Let’s be honest: no one likes moving. It’s a pain. To help your move be just a little bit easier and a little less stressful, here are some great comments people have sent us in response to this simple question we put out:
What tip can you share for people moving homes that would be useful, and which most people don’t think about?
I’ve published (and summarized) the best moving tips that have been submitted below. Many of these were written by both people working in moving companies and people who have moved many times before, and are sure to be helpful to you if your making a major move for the first time:
- Before packing everything, think of what you really need and what you can throw out (link, link). You can donate junk or clutter to charities (link) (EDITORS NOTE: This was a very common tip — moving is the perfect time to minimalize your possessions and get rid of clutter)
- Pack gradually, preferably several weeks in advance (link, link)
- Label boxes clearly (link)
- If you’re booking a moving company, pick the earliest time slot available as they’re likely to do a better job. Also, weekends or the end of the month rates may be higher (link)
- Move the big stuff on the same day (link)
- Don’t carry too many things at once (link)
- Pack an overnight bag with the essentials like toiletries and any medication you need (link)
- Unpack as you go (link)
- Let your old neighbors know about your new address (link)
- Make lists of what needs to be packed first, and what needs to go where (link)
- Postpone online shopping to your old home a couple weeks before the move, and cook in advance for moving day (link)
- Have a moving checklist and plan for as much as you can (link)
- Eat all the food in your fridge before you move (link)
- Remember to update your address for everything (link)
- Take measurements and make a floor plan (link)
- Get quotes from as many moving companies as possible, and ask for discounts (link)
- Remember to take care of yourself (link)
- Use bubble wrap, and for smaller boxes with fragile valuables, take them in your car instead of loading them in the moving truck with larger items (link)
- Throw a packing party (link)
If you have any further suggestions for making moving easier that has not yet been suggested in this article, you’re welcome to make a suggestion here.
LESS IS MORE. I'm not Marie Kondo, but less is really more. Live with less - things you only use, need, and okay 'cherished'. When you need to relocate, you have few to pack. Or, if you already accumulated stuff, declutter a month or weeks before putting your things on boxes. You'll see what you really have and could make a mental brainstorm if you would use and still like them in your new home. This way, your things could be categorized: to keep, donate or get rid of. Also, I don't believe in premature preparation - you could start sorting what to ready as early as possible. No rush, just chill. And don't forget to label your boxes - happy moving!
--Owen Drury, Waterworks LTD
When you're moving homes, packing is arguably the most tedious, stressful, and time-consuming task on your to-do list. If you leave all of your packing to the last minute, it is highly likely that you'll damage some of your possesssions due to improper packing, and you'll likely be very disorganized during your packing and unpacking processes. To prevent any packing problems from developing in the first place, you should instead start to gradually pack up your home several weeks in advance.
Roughly 3 weeks before your move, you should start to pack up your home going one room at a time. Try to dedicate an hour everyday to just packing up some things. When you chip away at this mountaneous challenge slowly, you'll feel much more confident in your packing abilities and in the safety of your possessions.
A gradual packing process will also allow you to take your time and become very organized. For instance, as you go room by room, you can number all of your boxes and develop a corresponding list to keep track of what is in each box. With a better organization system, you can ensure that nothing gets left behind in your old home. And once moving day finally arrives, your home will be all set and ready to move, without any last minute packing scrambles.
--Marshall and Padraic, Amazing Moves
My tip is to label the boxes clearly. It may sound easy, but most people forget to do this. Unpacking stuff could get really tedious. It may even take days before you could get all things in place. This must-do will save you from stress in looking for what you need at the moment.
--Ajmal Dar, Moccasin Guru
1. If you're hiring a moving company, book the earliest morning time slot available. The moving crew will be fresh so they'll get the job done faster and typically do a better job.
2. Pack an overnight box. Put all your toiletries, medicines and other personal items into a special box or suitcase that you take with you. This way you can find your toothbrush after an exhausting day of moving.
3. Free boxes from liquor stores or groceries are a great way to save some cash but make sure you only get sturdy good quality boxes. Flimsy boxes won't stack well and increase the chances of damage.
4. Avoiding the weekends and end of the month can get you a better rate on a moving company or rental truck.
--Ryan Carrigan, moveBuddha
in the year 2020 alone, I have moved five times! It started back in January when I moved out of my parents house and into a friends apartment. Then again in June when we moved into a new apartment, again in August when I moved to another apartment. One more time in September to the apartment I’m staying in now. And finally, in October I helped my parents move from one house to another.
In all these moves over the past 11 months, the biggest hack I’ve learned was moving the “big stuff” on the same day.
Oftentimes, you don’t want to rent a big moving truck for more than a single day or two, so if your move is not that far, it would be preferred to start bringing over the small items early, and having one big “moving day” where you can find friends and family willing to help you move the big items.
The toughest part about finding people to help you move, is the coordination of schedule. This way you only have to find one day where people are willing to help.
