Here in Oregon, we are deep in moving season, which is too bad. Moving, of course, is the most awful thing in the world. Moving is worse than giving birth to a foal out of your butt (I imagine).
But there are some ways in which packing can be less painful. As someone who has moved way, way more than anyone would ever want to, I have picked some things up.
1. Purge your shit. I’m serious, especially if your move is a long (read:expensive) one. Pick up each item you own and ask yourself: If I left this somewhere while on vacation, would I pay the hotel to ship it back to me? Or is it easily replaced? Would I even care it were gone? If not, give it away.
2. Get nice boxes. Not free ones from the liquor store. Yes, it feels like boxes should be free. Good, sturdy, boxes that are committed to the task should be free to all, like air, or public parks. But they’re not. Just pony up and buy a few good, big boxes.
3. If you are not organized, ask a super-organized friend to help you. Organized people will remind you that jewelry doesn’t go in the same box as wrenches. Organized people can look at a moving van and divine what needs to go where. Organized people tell you to keep packing when you start crying and announce your intentions to just become homeless rather than cope with any more moving.
4. Put super heavy things in those liquor store boxes. Do not fill a big box with books. That is the classic rookie mistake.
5. If an item holds something in your apartment, it should hold something during the move. The idea here is to minimize empty space, so this is especially crucial for non-collapsible things. Baskets can hold pillowcases or towels. Tote bags can hold other tote bags. Pots hold other pots, plus bundles of silverware held together with strips of packing tape. In fact, anything very sturdy is a great vessel for breakable things (if the breakable thing has been wrapped in like, a million pieces of newspaper).
6. If a larger item needs a smaller item to function, tape them to one another. TV remotes get taped on to the TV (not the screen. You know.) Once you have disassembled your IKEA furniture, the screws get taped to the underside. These items are going through enough stress already. No need to separate them from one another and add to it.
7. Anything soft goes in big garbage bags. Non-delicate clothes, bedding, towels, curtains — all get rolled up, then put in bags, which are then kneeled upon and compressed into these dense nuggets. The nuggets, incidentally, provide great cushioning in the truck.