I took my first home staging course from the Certified Staging Professionals (CSP) in 2008 and still share the packing tips I learned from CSP with my home staging clients.
When potential buyers tour your property, they will not only be considering the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and whether or not the laundry is on the first or second level: potential buyers will also be scoping out your storage, or lack of it. Prepacking items you don’t use regularly is a great way to clear out some storage space! All those DVDs you want to keep but only watch once a year? Pack them up. The sports equipment that won’t be used for 3-6 months, or the Christmas dishes that won’t be needed for 10 months? Pack them up. Nervous about packing away something you might need to find before you move? Read on.
Gather your supplies. You’ll want boxes thank are all similar in size as well as packing materials such as newsprint, bubble wrap and packing tape. You’ll also need mailing labels (I like something close to 2×3 inches), coloured markers, a black marker, a stack of lined index cards and some mailing envelopes. To help keep yourself organized you’ll also need some sort of binder (I like the ones that zipper closed) a 3-hole punch and a sheet of lined paper.
Assign one colour to each room of the house and using the markers, colour some mailing labels in your chosen room colours. Record the colour/room information on your sheet of lined paper; it’s a good idea to record the number of boxes for each room as well. Now that you are all set up, it’s time to pack!
Let’s pretend you have chosen to pack away the excess kitchen dishes and you are using green for all kitchen boxes; attach a green sticker to the box. If it’s the first box then write the number 1 on the sticker. Get one of your index cards; draw a green circle in an upper corner and write the #1 in the circle. As you wrap each item and place it in the box, list that item on the index card. Continue packing and recording items until the box is full, if you still need to pack more items get another box and repeat the process, this time with the number 2 written on the sticker, and the new index card. Once you’ve finished prepacking the kitchen, place the index cards in one of your envelopes, marking it with the room colour, place in your binder with your record sheet and carry on to the next room.
When you store your boxes be sure to store them so that you can clearly see the colour and number of each box. You can continue this system to complete your packing for the move which makes it easy to place boxes in the correct room in the new property.
This method is the most efficient way I know of to actually find something that has been packed but that you need to find. If you have a favorite packing method I’d love to hear about it!