Moving to a new place can be made much easier by planning it out and getting prepared for the big day. These tips will come in handy if you have been renting for a few years and are excitedly making the leap to homeownership!
Or, if you are selling a home and moving to a different place, these life hacks will help you keep things organized and allow you to streamline your collection of possessions during the process of the move.
Here is a huge list of moving hacks to organize your move as you get ready for your new home.
Start with Items on Hand
This is likely one of the best tips on the whole list. Instead of running out and buying a lot of boxes, bubble wrap, and other items, look around the house and take advantage of the following items that you may already own
- Clothes hampers
- Any kind of plastic container (kitchen containers, kids’ boxes, etc.)
- Suitcases and/or briefcases
- Baskets of all shapes and sizes
Pack the above list with smaller items and reduce the number of boxes that you need.
Plan out Meals for Last Grocery Trip
Take a trip to the grocery store and buy enough to cover meals for either one week or two weeks before the move. Plan out each meal for all the people in your home. This will leave you with less food to pack and you are less likely to throw out unused items.
Get Rid of Things You DON’T NEED
Moving experts and experienced real estate agents will tell you that one key to moving is getting rid of all the unused items in your home. If you throw it away or donate it then you will not have to pack it and move it.
Some things, like gently used clothes and old toys, can be donated to local charities and thrift shops. Other items may have some value and can be sold easily online at places like Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp.
Buy Packing Supplies Along the Way
If you know that you will be moving within a month or two, start getting the supplies you need as time goes on. Purchase a roll of duct tape the next time you make a trip to the grocery store then swing by a home improvement store and pick up a few free moving boxes.
As time goes along you will have accumulated several items and you will not be running to the store while movers are at your place.
Get on the Schedule of Moving Company EARLY
Most people don’t realize it but moving companies will charge more for last-minute scheduling. And if you wait until the last minute there is no guarantee that the movers will be available.
Go ahead and call and work out 2 or 3 potential dates and put down a deposit. This will save you some time and money.
Put Away Valuable Items Early too
Most people have at least a handful of essentials that they prefer to keep close by. This could be any number of things like important legal documents, a wedding band from a relative, or some other expensive jewelry.
Go ahead and get a safe, secure box or case for these items and store everything away before the big day. When you are ready, you can simply grab that one box and take it with you when you are ready to move.
Or, if you have a trusted family nearby, you can take the box to their place ahead of time and then retrieve it when you have settled in the new place.
Pack one room at a time
It is no doubt that getting a home ready for the big day can be stressful. Some of the stress can be reduced by focusing on one room at a time. That way, when the room is finished, you have a moment of celebration while you go on to the next room.
Bonus Hack: Use a different color for the various rooms. Could be a colored sticker that is placed on each box or different color of packing tape. The color designates each room. Which makes it easier to unload and place the correct item within the correct room. This will make unpacking that much easier.
Organize Small Items
When moving, it will be really easy to lose a small item like a TV remote, or the mounting hardware for pictures or other similar small items.
Use resealable plastic bags that have a space for writing a label. Then label what they belong to and which room where they are destined.
Do Not Put Dishes in a Stack inside a Box
Most people will wrap dishes in paper or plastic wrap and then stack them within a box.
But, this places a lot of weight on the items at the bottom of the stack and can lead to a break.
Instead, stack the plates on end, the same way you would put records or document files in a box. This prevents the added weight from being on top of the plates.
Avoid Making Boxes Too Heavy
It is a common misconception that if an item will fit inside the box then the box must be strong enough to hold it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
One simple way to avoid packed boxes that are too heavy is to apply the opposite principle. Use small boxes for relatively heavy items, like books and dishes. Use large boxes for lightweight items such as comforters and pillows.
Garbage Bags for Hanging Clothes
One ingenious hack is to place a large garbage bag over a group of clothes while they are still on hangers inside your current closet.
This will make the clothes easy to stack in a moving truck or personal vehicle and will protect them against dirt during transport.
Pictures help with Electronics
One headache is moving a TV, especially one that is connected to some type of cable or internet box. An easy solution is to take a close-up picture of all the cables with your cell phone. Make sure you can read the various labels on the picture.
After you move, simply use the picture as a reference for placing the cables back into the right location.
This same trick can be used with any audio system or computer that you may be using that has multiple items connected to it.
Pack One Overnight Suitcase
It does not matter if you plan to go thousands of miles away or just a few blocks, having one bag with a change of clothes and all your bathroom necessities is a great idea.
You won’t have to hunt for things at the end of a long, tiring day and you will have your toothbrush and other items nearby when you wake up refreshed the next day.
Use Plastic Wrap on Smaller Items to Make Easier to Deal With
The plastic wrap will be very handy when you move. One simple suggestion is to use the wrapping to bundle together smaller, lightweight items.
For example, if your couches have multiple pillows on them, put the pillows in a pile and wrap them up with plastic wrap. Then you can easily carry them all with one hand.
The same can be true of other items like several pet toys or bedding for multiple rooms.
Empty Toilet Paper Rolls Can Protect Necklaces Against Tangles
Use an empty toilet paper roll, or paper towel roll, to pack away your necklaces. Simply string a single necklace through an empty roll, then pack the roll away. This will keep away the tangles during moving.
