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The Art of Managing Small Items During a Long-Distance Move


A cabinet with decorations on it and a mirror on the wall

Moving can be overwhelming, especially when sorting through years of accumulated belongings. Among the most deceptive are the small items—those odds and ends that usually escape our attention but can cause a lot of hassle if not correctly managed during a move. Learn how to pack these overlooked items efficiently and when it might be better just to let them go.

Why Small Items Matter in a Move

Small items can easily be overlooked when you’re caught up in the bigger tasks of moving, like packing furniture or appliances. But their size can be deceptive; they can collectively add significant weight and take up precious space in moving boxes or trucks. 

The Weight and Cost Factor

When you’re moving across state lines or to a new country, every ounce counts in terms of space and cost. Transport companies often charge based on the weight of your belongings. That’s why it’s crucial to consider the weight impact of your small items.

To Keep or Not to Keep?

Deciding which small items to take with you during a move can be a daunting task. We often hold onto things for sentimental reasons or under the assumption that they will be helpful someday. 

The first step is acknowledging that not everything you own needs to come with you, especially for a long-distance move where space is at a premium. Be prepared to make some tough decisions. 

Take some time to sit down and go through your items one by one. It might help to imagine your new living space. Will that item fit into this envisioned future? Will it be useful or meaningful in your next chapter?

Sorting and Prioritizing

The most effective approach here is a systematic one. Start by categorizing your items into three major categories: ‘essentials,’ ‘sentimental,’ and ‘expendable.’ 

Essentials are items you cannot live without or need immediately upon moving, like medication or important documents. Sentimental items, such as keepsakes and photos, have emotional value but may not be immediately helpful. 

Expendable items are things you last used long ago and can easily replace or live without. Prioritizing in this manner will make deciding what gets packed and left behind easier.

When to Let Go

Saying goodbye to items you’ve had for years is undoubtedly the most challenging part of this process. It’s not just about the physical object but the memories and emotions tied to it. But remember, removing an item doesn’t mean you’re losing the memory. 

Photos of items can be a great way to keep the memory without the clutter. Plus, letting go allows you to start fresh in your new home, only surrounded by things that add value to your life.

Packing Small Items Efficiently

Once you’ve sifted through your belongings and decided what’s making the trip, you’re faced with packing these small items efficiently. If you’re not careful, these items can be scattered, lost, or damaged, adding unnecessary stress to your move.

Choose the Right Containers

Choosing appropriate containers for your small items is crucial. Use small to medium-sized boxes for these items, as larger boxes can become too heavy and might break. 

Consider using plastic bins with sealable lids for items needing extra moisture or dirt protection. Use compartmentalized boxes or organizers for tiny things like screws or jewelry.

Wrap Fragile Items

Just because an item is small doesn’t mean it’s durable. Fragile items like china, glassware, or delicate trinkets should be wrapped individually in bubble wrap or packing paper. 

Once wrapped, these items should be placed in a box with ample cushioning material on the bottom, top, and sides to ensure they’re snug and secure.

Fill in the Gaps

When you’re packing larger items into boxes, there will invariably be empty spaces or ‘gaps’ left over. These gaps are an excellent place to store your smaller items, but make sure to wrap them adequately if they’re fragile. 

Filling in gaps makes efficient use of space and acts as additional padding, helping to keep all the items in the box secure during the move.

Secure Your Belongings with Professional Help

Entrusting your belongings to a moving service can relieve a significant burden from your shoulders. However, you must choose a service that pays attention to detail and carefully treats your small items.

Choose Long-Distance Movers for a Smooth Experience

For those looking for comprehensive services that include meticulous attention to small items, long-distance moving services are an excellent choice. Many professional companies offer packing services to ensure even your smallest valuables are well-protected. Plus, they offer moving insurance for added peace of mind.

As you prepare for your long-distance move, understanding how to manage small items can help you save money and reduce stress. It’s an opportunity to declutter and make your new home a more organized space. And for a hassle-free moving experience, professional services like those offered by long-distance movers can be invaluable.