In the world of moves, a small move seems relatively easy. Whether you’re packing up a one-room apartment or you’re just moving down the block, planning a small move seems so much easier than planning a big move.
But don’t let it fool you. The truth is, a small move can be a lot harder than you think.
Costs Can Creep Up
It’s true that small moves are almost always more affordable than large moves, but that doesn’t mean costs can’t creep up. Buying moving supplies, like boxes and bubble wrap, can really add up. So can shipping costs.
Most small moves don’t take up an entire truck, and yet, many movers foot the bill for a big moving truck they don’t need.
Instead of being taken by surprise at the cost of a small move, do some planning ahead so you can keep costs low. Look for free boxes and use materials like newspapers you already have in lieu of bubble wrap.
Take the time to find a mover that offers customizable small move services too. They will let you pack on your own, and they can provide you with special prices on a smaller move so you can save even more.
Deadlines Can Creep Up Too
It’s easy to feel like you have all the time in the world when you’re planning a small move. It doesn’t seem necessary to start packing weeks ahead of moving day when you don’t have that much to pack anyway.
Don’t make the mistake of letting deadlines creep up on you. Before you know it, you’re moving next weekend and the only way to get everything packed up in time is to stay up late and scramble to shove it all in boxes. Give yourself plenty of time to pack things properly so nothing gets broken, lost, or left behind during your move.
Less Room For Storage and Moving Around
Not having a ton of stuff to pack is a nice perk of a small move, but small moves often also include small spaces. That can create problems of its own.
Instead of packing and storing boxes in a spare bedroom or the garage in a larger move, smaller movers have to live among boxes in the living room, bedroom, and kitchen until it’s time to move. With the average apartment clocking in at less than 900 square feet, that's not a lot of space to live, pack, and store boxes.
You’ll have to be more strategic about what you pack, when, and where you’re going to put it until moving day. That way you aren’t living in an unmanageable sea of boxes until moving day.
You’ll End up With More Boxes Than You Thought
Don’t think you have a lot of stuff? Think again. Most people grossly underestimate their belongings.
Some professionals estimate that you’ll need around 15 boxes for each room in your home, which sounds like an outrageously high number, especially if you live in a small apartment. And yet, time and time again, movers are left scrambling at the last minute to find more boxes because they don’t have enough.
Go room by room and take an estimate of how many boxes you think you’ll need, then make sure you add in a few extras. Many moving companies allow you to sell back the boxes you don’t need, so there’s no reason to skimp on boxes in the name of saving some money.
Your Boxes Still Need to Be Organized
No matter how many boxes you have, they still need to be organized, and organizing those boxes takes time.
Not only do you have to pack items carefully so that they don’t become damaged during transit, you also want to organize how you pack boxes so items can be found easily when you’re in your new home. That way you aren’t stuck digging through boxes looking for the remote to the TV.
Tips for organizing your moving boxes include:
- Go room by room, packing like items with like items
- Label each box with the items that are located inside
- Pack boxes in order of importance, with the last boxes packed being the first to be opened
You Still Have to Make Time to Declutter
You’ll likely be surprised at how many boxes you need to pack your stuff, but you will probably also be surprised at how much stuff you have that you don’t need anymore.
Clutter is a real problem, with the average US household move weighing 8,000 pounds. All that extra stuff can weigh you down, both literally and figuratively. It costs more to move, and the mental load of managing it all can be overwhelming.
Even if you have a small apartment, you should still take the time to declutter. It’s much better to go through your stuff and make a plan to get rid of the things you don’t need than it is to pack it into a box and deal with it later.
Fragile Items Still Need to Be Packed Properly
It doesn’t matter how big or small your move, fragile items still need to be packaged properly. If you don’t take the time to pack items carefully, they can break, even if you’re only moving a few blocks away.
When packing fragile items, make sure you take the time to:
- Choose a sturdy box that fits your items snugly
- Restrict movement by packing with cushioning material, like bubble wrap or newspapers
- Wrap fragile products individually
- Seal each box tightly so it doesn't accidentally break open
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because your move is small, you won’t have to deal with the same issues as a larger move. Although having less stuff can make it easier, there are still plenty of ways your move can end up being harder than you think. When you plan ahead, you can face these challenges head-on and enjoy a much less stressful move.