Most people dread the idea of moving. It is a widely accepted belief that moving is an exhausting, stressful, expensive, and frustrating process. The truth is that it certainly can be all of those things, but what isn’t typically mentioned is that it does not have to be.
If you wish to become a savvy mover, there are multiple methods, tips, and hacks to make it much less stressful. We have all the information you need to keep in mind to lower the cost, annoyance, and stress levels of your move, and instead turn it into a manageable, cost-friendly, and robust experience.
Before You Start Packing
Our first piece of advice is don’t wait to start packing until it’s too close to moving time. Trust us, there are plenty of things that you can pack far ahead of time, so when moving day approaches, you have far less to do. But before you get on that, sit back and read through our coherent list of moving tips and we will help make your move far easier than you think it will be.
Pack Up Into What You Have
If you want to avoid purchasing a lot of cardboard boxes ahead of your move, you can get moving boxes for free via multiple methods. But if you don’t have time to explore those at the moment, consider utilizing things you already have on hand to start your packing process. These include:
- Baskets (laundry, straw, etc.)
- Plastic crates/containers
- Laundry hampers
More likely than not, you have enough of such storage containers on hand to pack quite a bit of the stuff you are moving. You may still need some cardboard boxes afterward, but you will need far fewer of them so even if you are purchasing them, your expenses in that regard will be cut way down.
Packing Supply Stock-Up
While you can probably get around purchasing moving boxes with the tip above, you will want to purchase some essential packing supplies. These include pertinent packing items like:
- Packing tape (we recommend using different colors for different rooms to make unpacking at your new place a breeze)
- Box cutters
- Labels (even if you are using colored packing tape, labels help movers from moving companies and even you once you arrive at your new abode)
- Trash Bags
- Boxes (if you need them)
We encourage you to purchase all of these ahead of the move so that you avoid the last-minute scramble to try to get these items when you are pressed for packing time.
One of the often overlooked aspects of moving is how to most effectively plan your grocery shopping. If the move is short-range (such as staying in the same town or moving a few towns away), groceries can often be moved with ease using bags and coolers, you can even make a separate trip to your new place just for that reason.
However, long-distance moves are a different story. When moving to another state or even to the other side of the country there is little that is worth bringing along in terms of consumables. Therefore, you do not want to be in a situation where you are moving and throwing away a fridge full of groceries. For that reason, it is advised that the last grocery shopping was done before the move takes place about two weeks prior.
This doesn’t just apply to food and drink items, but toiletries as well. If you are able to use up all of the hand soap, toilet paper, and paper towels before the move, that is less stuff that you need to feel like you must bring along with you. Anything to lighten the moving load is a benefit.
Hiring A Moving Company
As with anything else, waiting for the last minute to book a moving company is not wise. Booking it early, however, is advantageous for a number of reasons. First, it saves you the stress of trying to find movers that are available for the time you need when the clock is ticking on your move.
Secondly, the earlier you book, the better deals you will get. Moving companies are more likely to give better deals to secure future jobs, but will certainly charge more when someone needs their service late in the game.
Securing painters and carpenters for their services in touching up any small, potentially damageable aspects of your old place in order to leave your home or rental in “like new” condition. You will find better deals and greater availability if you do not procrastinate on securing their services early on.
Only Keep What You Need
If nothing else, trust this one fact: You do not need to keep everything in your home when you move. There are many things that you have not used or are no longer viable for any purpose. That means you can trash or recycle a good percentage of your belongings, or donate those that can be reused to a worthy charity (or sell it on sites like eBay or Craigslist). Once again, the less you have to pack, the easier the moving process becomes.
Set Valuables Aside
When you pack, set aside valuables like important legal documents, priceless artifacts, and expensive jewelry. You will have peace of mind when these items travel with you and are securely in your possession. Keep things that you simply cannot lose with you, and send everything else with the movers.
Time To Pack
Now that you have handled all of the prep work, you are ready to start packing. Allowing yourself ample time before the move to do so keep in mind the following helpful hacks to ease the burden of your next move.
Narrow Your Focus
If you allow your mind to start thinking about the totality of how much you actually need to pack, you will stress out and get overwhelmed. As you have wisely left yourself a bunch of time ahead of the move, you can take the moving job piece by piece.
Do this by focusing on small parts at a time by packing up your place room by room. This way you will be able to label all of the boxes accordingly and when you complete a room entirely, you can celebrate your accomplishment. This will allow you to split up your packing and move systematically from room to room. As you organize all of the boxes for a particular room you will not be combining items from different areas of the house. This will make unpacking your rooms at your new residence a million times simpler.
