Moving is a part of life. And whether you move often or are packing up your bags for the first time in a long time, it’s a notoriously stressful process that can take its toll on even the best of planners. While moving isn’t necessarily easy on anyone, there are some ways to pack and unpack faster, reduce the amount of work, and make the process go just a bit smoother. Try these moving hacks for yourself and discover creative ways to improve your move.
Getting prepared. There are a lot of things you can do before you even pack up that first box to help facilitate an easier move. The moving hacks below will help you start off on the right foot.
Set your budget. Moving can get expensive, and you don’t want to end up with major sticker shock on top of everything else. Take advantage of our online moving cost calculator and figure out how much you can expect to spend.
Make donation pick-up arrangements. If you know you’ll be donating big items like furniture and rugs, schedule a pick-up ahead of time so you can be sure you have an organization that can come get them. Use a site like Zealous Good to list the items you’ll be donating and give local charities a chance to request them, or schedule a pick-up with Goodwill, Salvation Army, or another organization that will take your donations off your hands.
Plan out your packing supplies. Use our packing calculator to get a good idea of just how much you’ll need in terms of packing supplies. This way, you can be sure to get what you need on the first run to the store.
Eat up. Moving the items in your fridge, pantry, and freezer can be a real pain. On the flip side, not moving them and just throwing them out instead is majorly wasteful. Find a happy medium by making it a goal to eat as much of the food you already have in your house as you can before moving day arrives. Turn it into a game and get creative with recipes to see how much you can use up. Do good at the same time by donating unopened/unexpired food to a local food bank.
Packing is one of the areas that moving hacks come in handy the most. There are lots of ways to cut corners and save yourself time while also making sure your belongings are protected. Here are some you may want to make use of.
Don’t empty out your dresser drawers. Instead of taking clothes and other items out of dresser drawers and packing them into boxes, simply take the drawers out of the dresser, leave the items in there, and secure them by wrapping up the drawer in plastic wrap. If it’s not too heavy, you can leave the drawers in the dresser and just wrap up the dresser itself in plastic wrap.
Leave your clothes on the hanger. It’s a ton of extra work to unhang clothes, fold them, box them, and then hang them back up at your new place. Skip the unnecessary steps by leaving clothes on their hangers and either grouping them up and wrapping them in large garbage bags or hanging them in a wardrobe box.
Put your linens, towels, and other soft items to use. Wrap up breakables like glasses or perfume bottles in socks for serious padding, and use linens and towels to provide cushioning for fragile, difficult to wrap items like lamps and vases. In the kitchen, use dish towels to securely wrap up knives and other sharp objects, securing them on there with a rubber band.
Use pots to hold small items. Instead of wasting additional boxes for small kitchen items like spices and gadgets, fill up your large pots and other sealable containers with them. You’ll save a ton of space.
Wrap a small bit of plastic wrap around things that might spill. Prevent spills in transit by using plastic wrap to secure the lids of things like soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and other items you don’t want poured out all over your things.
Pack your suitcases. You can get away with packing a lot of heavy things in suitcases since their wheels make them easy to move. Use suitcases to pack things that aren’t so easily transported in boxes, such as books and heavy serving dishes.
Color code boxes. Save time with your box labeling by picking up a sheet of different colored stickers and assigning each color a room. That way, you’ll be able to identify what needs to go where super quickly, and you won’t have to hunt for the marker every single time you seal up a box.
Take pictures of box contents. Snap a quick pic of the inside of boxes after they’re packed in case you need to jog your memory later about what’s where. While you won’t be able to capture every item in the shot, it should help you get a general idea of what you’ll find in each box.
Take a picture of the back of your TV. It can be difficult to remember where all those wires go. While your TV is still plugged in, take a picture of the back of it so you’ll remember how to set it back up later.
Put together a moving essentials bag. Pack a small duffle bag or suitcase with the items you’ll need access to during your move and right after you’ve arrived at your new place. Your moving essentials bag may include important documents, medications, chargers, basic toiletries, a couple changes of clothes, etc. The goal is to know exactly where to look when you need these things instead of having to hunt around.
Moving day itself is often one of the hardest parts of the move (and usually the most tiring!). These moving hacks will help you get through it.
Pack a cooler. With all the chaos of moving day it’s very easy to get dehydrated or not eat enough. Stock a cooler with easy-to-grab items that can keep your strength up throughout the day, like water bottles and quick snacks. Move it with you in the car instead of the moving truck so you can access it whenever you need to.
Have a plan for little kids and pets. If your kids are too young to help on moving day, your best bet is to have them out with friends or family to relieve a bit of your stress and keep them safe. The same goes for pets. If you can, arrange alternate plans for your little ones and your furry ones—you’ll all be happier.
Be packed up the day before moving day. Last minute packing can slow down your entire day. Make it a goal to be completely packed before your movers arrive or it’s time to pick up the rental truck. That way, you can focus right away on accomplishing the task at hand.
You’ve finally arrived, but there’s still more to be done. Here’s how to stop procrastinating and speed up the unpacking process.
Start with the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be the most complicated and time intensive room to get unpacked, and the longer you wait to start, the more stressed out you’ll be about it. Getting it done first will give you a big sense of accomplishment right off the bat and allow you to fully focus on the easier-to-unpack rooms.
Give yourself a deadline. There’s no real timeline when it comes to unpacking, which makes procrastinating all the more alluring. Schedule a housewarming party or a more casual get together for a few weeks after your move to provide yourself with a set end date for having it all done.
Do a little bit at a time. Don’t stress yourself out trying to get every single box unpacked right away. Get the major things done, and then focus instead on doing what you can as you can, devoting just ten or fifteen minutes at a time to unpacking instead of feeling like you need to spend hours on it. It will all get done eventually.
Get rid of boxes as you empty them. As soon as a box is emptied of all its items, break it down and recycle it. This will give you a physical marker of progress and clear up much-needed space in your new home.
Moving hacks are all about making things just a bit easier on yourself. Follow the ones above and you’ll notice that, this time around, maybe your move isn’t quite as bad as you expected it to be.