You’ve hunted and searched and found the perfect home. But now comes the tricky part – moving all your stuff. Moving is often associated with back-breaking work, pulled muscles, and frustration. There’s packing everything up, physically moving it, renting a moving truck, asking friends to help, unpacking, dealing with trash, donations, etc. All of this can be a headache, but there are plenty of smart moving hacks that make moving much easier.
It’s never a good idea to rush a move. Give yourself as much time as you can when it comes to moving. Not only does this give you time to pack, but you also have plenty of time to rent a storage unit, moving container, or moving truck. You’ll also have enough time to notify your utilities and transfer your mail to avoid paying extra or losing important mail.
Whether you’re moving across town or the country, renting a PODS moving container can make moving exponentially easier by giving you time to pack at your speed. As you pack boxes, you can move them into the container, giving you more space in your home to pack the rest of your belongings and visually show you your progress. Renting a container early can also help you determine if you’ll need to order another as you fill it up.
Packing is stressful. One of the best ways to combat this stress is to take your time. There are a couple of ways that experts suggest tackling this dreaded task. One way is to make a set number of boxes to pack each day (start with two or three boxes). Another way is to set a timer for 1-hour per day and pack as much as possible in that time. This helps reduce the stress of trying to pack everything in just a few days. You can also use this technique with unpacking too.
One of the most common packing mistakes is not leaving out the things you’ll need that first night or first week in your new home. Take a second, think of the things you’ll need most, and keep them aside to pack last. You may want to pack these items in your car if you rent a moving container so you can access them at any point during your move. You may want to pack toilet paper, towels, cosmetics, electronics, light bulbs, trash bags, scissors, etc.
Before moving into your new place, get a copy of the floor plan and color code it by room. You can even take it a step further and color code specific parts of each room. Pack your boxes according to these areas. Then you can use this system to label your boxes so you know where each one goes when unloading in your new home.
Another common mistake when moving is labeling only the top of the boxes. This is problematic because we tend to stack boxes on top of each other, making the label essentially useless. The best way to label your boxes is to put the labels on the sides of the boxes. Make sure to label all the sides so you can see the label, no matter where it is stacked or is being carried. Be sure to use the same color coding system with your labels to make unloading your stuff into your new home a breeze.
Whether you’re packing books or other heavy items, you want to be mindful of what your boxes (and back) can handle. It is recommended to pack your heaviest items in smaller boxes. This will help you not overload your boxes so you can still carry them, which is especially important if you have any stairs to tackle. Another helpful hack for heavy items is transporting them in wheeled suitcases to ease the load on your arms and back.
You want to pack carefully to make sure your belongings don’t get broken or damaged during the move. Often, the biggest culprit of damage is open space. Even if your boxes are full, there is bound to be shifting and settling during the move, making space where your things can get damaged. To prevent this, eliminate as many small spaces as possible. You can do this with packing paper, socks and small clothing, pillows, blankets, etc. Pack your boxes (and even your moving container) with as little extra space as possible.
Vacuum bags can be huge space savers, but they can be costly if you need a lot of them. One cheap hack is to make DIY vacuum bags from garbage bags and your regular old vacuum cleaner. Simply put your clothes or blankets into the garbage bags, then stick the pipe for your vacuum into the garbage bag. You’ll hold the bag tightly around the pipe while you turn it on and suck out the extra air. Then, quickly pull the pipe out of the bag and tie it shut. Voila! Space saving on a dime.
Another way to protect precious items you don’t want to be broken or squished is to bundle them together with packing tape. This could be liquor bottles, face creams, perfume bottles, etc. Taping them together will help keep them from rattling together and breaking. This way, your bottles get to their new home safely, and you can celebrate.
Plastic baggies are your friend when packing liquids. Simply unscrew the cap of the container holding the liquid. Put the plastic bag over the opening and re-screw the lid. Ideally, your entire container holding your liquid will fit inside the plastic bag. However, even just under the cap will also help with preventing leakage.
Necklaces are always a precarious item to move. While you could wear all of them, they’ll likely get in the way or could get lost or broken. If you have necklaces to move, make sure you have straws on hand. Simply string the chain through the straw and reclasp it. This will help keep your chains from getting tangled, so you don’t have a massive headache and mess when unpacking them. Also, when it comes to jewelry, you want to pack it in a small closed box, such as a jewelry box, or purse. This will help prevent it from slipping through any cracks in boxes and keep it from getting lost by being put in with other items.
Pool noodles are surprisingly versatile. Not only do they keep you afloat, but they help your knee-high boots keep their shape. When it comes to moving, they are perfect protection for your picture frames and mirrors that need to be moved. Simply cut along the length of the pool noodle and slip it over the frame. This will keep your frame from getting damaged, but you’ll still need to be cautious about breaking the glass (and getting seven years bad luck with your mirrors).
While many pots are nesting pots, the last thing you should do is pack them empty. Even if you nest them together, the smallest pot should be filled with small items from your pantry, such as spices. This will help your spices stay together and keep everything contained should they spill. You can also fill pots with other flexible food packages like noodles, marshmallows, etc.
If you’re a drip coffee drinker, you’re in luck! Rather than wrap each of your plates individually, you can use your coffee filters between plates to protect them in the move. It may still be a good idea to tape your plates together and wrap them tightly with shrink or bubble wrap to keep them from breaking. As long as your plates are clean when you’re packing, you can even use these coffee filters again when you arrive at your new home (unless something breaks, in that case, toss them).
When it comes to moving hanging clothes, garment bags can get expensive. The easiest garment bags you can get are actually garbage bags. There are two ways you can do it. Firstly, you can cut a hole in the bottom of the bag and simply stick the hangers through it. Then tie the bag closed at the bottom. While this is easiest to put on, it wastes the bag. The other way to do it is to put your clothes inside the clean garbage bag, put the strings around the hangers, and tie it off. Doing it this way means you can still use the garbage bag when you get to your new home.
Moving furniture is never easy, and the hardware (think door knobs, drawer pulls, etc.) is often the victim in any move. To keep your hardware safe, all you need is a screwdriver and some painter’s tape. Using the screwdriver, remove the hardware from your furniture. Put it inside of the drawer and re-screw it on. So you can get the drawers back open, make a simple flap with the painter’s tape. Also, be sure to cover your furniture in shrink wrap or moving blankets with moving bands for the most protection.
Honestly, these moving hacks are just the tip of the iceberg, and we know there are plenty of others out there. Let us know your favorite moving hacks and tips in the comments below.