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Prepare your way to a stress-free move

Being prepared for the unexpected can make the difference between a smooth move and a costly disaster.  Follow our advice for a stress-free and potentially enjoyable move.

A variety of moving supplies and JÄTTENE boxes stacked on a wooden pallet with wheels, in an empty room.
A variety of moving supplies and JÄTTENE boxes stacked on a wooden pallet with wheels, in an empty room.

Decide what comes and what goes

Moving offers us a chance to re-evaluate what we have, what we really need, and what we can let go of.

What to recycle

Once you know what you want to throw out, you need to decide how you are going to get rid of it. Check with your nearest IKEA store if they offer recycling services such as bringing in old products or removing your old mattresses.

What to keep

It can be hard to let go of some things, especially if they have sentimental value. Try to be strict in the beginning – it will get easier along the way. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

How to keep it

Once you’ve finished decluttering, and you have everything that you want to keep, use the opportunity to pack these items in an organized way. This will not only make it easier to move them around, but will also keep them decluttered in the long run.

A well-organized storage solution for your new home is something to start thinking about even before you start packing.

Lina Aldén, Interior Designer at IKEA

A woman using bright pink and yellow OMBYTE tape to seal a spotted OMBYTE box that is placed on a white surface.

Packing 101

We are convinced that packing is a form of art – one that is easy to master with the right tools and the right timing.

Packing Tips

  • Label "Open me first" boxes for each room so you have what you need right off the bat in your new place.
  • Keep boxes under 30 pounds. An easy way to do this is to keep a bathroom scale in the room where you're doing the packing.
  • Work on packing just one room at a time to keep things focused and organized.
  • Take pictures of how complicated wiring is hooked up, so you can do it easily in your
  • new place.
  • Instead of lifting heavy furniture over and over, make a sketch of your rooms first so you can decide where things should go.
  • Pack a suitcase with three days' worth of clothes and toiletries. This way, you won't have to unpack an entire roomful of boxes just to find toothbrush.

The right tools

To prepare for your packing marathon, designate a packing zone so as not to lose track of things. You’ll need boxes, sorting bags, tape, scissors, a marker/pen, labels and most importantly, patience.

When to start

Procrastination is tempting when it comes to packing, but the sooner you get under way, the sooner you will be done. Trust us, you do not want to leave packing for the night before. Start with items that you don’t use frequently such as decorations or books.

How to pack

There is no one way to pack. It really depends on what works for you and your stuff. You can pack room by room, categorically, or according to usage frequency. Remember to also wrap your furniture, not just breakables, when you pack.

A white box with a brown OMBYTE divider, filled with a variety of clear wine glasses.

Tackle logistics with smart solutions

Moving homes is the one time that you’ll want to put in the effort to be properly prepared. Having the right type of box in the right place can save you money, time, and perhaps more importantly, a lot of frustration.

Papers in order

Always keep important documents with you when moving. If you don’t already have a system for these types of papers, create one now that will be easy to unpack and implement in your new home.

Handy tools

Another box you might want to keep close is one filled with handy tools like tape, labels, assembly tools, a flashlight, first aid kit, cleaning spray and cloth, stationery, chargers, candles, matches, toilet paper and safety products.

Think outside the box

Always label boxes and bags so that you know what’s in them without having to open them. Load heavy boxes first and pack the things you’ll need immediately, last, and vice versa.

When hunger strikes

The last thing you might think about when moving is food. Don’t! A great way to save you time, money, and effort is to prepare and store food before you move.

IKEA 365+ glass food containers with bamboo lids, filled with different foodstuffs, placed on a dark wooden surface.