Moving can be one of the most stressful moments in your life (right after planning a wedding, of course!) As we just got finished moving into a new house, I thought I would impart upon you the wisdom of my own moving experience. Hopefully these 21 tips will help you to have an easy, stress-free move!
1. Find boxes - either go around to grocery/liquor stores, Craigslist, or go to a website like UsedCardboardBoxes.Com and choose the size house you will be moving. This website was a huge help to us, since the boxes also came with packing paper, tape, markers, and box cutters. If you run out of boxes, Home Depot sells quality boxes in all sizes for pretty cheap.
2. Choose a moving company or rent your own truck. You can always hire movers just for the heavy items and move the rest yourself to save money.
3. Gather the right tools: unprinted newsprint packing paper, bubble wrap, clear packing tape, tape dispenser, masking tape, lots of permanent markers and box cutters. I kept all of these items in a basket during the packing process so that I would not misplace them.
4. Be sure to label every box with the room it is going to. You can do the number method where you keep a master list of what is in each box. Or you can employ the color method where you have a different color tape for each room. Or you can just be detailed in labeling your boxes, adding a list of what is inside directly to the box itself (which is the route we went and it worked great).
5. Pack up the garage first so you can use it as a closed-box storage room.
6. Don’t buy any food the week before moving day. Eat through what you already have in the house so you don’t have as much food to move to the new house.
7. Pack a day/night of move box/overnight bag with all of the essentials that you might need immediately. Here is a list of things you should include: paper plates, plastic utensils, coffee maker, coffee, some food, lightbulbs, tools, clothes for the next couple of days, toiletries, medicines, toilet paper, paper towels, bath towels, linens, hand soap, cleaning supplies, anything for your children or pets that they need daily, personal electronics and valuables/personal documents. Make sure to put this box/bag in your personal vehicle, or put it at the back of the truck labeled “Open First!”.
8. When you pack heavy things like books, make sure you use small boxes. A good rule of thumb is to make sure no box is heavier than 50 pounds, but preferably between 20-30 pounds.
9. To pack plates, put disposable foam plates between each ceramic plate to keep them from breaking. Also, putting them in like records (on their side) keeps them safer and less likely to break.
10. Use garbage bags to keep your hanging clothes clean and easy to move. I purchased the heavy duty, black tie closed kind and put around 5-10 hangers in each one. Tie off the bag around the neck of the hanger and label each bag with what closet it is going into. When you get to the new house, just cut the bag away and you are done!
11. Use any extra towels for padding to save on packing materials.
12. For small organizers like your silverware tray or small baskets, wrap it in saran wrap with the contents still inside so you can put it directly into the box and it is much easier when you unpack.
13. When packing mirrors and glass frames, use masking tape to make an X on the glass. This will keep the glass from shattering and going everywhere if it happens to break during the move.
14. If you have to take a piece of furniture apart, put the small parts into a ziplock bag and label it with what the parts belong to.
15. Pack large, light items (like pillows or winter coats) in large boxes.
16. When packing the bathroom and kitchen, check expiration dates on food, medicine and body products. Throw out anything that is expired.
17. Travel with bedding in your car so you aren’t searching for sheets and a blanket on the night after a tiring move. You will want to sleep in a comfy bed after moving all day!
18. Assemble your bed first so you don’t have to sleep on the floor the night of your move.
19. Keep out extra blankets to help with padding when loading big pieces in the moving truck.
20. Be sure you reinforce the bottom of each box with plenty of packing tape.
21. If you are moving with children or pets, get a baby/pet sitter for the day of your move. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether or not your child or pet is safe and out of harm's way.
These are just a few of the tips that were helpful to us during our big move. What great moving tips do you have? Leave them in the comments below!