At first glance, packing the bathroom might seem like the easiest job to tackle when planning your move. After all, there’s no furniture to take with you and towels are super light. But then you open your medicine cabinet and see just how many little things you own: old medications, leaky shampoo bottles, little canisters of floss and Q-tips….
Well, with a little bit of know-how (and the right materials) the smallest room in the house can also be the easiest.
If you’re using a moving company, it’s important to review our list of things moving companies won’t move before you pack anything.
Dispose of nail polish remover and aerosol containers (or move them yourself), as your moving company is prohibited by law from letting them on the truck. Now is also a good time to throw/give away any products you don’t use. No use dragging along cracked containers or a gel that did nothing for you.
For everything you’re bringing along, a few easy steps can prevent leaky messes from messing with your unpacking party. Place a square of plastic wrap over the bottle’s mouth and screw the lid back on to keep your shampoo from spilling out inside the box. Alternatively, you can put each bottle in its own zip-top bag to quarantine any leaks.
Carefully wrap razors in a layer or two of newsprint (tape the ends so you don’t cut yourself when unpacking) and thoroughly cushion any glass bottles (like nail polish and decorative containers).
Of course, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and any items you use frequently should be packed in a separate overnight bag with a change of clothes so you don’t have to unpack a bunch of boxes after a long first day of moving.
As you probably know (but often forget, judging by all the empty bottles in your medicine cabinet), old medications should be properly disposed of once they have expired. Packing your bathroom before a move is a great time to go clean out all those old bottles and tubes. Weed out expired medications, anything with a missing or illegible label, ineffective medications, or anything with unpleasant side effects and get rid of them.
Of course, by “get rid of” we mean “dispose of properly.” Do NOT flush these items down the toilet or drain, as most water treatment plants aren’t equipped to fully remove these chemicals from the water supply. Be safe and contact your local hazardous waste facility to find out how to get rid of medications and cleaning supplies safely.
Linens & Towels
If you’re like most people, you probably have a set of “good towels” and “regular use towels.” You might also have a similar system for bedding.
“Good linens” (i.e. the quilt handmade by your grandmother) should be wrapped in plastic to prevent stains or damage and placed in a clean, paper-lined box. Your regular-use, workhorse sheets and towels can serve double duty by padding other items throughout the house. After the move, you can reuse any stained or ripped linens for pet patrol or as drop cloths the next time you paint a room.
Finally, wrap your curling irons, straighteners, and hair dryers in newsprint or a towel and secure the cords so they don’t tangle. Make sure everything has properly cooled before packing and label the box “FRAGILE” to prevent damage to your expensive CHI flat iron.
Of course, whether packing the bathroom or any other room in the house, make sure your boxes aren’t too heavy to carry safely. Breakage or leaking is much more likely if a box is dropped.