1. De-clutter, donate, sell, throw out before packing begins:
I’ve made the mistake of not doing this for several years, so I finally decided to clean out every inch of my apartment a couple weeks ago. There’s nothing like a move that makes you realize you haven’t worn or used something in years (yet keep moving it from apartment to apartment). I went through each area/room and took inventory of what I needed to throw out, donate or sell. From clothes to accessories, home decor items, along with an embarrassing number of old receipts and general crap to throw out… This process took several hours over a couple nights and weekends, so I’d suggest giving yourself plenty of time to do so (especially if you’re in a space larger than 500 sq ft) and start the clean out a couple weeks before moving.
2. Take everything off the walls:
Last weekend was dedicated to taking all of my art off the walls, curtains, wall mounted storage, etc. Once everything was bare and boring again, I added spackle to fill any holes in the walls. This was also a good opportunity to organize and stack the art around the apartment according to size, so it will make packing much easier.
My favorite spackling method: goes on pink, dries white. Also, my ridiculous (but very effective) spackling tools.
3. Pre-pack small items:
I also didn’t do this in previous moves, so I am starting a new tradition this time around. I picked up a couple boxes of zip-lock baggies, masking tape and a sharpie and went to work. There are plenty of small and breakable items that can easily get buried, lost, broken in the packing and moving process. For example, I took small zip-lock bags into the bathroom and packed up a bunch of tiny things: perfume samples, skin care products, etc. into small bags and labeled the containers where I store them with the masking tape and sharpie. This way, it will be much quicker and easier to pack and unpack and the small, odd items are safely tucked in clear bags that will be added to the moving boxes.
This sounds crazy, but if you’re already paying for movers, you might as well take advantage. I’ve been craigslist hunting and shopping for plenty of furniture and decor for my new balcony and I’ve finally finished getting everything on my list. Rather than waiting until after the move and making a ton of random trips, I’ve kept it all in my place (though it has gotten a bit crowded over the last few weeks) in preparation for the move so everything can go at the same time. This also goes for the random smaller items you’ll need in your new place. An extra curtain rod for the bedroom, etc. The more planning and preparation you can do before packing and moving will make the transition to the new place much smoother.If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen this mess. Fortunately, it looks much more organized and civilized now. And the dining table finally sold!
5. Sort and organize:
For the items I won’t need to use for the week or two before moving, I’ve gathered them all in separate areas of the apartment to make the packing process more efficient. Vases, decorative trays, candlesticks, etc. don’t need to be used the week before moving so I’ve arranged all of the decor/accessory items on my window ledge so they can all be properly wrapped and packed together rather than throwing them in random boxes at the last minute.This is mostly what the apartment looks like right now, sad and bare, but fairly organized.