Make a list of all the rooms that need to be packed a month or two ahead of time. Schedule 3-5 days per room — that way all the contents in each room will be packed together and you will avoid the last minute rush to throw everything in boxes.
Start by getting rid of things you don’t want to move. Consider having a garage sale to get rid of items you no longer need, or donate them to your favorite charity.
Separate each room into two zones: Items you can’t bear to part with but that you won’t need immediately in your new home and items you’ll want to unpack and put away quickly in your new home.
Label your boxes so that the movers will know where they go.
Secure the bottom of every box properly with packing tape.
Pack heavy items, such as books, in small boxes. Light items, like linens, can go in larger boxes. This way, your boxes won’t be too heavy, and they’re less likely to break.
Pack electronics, computers, and small appliances in their original boxes if possible. If you don’t have the original boxes, place each item in a heavy plastic bag and double box it. Fill the boxes with packing peanuts.
Label computer cables before disconnecting them to make assembly easier later on.
Keep items you’ll want immediately — first aid kits, paper plates and plastic utensils, your child’s favorite toys, a few changes of clothing — in a separate location. Pack them in suitcases or boxes clearly marked, “DO NOT MOVE.”
Use wardrobe boxes for good clothing and draperies.
Pack clothing as you wash it. Do a load and take it from the washer to the boxes. When you move all you have to do is place the folded clothes in drawers and you won’t start with a pile of laundry.
Pack dishes and glassware in plain newsprint. Use old towels as cushions in the box. Stand glassware up instead of lying it down on its side.
Do not pack hazardous waste or flammable items such as gasoline or paint thinners. Dispose of them properly before you move.