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Moving requires a ton of planning and organization. The most time-consuming and frustrating part of this process is also the most important: packing. People often have too much to pack, have furniture or delicate items break during the move, or completely lose some of their possessions during moves, which becomes even more of an issue if you as move often as those in the military do. To avoid these moving mishaps, it’s good to have a few trusty tips in your arsenal for when it’s time to pack up again and move to your next home. 

Purge things you don’t need

We all have closets that grow  in size over the years, trinkets that add  up on our mantels/bookshelves/coffee tables, and more than a few superfluous items clogging our junk drawers. Before you pack anything, do yourself (and your movers) a favor and get rid of stuff ! Clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear anymore, items you never use but hang onto ‘just because’ – packing for a move is the perfect time to streamline your belongings. The less you have, the less there is to pack. Plus, you can donate clothing, small appliances, and even décor to a local charity or secondhand shop and reduce your waste while supporting a good cause. 

Use creative methods for packing household items  

Boxes  (which you can get for free from grocery stores if you ask at the customer service desk) are a staple of any move , but they’re clumsy, wasteful, and take up a ton of room. You’ll probably still need at least a few of them, but you there are some handy alternatives you can utilize.  Use laundry baskets and suitcases as box substitutes, especially for clothing and linens. Clothing on hangers can be a tedious nightmare to move, so instead of taking everything out of your closet for folding and packing keep them right where they are. While in the closet, encase hanging clothes in a trash bag and fasten at the base of the hook. This way, you can carry bundles of clothes by the hanger and if any slip off, they’ll be secured in the trash bag. 

Keep loose or breakable items secure and clean

Use plastic wrap to secure the lids of toiletries before transit to keep your soaps and lotions from spilling. You can also use the plastic wrap for silverware trays, and move them directly into a box for easy transfer into their  new drawer. Use rubber bands to secure the lids of pots and pans, and fill them with spices or other small kitchen items as a two-in-one storage solution (and a way to cut down even more on boxes). This way, everything will stay together and protected until  you’re ready to set up your kitchen. 

Stay organized on moving day

You’ve packed everything up and now it’s time to hit the road. Make sure you label all of your boxes clearly so you know what goes where. When you first get to your new home, place each box in the room it belongs to avoid back-and-forth trips. You’ll be exhausted enough. Unpack room-by-room (prioritizing somewhere to sleep and supplies for meals) and have a separate bag for toiletries so you won’t have to dig through boxes just to take a shower in the morning. 

With a few easy steps, you can make the moving process simpler and far more efficient. Learning as you go can be frustrating, but these time-saving tips will soon be second nature and you’ll be a packing pro. Plus, as the military community knows, the more often you move, the easier it gets!