How to Pack Light When Moving Across the Country

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Over the years, people tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. And I mean a lot. That’s perfectly fine if you live in the same place your entire life, but when it comes time to move, suddenly all those cherished possessions feel more like a pain in the neck.

Trying to transport your belongings all the way across the country only makes it worse. For people moving from New York to California, for example, getting everything they own to their new Woodland apartments could very well cost more money than what they’re paying on their lease!

Need some help getting ready for the big move? Here are some valuable tips to ensure the things you own don’t own you…

If You Don’t Need It, Ditch It

The biggest tip for packing light is to only pack the things that you actually need or use. Let’s face it, most of us keep things in our houses for years without doing anything with them. We keep telling ourselves that will change, but most of the time, it doesn’t. And so we end up carting around tons of dead weight throughout our lives.

If you’re moving, now is the perfect time to take stock of things and decide if you really need to keep some of this stuff around. If you’ve had it for years and never made use of it, chances are you never will. You’re better off donating or selling it than trying to make room for it in your moving van.

You Don’t Have to Use Boxes

Want to know a great secret for maximizing the space you have? Not everything has to go into a cardboard box. In fact, a lot of items, such as clothes, bath towels, jewelry, or canned foods, can stay right where they are, such as in your dresser drawers or a standing cabinet.

If you’re bringing that furniture with you already, take advantage of it. Not only can you keep everything right where it is, but you can also use any extra space to store other miscellaneous items, such as picture frames, toiletries, books, or other belongings.

Use Clothes as Bags/Insulation

Going off that last tip, here’s a related one: soft clothing items can double as insulation for fragile objects. Why stuff a box full of foam packing peanuts or wrap your possessions in old newspaper when you can achieve the same goal with a few thick winter sweaters?

Similarly, small garments like socks or gloves can be used as miniature carrying pouches for various odds and ends, such as combs, hair clips, medicine bottles, or silverware.

Staying Organized is Overrated

Many people will tell you that it’s important to stay organized when moving, to keep all your kitchen items separate from the bathroom items, to keep all your clothes in boxes different from the ones you keep your home décor in. And, sure, doing that can be helpful for making sure nothing gets left behind or misplaced. But if reducing the physical burden of your move is the main priority, don’t bother.

Instead, use every inch of space you’re given. If you’re packing up all your Christmas decorations in one box and end up with a little bit of extra space left when you’re done, don’t just shrug it off. Squeeze whatever you can in there, even if it doesn’t “belong.”