47-Moving-Hacks-That-Will-Make-Your-Life-EasierAre you moving? That’s great news. You know what’s also great? This list of moving tips, tricks, and hacks. It’ll help you navigate moving day so much easier. Good bye, Frazzled. Hello, Organized.

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1. Create a schedule. This schedule will help you plot out which days to pack up which rooms (i.e. Monday = Bathrooms, Tuesday = Kitchen, Wednesday = Dining Room).

moving-out

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2. Start packing earlier than you think you should. Most people wait until the very last minute to actually start packing and then it becomes a chaotic rush. Avoid that by starting out early and dedicating at least one packing day (maybe more) to each room in your home.

3. Focus on one room at a time. Piggybacking off the above hack, don’t spread your attention too thin and go from one room to the next. Instead, focus on packing one room at a time. By the end of the day, you’ll feel much more accomplished when you can check that room off of your list.

4. Color code your boxes and create a color key. Purchase duct tape in several different colors. Tear off a strip of duct tape and apply on the side of the box for easy identification. Be sure to create a master color key (along with a swatch of duct tape) to help you quickly determine which box goes where. For example, Green = Bathrooms, Blue = Kitchen, Red = Dining Room.

5. Clean your new home a day or two ahead of time. Don’t wait until after you’ve moved everything in. No one wants to scrub toilets or hang up shower curtains at the end of a long moving day—but everyone wants to take a shower. So have your kitchen and bathrooms ready for immediate use.

6. Hire a cleaning service to clean your new home. It may just be the best $100 bucks you’ve ever spent.

7.Take photos of the back of your television and audio/ visual equipment. This creates an easy reference to help you hook up the cords correctly. No one wants to call the cable guy if the don’t have to.

audio-visual-equipment

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8. Pack books in suitcases, not boxes. Suitcases are sturdier and easier to navigate than cardboard boxes, especially if you use a suitcase with wheels. Save cardboard boxes for the lighter stuff.

9. Use plastic wrap to keep utensils packed tightly inside their container trays. This makes it so easy to unwrap and put away in your new home.

10. Use clothing to protect breakables. Do you have glass jewelry trays, makeup mirrors, and other fragile stuff that is easily breakable? Wrap them up in your thickest sweaters before packing them away in shallow, clearly marked boxes.

11.Throw a yard sale! When you’re packing, it’s easy to sort through items you may no longer want or wish to carry to your new life. If you have the time, throw a yard sale to unload those items and make some extra money in the process.

12. Donate items! If you’ve had a yard sale and items don’t sell, don’t bring them back in your home. Donate them to charity. You can also do this without hosting a yard sale.

13. Offer your friends first choice. Before selling or donating items, ask your friends if they’d like the items first.

[Tweet “Create an “open me first” box. This box will house all of your first night essentials.”]

14. Create an “open me first” box. This box will house all of your first night essentials. Stuff to include: bath soap, dish soap, hand soap, toilet tissue, paper towels, paper plates and utensils, drill, screwdriver, box cutter, scissors, tape, pencil, pen, other accessories, towels, and toiletries. Whew! That’s a long list, but tweak as needed. To help differentiate this box, choose a plastic storage bin instead of a cardboard box. It’ll stand out in a sea of boxes.

15. Lighten the load by stocking your home ahead of the move. Focus on stocking the kitchen and bathroom with essentials prior to moving in. This includes shower curtains, towels, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner, cooking utensils, and cleaning supplies.

16. Rent a moving van. Even if you have a truck, it’s easiest to rent a moving van. This will give you the ability to move in one haul instead of making a gazillion small trips across town.

17. Get a dolly or a hand truck. It’s around $15 but it’s worth its weight in gold when you’re moving boxes from one place.

18. Ask a friend or family member to babysit or pet sit. Children are a joy, just not on moving day. On moving day, they’re underfoot, cranky, overstimulated, and overwhelmed—just like you. The difference is, their presence isn’t mandatory and they’ll be better off away from the chaos of moving day.

all-moved-in

Image Courtesy of Two Men and a Truck

19. Pack dining plates between styrofoam plates. Styrofoam provides extra cushion. It’s easier to use compared with newspaper.

20. Resell or give away boxes. After you’ve moved, it’s time to pay it forward (especially if you obtained the boxes for free). Make a listing on Craigslist, if one’s active in your area. I can almost guarantee quick pick up because there’s always someone looking for boxes.

