Los Angeles Home Stager’s Tips For a Smooth Move
I spent the morning with Ram Katalan, owner of Northstar Moving in Chatsworth, CA. Ram is a great guy. I first heard about him in Fortune Small Business Magazine last year. Here is a link to the article Moving On Up. He invited me to his moving and storage warehouse and boy was I impressed. Even though it’s a warehouse, the place is spotless and neat as a pin. I’ve been recommending him to my home staging clients and real estate agents ever since we first met.
As a home stager in Los Angeles, I frequently help my clients pack before moving. Ram taught me a lot about proper packing techniques. One way to save money when you move is to pack your own boxes. Here are some cost conscious tips for packing so your possessions arrive at your destination in one piece:
- Use good quality cellophane or plastic packing tape. Don’t use masking tape. It’s not strong enough. If you have a lot of boxes to pack, a tape gun will make the job go faster.
- Tape the bottom of every box with 2 or 3 strips of tape that wrap up the side. Tape the top closed the same way. Run two strips of tape along each side of the opening and one strip down the center. Don’t use flimsy boxes if you want your stuff to arrive undamaged.
- Make sure boxes containing fragile items are clearly marked on top and sides.
- Use small boxes for heavier items like books or your cast iron skillet collection; larger boxes for light weight or bulky items, like a down comforter.
- Most professional movers use unprinted newsprint to wrap items, not bubble wrap. White newsprint is inexpensive and recycleable. Ink from printed newspaper may soil or discolor wrapped items. Use the unprinted paper available from most movers, truck rental companies and box stores.
- Wrap each item individually. Wrap small items then wrap the wrapped item with tape. You will be less likely to throw it away when you are unwrapping. If a fragile item has a lid, wrap the lid separately then taped the wrapped items together so they don’t get separated.
- Stuff top, bottom and sides of boxes with crumbled paper. This helps prevent the contents from shifting, rubbing and possible breakage.
- Fill boxes full to prevent boxes from being crushed. Don’t pack fragile items too tightly. Stuff the empty spaces with loosely crumbled paper.
- Label the contents of every box and the room where it belongs on top and at least one side. Label any boxes/items “STORAGE” that will go directly to storage, but also label what the box contains and what room it belongs to. The more information you put on the box (for example, master bedroom-brown dresser-top drawer) the easier it will be to unpack and find things.
When you’re done moving don’t throw your moving boxes away. Many moving companies will pick them up and reuse them or you can sell them on Craigs List. Did you know many moving companies and truck rental companies also sell used moving boxes at a discount? That’s another tip for saving money and keeping some moving boxes out of the landfill.