How To Pack for a Temporary Move

Laurie WallCleaning and Organization

Selling Your Parents Home - Labeled Moving Boxes

Temporary moves can feel extremely inconvenient, but they are often necessary for employment or financial reasons. If you need to move but can’t find the house you want immediately, a hotel or corporate apartment setting might be an option until you find a house to buy. When moving to a new city altogether, a temporary move also gives you a chance to learn the local market and neighborhoods before buying a home.

While living in a temporary location, you won’t have access to all your belongings. Packing for a temporary move requires some smart planning to make the process go smoothly.

Figure Out What Not to Pack

If you will be staying in a hotel or furnished apartment, find out what amenities will be available. Some temporary housing options will have a coffee maker, toaster oven, pots and pans. However, you don’t want to assume as much and then find empty cupboards when you arrive.

Pack in Reverse

Your first temptation might be to start grabbing your must-have belongings. It’s best to start packing in reverse with the least essential items being boxed up and set aside. This way you can finish packing for a temporary move without having to open up boxes to get something you packed for storage.

Bring What Makes You Happy

You know to pack the real essentials, but don’t make yourself miserable by forgoing your favorite things. If your days always start with your fancy espresso machine, can you really go a few months with a hotel drip machine?

Cooking food at your temporary residence will also be much more enjoyable if you bring your favorite seasonings, quality kitchen knives, and good utensils. This will also prevent you from having to eat at restaurants for all of your meals.

Preparing for Seasons Ahead

No matter how firm your plans are, assume that your final move might be delayed. Keep at least one winter coat accessible no matter where you’re headed. Ditto for a bathing suit, umbrella, and other items you might easily forget.

Be sure to research the weather of your destination. People often visit Dallas in the winter and expect to be in scorching desert heat, and then get surprised by freezing temperatures in December. Many places can surprise you with their weather, so look up your destination’s monthly averages for the whole year.

Track Your Boxes

While packing for a temporary move, you should also be organized with your items going to long-term storage. Number the boxes and keep track of everything that goes into each box or at least what kinds of items are in each box. In the unlikely event that you need to get something out of long-term storage during the midst of your temporary stay, you’ll be glad that it’s relatively easy to locate the right box.

Get a Small Safe

Bring your Social Security card, birth certificate, insurance documents and other important papers with you. The smart choice is to use a small fireproof safe. You can’t be too careful, especially when you might need these documents to close on a new house, obtain a new driver license or take care of other important business.

Packing for a temporary move involves some foresight and planning. While trying to strip down to the essentials, always remember to bring the things that will help you in an emergency and the nice things that will keep you happy and comfortable along the way.

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