Making your first big move out of the house to college, to a new city, or just leaving home, can be exciting. Packing all of your stuff can be daunting or overwhelming, but if you follow this advice from our ninja packing expert, you will be on your way in a snap!
Clean up and out:
- First, go through your stuff – donate, give away, throw away anything that you aren’t going to use when you move… and don’t leave it with your parents either, hehe, cause they don’t need it! It will take longer than you ever thought!
- Get rid of unused or old lotions, soaps, hair products, nail polishes, etc – you should just be taking the stuff you use NOW.
- If you are not moving locally, skip the furniture as it takes too much space and you don’t need the cost of renting a moving truck. Maybe you can squish in a beanbag, but only if there is room at the end. When you get to your new place check out Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for furniture and bigger items-once you know what space you have.
Fill containers, boxes and bags that you are taking with you:
Anything loose is hard to manage… most everything needs to find a storage home before it hits the car.
- Get 4-6 standard size stackable storage containers (about 48 qt/12-gallon clear bins with lids are ideal), plan to stack at least 2 high in the car. For a while, you may be working/living out of these containers depending on your situation.
- 2-4 bins for clothes depending on how much you have
- 1 for bathroom stuff
- 1 for books, electronic gadgets, office stuff, mementos, etc.
- 1-2 for shoes (depending on your shoe size!) and accessories
Look at what type of clothing will you need for the next 2 months and put them in one container. When you get to your new place you can essentially live out of these vs having to dig through several. Your future self will thank you.
For getting more in less space try this:
- Roll T-shirts, shorts
- Fold pants, skirts, dresses, dress shirts, sweaters
- If you have a lot of undergarments …put in shallow baskets – underwear in one, bras in one, socks in one, etc., stack all together in car and then use as drawers in your new place.
- Winter bulky gear doesn’t fit well in containers, use 2 large white bags – coats, hats, gloves, scarves or bulky sweaters
- Extra shoes or boots can go in any nook and cranny in the car.
- Kitchen stuff
1 -2 storage boxes – banana boxes from the grocery store work great… they are a little thicker, they have lids, are just the right size, oh yeah, and they are free!
- Have a blender = fill it up with small kitchen gadgets.
- Anything breakable wrap in newspaper.
- Consider bringing some spices, small storage containers for food & leftovers. You need to start cooking on your own if you aren’t in a college dorm.
- Use pillows or blankets for packing around sensitive or fragile equipment – TV, PC, anything with a screen.
- Bedding: snag a zippered bag from your parents that holds a comforter, then squish and put all the rest of your bedding in the bag to contain it.
Now you are going to pack the rig… the ultimate tetris:
Stack everything so that it can’t move around and you maximize storage space.
You absolutely don’t want to open that hatch or the trunk, or really any of your back-seat doors until you arrive at your destination.
- Put as many containers/boxes on the first level as you can with little to no gaps
- Banana boxes next
- TV and wrapped fragile stuff on top
- Then add the squish-able stuff
- Passenger seat, anything you might need while traveling… suitcase, duffel bag, small cooler with snacks, water, change of clothes/shoes for the travel days
- Emergency stuff: Just in case, pack in a reachable place: first aid kit, emergency roadside tools, toilet paper – you need to know where you are getting your TP early on.
- Last, oddball stuff goes in any spare space. Every nook and cranny!
And Done! Safe travels!
Take a Hike:
You are moving out, so make it easier on yourself by becoming a ninja packer. You will always have more stuff than you could possibly fit in your car and more stuff that you really won’t ever use again. So… start the clean up and out process a month before moving day. Then take 1-2 weeks to gather the storage bins and bags and start putting things into containers so they are ready to go a couple days before you need to leave. Finally, pack your car at least one day before, not the day you’re leaving. Save yourself and your family a lot of stress and hassle. Have a great trip. #adventureawaits