Image from Wikimedia
When I was in college and in my early 20s, I moved often. It was fairly easy then. Not only was my body young and able to take the abuses of carrying heavy items up and down stairs, I had young, strong friends, who were willing to pitch in for no more than beer and pizza.
Sure, a few things were damaged – they always were, but I didn’t care that much. My furniture was mostly hand-me-down and the most valuable possessions I had were my clothes, my books and my music collection.
College is now in the past. I think my furniture, my electronics and my kitchen are finally more valuable than my clothes and about half my book and music collection are digital. Still, if it weren’t for Ninja Movers, I would probably still move much the same way I did in college. Sure, the pickup truck would probably be replaced by a rental truck, but I would still rely on friends and on shoddy packing.
Fortunately, I do have Ninja Movers, but even if I were to move myself, a lot of wisdom can be taken from the pros – and the first is to drop most of your college moving habits:
1. Don’t pack in trash bags – They don’t stack in the truck and they tear.
2. Don’t get boxes from the grocery store – You don’t have to buy boxes from your mover, but you should always use boxes that are in good condition. Grocery store boxes are often water damaged, cut and just banged around.
3. Use the right boxes – Dishes are best packed in dish packs and hanging clothes are best packed in wardrobe boxes. When in doubt, smaller is better.
4. Don’t overpack boxes – Sure, you’ve hired movers, but if you fill a box of rocks, it will still be impossibly difficult to carry and it will likely break. Get out your scale. A box should weight NO MORE than 50 pounds when packed.
5. Wrap your furniture – If you are moving yourself, you can rent moving blankets. They are worth the investment. Make sure that every inch of your furniture is wrapped and tape on the outside of the blankets, to ensure that you won’t have residual tape on your furniture.
So, what are the college habits you can keep?
1. Move plants yourself – Lay the in boxes and move them in your car. Movers can move them (if you aren’t leaving the state), but I just feel better having them with me.
2. To save money, move pictures and electronics yourself – Movers will be happy to move pictures and electronics for you and if you have valuable art work, I still suggest that they are properly packed, but for a standard framed poster or for a not-so-valuable piece of art work, face to face between the back and front seat of your car is usually sufficient. For extra protection, wrap them in blankets or sheets and slip a piece of cardboard between them. Electronics, like plants, can ride on car seats in boxes.
3. Have a packing party – The reward might have to be a better quality pizza and beer, but friends are still great resources. Just make sure they pack carefully and that every breakable item is well-wrapped in paper.
Or, of course, you can drop all of your college moving habits and hire someone to do all the hard work.