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10 packing hacks to streamline your move

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Moving brings a mix of emotions. Excitement about living in a new home is paired with angst and anxiety about the actual moving process. The most dreaded task is the one that takes the most time: packing.

The boxes, the bubble wrap, the labels – oh my! Packing can be chaotic and overwhelming. Fortunately the experts at Penske Truck Rental have some time-tested tips to help anyone make packing for a move fast, easy and efficient.

Creative packing supplies: Boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap are essential, but by creatively using what you already have, you’ll cut costs and waste. Try blankets and bedding instead of bubble wrap. Socks wrapped around glasses and stemware provide excellent protection. Decorative baskets can be used as a substitute for boxes when it comes to light goods.

Label wisely: Mark each box with your name, information about its contents and the room it comes from. Numbering boxes and adding color coding helps keep everything organized. When you arrive at your new home, sort boxes by putting them directly into the rooms where they belong.

Pack strategically: Start with the rooms you use the least before packing the most frequented rooms. What’s more, use a clear container for supplies you’ll need immediately upon arrival. You can quickly see the contents, plus this container is easy to pull among a sea of brown boxes.

Avoid bathroom-box blunders: Toiletries can easily break or spill. For powder cosmetics, place a cotton ball inside the container to prevent cracking. For bottles, remove caps, add plastic wrap and replace caps for a more protective seal.

Move appliances with care: Plan ahead when moving appliances. Check the owner’s manuals for special moving instructions. For refrigerators, defrost at least one day before a move and wipe liquid to avoid a wet, smelly mess.

Plan ahead: Reserve a rental truck at least two weeks in advance. A 12- or 16-foot truck is ideal for moving a few large items or the contents of a small apartment. Moving a larger home will require a bigger truck. For guidance with truck selection, visit www.PenskeTruckRental.com.

Pack moving trucks efficiently: Start with heavy items first and strive to distribute weight evenly to prevent shifting. If possible, place couches on their ends rather than horizontally to save space. When stacking boxes, create walls and tie down to secure.

Pack snacks: After spending days packing you’ll want to hit the road and get to your new house without unnecessary breaks. By packing drinks and snacks, you won’t need to stop when hunger strikes.

Keep important documents close: Keep important documents, credit cards and your driver’s license in a bag inside the truck. When you stop for a break, make sure to lock this bag in the center console or glove box.

Consolidate: Finally, remember the less you have to pack, the less time it will take so condense by getting rid of unused items. The general rule is if you haven’t used it within a year, it’s time for it to go. Have a yard sale, donate goods or give to friends (give first dibs to those pals helping you on move day).