15 Hacks for Making Your Next Move Awesome
Hey, you know who gets really excited about moving? Nobody. Moving into a new place, maybe even in a new town or state (or, in my case, continent) should be an exciting time, but thanks to the bajillion things you need to do to get the job done, it often all seems like a huge pain in the butt (especially if you left that Allen key in your back pocket).
Time your move
If you’re hiring a moving company, do your best to plan your move for mid-month, on a weekday if possible. They’re always more expensive at the start and end of the month and on weekends, since that’s when most people have to move.
Be clear about essentials
Figure out everything you’re going to need as soon as you get to your new place, and put all that stuff into a clear plastic box. Load it into the truck last, or take it with you in the car. This way, you’re not rummaging around for hours trying to find the one thing you actually need on arrival.
One man’s trash…
Why on Earth would you pay for cardboard boxes? With a diligent regular search out back of your local liquor and grocery stores, you can score piles of free boxes that only smell a little bit like the gutter.
Mark your boxes thoroughly
Write the contents of the box (or what room it’s destined for) on the top and on at least two sides. That way you’ll be able to identify them, even when they’re stacked.
Use your stuff to protect your stuff
Why invest in extra padding material when you have rugs and towels that also need packing? Your My Little Pony beach towel will do just as good a job with that priceless family heirloom as the industrial fabric from Home Depot.
Cleaning out the closet
The closet is one of the more annoying items on the packing itinerary. But it doesn’t have to be -- instead of laboriously taking everything off the hangar and folding it, simply scoop whole sections into trash bags, leaving the hangers sticking out of the top. It’ll cut an hour-long task down to less than five minutes.
Bag the heavy stuff
Now that your suitcases are free of clothes, put them to better use. If they’re the rolling kind, put the heavy stuff -- books, etc. -- in there instead. You’ll still have to deal with the stairs, but at least the rest of it’ll be easier.
Pack your glassware into wine boxes -- the ones with the little cardboard separators. It’ll save you the effort of wrapping each individual item in newspaper (this is where those free boxes from the liquor store really come into their own).
Seal your drawers
If you’re moving a dresser, save on all that packing and unpacking by leaving the clothes where they are and sealing the drawers themselves up with Press ‘n Seal. Or, in a pinch, eight layers of Saran wrap.
Cut it out
Struggling to hold onto that box? Use a box cutter for its intended purpose and cut yourself some hand holds. It sounds beyond obvious, but you’d be amazed how few people this occurs to.
Got a bundle of wires behind every screen? Take a quick photo so you can see how it all goes back together later. This will not help you with the untangling -- that one’s on you.
Stuff your face
It’s not worth the time or effort of packing up the majority of the food in your kitchen. Either make an everything-stew, or donate some stuff to a homeless shelter. Don’t take that night-tenths empty jar of mayonnaise with you.
Load your mattress into the truck last. Not only is that unwieldy son of a bitch shockingly heavy, it’ll act as cushioning for anything sliding towards the doors.
Got a bunch of nail holes to fill in? Don’t want to waste time buying spackle and a spreader? Rub the holes with a bar of soap -- your landlord won’t know the difference (until it’s too late, at least).
There’s an app for that
Moving Van costs $1.99 and lets you easily catalogue all your boxes and their contents, so you know where everything is (and if anything’s gone missing). This will not help you if the thing that’s missing is your phone.
Nick Leftley has been published in Maxim, Time Out New York, Men's Fitness, and many others. He has also written for various sitcom projects for the BBC, and enjoys writing about himself in the third person.