Packing is far and away the most stressful part of moving for many people. The more stuff you have, the more time you’ll spend collecting it, organizing and putting it into boxes. Plus, there’s the effort to pack everything safe and sound, label the boxes and make sure they’re organized before the move. Packing can easily take weeks and can quickly get frustrating, even if you’re just doing a little at a time, day by day.
There’s no getting around packing—other than hiring someone to do it for you—but there are ways to save yourself a little bit of grief. The easiest is to figure out what you don’t need to pack. You might not realize it, but there are actually many things you either shouldn’t pack or that don’t need to be packed. Here’s a quick look at what NOT to pack before your upcoming move in New York City:
- Trash and garbage: This may seem like common sense, but make sure you’re not packing up trash, rubbish or other garbage before a move! If it can go in the trash, it doesn’t need to go into a box. Many people accidentally end up packing things they could throw out and only realize this when they’re unpacking. Recognize trash for what it is and get rid of it before you start packing.
- Anything you’re donating: Moving time is a great time to take a look through your belongings and figure out what might be worth donating. That top you haven’t worn in five years? The book you have three copies of? An old nightstand you’re planning on replacing? Goodwill, Salvation Army and local shelters will take most of these things off your hands. You can slim down your move and do a good deed at the same time. Plus, you don’t need to pack what you donate!
- Anything staying behind: If you’re not bringing it with you, you don’t need to pack it. Again, it seems like common sense, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in packing and overlook items that aren’t coming with. Shelving, cleaning supplies and appliance-related objects are great examples of items staying put that are often packed up unwittingly.
- Anything you need right away: If you’re planning on using it right before, during or after your move, don’t pack it up. Instead, throw it into a backpack or duffle bag so you can easily access it when you need it. This includes toiletries, changes of clothes, electronics, medications and more. It’s recommended every family member have one of these bags—something light that’ll tide you over until the packing and unpacking are complete.
- Anything that’s not yours: During the packing process you’re bound to find things that aren’t yours. Videogames your friend lent you. A book you forgot to return to the library. These things should go back to where they belong and moving is a great excuse to return them. It’s often as easy as saying “hey, I found this while I was packing and I think it’s yours.” Most people (and institutions) are happy to finally get their items back!
In addition to the items mentioned above, there are some things you can and should delegate to the professionals. While these items do need to be packed, trying to pack them yourself isn’t always the best option and could cause more problems than it solves. Here’s what to leave to the professionals:
- Delicate items: Don’t trust yourself wrapping up your wedding China? Worried about properly packing your glass ornaments or collection of delicate figurines? Let a professional packing and moving company handle these items, so you don’t need to sweat while you pack them. Professionals know how to properly wrap, pack and secure delicate items, to take the risk out of relocating them.
- Oversized items: Some items are just too large for you to worry about packing. Pianos are a great example of an item that’s both large and delicate! Other items may need to be crated or packed onto a pallet specially, in which case it’s a job best left to the professionals. Not only will they have the know-how to pack large, oversized and weighty items, they’ll also have the supplies.
Hopefully this list of what NOT to pack before a move helps alleviate some of the frustration, headaches and responsibilities you face before a move. While there’s still the prospect of everything else in your house to pack, at least you don’t have to worry about these few items!