Home Packing Tips

Over the past week or so I have begun to pack our household belongings in order to move back to the west coast. Call me crazy but I am the type of person who loves to pack. I like to make sure that everything is done efficiently which is why I have done my research and figured out the best possible way to pack our things. I’ll share with you some of the tips that I’ve learned along the way, incase you are in need of some moving/packing help.

First step- Drop the dead weight

Get rid of anything you don’t want or need! It’s absolutely insane how much we have acquired since living here but that’s only because this was our first time living in our own place so there were a lot of little and big things that we needed. Thankfully I got rid of about half of my wardrobe and a ton of other stuff before we moved out here so I didn’t have a whole lot to get rid of this time around.

Step 2- Start acquiring inexpensive packing supplies

We are currently living in a huge apartment complex and luckily for us, there are often multiple boxes piled up near the recycle bin. So I’ve been doing a bit of dumpster diving (not literally) and picking up free, used boxes. I wish I could say that I’m not proud of it- but I totally am.  If you don’t live in an apartment, try checking the free section of craigslist or check behind any large grocery stores to see if they have piles of boxes in the back, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you took a few.

I also bought some boxes from Home Depot to carry the larger/heavier items because they sell heavy duty boxes.

But before you head over to Home Depot for boxes or anything else, stop by the dollar tree.  I was able to buy packing tape, bubble wrap, tissue paper, large protective envelopes, and a pack of foam plates for a dollar each! The tape isn’t that big so I bought two and the bubble wrap comes in small rolls but it’s still a good deal. The tissue paper (like the kind for presents) came in a reasonably sized pack and I was able to use it to wrap delicate/breakable items. I used the protective envelopes for picture frames and canvases and the foam plates went in between my plates to keep them from breaking.

The dollar tree also sells sharpies, trash bags and other things that could be potentially useful for packing purposes.

Glad Press’n Seal is a great way to store necklaces without them turning into a huge tangled mess. I also used it for my cooking utensils since they wouldn’t fit in the larger ziplock bags.

   

  

  

I bought a roll of stretch wrap from home depot for my dresser and a mattress bag as well.

I also put the billions of plastic grocery bags that we had lying around to use and threw them into boxes as extra padding.

Step 3- Start packing

This timeline is based on the amount of belongings in my apartment, so I would suggest starting a couple of weeks earlier if you have a larger home or more people in your family.

Four weeks out

-Start collecting packing supplies and begin packing things that you won’t need on a daily basis.

I started with the kitchen because thats where we have the most stuff, a lot of which is not used regularly. I packed everything except my pots, pans, silverware, knives, cutting board, cooking utensils, baking sheets, oven mitt, microwave, coffee maker, a couple of coffee cups, some tupperware, a mixing bowl and my spices/cooking necessities.

TIP- when you do pack the rest of your kitchen, use your larger pots and slow cooker to store all of your spices.

-You can also begin to pack the things that are hanging on the walls. Any photographs, artwork, mirrors, chalk boards etc.. Label each box with which room it belongs in and even list what is in the box incase you need to find something specific during the chaotic process of moving in. I’ve heard of some people using a color system to do this by using a different color tape for each room. But for me, labeling the box with which room it belongs in (in large letters with a sharpie) was good enough.

I used the blankets from my living room to pack the picture frames and anything else from the walls that were breakable. I left one blanket out incase we needed it and used it later as padding for other breakable items.

Three weeks out

– Pack books, out of season clothing, linens, towels, office supplies, random decor, movies, and any personal items that you won’t be needing such as jewelry, nail polish and hats/accessories.

I will be flying home while the rest of our belongings are put in storage so I’ve started to plan what kinds of things I will need to set aside for my baggage. I’ll need to fit everything I possibly can into two medium luggage bags (to live off of for a month or more) so I have decided to set a box aside in order to send larger things such as my dogs’ bed, food bowls, some shoes and maybe clothes if they can fit.

Two weeks out

-Start packing up the clothes that you won’t need. If you’re flying like I am, make sure the clothes you leave out will all fit into your suitcase along with your toiletries, shoes and whatever else you will need.

-For clothes on hangers, you can leave them hanging and just cover them with a trash bag then use string or a zip tie to secure the top of the hangers so that they don’t fall throughout the bag. Some places sell wardrobe boxes which are basically just tall cardboard boxes with a pole through the top to hang clothes, a good option for people who don’t want their clothes to get wrinkled.

I got tall pink, scented trash bags from the dollar tree. I figured they would keep my clothes smelling fresh, but these particular bags are ultra thin and can tear very easily so I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. I used two bags for each bunch of clothes, one over the top and one underneath- tied to the top bag on each side. Although these weren’t the best quality, there are other brands of scented trash bags that are probably larger and much more sturdy, so just check at your local grocery store.

One week out

-Pretty much start to pack everything else leaving out anything that you know you will need to use up until the actual moving day. For instance, I will probably leave my coffee maker out (because packing is no fun without caffeine) till the last day with our mattress and pillows as well as whatever I will be taking on the plane with me

Make sure you leave space in your mode of transportation for your mattress and any other household items that remain inside.

-Pack a box full of things that you will need right away once you get to your new home. For example: some cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, screw drivers and other basic tools, dish/hand soap, clorox wipes (they’re the best), and maybe a portable speaker for some move-in day jams. Label this the box of necessities.

