, but the objects mentioned here are very important and should be moved to your new home and not thrown away. Remember also to check with the movers what they won’t move because some of the things in the list below will match the list with forbidden items of the moving company.

  • Personal documents – passport, driving license, birth certificates and other ID’s.
  • Financial documentation – bills paid, credit and debit cards, documents related to loans and credits you have made, mortgage papers are other important items to arrange in your list with what to get when moving.
  • Arrange in what to take when moving the relocation documentation – take it with the other paperwork, don’t give it to the movers.
  • Jewels, precious stones, stamp collections and other very expensive items and collectibles of high value.
  • What to get when moving that is important are the antiques that you may have – your grandfather’s clock, oil paintings and other inherited family furniture that is valuable.
  • Items to which you are emotionally attached should be part of what to get when moving. If you have such things and most people do, there’s nothing wrong with bringing them along. In fact, when arranging what to take when moving out it is good to take with you the things you are strongly attached to as they will help you in your adaptation to your new home. Of course, hiring movers will alleviate your work of packing, loading/ unloading and unpacking.

A few extra tips: When selecting what to take when moving don’t be too long. Don’t spend much time on an item, firstly, because you will spend too much time sifting and secondly, because you may end up bringing along the majority of your belongings which is not the goal of what you are doing. What to take when moving can be a simple and easy work to do if you move through it quickly and energetically. Also, don’t take this work as toil and enjoy the process – it is marking the end of one period in your life and the beginning of another.


  1. Start early:

Everything always takes longer than expected

  1. Pare down before the move:

The price of a long distance move is determined by cubic foot. Don’t pay to move stuff you are instantly going to get rid of at your new place

  1. Use a moving company, not a broker:

Having a middleman between you and the actual moving company is just a bad idea.  It can lead to miscommunication, finger-pointing, and lack of control, not to mention higher cost (the broker has to make some money too).  So, try to find actual moving companies who have their own moving people and trucks, not someone who will just contract the job out.

  1. Check the Better Business Bureau website
  2. Check online reviews:

If you simply Google the name of the moving company, you will find tons of reviews online.

  1. Clearly mark your boxes with the destination room:

You can make your life and your movers’ lives easier if you clearly mark your boxes with the room they need to go to (i.e., kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc.)

  1. Save on car shipping:

Find out where the shipping company’s depot is at and drop your car off instead of having them pick it up.

  1. Allow margin in your schedule:

Allow for extra time in your schedule for the unforeseen

  1. Confirm everything with a phone call:

To help prevent any no-shows, call a few days before your move to confirm your movers and your car shipper.

  1. Treat your movers well:

Buy a case of bottled water for your movers.  They will be grateful.  Be courteous to them. A little courtesy can go a long way.  If they do a good job, give them a good tip and leave some good reviews for the company online, so the rest of us can benefit.


Learn How to Pack Artwork

All artwork, mirrors, marble tops, glass tops, pictures should be packed in mirror, picture boxes, unless they are very small. The small items may be packed in dish pack box on edge. The van line professional packers should crate the very large glass tops and marble tops. Their weight makes them impractical to be moved by a box.
The following moving supplies will be needed to secure your artwork, mirrors, marble tops, glass tops, and pictures for moving:

  • Tape
  • Blank newsprint paper or Bubble Wrap®, picture boxes

Framed Art Work and Prints

  1. Prepare a picture box for the artwork by putting wadded newsprint paper on the bottom of the box. Do not close the top end of the box.
  2. Wrap each individual artwork or print with newsprint or wrap them in Bubble Wrap®.
  3. Put the item in the box and if they fit loosely in the box, fill in the spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.
  4. Tape the box shut and mark it “Fragile-Art Work.”

Glass Tops

  1. Prepare a picture moving box for the glass top by putting wadded newsprint paper on the bottom of the box or each box. Do not close the top end of the box.
  2. Wrap each individual glass top with newsprint or wrap them in Bubble Wrap®.
  3. Put the glass top in the box and if they fit loosely in the box, fill in the spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper. If two boxes are needed for the glass top, then put the second box on top of the other by telescoping them together and fill spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.
  4. Tape the box or boxes shut and mark it “Fragile-Glass Top.”

