Warning super long winded post about organisation! If you're not interested by that kind of thing, skip this one =p It's definitely a topic I really enjoy, as you can tell from the huge wall of text below ;)
If you're into that sort of thing like me, enjoy!
I've been talking about how proud of the organisation system I have instated to make my move as quick and easy as possible so I decided to talk a little more about it here!
My method does require much more time than randomly throwing stuff in multiple boxes, but with a little planning and some patience I'm sure it will be more than worth the trouble.
The system : My system is quite simple actually. It relies on writing down the inventory for each box and numbering the boxes to know exactly what is in each of them. Of course, each box contains items that are related to each other like electronics or kitchen. I have created several such categories which are color coded. For example, blue is electronics, while hot pink is kitchen and forest green is school supplies. The number of each box is written clearly on its side with a marker of the color that represents the category of the items that are within the box.
You can tell right away that these boxed contain kitchen stuff. To know what's inside, simply open up the notebook and look for box #15, for example and tadah! I left one box open on purpose to show the wrapping materials peaking out =D
Am I explaining this right? I feel like this might sound more complicated than it really is =p
Anyway, I bought a small notebook at the dollar store and I write on top of the page the box number, then the category, make a mark with the marker of the color that represents the type of items and a list of its content.
My notebook, markers to identify boxes, and all kinds of stickers to identify bags
A good proof, in my opinion, that this system is effective is, I've started packing about three weeks ago. I have packed away stuff I did not think I would need, but some of it I actually realised I could use at some point. Well it never took me more than a minute or two to retrace what I was looking for within a pile of over twelve boxes. I think that's pretty efficient =D
I stored all my cleaning products in the laundry basket rather than storing it empty! It think it's a pretty neat idea! Plus, if anything spills, it's easy to clean. Another bonus, all of your products are easy to access until the very last moment and directly when you get to your new place.
I have a couple other tips for a smooth packing experience. I've picked them up from the multiple moves I went through since I've moved on my own (only three actually, but still, you pick up tips along the way =D )
1) Keep all of the magazines, catalogues, flyers, journals and bubble wrap you come across during the couple of weeks before your move and stach them somewhere. These will come in handy for protecting breakable things such as dishes or decorations. You can also use rags, towels, sheets and oven mits in between layers of objects that are fragile for extra padding.
2) Use reusable grocery bags for clothes, fabric, cushions, stuffed animals or anything light, it's unnecessary to use boxes. They usually take up quite a bit a space and since they are not heavy, filling a large amount of boxes with them is really just a waste . To identify these and do their inventory, I like using colored stickers to differentiate them from one another. For example, one will be the green heart bag and the other the pink happy face bag. I know it sounds silly, but it works! You can also buy reusable bags from the dollar store that have different patterns on them. They are easy to identify and inventory. I have a couple, such as ones with butterflies, kiwis, grapes and so on. The butterfly bag also has a zipper on it which is very convenient to keep its content from spilling over. I've put all my winter accessories in there such as hats, scarves and gloves.
3) Also, I've heard of many people actually buying their cardboard boxes from moving compagnies. If you have absolutely no way of getting boxes, it's an option, but an expensive one. I prefer to ask convenience stores and drugstores' employees for boxes they would like to get rid of. I got all of my boxes this way!
4) If possible, whenever you buy a large piece of equipment like a television, a printer or even a microwave, it's a good idea to keep the box so that you can use it for your next move!
5) Finally a little tip for those who are moving out and are getting a new apartment for the first time. Start slow, purchase inexpensive small kitchen appliances, small furniture, dinnerware and cooking utensils at inexpensive stores like Dollorama (I'm not kidding, all my utensils, shower curtains, dish towels, washcloths etc, are from there) and Walmart. They might not be the best quality, but they've lasted me over four years now! It's a great way to save money when you are begining (or even if you, like me, love to save a couple dollars =D).