Frequent moves are practically a fact of life if you’re a 20- or 30-something. I’ve moved at least a half a dozen times since I graduated from high school and flew the nest. As you transition from high school to college to a career and maybe a family of your own, it’s only normal for your living arrangements to feel like they’re in a constant state of flux.
Packing and unpacking all of your possessions isn’t exactly the most fun pastime. But after moving so many times, I have it down to a science. So today I thought I’d share 10 of my most useful moving tips with all of you. Check them out below…
1. Purge before you pack.
Before you even begin packing, take a good look at your possessions and get rid of anything you don’t need. If there was ever a time to be ruthless rather than sentimental, this is it. Make three piles for your unwanted items—donate, toss, and sell—and then clear your house of them accordingly.
2. Start packing the items you use the least.
When you’re packing for a move, you always want to box up the items you use the least, and then gradually work your way up to things you use weekly or daily. This allows you to get your packing started early without feeling like you’re missing any necessities in the meantime. If it’s winter, for instance, pack up all your summer clothes and swimsuits a few weeks ahead of time. Save your sweaters and coats for a couple of days before the move.
3. Pack for a pretend weekend getaway.
After a long day of moving, the last thing you’re going to want to do is rifle through boxes in search of your toothbrush or clean underwear. So, I suggest packing a bag with all of your essentials for the first few days in your new home. It’s a lot easier to live out of a suitcase for a couple days while you unpack the rest of your possessions at your leisure.
4. Hang ten.
Re-hanging all of your clothes is one of the most tedious moving tasks. So if you can, try to keep all of your clothes on their hangers. I suggest tying groups of 10-or-so hangers together using rubber bands. For added protection, you can create a makeshift garment bag for each bundle using a plastic trash bag.
5. Take the doggies to daycare.
Pets get confused and worried during a move. So I always suggest finding a sitter for your four-legged friends on moving day. It will make things less stressful on you and your pets.
6. Go green.
Nothing beats the ease of having boxes delivered to your old home and then picked up at your new one. It’s also the eco-friendly thing to do. I suggest using a company that rents reusable plastic crates like Rent a Green Box because they’re sturdier and better for the environment than disposable cardboard boxes.
7. Play hooky from work.
Many truck rental and moving companies offer cheaper rates on weekdays. So if you can take a day off work or school, it will save you money to move on a weekday. Plus, having the weekend to just relax and unpack is invaluable.
8. Have a labeling system.
Having a detailed labeling system will make the moving and unpacking process so much easier. I recommend using stickers, brightly colored duct tape or colored sharpies to color code by room. Share your color-coding system with the movers so they unload the boxes in the correct rooms for you. You should also draw ‘This Side Up’ arrows on all boxes to make sure the contents aren’t tossed around too much.
9. Pack tight.
Don’t leave empty spaces in boxes. If there is any empty space, pad it with towels or packing paper. It’s a no-brainer to bundle breakables, but even seemingly indestructible items can get damaged if they’re shifting around a lot. It also makes boxes harder to lift if items are shifting around.
10. Pay it forward.
If you want to do something nice for your old place’s new residents, leave behind a box of useful information (appliance warranties, favorite local boutiques, takeout menus, etc.). It’s a small gesture, but a sweet one.
Do you have any other moving tips?
Share them with me below!