21. Prevent spills from cleaning supplies. Use duct tape to tape the top of opened cleaning supplies.

22. Wrap shampoos and soaps, too. Unscrew tops from open shampoo and liquid soap contains and wrap plastic around the open end of the bottle. Screw the top back on, and you’ve protected yourself against spills. But, just to be extra sure, add those bottles into gallon-sized plastic bags.

23. Change your address. Here’s a partial list: the post office, the bank, your employer, cable company, utilities, magazine subscriptions, and lenders.

24. Order stickers with your new address. Trust me, you’ll forget. It’s easier to have stickers in place from the beginning.

25. Pack your hanging clothes without lifting them off the rack. Squeeze together a group of clothes (10 hangers or less) and then cover from the bottom with a trash bag for easy moving.

26. Take out and wrap each drawer in plastic (like saran wrap) without removing the contents of the drawer. Just like with the utensils hack earlier, unpacking (or unwrapping) drawers is a breeze.

27. Hire help. If you don’t have friends nearby, you can hire them. Okay, maybe not friends, but you can hire professional movers to assist you with your move (or do the whole thing). Make sure you pay attention to the fine print and hire a licensed and insured moving company, preferably one with good reviews.

28. Search for free boxes. Start your hunt online with Craigslist, Freecycle, U-Haul Box Exchange, and FreeCardBoardBoxes for free boxes. If you don’t find much look online, check with grocery stores, big box stores, department stores, and dumpsters at apartment buildings (especially after the first of the month).

search-free-boxes

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29. Get free boxes from the ABC store (liquor boxes). Your local liquor store has a ton of free boxes that are perfect for smaller items if you don’t mind liquor branding.

30. Pack wine and other fragile drinking glasses inside liquor boxes. Many liquor boxes already have built in compartments that are perfectly sized for wine glasses. Oh, and they’re great if you need to transport wine bottles, too.

31. Pack the hardest room first. With very few exceptions, the kitchen is always the most time-consuming room. There are plenty of gadgets and loose stuff that need to be carefully packed up.

32. Defrost the refrigerator. While you’re in the kitchen packing up, make sure to defrost the fridge—especially if you’re moving it to your new home.

33. Put spices in large pots. Put those pots to use in your move, otherwise they’re just taking up space.

34. Don’t pack items from multiple rooms in the same box. Unpacking is already bad enough. But when you have to drag a box around to multiple rooms, it’s ten times worse.

35. Don’t fold your clothes. To save space in your suitcases or boxes, roll clothes instead. Of course, whenever possible, I recommend leaving your clothes in their drawers or on hangers, or this next hack:

36. Use garbage bags to pack your clothes. It sounds disrespectful, but it’s insanely practical. First, clothes are easier to carry in trash bags, and you can fit a whole lot of them in one trash bag. Use contractor trash bags for maximum tear resistance.

37. Label boxes on the sides. You can label the top but always label the side as well. This way, when boxes are stacked upon each other, you can still know where they go.

38. Pack televisions and computers in the boxes they came in. If you still have them around, those boxes (along with their package material) are the best option. In lieu of that:

39. Pack televisions and mirrors between mattresses. Mattresses provide natural bump protection.

40. Tape mirrors to keep them from breaking. Use painter’s tape.

41. Store screws, nuts, and bolts for your bed in a plastic bag that’s clearly labeled. You’ll be happy that you did. Consider using painter’s tape to securely attach the bag to your bed frame.

42. Don’t grocery shop for two weeks before your move. Eat what’s left and then order take out. It will be easier to clean out your refrigerator if there’s nothing in it.

43. Cut handles into the sides of your cardboard box. This makes moving boxes a breeze—well, at least easier.

44. Pack enough clothes to wear until you’ve unpacked your closet. Pack enough for a two-week trip out of town. Include tops, bottoms, pajamas, underwear, and socks. You should have a healthy mix of work and leisure clothes to get you through those times when you cannot find what you want in your myriad of boxes.

45. Set up the bedroom(s) in your new home first. You’ll need a good night’s sleep after moving, and sleeping on the floor after the age of 10 is never fun.

46. Moving from an apartment? Make sure you take photos after you’ve cleaned up and moved everything out.

47. Order out. Order a pizza during your move and then treat yourself to a nice dinner afterwards. You deserve it.

Final Thoughts

Moving is tough. There’s no getting around it, but hopefully these hacks will make it much easier to do. Good luck and congratulations on your new move!

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