Use Tape to Protect Mirrors
Mirrors are normally large fragile objects and seem to find the least likely item that will lead it to break and shatter into one giant mess. Protect the mirror by using tape to create a large cross or letter X across the surface. The tape will act almost like shrink wrap and keep the smooth surface together.
Make Handles in Boxes
One nice thing about traditional banker’s boxes is the placement of holes on two sides of the boxes for putting your hands. But, those boxes are much more expensive than typical moving boxes.
Use a utility knife and cut out holes just above the middle of the panel on opposites sides of a box. This will save you some money and make it easier to deal with.
Use Plastic Wrap to Protect Toiletry Items from Spilling
Worried that the shampoo or mouth wash might spill and make a mess? Here is an ingenious tip.
Take off the top of the bottle. Cover the top of the bottle with plastic wrap. Put the top back on, tightening over the plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will act as a barrier and prevent leakage.
Get Some Cheap Pool Noodles for Packing Picture Frames and TV
Pool noodles are cheap and easy to use in various ways. One such idea is for corners of picture frames.
Simply cut off a section big enough to cover each corner of your frames. This will protect the frames from damage and cost you just a few pennies for each frame.
You can also use the pool noodles for protecting the frame of your TV set and computer screens in case you no longer have the original boxes.
Buy Furniture Sliders to Save Your Back as Well as Your Floors
Furniture sliders are great for moving items without having to lift the item and carry them.
Simply place the sliders under each corner of the object then move the object. These sliders make it possible for some items to be transferred easily by one person.
Best of all, they protect carpets, tile, and hardwood floors from scuff marks.
Use Towels to Save Your Washing Machine
Just before your washing machine is loaded up on the truck, stick a handful of clean, dry towels inside the machine. The presence of the towels will keep the tub in one place and maintain its balance while the machine is being relocated to the new location.
Use Rubber Bands to Keep Doors Unlocked
On the big day, there will be lots of opening and closing of doors. Avoid getting locked of the home with this simple rubber band trick.
Place one end of the rubber band across the door handle. Then, stretch the rubber band around the tongue of the door and put the other end on the opposite door handle.
This will keep the tongue retracted inside the door and prevent an accidental lock-out.
Just don’t forget to remove the rubber bands when you are done for the day.
Put Labels on Sides as well as Tops of Boxes
To make things easier for you, the movers, or anyone else that may be helping out, put labels on boxes. Ideally, put the labels on the sides as well as the tops. This will make it easier to read without the need for moving the box around to get to a label.
Put small Tools on Truck Last
Loading a moving truck is an example of a reverse inventory system. The last item that gets placed on the truck will usually be the first thing removed at the new location.
Get a small box or bag with a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, tape, utility knife, and other necessary tools that you may need when you first relocate into a new place. Place the tool bag on the moving truck last. This will mean it is one of the first things to come off the truck and will be available when you need it.
Provide Comfort for Pets via Boarding
Since pets do not understand the concept of moving to a new place, the increase in people and activity and relocating furniture can create a lot of stress for both dogs and cats.
If possible, it is best to let your pet be boarded for a day or two while you get things transferred to the new home. Then, once the majority of furniture and boxes are safely at your home you can retrieve your furry friends.
Save the Strain with a Furniture Dolly
Moving heavy boxes and furniture can lead to a strained back and sore muscles. Take some of the pressure off your body by renting a 2-wheel furniture dolly. Renting one is rather cheap and they can handle a lot of weight.
This will also help you keep the finish on the floors since the wheels are soft rubber-like a bicycle tire.
Protect Mattresses with Fitted Sheets
Mattresses are large and bulky and attract all kinds of dirt when they are on a moving truck.
Protect the mattress with something that you already have.
Use a fitted sheet on the top of the mattress. Then flip the mattress over and put a 2nd fitted sheet on the opposite side.
This will keep away the dirt & dust and you can wash the fitted sheets when you get moved in.
Bonus Tip: Use a Storage Facility or POD
You and the movers may decide on a firm date, but you may not want or need to transfer everything. Maybe you have a family heirloom that needs to go to another family member. Or maybe you have plans to give some belongings to family members at a later time and you simply don’t wish to relocate the items to your new place.
Whatever your reasoning may be, you can rent a storage unit for the items that you do not need or wish to travel with. As long as you don’t forget to make the payments, you can use the storage unit indefinitely.
Conversely, if you are moving a long way and simply want to pack all your items at once, consider a pod unit for transportation. The pods can be packed and then moved with all of your items, making the whole move much easier.
Both a storage unit or a POD can be a great choice for storing your belongings when you relocate.
Summing Up 27 Hacks to Organize Your Relocation
If you follow these moving tips, you should be able to keep things organized, save some stress, and hopefully make the whole move more agreeable.
Additional Helpful Moving Resources:
For people relocating to another area or even out of state, the relocation can be more difficult. Take a look at this post by Petra Norris to learn the top tips for people who are relocating.
Many movers will take advantage of storing their belongings in self-storage. But what self-storage options are right for you? Paul Sian digs into this question with tips for finding the best self-storage company for your needs.
If you have kids and you are moving, there are some things you should consider. Moving can be traumatic for kids, especially if the reason for it is divorce or death. Danny Margagliano does a great job of covering the topic and gives crucial tips for moving with kids.
There are a lot of things to think about when moving. With so many moving parts, mistakes can happen. These mistakes can cost you time and/or money. Take a look at this post by Sharon Paxson to learn the most common moving mistakes and how to avoid them.