Pack a Punch: These Box Tips Made a Long Distance Move Effortless

November 12, 2018

After living in the New York area for more than 18 years, Michelle Horn had just three weeks to pack up and get across the country for a new job in Los Angeles. “I had never moved that far before and didn’t realize the window of time it takes to get your stuff across the country,” Michelle says. “I accepted the job offer and quickly found an apartment.”

The last few days in her small Jersey City apartment were frantic. She purged old belongings and filled a temporary suitcase for in-between moves. She stuffed everything she could fit into boxes, sealed with a tape gun, the cushion of some bubble wrap and a label with where each box should end up.

The night before the movers were scheduled to arrive, she and a friend stayed up until 4 a.m. labeling boxes. By the time they finished, once-organized labels had devolved from room names into artistic sketches. “By that time, we were delirious,” she says with a laugh. “When I arrived in L.A. and I pulled out the boxes, I realized we were so tired that we had drawn doodles and pictures all over the sides of the boxes!” Despite the time crunch, they made it happen.

The divided boxes for dishes and glass had a layer of padding to protect the precious items. She also used various box sizes to separate clothes, books and other possessions. Michelle turned the mountain of moving boxes into a successful cross-country move.

Even if you only have couple weeks for your big move (like Michelle), you can still pack the boxes the right way. Here’s how: 

Select the Right Size: Lifting boxes shouldn’t be a team effort. Fill large boxes with light items and heavier pieces in small boxes.

Prep for Packing: Use small layers of newspaper or spare clothes as padding to make boxes more stable while moving.

Learn to Label: Make unpacking that much easier with labels—or in Michelle’s case, pictures—that indicate where each box should end up.

Protect Fragile Items: Whether it’s bubble wrap or boxes with dividers—pick the right boxes to pack your possessions.

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