Marble Tops

  1. Prepare a picture box for the marble top by putting wadded newsprint paper on the bottom of the box or each box. Do not close the top end of the box.
  2. Wrap each individual marble top with newsprint or wrap them in Bubble Wrap®.
  3. Put the marble top in the box and if they fit loosely in the box, fill in the spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper. If two boxes are needed for the marble top, then put the second box on top of the other by telescoping them together and fill spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.
  4. Tape the box or boxes shut and mark it “Fragile- Marble Top.”

Mirrors

  1. Put tape across the front of the mirror like an X to keep the pieces in place in case the glass cracks or breaks.
  2. Prepare a picture box for the mirror by putting wadded newsprint paper on the bottom of the box or each box. Do not close the top end of the box.
  3. Wrap each individual mirror with newsprint or wrap them in Bubble Wrap®.
  4. Put the mirror in the box and if they fit loosely in the box, fill in the spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper. If two boxes are needed for the mirror, then put the second box on top of the other by telescoping them together and fill spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.
  5. Tape the box or boxes shut and mark it “Fragile- Mirror.”

Paintings

  1. If your painting is framed with glass put masking tape across the front of the painting like an X to keep the pieces in place in case the glass cracks or breaks.
  2. Cover the framed paintings or canvas with Bubble Wrap® and tape it closed.
  3. If you are packing a painting with glass then put the painting in a picture, mirror box and if it fit loosely in the box, fill in the spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper. If two boxes are needed for the painting, then put the second box on top of the other by telescoping them together and fill spaces with lightly wadded newsprint paper.
  4. If you are packing a canvas painting (no frame, no glass), wrap the box in Bubble Wrap® again, tape it, then build a second box for the first box. Your chances of sharp objects puncturing the box and canvas during the move to slim.
  5. Tape the box or boxes shut and mark it “Fragile- Art.”

Moving into a new house, after all the hard work of packing up and getting moved brings such a feeling of satisfaction and belonging. With each box you unpack, you discover a new place to store your belongings and new ways to make your new space feel like home. What you are left with, however, are the empty cardboard boxes and no idea how to get them out of the way or make use of them. Take a look at these creative uses for leftover cardboard boxes and see what you can come up with for the dozens lying around after your move!

Kids

You might be surprised at how entertained a child can be with something as simple as a cardboard box. Then again, the possibilities are only as limited as their imagination. A cardboard box and a handful of crayons, markers, and maybe even stickers is just a canvas waiting for a child’s masterpieces. A box can be turned into a racecar, a castle, or a fort to hide in and play. Cardboard boxes make excellent robot costumes or makeshift sleds. Again, the possibilities are almost endless.

Pets

Your four-legged friends might also enjoy some fun with the leftover cardboard boxes you were thinking about throwing away after your move. Cut a few holes in a box and you might find that your cat loves to sneak in and out of their own little corrugated cave.

Papers

Whether you have a filing cabinet that is full or you don’t necessarily want to spend the money on a filing cabinet, but need to hang onto paperwork that seems to just stack up and clutter your office, those extra cardboard boxes could be the perfect solution. You can create dividers with leftovers from other boxes or purchase some file folders and get your paperwork organized and out of the way in a stackable, square box that’s easy to access and easy to store.

Waste

Most cardboard boxes are recyclable, so why not renew your environmental efforts and use it to separate your recyclable waste in? When the box gets full, you can dispose of it and the contents in your household recycle bin or at a local recycling plant.

Crafts

The web is full of crafty and creative cardboard box ideas that you can make yourself. Decoupage letters for your wall, accessories for your office and decorations for your shelves can all be created using leftover cardboard boxes and minimal extra supplies. If you are not the crafting type yourself, consider donating the boxes to a crafting group, a preschool or a local organization that might be able to use them for arts and crafts projects.


The best way to begin the packing process is to start in the rooms you use least, such as guest rooms, basements, attics, garages, etc., and end it with the the rooms you use or are in the most often– bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and children’s rooms.
As you finish the least used rooms you can start packing the other rooms and moving the boxes into the rooms that are finished being packed. This will help keep the clutter down and will also help on move day since everything will basically be in one area.
It also helps to start off with the larger items. Once those are packed away the job won’t seem as overwhelming. It might be a good idea to make an inventory list as you pack or before.