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Planning Your Packing

Packing your things in a specific order is the number one key that will make or break your moving experience. But ordering your packing is easy you just need a simple chronological guide and a few important tips:

First: Decide what you like the most.Based on what you can spend on relocation and the size of your new home, you likely have to choose what will stay and what will go. A typical American household, says Payne, uses less than 20% of what they own on a regular basis. This 20% should be the focus of what you pack first. To determine your 20%:
- A few months before moving day, purchase a pack of small sticker dots and mark an item with a dot whenever you use it. When you move, only pack the clothes with dots.
- In your closet, tie a piece of ribbon or string around the top of a clothes hanger. When you wear an article of clothing, put it back in the closet on the empty side of the marked hanger. After a few months, you'll know what you wear and what just takes up closet space.
- For your garage or basement, try purchasing different colored storage bins and putting items into them as you use them.

Next: Pack your items like your groceries: heavier things first and lighter items on top.
The empty spaces inside your large pieces of furniture – such as drawers and shelves --can be packed with smaller, odd-shaped items after they're loaded into the van. It's a resourceful way to protect breakable items.

Last: Keep your TV close by 'til the end, warns Payne. "If not for yourself; you'll need it to keep your children occupied when everything else has been packed away."
As a rule, pack last whatever you need to access quickly during your last days at the house, your stay at a hotel, or during travel, such as children's activities (which serve as welcome diversions on the road), items for your pet, and your camera.

Never Part With
Legal documentation. Car titles, insurance policies and marriage certificates are the most difficult items to replace but somehow always the easiest to lose. Never pack them -- but do make copies of them on a portable hard drive. Payne also recommends hand-carrying valuable jewelry and other items of high sentimental or monetary value.

Some Final Tips
Empty all of your trash cans. Payne has seen movers pack full garbage cans into the van -- not a pleasant welcome gift at your new home. Keep your luggage away from the house until you need it; it has the tendency to get packed away as well. Throughout your packing, says Sandy, remember, "Once the van is packed there is no turning back."