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In the past 365 days, we went through two big moves that were over 5 hours away. We didn’t hire movers, so it’s safe to say that I’ve picked up some moving tips and tricks along the way. After extensive research, (hello, Reddit) we compiled a master list of moving hacks that will make the whole process way easier!
Not gonna lie, during the moving process, we were all ready to pull our hair out. James says we’re never moving again, ha! The key is to prepare as much in advance as possible and to give yourself some grace and ask for help. We want to do it all, but a helping hand along the way makes a huge difference! Hopefully, some of these tips will help you too! GOOD LUCK!
Moving Tips and Tricks
Tip # 1: Ask for help or hire a helping hand.
We were very fortunate to have our families available to help us move, and if we didn’t, we would very likely hire movers. Filling boxes is the easy part, but the heavy lifting is so exhausting, and doing it alone is unthinkable. If you’re hiring a moving company, make sure you do your research and ask for referrals!
Tip # 2: Purge your unused items.
When we packed out home, we made an active effort to donate or toss anything that we had not used in the past year. I loved the Marie Kondo documentary on Netflix and used many of her tips during the purging process. Yes, it was hard, but no one needs eyeglasses that are broken and a few prescriptions too old. Pro tip: Have 3 boxes on hand, one to keep, one to donate and one to trash!
Tip # 3: Prepare a go-bag.
During our first move, I didn’t set aside my essential items (a few sets of clothes, bathroom essentials) and was frantically opening boxes looking for my shampoo. Don’t be like me. Pack a carry on suitcase with all of the items you’ll need as soon as you arrive, we also had some house tools on hand here. It might be days before you open all of the boxes, and after a sweaty day of moving, you’re going to want a fresh set of clothes and soap. Oh and don’t forget the toilet paper.
Tip # 4: Organize your boxes.
Tackle your packing with a game plan. That means you should NOT throw the first item you touch into the first box you see. We packed our boxes based on rooms and labeled each one thoroughly. You can even list specific items on the box so unpacking will be SO much easier. If you have time, keep a spreadsheet with what’s in each box; this will make unpacking so much easier.
Tip # 5: Budget accordingly.
Moving is expensive. Combine the cost of help, truck rental, packaging materials, etc. and all you see are $$$. If possible, start saving for moving day early and try saving money by sourcing boxes from your local grocery store or liquor store. We don’t recommend cutting corners when it comes to hiring help, make sure you read reviews and do your research with moving companies.
Tip # 6: Distribute weight evenly.
A genius tip on Reddit was to put one layer of books in each box. Yes, this goes against the organizing tip, but lifting boxes filled with a dozen heavy books is no easy feat. Maxing out the weight limit of a box is something you do not want, so mix lighter items with heavier items when you’re filling the boxes. Your lower back will thank you later.
Tip # 7: Pack efficiently.
No, I don’t mean quickly, pack smartly. These moving tips may help!
- Instead of taking your clothes off the hangars and folding them, wrap 10 hangars with the clothes on them in trash bags. Put a hole in the bottom of the bag and use it as an oversized garment bag.
- Instead of taking apart a dresser with drawers, get industrial shrink wrap and wrap that baby up.
- Pack up your sheets, pillows, and blankets together and unpack them first. Put your bed frame and mattress together first and make the bed.
- Label your urgent boxes so you know what to unpack first!
- Use large flexible bags for objects that would be cumbersome in boxes and for soft items like pillows and blankets.
- Try to find a place for everything, don’t leave small items hanging around. FInding a box for everything streamlines the process and will save you lots of back and forth trips.
- Take pictures of anything that needs re-assembly, even the simplest desk rebuilding job can turn into a pain if you don’t have an idea of where to start.
Tip # 8: Have snacks and water on hand.
Packing and moving is hard work, and it’s important to stay nourished and hydrated throughout the process. It’s easy to neglect yourself during the busy move but actively have water and food nearby to give you the energy you need for the heavy lifting.
Tip # 9: Purchase the proper equipment.
If you’re moving a lot of heavy furniture, have a furniture dolly on hand to help. It also helps to have contractor bags vs. trash bags for packing lightweight stuff. Annnd, try sourcing newspaper and tissue paper to wrap glassware beforehand, you’ll probably need a bunch.
Tip # 10: Take your time.
We’re guilty of rushing through everything, but taking time to pack and move properly will save time in the end. Especially when you’re loading and unloading heavy items, be cautious and attentive at all times.