15 Tips for Making Your Next Move a Lot Easier
Here's how to make the process a little less painful.
Moving into a new place, maybe even in a new city or state, should be an exciting time, but orchestrating a move can have you thinking otherwise. Moving requires a great deal of effort, from altering your utility providers to disassembling furniture to the exhausting, physical act of packing up all of your belongings—and the heavy lifting that ensues.
It’s no surprise that moving can feel overwhelming, even for those who hire help. To facilitate a smoother move, we’ve rounded up 15 tips that are easy to follow and will help you keep your cool.
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 usually more expensive at the start and end of the month and on weekends, since that’s when most people have to move. If you can swing it, taking a day off from work in the middle of the week could be easier on your wallet (and anxiety level).
Rethink your packing boxes
Why on Earth would you pay for cardboard boxes? Consider using boxes from your local grocery and liquor stores (you can score them for free), or using the ones that came with recent online shopping purchases. Alternatively, you can rent plastic bins for your move, and the company will schedule a pickup date once you’re unpacked.
Cut it out
Whether you’re doing the heavy lifting or someone else is, use a box cutter for its intended purpose and cut yourself some handholds. It sounds beyond obvious, but you’d be amazed how few people this occurs to and what a difference it makes.
Be clear about essentials
Make a list of everything you’re going to need as soon as you get to your new place, and put all of 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.
Mark your boxes thoroughly
This might seem like an obvious tip, yet how many times have you been unable to locate exactly what you’re looking for? Spare yourself the frustration and write the contents of each box (or what room it’s destined for) on the top and at least two sides. Feel free to get as specific as possible. 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, towels, and clothes that also need packing? Your beach towel will do just as good a job with that priceless family heirloom as the industrial fabric from Home Depot.
Clean out the closet
The closet is one of the more annoying items on the packing itinerary, but it doesn’t have to be. While it may not be elegant, instead of laboriously taking everything off the hanger 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—and unpacking it will be just as easy.
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—say, books—in there instead. You’ll still have to deal with the stairs, but at least the rest of it’ll be easier.
Use wine boxes
Pack your glassware into wine boxes, the ones with the little cardboard separators. It’ll save you the effort of wrapping each item in tissue paper (this is where those free boxes from the liquor store really come in handy).
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 with moving tape.
Photograph your electronic wiring
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 what you can to a homeless shelter. Don’t take that almost-empty jar of mayonnaise with you.
Load your mattress last
Load your mattress into the truck last. Not only is it shockingly heavy, but it’ll act as cushioning for anything sliding toward the doors.
Hire professional cleaners
Once you’re in your new place, you may not have the energy or motivation to give your previous spot the deep clean it deserves. Hiring professional cleaners can save you time and help you focus on your new digs. Consider baking this into your moving budget right from the start.
Book a tasker for furniture assembly
If you’re working with movers, not all of them will assemble your disassembled furniture upon arrival. And if you’re not the most confident with an Allen key, book a tasker to build your old (or new) furniture, so you can quickly settle into your new spot.