Step 4- Load it up

-Whether you’re using a moving truck, a Uhaul or a POD like we are, if you’re moving the boxes on your own you’ll want to make sure they are secure. Having a moving dolly is super helpful for larger items, but as long as you have enough people helping it should go pretty quickly. I plan on asking all of Blake’s friends to help out but I’ll be sure to provide lot’s of pizza and beer in return for their manual labor.

We haven’t gotten to this part of the process yet but I will definitely want to make sure that our breakable items are stored in a way that will keep them safe. I think of it as a game of tetris, each box should fit securely alongside all of the other boxes.

-Make sure you load the box full of necessities last so that it’s easy to get to.

OH AND make sure that the inside of whatever you’re using to move is clean!!! The Uhaul that we used to move out here was so filthy that my white dresser was a mess by the time we got here. Looking back I should have wiped it down before we loaded it up.

 

Good Luck and Safe Travels!

How to live a life with less regrets

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life was perfect? Well unfortunately it isn’t. Bad things happen, people can be cruel and sometimes we make bad decisions. Sometimes we lose loved ones and sometimes we feel helpless. Sometimes addiction takes over, or depression, or even greed. Life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes we let our anger get the best of us and we make decisions that we wish we could take back, but we can’t because that’s just not how life works.

I know it’s impossible to live a life without a few regrets but I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the ways that I believe could help you to live a life with less regrets:

Believe in yourself

If you have dreams or goals for your future you have to believe that you can achieve them. Attitude is everything. Blake, for example, has never been much of a scholar but he set a goal to do something that he knew would be a challenge for him and has maintained a positive attitude about it from the start. And guess what? He is doing an amazing job. He’s smarter than he knows, and his positive attitude and determination are what will get him through this insanely tough medical program. Do things that scare you, travel to the places you want to see, push yourself to be better than you were yesterday and always be your own biggest fan.

Believe in others

You never know what other people are dealing with, whether it’s a personal issue at home or a problem with mental health, there are so many things that could be going on beneath the surface, of which you are unaware. My mantra in life is to just be nice. A smile or a small compliment could save a life. The world needs more NICE. Always encourage your loved ones to follow their dreams and passions no matter what. You never know who’s life will change just because you were the only one who believed that they could accomplish their goals.

Say “I Love you”

You never know when you will be hugging someone for the last time. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Life takes unexpected turns all of the time and you never want to live with the regret of forgetting to tell someone that you love them while you still have the chance. P.S. To my friends and family who are reading this.. I LOVE YOU ALL! 🙂

Don’t hold grudges

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned” -Buddah

When you’re holding grudges, ultimately you’re only hurting yourself. Allowing yourself to dwell on negative thoughts about someone is not good for your own mental health. Learning to forgive and forget is the biggest blessing of all. Sometimes we get so angry about things that won’t even matter to us a few years down the road. Always choose to be the bigger person and mend your relationships. Even if you don’t want to maintain a close relationship with the person anymore, it’s still important to stay cordial.

Love people beyond their flaws

It’s never okay to make fun of someone because of their appearance. Whether it is someone who’s struggling with acne or weight gain or someone who looks different because they were born with something that made them that way. All humans are God’s beautiful creations and what defines them is how big their heart is, not what they look like. Some people struggle with addiction and that makes them hard to love at times, but it’s important to be supportive of people and encourage them to do better. Always PRAY for people when they are having a hard time in life, even if they are hurting you, prayer is power and sometimes it’s all you can do to help.

When you’re having a bad day, don’t take it out on other people

We’ve all been there. It’s 2:00 and we haven’t had lunch yet, all of a sudden we are hungry and angry, AKA HANGRY. Working in a restaurant as a hostess made me realize how angry people can get when they need to fill their bellies with food. I have had multiple people get upset with me and throw fits because their table wasn’t going to be ready when they wanted it to be. Grown adults wearing suits would act like children, one woman even threw a paper menu at me when she learned that it would be 20 minutes before a table was ready. As a kid I would get cranky and throw fits, I had no idea why I was so mad but my mom always knew that it was either because I was hungry or tired. Not much changes with age. We still get mad when we are tired and hungry but most of us know how to control our emotions much better than when we were children. I knew that people were only mad because they needed to reenergize and fuel their bodies with food so I didn’t take it personally. But there are tons of other circumstances which may cause you to have a bad attitude. No matter what kind of horrible day you’re having, try not to take it out on other people. You could potentially ruin someones day or diminish their self-esteem with your mean comments and that’s not okay.

Have fun!

Do the things that make you smile. Go to disneyland, take a vacation, spend time with family and friends and go on adventures. Don’t think about the money you’ll be spending, think about the memories you’ll be making. You can always make more money but you can never re-live the same happy moments. Turn mundane tasks into fun games. Go out with your friends every chance you get and don’t miss out on the precious time you have with your family during the holidays.

Be the change you wish to see in the world and you will live a life with less regrets. Always be nice and work hard so that you can do the things that make you happy! Follow your dreams and live a life that you love.

I would like to dedicate this post to my late friend Kirk Allen Mirkamali. An ambitious, light-hearted, solider who knew how to accomplish goals and live a life full of adventure. Kirk, you were taken too soon, but I have no doubts that you’re looking down on your friends and family with a smile on your face…. because now you know how many hearts you’ve touched with your kindness. Prayers for your family and your girlfriends family as well. Rest peacefully sweet friend.

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