Fortunately, while moving isn’t necessarily easy on anyone, there are some ways to pack and unpack faster, reduce the amount of work, and ultimately make the process go just a bit smoother than it might otherwise. Sound too good to be true? Try our top packing and moving tips for yourself and discover creative ways to improve your move.
How to move: getting prepared
The best way to pack for moving is to start earlier, rather than later. So before we get to packing tips and tricks, here are some moving hacks that will help you start off on the right foot.
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.
- Call the utility companies as soon as you know you’re moving. You’ll not only get it out of the way early on, you’ll also ensure you don’t forget to do it later.
- Find a mover fast. Find movers near you that have already been vetted for quality and reliability.
- Set your budget. Moving can get expensive, and you don’t want to end up with major sticker shock on top of everything else.
- Eat up. Make 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.
Getting rid of stuff
We can’t overstate just how much easier your move will be if you organize your belongings and toss, recycle, or donate what you don’t need instead of lugging it with you to your new home. It’s an undertaking, but these tips can help you do it.
- Do a wardrobe purge. If it doesn’t fit, is out of style, and/or you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.
- Get rid of items you wouldn’t buy again. When deciding whether an item serves a purpose in your life ask yourself whether you would go out and spend money on it if you didn’t already have it. If you wouldn’t, you likely don’t need it.
- 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.
- Consider short term storage. If there are some items that you just can’t commit to getting rid of yet but you’re not sure you need, you may want to put them in a short-term storage unit and then evaluate later on.
Saving money on your move
In addition to being a lot of work, moves can also cost you a lot of money. Follow these moving budget hacks to keep your costs down.
- Get quotes from at least three different movers. This helps ensure you get the best price, and you may even find that a company is willing to reduce their estimate if it means getting your business.
- Look at all your options. The best way to move is the way that makes sense for your needs and your budget. Price compare moving companies against renting a moving truck or using a portable moving container to hone in on your most cost effective option.
- Find free packing supplies. You can often score free boxes by calling up local retailers or just asking friends and family members.
- Be flexible. Have some lee-way in terms of when you have to relocate? Save money by opting for a mid-day or mid-week move.
How to pack for a move
Packing to move might just be the most time consuming part of the whole process. Our best packing tips for moving are all about cutting corners so that you can save yourself time while still making sure that your belongings are protected. With that in mind, here are the packing hacks for moving you need to know for a smoother move.
- Don’t empty out your dresser drawers. 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. Keep clothes on their hangers and either group them up and wrap them in large garbage bags or hang 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.
- Colour code boxes. Save time with your box labelling by picking up a sheet of different coloured stickers and assigning each colour 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, such as important documents, medications, chargers, basic toiletries, a couple changes of clothes, etc.
Moving day itself is super tiring—and it be super stressful, too. These moving hacks will help you get through it.
- Pack a cooler. 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 hang 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 beforemoving 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.
Last minute moving hacks
Having lots of time to plan, prep, and execute your move is great, however it doesn’t always work out that way. Follow these moving and packing tips if you’re in a hurry.
- Start with logistics. Figure out how you’re getting from point A to point B before doing anything else. You can wing a lot of things with moving, but not this.
- Pack now and sort later. Now it the time to pack, not think. Take care to properly wrap valuables, breakables, and sharp items, but don’t put pressure on yourself to organize or label your boxes—you’ll figure it all out later when you’re not on a tight deadline.
- Leave some tasks to the movers. If you’re working with a moving company you can offload some of the tasks to them, such as wrapping up furniture and getting last-minute into boxes. Just be prepared that this may tack on some time, and thus some cash, to your final bill.
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. Getting the kitchen 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. 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 all of your unpacking done.
- Put on some tunes. Music makes everything better. Skip the TV (it will just be a distraction) and put on some good tunes to entertain yourself while unpacking and provide a much-needed distraction from the monotony.
- 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.
- Give yourself no choice. Feeling a bit sadistic? Dump out a box worth of stuff onto your bed or in your bathtub so that you have no choice but to clear it all out and put everything away if you want to get use out of your space.
- 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.
- Have a plan for food. Let’s get real here: you’re not going to want to be cooking while also settling in and unpacking. Give yourself the gift of guilt-free takeout so you can focus more on everything else that needs to get done.
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.