Since the end of college (2012) I have moved 8 times. This isn’t a brag nor a pity statement, but it does somewhat make me an expert at packing and moving. I haven’t lost a single thing to a rented u-haul nor have had any mishaps with movers. In fact, only just recently have I had a casualty with moving (the handle of my favorite coffee mug broke) but if that’s the worst thing that’s happened over 7 years and 8 moves, then I’ll consider that a win.
Now that we’re moving out thanks to our home renovation, I figured since I’ve moved so much and summer is the most frequent time for moving, these packing and moving tips would be helpful for you as well.
Essential Packing and Moving Tips & Staying Organized During a Move
1. You’re going to run out of boxes so buy more boxes than you think you’ll need
I like using a mix of boxes and plastic bins (like these moisture sealing ones) for moves. The moisture control ones are great for moving food goods, cleaning supplies, bathroom goods, and other spillable items.
2. Accept the mess
I hate living in squalor which is how it feels when you start a big move, but you just have to buck up and accept the mess. It’s just a part of the process when emptying drawers and cleaning out curio cabinets.
3. Purge as you go
I saw you just pick up that linen napkin you SWEAR you’re going to use for Thanksgiving when you’re in your ideal dining room. Listen to me: YOU WON’T. Put it in a donation pile and let someone else enjoy it this Thanksgiving.
I like to get a big black trash bag, you know the ones that are used for hauling off debris and lawn work, to hold all of the items I put in there that I think I want to donate. This way, it keeps me from staring at that shirt I swear I’m going to wear this summer, nagging at me to stay. Instead, it stays nice and warm in the black bag, anxiously awaiting its journey with its new owner.
4. Pack Up Your Car
If you’re working on a local move, packing up your car and making small trips here and there is a great way to make the move easier come move day. If you aren’t moving locally, I reserve car space for expensive items, important documents, family heirlooms, or very fragile breakables. If you forgo using wardrobe boxes, I always pack the back of my car full of clothing still hanging on their hangers.
5. Create a labeling system
For my last two moves, I’ve had multiple stops: storage unit, goodwill, and our new location. When packing up think about the route you’re taking to your final location and what stop will be first. If it’s the first stop on your journey make sure you load those items in last. If you’re hiring movers to help you move, make sure that the destination is VERY clearly written on the top and sides so there is no confusion. Nothing would be more heartbreaking than having something go to goodwill when it was meant to go to storage.
Typically when we have multiple stops the back of the truck will be made up of new location, then the middle of the truck will be storage unit, and the front of the truck will be labeled goodwill.
6. Moving Day: Pick the earliest time slot
Moves never go as quickly as you think they do, plus between potential traffic delays and breaks (both you and the movers) budget for at least 1.5 more hours than you think you need, chances are you will go over and it’s always a relief to get to your new location before it gets dark.
7. Unpack as quickly as you can when you get into your new place
You’ve already got the momentum on the first day, so long as you’re not sporting any sort of injury, use that momentum to unpack the necessities the first day: bathroom supplies, kitchen utensils, bedding. That way, you’ll be ready to tackle the other boxes the next day.
There you have it! I hope this information has helped you gear up for you next move! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out in the comments!