MCLEAN, Va., May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Moving often tops the list of "least favorite activities" but experts agree – you can skip the stress this season. According to a new survey from the Paper and Packaging Board, the majority of Americans (nearly 60 percent) admit that they could have done a better job at organizing the contents of their moving boxes. And while packing woes are plentiful, they're also 100 percent preventable.
"After 14 years in the moving industry, I've learned just about everything you can do to prepare yourself," said Randy Shacka, president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. "From properly securing your valuables and labeling all box contents to eliminating over-packed boxes that are challenging to carry, you can control the outcome with proper planning."
Approximately 35 million people move each year in the U.S.,1 and the vast majority dislikes the moving/packing process - yet 60 percent opt to handle a move themselves instead of hiring professional movers.
"We forget from move to move what worked best for us," said Joan Sahlgren, public relations director for the Paper and Packaging Board. "Treat your moving boxes as the heroes they are to ensure your household is safely moved from point A to point B. We partnered with TWO MEN AND TRUCK® to take the guesswork out of the equation and empower homeowners to master their next move."
Finding a new residence is hard enough, but with most Americans taking approximately two months to fully unpack (20 percent take up to six months!), organization is critical. Seemingly simple actions like using labels and color-coding or storing contents by room go a long way. Avoid any mystery boxes; label everything and be specific (e.g., small appliances, nonperishable food items, serving utensils or table linens).
One of the biggest mistakes consumers make when preparing for a move is stocking up on the wrong materials. 64 percent of Americans get most of their moving boxes from friends, recycling bins or work. Unfortunately, older boxes aren't as sturdy and may lack helpful features like cutouts for hands, or even top flaps for taping down box contents. If boxes are too large, overfilling makes contents impossible to carry. Heavy items like books and kitchen supplies go in smaller boxes to minimize the risk of damage. Valuables, including breakables like fine china, should be packed in a barrel or dish box. Wardrobe moving boxes are great for any clothing on hangers, whereas suitcases are best for clothing items stored in drawers.
"Having insufficient packing supplies can be a recipe for disaster," said Shacka. "Whatever you're trying to move – mirrors, china, or clothing – there's a box specially designed to keep items safe during transit."
Most people underestimate how many moving boxes they'll actually need. Homes in the 1,500 to 1,999 square footage range often require more than 100 boxes of various sizes. Estimate how many boxes to purchase based on the square footage of your home and this handy box calculator.
Another packing pitfall stems from packing up things you don't need, or never use. 64 percent of Americans wish they had cut down on clutter by donating/selling items in advance of their move. Take inventory. Use the first few moving boxes to stow older clothes, outdated toys or anything you don't plan to use - and donate them to a local charity or shelter. Recycle any items that aren't suitable for donation or are no longer in working condition. Shred and recycle any personal documents or paperwork that you no longer need before filling the remaining boxes.
"Contrary to popular belief, there is a wrong way to pack a box," said Shacka. "Whether it's interlocking the top box flaps, using duct tape to secure contents, or stacking dishes upwards, we've compiled a list of do's and don'ts to eliminate confusion and prevent setbacks."
Don't forget to round up the "essentials" (i.e. anything you'll need immediately like phone chargers and tooth brushes or cleaning supplies) and sentimental items like photo albums and family keepsakes, separately. These boxes should be the last items loaded on the truck so they're unloaded first. Remember, you may be eating out or ordering in for the first few nights, so make sure your box of essentials includes paper plates and disposable utensils. Once the move is complete, break down boxes and store them flat, away from any potential water damage. Consumers can reuse boxes for later donations or creative exploration for the kids.
For more tips on how to pack like a pro, visit www.HowLifeUnfolds.com.
The Paper and Packaging Board establishes and guides promotions designed to slow the decline in paper use and expand demand for paper-based packaging products. Nearly 55 U.S. manufacturers and importers of these products collectively fund the board's efforts, including the "Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds™" campaign.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the largest franchised moving company both in the United States and internationally. Currently there are 330 national locations and 2,534 trucks operating in the U.S.; in total, the company operates more than 350 locations and 2,600 trucks. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has performed more than 5.5 million moves since its inception in 1985. The company has seen consistent monthly growth dating back to December 2009 and more than 57 consecutive months of record growth. Each location is independently owned and operated.
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SOURCE Paper and Packaging Board