Getting ready for a big move? We’ve put together 22 moving tips & moving hacks to help make your move as smooth as possible and help you avoid some of the common moving mistakes.
Moving can be stressful. Believe me, I know. I’ve moved enough times in my life to have had some that have been complete disasters and some that went as smooth as silk. Well, as silky as one can expect when moving an entire household worth of personal items, furniture, and clothing from one place to another.
Between packing, hiring movers (or a truck), changing your address EVERYWHERE, unpacking, and figuring out your new home, be prepared for your stress levels to skyrocket. It’s unavoidable.
However, there are some ways to help ease that stress. Keep these 22 moving tips in mind while you’re packing and preparing your move, as well as on move day, to help ease some of the stress on move day.
Need a more comprehensive list of moving tips and to-dos? Download our Free Printable Moving Checklist.
It contains 7 pages of detailed moving tips and to-dos to make sure you don’t forget anything critical come move day.
And, when I say ‘detailed’, I mean ‘DETAILED’.
However, to ease you into that level of detail, here are some of the key moving tips that I have learned after many years of packing, moving, and unpacking.
22 HANDY MOVING TIPS | HACKS TO HELP YOU MOVE LIKE A PRO
Enough with the chitter-chatter, let’s get at what you came for. Here are our top moving tips and moving hacks learned over many, many, many years.
Check Your Dimensions
Make sure you understand HOW you will load your larger items into your new home, especially if they won’t fit through the front entrance. You don’t want to show up with your oversized sectional and realize – on move day – that it won’t fit through the front door. Measure twice, Move once!!!
Move Mid-Week (If Possible)
Mid-week moves tend to be cheaper for moving companies than weekend moves. If you can, aim to move in the middle of the week, but book the remainder of the week off so that you have those days and the weekend to get your new home organized. The same applies to the middle of the month, as most rental properties start their contracts on the 1st of the month.
Stack Boxes Close to the Front Door
If possible, move as many of your packed boxes into a room close to the front door (or the door where you are planning on moving in and out through) before move day. This will speed up the move and can save you time & money.
But make sure they are tucked out of the way so that larger pieces can still be moved before the boxes are.
Book The Elevator Well in Advance
Most apartments and condominiums require you to book a dedicated moving elevator, which will be put on service for you. Sometimes, they also put up moving pads inside of the elevator to remove damage.
Therefore, if you’re moving into an apartment or condominium (any place that has an elevator) make sure to book the elevator as early as possible and confirm your booking 2- 3 days before the move.
Confirm Access & Parking for the Moving Truck at Your New Home
Check the access points for the moving truck to make sure that the truck size you will need can fit in your driveway or on the street without blocking traffic or your neighbors driveway. For apartments or condominiums, make sure the truck can make it through the parking lot to the loading area.
Years ago, we moved into an apartment building and the moving area was at the back of the building, but we could not fit the truck around the corner and down the back alley so we ended up having to carry most of the stuff about 150 feet from the furthest the truck could fit to the loading area. A slightly smaller truck would have fit all our stuff AND fit down the alleyway… so lesson learned there.
Saran Wrap Bottle & Jar Tops
It is FAR too easy for the push or flip top lids to come open during a move. And even your normal screw-on lids can lose their seal when bouncing around in a moving truck.
To keep bottles from leaking during the move, open the bottle and place plastic wrap across the top and down about 2 inches on all sides. Screw the cap over the plastic wrap to create a better seal.
You can use this moving hack for shampoo and conditioner bottles, cleaning supplies, and more. Basically any bottle or jar with a screw-top lid. This helps create a stronger seal and prevent leakage during the move.
Find Free Boxes
Consider searching on Craigslist for free, used moving boxes. Flatten and put your moving boxes back up on Craigslist when you’re done your move. You can also check your place of business, local liquor stores, grocery stores, and drug stores as they are usually a good source of sturdy, used boxes.
Add LOTS of Color-Coded Labels to Your Boxes
Label boxes on the top and 2 sides, so that you can easily see what’s in the box while you’re carrying it or after it’s buried in a pile of other boxes. Few things are as frustrating as trying to find something that is in a box that is buried in a pile of other boxes and you can’t tell which box is which.
Using Colored labels or tape helps provide visual cues for where the box should go. This can be as extensive as a different color for every room in the house, or as simple as one color for the top floor, one for the main floor, and one for the basement. This will speed up the unloading time AND help make sure everything ends up in the right place.
Assign a Moving Traffic Cop (With a Guide to Your Color Coding)
Give one of your helpers the job of watching as things get unloaded and directing them to where in the house each item should go. They should understand your color-coded system (see note above) and know which room in the house is which.
Use Textiles to Wrap Fragile Items
Socks, scarves, and towels can often be used in place of packing peanuts for an environmentally friendlier way to protect your fragile items.
Don’t Empty Your Dresser Drawers or Closets
For most local moves, you can leave the clothing in the dresser drawers but pack up any small, loose, or valuable items that could get lost if the dresser drawer tipped over during the move.
Hanging clothes can be left on their hanger, wrapped in plastic bags (large garbage bags often work), tied together, and then hung back in the closet until it’s time to move.