12 Simple Packing Tips Every New Yorker Needs to Know

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New York waits for no person, which is why when your moving day rolls around, you need to be ready to move—no exceptions. The best way to prep for the big day and make sure you’re ready to go is to pack early and pack well. That means more than just shoving stuff into boxes! A poor packing job can actually cost you precious time during a move.

Packing doesn’t need to be a source of anxiety or a frustrating experience. All it takes is a few good tips to make the packing process efficient and seamless. Here are 12 simple packing tips every New Yorker needs to know, brought to you by professional packers and movers who know a thing or two about how to make relocating simple. Follow these 12 tips and you’ll be ready to go when moving day rolls around.

  1. Label every box. Make sure every box has a label to show what room it’s going to and some way to identify what’s in it. “Kitchen” is a good start; “Kitchen Pots and Pans” is better. Don’t guess when it comes to boxes—label and know for sure.
  2. Pack by room. Don’t mingle items from different rooms in a single box. Stick to one room at a time to keep your boxes organized. It’ll help you pack and unpack quicker, with a more natural flow to the process.
  3. Purge before you pack. Why pack what you don’t need to? Go through your stuff and toss out anything that’s not making the journey to your new abode. If it’s junk, chuck it in the trash. If you’re done with it, donate it. Parse down your items to streamline the move.
  4. Pre-pack your stuff. If you wait until moving day to pack or even the day before, you’re going to have a panic attack trying to box everything up. Start packing far in advance of your moving day, starting with the stuff you likely won’t need anytime soon.
  5. Use the right boxes. Make sure you’re using boxes designed specifically for moving. Not every cardboard box is built to support the weight of a full load. Check in with a moving and storage company for the right supplies.
  6. Overestimate on supplies. How many boxes do you think you’ll need? Add five or six extra. Already have a roll of packing tape? Get another one. Moving can take more supplies than it seems on the surface, so buy extra and make sure you’re stocked.
  7. Watch the weight. Don’t pack boxes as full as you can for the sake of fitting as much in there as possible! Pack to a certain weight threshold (usually 25-35lbs) and fill any remaining space with packing fill. It’s not worth throwing your back out for fewer boxes.
  8. Separate delicate items. Before you start packing, identify the delicate and fragile items in your home and pack those items first, in their own boxes or together, separate from general items. Give these items the special packing attention they deserve right away.
  9. Pack a bag. Before you pack all your worldly possessions into boxes, pack a backpack or duffle bag with essentials: charging cables, medication, money, and a change of clothes. If anything happens with your move, this bag ensures you’re covered.
  10. Identify what you can’t move. There are some things you can’t (or shouldn’t) move by yourself. Identify these items early and make arrangements to have them relocated by professionals on the day of your move or before.
  11. Rent a storage unit. New York is short on space, which means you probably don’t have room for everything all at one time. If you’re trying to lighten the load on your relocation, consider self-storage to house items you don’t need right away or want to move early.
  12. You can hire pros! Most people forget that they can hire professionals to help them pack! Instead of spending days and weekends packing, professionals can do it in a matter of hours and make sure it’s done the right way. Talk about stress relief!

Most of these tips are common sense, but they’re worth remembering in the middle of your move. When stress and anxiety are high and you’re worried about packing, lean on these tips to make things easier and less stressful. And remember, packing things the right way makes the unpacking process easier! You feel less anxiety as you settle into your new living space if the boxes you’re unpacking are organized, neat and in good condition after the move.

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