As experienced movers, we have some tips for moving we’ve picked up along the way. A handful of these moving tips are well known and practiced, but some might actually be life-changing and alter the way you approach moving in general.
How you prepare for moving day and the things you do in the days following moving day will impact how stressful the move will feel. Taking some time out to familiarize yourself with some clever moving techniques will help set the tone for the rest of your move.
Are you ready to gain some moving insight? In this handy moving guide, we will explore how to pack for a move effectively, top moving tips for reducing stress, and everything in between to help you make the most of your relocation.
1. Create a moving checklist as soon as possible.
Once your family has made the decision to move, one of the first things you can do is create a moving checklist. By visually organizing your move, you’ll better be able to keep a handle on events as they unfold. Stay organized from the get-go by printing out this comprehensive moving checklist and putting it inside a designated moving binder.
2. Determine what makes sense for your moving budget.
Depending on far you have to move, your moving budget could be reasonable, or it could take up a couple month’s salary. Before you hire anyone or buy anything, be sure to calculate your costs on a spreadsheet. If money is tight, these money saving tips will help you stay on budget during your move.
3. Weigh the pros and cons of hiring professional movers.
One way to save money on moving is to do-it-yourself. However, if you don’t have access to willing family and friends, or you are moving across state lines, it might make more sense for you to hire professional movers. The amount of work they take off your plate during this stressful time might be well worth the added cost in the long run.
Hiring professional movers can be a great experience—if you hire the right company. But how do you know if your mover will pan out? Colonial Van Lines outlines the top 20 questions to ask a moving company on their blog. Don’t be afraid to ask your company each question on their list before signing a contract! This due diligence will give you peace of mind as moving day approaches.
4. Figure out who to notify before you move.
There are a lot of loose ends to tie up before you move to a new area. You should determine when and how you will accomplish these tasks in your moving checklist. When the time comes, either visit offices locally or be prepared to make some phone calls. By making this list in advance and setting the task for yourself in your calendar, you’re less likely to forget anyone.
Some tasks you might have to complete include:
- Forwarding mail to your new address.
- Scheduling shut-offs for services, such as cable, internet, gas and electric.
- Transferring medical and school records to new locations.
5. Invest in quality moving boxes and pack them correctly.
It’s tempting to go to your local grocery store and try to score some boxes for free. But moving boxes are relatively inexpensive, and the added durability can be worth the cost in the end.
Grocery boxes and reused moving boxes can easily be compromised due to wear and exposure to moisture. The last thing you want is a box falling apart in your hand while you’re trying to move it into the house.
Once you track down where to get moving boxes in your area, be sure to take some time to learn how to pack them correctly.
Some moving box tips include:
- Stock up on multiple-sized boxes.
- Pack heavier items (like books) in smaller boxes to make them easier to carry.
- To cut back on the number of boxes you need, try to locate the original boxes for larger electronics (like TVs) if you save them.
- Secure the top of the box with packing tape across the flap and then perpendicular to create a cross shape for added support.
6. Get rid of belongings you no longer need.
One way to lighten your load is to do some necessary decluttering before you enter the packing stage, which means figuring out what to toss, keep, sell, or donate. Make sure you take measurements of your new home and get rid of any furniture that won’t fit or you know you won’t use.
7. Pack up your home in manageable stages.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew! One of the most important moving tips, when it comes to packing, is to break down your packing into steps. If you procrastinate and try to pack everything the night before, you’ll likely become overwhelmed with stress and your packing won’t be near as organized as it should be, which will only make unpacking more stressful.
Remember the following packing tips:
- Pack up items you won’t use as far ahead of time as possible.
- Organize boxes room by room. For instance, don’t put a living room item inside a designated bedroom box.
8. Label everything in detail and take photos if necessary.
Not only should you label the room that the box should go in, but you should also mark the contents in as much detail as possible. You don’t need to list every single item, but you might label the box with something like, “Office: contents from top three desk drawers” so you know that the box needs to go in the office near where the desk is going to be located.
Also, consider giving every room its own color. Then in your new place, use colored tape to mark entrances to rooms. This moving tip will save movers a ton of time. Instead of needing to read the label explicitly or play the room guessing game, they can just match color to color.
When packing up electronics, take a photo of the back configuration, so you remember which cord goes where. Take photos of any furniture you take apart to serve as a guide for putting it back together. Also, make sure you label doors, screws, and anything else you take apart.
9. Plan extra time for packing dishes in the kitchen.
The kitchen is likely to be the most time-consuming room to pack. Realistically, packing clothing from the bedrooms shouldn’t take you much time. It’s items like dishes that require extra care, time, and supplies.
Here are some basic moving tips for packing dishes to get you started:
- Purchase dish packs, which are moving boxes made especially for transporting dishes and other fragile items.
- Don’t stack plates and bowls inside boxes. Instead, line them up vertically, so if the box is accidentally dropped, the dishes might not immediately break.
- Make sure you use ample bubble wrap or stuffing. Keep packing material at least two inches on all sides of the dishes, so that nothing fragile can touch the cardboard.
10. Be careful packing up toiletries and anything that can leak.
Take care with anything that has the potential to spill. For instance, a shampoo bottle that seems tightly sealed outside of a box can somehow magically figure out a way to ooze over all your other belongings. In this case, keep all toiletries and liquids separate from dry items. Also, consider using plastic wrap as an additional seal between the bottle and the lid.
11. Set aside a basket of moving essentials for the first couple days.
When you first move into a new home, it’s unlikely the first thing you’re going to want to do is to unpack clothes, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. Moving can take a lot out of your family, which is why creating a moving essentials tote ahead of time is tremendously helpful.
Here’s a list of some things you might include in your kit:
- Clean bedding
- Cleaning supplies
- Flashlight and basic toolkit
- Overnight bag with clothes and toiletries
- Enough food and water for three days
12. Create a game plan for moving day.
To avoid a hassle, make sure you have someone who can direct the movers on moving day. This person needs to determine which items need to be moved first, and which items can be loaded into your new home last. Having a general direction and someone who can take charge can save you time on moving day, which will, in turn, save you money if you’re using professional movers.
On moving day, suggest to movers that they:
- Load bulky items into the moving truck first.
- Consider packing the moving truck room by room.
We hope these moving tips help steer your move in the right direction. Are there any tried-and-true moving tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!