How to Pack for Moving when Friends are Helping You Move
Don't Infuriate the Help
This article is about preparing to move out of your apartment when you're getting friends to help you, (like with their pick-up trucks and stuff) however, much of this article can also apply to those using professional movers or people moving out of large houses.
First off, know that you have much more crap than you think you do, and that it will take 2-3 times longer to move it than you think. If you think it will take 3 hours to move your junk, it will probably take 9 hours. If you think it will take all day, it will probably take at least 2 whole days! This rule applies regardless of how many people you have helping, (believe it or not). This is because: with each additional person helping, there is less room to move around and more people standing around with their hands in their pockets waiting for direction from you or whoever seems to know what the fuck is really going on. There will also be more chit-chat and idle conversation that interferes with the actual work. Remember! Moving will take longer than you think! That's why preparation is the key.
GET RID OF YOUR USELESS SHIT! Everyone has stuff that they have accumulated for no reason at all other than to cause frustration and seething, teeth-grinding on moving day. Old magazines, old clothes that even the homeless refuse to take, old electronic equipment that should be in a museum, cans of food that have expired decades ago, damaged holiday decorations covered in a blanket of dust, "extra parts" that went to something that you kept "just in case it turns out that they're actually important for something." GET RID OF THIS SHIT ANY WAY YOU CAN! No one on Ebay is going to give you a fucking dime for this garbage! Eject it from your squalid dwelling long before moving day!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE A LIST! One should be more afraid to be without a list. For some unexplained reason, most people will fail to take the time to pick up a pen and paper and write out a plan, wrongly assuming that they will spontaneously develop a photographic memory and highly exceptional visual-spatial skills. God (Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, the Tao) gave you a hand and endless amounts of paper and writing instruments for a reason. Don't screw yourself by neglecting to do such a simple task. I'm not suggesting for anyone to list every single item in the home (or anything close to that). Just put on paper how you plan to attack this project in a way that helps you make perfect sense of it. And keep this piece of paper on your person. It's almost fun!
PACK LONG BEFORE MOVING DAY! Start with crap that hardly gets used like all those miscellaneous items in the back of closets. Make sure you have plenty of boxes and tape. Lots of moving companies will let you return unused boxes for a full refund. You can never have enough packing tape - not only for boxes but for taping drawers shut and other moving parts so they don't swing around or fall out while moving.
PACK FRAGILE AND BREAKABLE ITEMS EARLY! It takes a lifetime to wrap all your shot glasses and ceramic Star Wars collectibles in newspaper and bubble wrap. Look around and think of all the items in your place that could be destroyed by the cruel effects of gravity, pressure, inertia, and friction. Once you have the fragile stuff all done and out of the way, the rest of it will go much quicker because you can just chunk and stuff it into the nearest box or bag with wanton abandon or drunken glee.
YOUR FRIENDS VALUE THEIR FREE TIME! Don't think that they prefer to be moving your heavy junk on their days off from work. They would far prefer to be playing video games, shopping, watching internet porn, getting a manicure, huffing paint or just about anything else. It helps to have plenty of cold beer and energy drinks available to them while they help. Buy a heap of pizza for them. More fuel for the fire!
Don't put too much heavy crap in one box. Spread out the weight. Don't fill one big box with all those college textbooks (that you refused to sell back because they were worth far more than the measly five bucks that the bookstore was gonna give you when the greedy, heartless bastards originally charged you $120). You and your friends don't want to suffer a ruptured anus while strugling and straining to lift your bowling ball/cast-iron "Twilight" figurine collection.
Keep a small cache of necessities for the 2 days prior to moving day while you are packing. You want to have toilet paper availble to you both at the place where you are leaving and immediately upon arival at the destination residence. If you need to "release the hostages" as soon as you enter your new home, there had better be toilet paper within arms reach. You can pretend you are on vacation and only have a small bag of toiletries and essentials in your bathroom days prior to moving. All that other shit goes in the box labled "Bathroom." You can eat and drink out of disposable picnic ware instead of dirtying dishes in the kitchen which should be empty and packed.
Some essential cleaning supplies can be left if you need to clean up after everything else is moved out. Make sure these aren't moved out by your overly enthusiastic friends. Surely, the owners of the apartment complex will find some reason to keep your deposit. Cleaning up all the roaches and spilled bong water will take longer than you think.
Utilize trash bags for clothes and other soft, light things (like your teddy bear). But make sure to lable them so they're not accidently thrown out.
Disconnect electronic equipment. I know you can't live without access to the internet and those fucking horrible "reality" TV shows for long, but you must wrench yourself away from them for a day and disassemble all that wire entangled electronica. You can use the packing tape to stick the various cords to the devices that they go with to save the hassle of sorting them out at your new home.
Never label anything "miscellaneous" (except for sex toys) This label is absolutely useless. It might as well say nothing at all. Find some way to describe what's in there. This is another reason to go through your possessions early - to group like things together in a category that makes sense.
If you have sex toys or anything else of that nature, (inflatable sheep), that you would rather not announce to your friends/family, make damn sure to pack these up early and, obviously, name them something boring (like miscellaneous). That way, no one will take the time to investigate. I know of a girl who's vibrator collection fell out of a shoe box onto the floor. She tried to deftly cover it up with a towel before anyone could see, but then, a friend of a friend came by and said "What's this towel doing on the floor?...Oh...."
Everyone has a few choice items that they consider extremely valuable. Pack these up early and make a deliberate effort to put it in a container noticeable to only you, (maybe it's like neon hot pink with a smiley face on it). Then secure it in your own vehicle so no one else has to touch it. Make sure as hell that, if it leaves your vehicle and into your new home, you know exactly where it goes. Don't lose things like birth certificates, social security cards, etc. Some people hide cash in their mattresses or gold bars buried in their back yards. DON'T FORGET THESE!
On moving day, move the heaviest things first and while you have the most amount of friends available to help. People will get more and more tired as this grueling day drags on and on. You might want to consider having an ice chest with cold beverages nearby if it's a hot day.
If you make the unforgivable mistake of not heeding all of this precious advice prior to moving day, you will suffer greatly, as you should, but not nearly as badly as your poor friends who are wasting their day helping you do what obviously needed to be done long before. They will never help you move again! Next time, they'll find any number of lies and excuses to get out of helping you move and you'll be stuck doing the onerous task all alone, which will take exceedingly long, indeed.
By preparing well for your big day, you will earn the respect of your friends and save yourself from a horrible headache. People may even be pleased with the experience and tell others "I would help him/her move any day!" The God's of Home Moving will smile upon you and your ilk for generations to come because you were prepared, damn it! You were prepared!