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Packing and unpacking are two separate, but equally tough, stages of the moving process. However, if you pack smart, you’ll have an easier time unpacking. Here’s how to use one to simplify the other.

It’s okay, you can say it: Moving can be a nightmare.

Somehow, relocating from A to B manages to combine late nights packing and unpacking, heavy lifting, kid upheaval, unfamiliar locations, work stress and logistical headaches into one big, ugly ball of stress – then smacks it down into the middle of the work year. Yay!

The fact that moving is so rough leads many people to shrug and assume there’s nothing to be done. Moving will suck the last drop of your soul no matter what you do, right? Well, not really. In fact, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about packing, unpacking and storing. We know what we’re talking about when we say, there are ways to streamline the process. When it comes to packing and unpacking for your next move, there is a better way. How? Have a look at our best packing tips for moving.

Packing Tips to Make Moving Easier

The goal of this post is to teach you how to use the packing process to make unpacking a breeze. While smart general packing tips still apply, the idea here is that by packing better, you can make unpacking a comparative breeze. (Note that if you’re looking for a timeline and checklist of our best packing tips for moving, we’ve got you covered there as well! You can grab it in the organization section at the bottom of this post!)

Separate Items by Room, Then Purpose, for Easy Packing

Packing is a project, mostly because you have so much stuff to deal with and not even brain space (or living room space) to accommodate the mess. Here’s a simple way to make the packing process much simpler and faster: sort items by room, then by the material. Wait, what? you’re thinking. Material? What does that even mean?

This is a little counterintuitive, but essentially, this technique temporarily suspends the point/use of each item and treats it as a raw material that has a single purpose in the packing process. Think:

  • Wrapping materials: Clothing, towels, bathmats, napkins, tapestries, bedding and other textiles, and if necessary, paper
  • Anchoring objects: Cooking pots, knife blocks, heavy vases, chests and generally weighty objects made of wood or metal that will keep boxes from tipping
  • Organizational tools: Laundry baskets, shoe bins, plant pots and other items with storage space inside

Delicates: Items that need protection