Moving tips, tricks, hacks, and shortcuts are always welcome. Moving is such hard work. If you are the type of friend willing to help on moving days, you are a special friend.
Whether you’re doing it on your own or hiring professional movers, moving is a huge undertaking. I downsized and moved into a 1350-square-foot condo last year from a much larger home. I did a lot of careful planning but it was a lot more work than I expected.
Despite some setbacks, I did manage to get everything moved and learned some valuable lessons in the process. Some of the lessons were things I’ve never even considered. If this is your first time or not, I hope these moving tips will help you learn from some of my mistakes. I also added some helpful items that you can incorporate into your moving checklist.
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My Moving Tips to Make Moving Easier
How do you avoid common mistakes when you are moving? These are some of my tried and true moving tips. If you follow them, you will have a smooth and easy transition to your new home.
Planning and Organization
One of the best ways to make moving less painful is to organize and plan. Make sure you get a lot of moving boxes, packing tape, and some kind of padding for fragile items. The best way to do this is by using newspaper, bubble wrap, or plastic wrap, and packing peanuts as padding.
Cheapest Place for Moving Boxes
When you think you have enough boxes, get some more. It’s better to have too many packing supplies because the last thing you want is to run out halfway through packing. Don’t know where to find free boxes? Here’s where to check before your big day:
- Craigslist Has Free Moving Boxes – use the Free section of Craigslist to see if anyone is giving away free moving boxes. You can also post in the Wanted section that you are looking for free moving boxes.
- Freecycle – join your local online Freecycle group and then post that you are looking for free moving boxes.
- Nextdoor App – post in your neighborhood to see if anyone has any moving boxes. When you are done, you can post and bless someone else with your moving boxes.
- Check with local retail stores, particularly grocery stores, furniture stores, bookstores, office supply stores, and liquor stores. Our local grocery store put boxes aside for weeks for us, my husband asked the manager and they were happy to help.
Here are some of my best packing tips to add to your to-do list:
- Pack your boxes “strategically.” Choose a “packing area” ahead of time and box up a few things each day. This will save you lots of time before your move-in day. Mark each box with its contents and destination room. Make sure all your boxes are packed before you rent your moving truck.
- When loading the items on the rental truck, load the heaviest and large items first in front and on the floor. Make sure to pack the heavy items firmly and closely.
- When packing the items in your home, keep things grouped by room. It makes no sense to place items from two different rooms in the same box. This just creates confusion and more work at your new home.
- Start with the household items you don’t need every day in your current home and start packing them early. Save the daily necessities for last because you’ll be using them until the day you move. Or if you decide to pack a few essentials, make sure that its storage has easy access.
- Make sure you clearly label everything and not just on one side of the box. Write what is in each box on all four sides. That way when boxes are piled to the ceiling and you accidentally turned the bottom one the wrong way you’ll still be able to know what’s inside.
- If the movers are going to shrink-wrap dresses and other furniture with drawers, you can leave the clothes and items inside which will save you time on both sides of the move.
One of the clever packing hacks I know is from my daughter-in-law. She used a color-coding system with a strip of different color tape for the contents of separate rooms, so smart!
If the movers are going to shrink-wrap dressers and other furniture with drawers, you can leave the clothes and items inside which will save you time on both sides of the move.
Consider trying to consume most of the food in your pantry or kitchen as opposed to moving it. Food items are known to spill and can take a long time to pack. In addition, some items are perishable and difficult to move without spoiling them. Pack spices firmly to avoid spills.
As you near your moving date, try to meal plan around the food you already have that way you are not moving a lot of food to your new home or having to throw food away.
Get Rid of Stuff
As you are going through your home packing everything, keep an eye out for unnecessary items you haven’t used in the past few years. Anything that can be discarded, sold, or donated is one less item you have to pack, move, and unpack. It will also save you some storage space inside your boxes. If there are areas of your house that are cluttered, why add more clutter to your new house?
I was hanging onto a lot of sentimental items that I thought my adult kids would want. Guess what? They did not want 99% of it. I could not bear to throw away old scrapbooks, trophies, and art projects.
So what I did was I gave them to my kids and said to look through them and decide what they want to keep or get rid of. I was not there to witness those items getting thrown away. You can always take photos on your phone camera but if you plan to do this, start early. Going down memory lane is a time sucker!
Sell Unwanted Items
Think of moving as an opportunity to get rid of the junk, clutter, and useless stuff that’s just laying around the house. You can read my tips on how to have a successful garage sale. Another mistake we made was to pay for expensive storage for items that we never used when we should have gotten rid of them during the moving process.
I’ve also had good success selling items through the Next Door app and Facebook Marketplace. Using these saved me plenty of time and less stuff to pack. Here is a post I wrote about Selling Your Unwanted Gadgets and who will pay you for them.
When you are planning how to move all your items to your new home, consider getting a truck large enough to move everything in as few trips as possible. The best option would be one that will move everything at once.
We made the mistake of renting a truck that was way too small and spent so much time driving back and forth. In hindsight, we would have just rented a huge truck and knocked it all out at once.
Determine if you have special items that you do not want the movers to touch and pack and move these items yourself. Keep an eye on prescriptions, credit cards, fine jewelry, passports, birth certificates, and other important financial documents.
Did You Know?
Some Home Depot Stores rent moving trucks and equipment you may want to rent instead of buying. You’ll find pressure washers, leaf blowers, carpet cleaners, industrial vacuums, moving trailers, and moving trucks.
Once everything is at your new home, start unpacking by focusing on the most important areas first. We suggest hitting the bedrooms first. No matter how much you get accomplished on the first day, you’ll want a comfortable bed to fall asleep in.
The kitchen should be next because you have to eat. You can order food delivery for a few meals until you get everything set up, but it needs to be a priority. After you start unpacking, you can start making it feel like your new home.
Once you have the kitchen and bedrooms unpacked, I recommend using a guest room, living room, or garage as a staging area so the whole place is not full of boxes. It will make your new place more serene.
Change All The Air Filters
As I mentioned earlier, there were a few things we never thought to consider until it was an issue. Once it got cold and our heat was necessary, we discovered the air filters hadn’t been changed for a long time and were creating problems. We were all sneezing and sniffling without any other symptoms. A wise friend mentioned changing the air filters to me and I had not even thought about it.
When we took the old ones out, it was way past the time they should have been changed. When you move into a new home, it is the perfect time to change the air filters in your heating and cooling system. Now we buy extra air filters and mark on the box with a permanent marker the date of the next time to change them out. It is a simple and inexpensive home maintenance item that often gets overlooked.
Moving Supplies We Recommend
Choose a 10-pack or a 12-pack of Tape-Free Moving boxes with easy-carry handles. These boxes were perfect for small kitchen items.
This bubble wrap was easy to use to cushion breakable items. It has perforations every 12 inches so you can tear off what you need.
This packing tape has excellent sticking power! It includes four rolls and fall-back tabs which make finding the beginning easy.
This has multi-positions. You can use it as a 2-wheel upright dolly or a 4-wheel cart for maximin flexibility. It folds flat for easy storage and has a 300 lb capacity.
Hey, we are not getting any younger here. Your back will thank you if you wear this back brace when you are lifting and bending all day. It is “Amazon’s Choice for back brace movers”
Have food and drinks on hand. Moving is hard work and everyone will be hungry and thirsty. Exhale. Hopefully, you won’t have to do this again anytime soon.
Do you have other moving tips to share? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family.
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