The 1 Thing You Shouldn’t Pack When Moving

published Aug 26, 2018
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

When I moved into my studio apartment in New York, I was lucky enough to have my mom with me to help facilitate the move. And she did facilitate everything—from how to efficiently pack a box to how furniture should be oriented; she was a one-woman moving machine. But the most important lesson I took from her was this: Never pack your cleaning supplies!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Why? Because first, you’ll want to wipe down your current apartment after all of your belongings are gone (and if you pack your supplies, you’ll be like me, alone, going over the kitchen floor with the last two sprays of 409 cleaner and toilet paper). But more importantly, you want a box of basics for your new space, so that you can wipe down countertops (where cold viruses can live for days!), doorknobs, light switches, and other key germ-y spots that other people have touched before moving in.

How can you be sure that the previous owner or your landlord did their due diligence and wiped down the bathroom sink or kitchen counter? Answer: You can’t. But if you walk into your new apartment and immediately take a disinfectant wipe to all the doorknobs, cabinet pulls, counters, sink, and refrigerator, some all-purpose cleaner spray in the bathroom, and a quick vacuum around the baseboards, you’ll be starting off on the right, clean foot.

(Image credit: Andrey Popov)

Another moving gem from my mom: The minute the movers put any area rugs down, rush to vacuum them before furniture goes on top. You’ll never be able to get edge-to-edge on that carpet the way you will for those five blissful minutes that there is no heavy bed or couch on top of it. I’m very lucky to have her.