The sudden victory of Theresa May, Britain's new prime minister, meant former Prime Minister David Cameron had to vacate 10 Downing Street in about 48 hours. Needless to say, Cameron did not pack his own dishes. Professional movers arrived with a reported 330 boxes, 30 rolls of tape and three rolls of bubble wrap. Hopefully when you move, you'll have more lead time – and just as much help. But in case you don't, here are a few tips to help maximize what time you do have.
1. Gather your tools
Pick a place to be your packing station so you don't waste time constantly wandering the house, hunting for your Sharpie or the right-sized box. Stock it with plenty of tape, boxes of various sizes, bubble wrap, newspapers and markers.
2. Stick to a strategy
Pack vital things together, in specially marked boxes. This includes what you'll want on your first day, like sheets, pet food, electronics chargers, toiletries and a change of clothes. Then pack one room at a time and label boxes by room. It's helpful to color code rooms, whether with markers or strips of duct tape.
3. Use plenty of trash bags
To avoid confusion, buy them in two colors, one for packing and one for throwing things away. Don't be afraid to pack clothing and linens in the big plastic bags. You can squish them in between boxes to save space.
4. Fill your drawers
If you're using professional movers (and not friends with sensitive backs), pack your dresser drawers full. Otherwise, you're wasting space.
5. Watch your weight
Fill big boxes with lightweight items and small boxes with the heavy stuff. It'll help prevent the boxes from breaking down.
6. Don't get hung up on clothes
Wardrobe boxes make it easy to simply transfer your clothes on hangers rather than bothering with unhanging and folding.
7. If you've got the bucks…
Use professional packers. You can hire them to pack your whole home, just a room or a group of time-consuming items, like your extensive collection of fragile ceramic clowns.
All packed up and nowhere to go? Talk to your agent. He or she will be able to help you look for your next home.
You can find an experienced one here.