Note The Weight Of Your Moving Boxes
Believe it or not, packing boxes is a bit of a science. Packing them wrong can result in undesirable outcomes. For instance, if a box is far too heavy, it is burdensome to move, but a box that is too light means that the items inside can bounce around, smash into each other, and incur unwanted damages.
For this reason, a good rule of thumb is to pack small boxes with heavy objects as this keeps the weightier items down in small compartments which are not as hard to move around. At the same time, bigger boxes should be filled with lighter items as long as they are not easily damaged.
Another strategy often utilized for packing boxes for a move is to place heavier objects on the bottom and the lighter ones on top. In doing so, the proportionality of the weight makes the box not overly heavy and yet allows for a good number of items to fit inside.
Be Smart With How You Use Supplies
Using the supplies you purchased for the move effectively is also very important. When taping a box, make sure that the tape covers it with two pieces on the bottom and two at the top. When the box is packed, wrap it all the way around twice with tape as well. If you are looking to conserve tape, plastic wrap around the box is also an effective technique to keep boxes from opening up.
Also, don’t skimp on-label use. Every box should have at least one. Not only will this make it easier for friends or movers to know which room the box belongs to, but you are also easing the burden on yourself. It might be easy to believe that you will remember what goes in which box, but the truth is that the person who might question where the box belongs when moving into the new place, might be you.
Keep Small Items Together
Some of the smallest items are the most pertinent. Screws, bolts, nuts, bolts, and various other small attachment components being lost or misplaced can render shelves and even beds unusable until you can replace the missing pieces. To avoid them being scattered, it is advised to group them together in small sealable plastic bags and label the bags with an indicator of what these small items are meant to be used for. Of course, when packing the bags, make sure they are placed in a logical and safe place so the entire bag does not go missing.
Taking Correct Steps With Electronics
Likely, your TVs, sound systems, computers, and other electronic items have quite a few wires and hookups that you would like to preserve. Unfortunately, to move these, you will need to detach all of the connections and reconnect them once you set up at your new place. But the process of fiddling with wires does not need to be hard. Simply taking a picture of where all the wires are attached prior to disconnecting them will help you quickly reattach everything later.
When moving large items like TVs, monitors, and stereo systems, it is recommended that they be moved in their original boxes as they will house the items easily. Blankets and bubble wrap can be placed around to protect the sensitive and vulnerable parts. When placing in moving trucks or vans, it’s important to not lay televisions down on their face either.
Pack Dishes Carefully
Packing dishes tends to require a lot of packing paper for appropriate padding. When packing plates, avoid stacking them on top of each other. Instead, slot them sideways, as you would vinyl records. This prevents the top plates from pushing their weight down on the lower plates, potentially cracking them in the process. While sideways stacking helps preserve the plates, anything breakable should still be individually wrapped in a layer of packing paper or bubble wrap to assure safety.
Instead of packing every piece of clothing in a suitcase or container individually, you can use this impressive hack to get several items at once and keep them clean in the process. Simply wrap several pieces of clothing that remain on their hangers in a garbage bag or a sealed vacuum bag. This prevents you from needing to pack each item, while keeping them in the same form you will eventually place them into your new closet.
Prepare Overnight Bag
After a long day of moving, the last thing you will want to do is to rummage through your boxes to find your essentials. To ease yourself into your first night in your new place, simply pack the things you will need for the night and the following morning into a separate overnight bag. This will give you easy access to the things you need without needing to spend a ton of time trying to find them.
Tips For Moving Apartments
When moving from one rental to another, there is even more to consider. Renters expect that any incurred damages, including cosmetic things like holes in walls made by nails or screws pictures be filled in. While you don’t have to do this, you would not want to get a surprise bill from your former rental manager putting you on the hook for hundreds of dollars for repairs. Instead, simply purchase some commercial products like speckles to fill in walls. You can even fill them with plain white toothpaste if you wish.
Another good tip is to take pictures of your old apartment before you leave once it has been cleaned out. This will be proof that the place was in top shape when you left it. If there is any damage, this will also make note of that. If there are any questions from the landlord, your pictures will indicate what damages you left if any.
Use The Strategic Packing Tips To Improve Your Move
If you are not adequately prepared for a move, it can be stressful and frustrating. But none of that needs to be the case if you utilize the strategic moving steps to make your move a far more enjoyable experience.
Did we miss any good tips? Let us know in the comments!