--Jordan Rubin, @socialconfidencecoaching on Instagram
You’re not a donkey – don’t carry too many things all at once. Moving always entails carrying tons of boxes up and down several flights of stars. If you're like most people, then you'll naturally want to get it done as fast as possible, and always carry as many boxes as you possibly can.
This is a huge mistake. Yes, you save yourself a lot of trips up and down the stairs. And yes, carrying as much as possible does the job more quickly. And time is money, right? But you know what’s also worth money? Trips to the hospital caused by back injury. Which you all but guarantee when every trip to the truck is done at 100% of your carrying capacity.
Yes, you can probably stack 5 boxes per trip, and carry 50 boxes in only 10 trips. But believe me, you’ll need that energy when moving the REALLY heavy stuff. Yes, those 50 boxes might take 25 trips down the stairs when you carry them two by two, but your feet have orders of magnitude more endurance than your back (after all, it’s why we say “Lift with your feet, not with your back”).
--Velin Dragoev, Keen Fighter
I have moved many times and if I had to give my best tip it would be if you're going to bin it why move it! Sort through all your belongings before packing up and divide it up between trash, recycling, charity, and labeled move boxes. Not only will you save money on moving but you will also save a whole lot of time unpacking!
--Ahmed Mir, Sip Coffee House
My best tip is to leave a box and an overnight bag that has all the essentials that you would need your 1st couple of days after moving in and you have not been able to unpack everything, for example - paper towels, toilet paper, paper goods to eat and drink out of - all shower essentials - snacks - any medications you might need, and some cleaning supplies.
My #1 moving tip is to unpack-as-you-go. Let me explain...
Most people start by moving everything into their new house. Then, they unpack everything in one hectic, jam-packed day (or week!). There's a few problems with this. First, unpacking takes so long because there's so much stuff. Second, you have to buy hundreds of boxes to fit all of your stuff. Lastly, the boxes end up cluttering your house, stressing you out, making the whole process miserable.
Instead, unpack-as-you-go. What this means is that as soon as a box enters your new house, start unpacking it. Right that very second, with no hesitation. This technique will make the unpacking go by faster because it's getting lumped in with the actual move itself.
Additionally, it gives you motivation to get stuff unpacked. If you commit to unpacking box #1 before moving to box #2, you'll unpack it so fast knowing that you want to get to box #2. Compare this to the traditional method, where boxes end up sitting around your house for weeks, and you can see why the unpack-as-you-go method dominates.
Another way to do this is if you have family/friends helping you, assign one person to move stuff in and one person to start unpacking.
If you're moving a far distance this might be a little bit harder. But, it can still be utilized by unpacking one box from the truck at a time, then immediately unpacking it. Easy!
--Mike Miller, Wilderness Times
Leave your new address/phone number with your trusted and friendly neighbors. I am sure you remember to redirect the mail and notify the various offices and institutions about the address change. However, rest assured, there is at least one place you'll forget to inform or service or subscription that is irregular that you may skip. In that case, it is best to let your new address info with the closest neighbors. They will let you know if someone comes looking, notify about the lost parcel or pass the information on to someone looking to get in touch with you. As an upfront thank you gift, you may present the neighbors some of the things you haven't touched for a year but still planned to carry along. Don't. If you haven't used something for more than a year, you will never use it again. There is no reason to clunk your new home.
--Agnieszka Cejrowska, bankopening.co.uk
After moving every few years as a child between Army bases and then settling down as an adult I have had my fair share of home moves!
We always have a separate set of bags come with us and not the removal men. These include everything to be comfortable for the fist night should something go wrong; a couple of changes of clothes, a couple of meals (don't forget water!) and emergency bedding and inflatable mattresses.
Plus one of the most essential things to have at hand is a tool set with wall filler and paint. When you are arrive in any property you can be sure that there will be little things that need fixing. Quickly sort these before you move in all your furniture and you will make life a lot easier for yourself!
--Charlie Williams, Workshopedia
2 Tips that help smoothen our big family moving homes:
1- List what part of the house need to be packed first
We have quite a big house to pack with about 4 rooms.
List out what part of the house that needed to pack first.
For example, you can start with packing kitchen things. Then move to packing and sorting the things in guest room.
You can plan like this:
Day 1 to Day 3 - Pack kitchen things. Make sure all drawers are cleaned, all corners checked
Day 4 to Day 5 - Pack guest room things
Day 6 to Day 7 - Pack Dining Room things
2- List which things need to go where
We were moving from a double storey house, to a bigger Semi-D. We don't want any clutter to follow us.
So I made sure that each and every things from our old house must have a designated place at our new house.
This also makes unpacking faster.
For example, my kids artwork are put in one box, and this box labeled to be put at upstairs living room. So when we move to our new house, this box immediately go upstairs and the kids unpack it to be stored at the designated shelf.
One more example, our bedsheets are put in one other box. This nox is labeled to be put at upstairs' wardrobe room, in the second drawer.
This save lots of our time cleaning up and unpacking at new house.
--Khadeejah Hasmad, Fluffy Tots
1) One thing that you should do when moving homes is to stop making online purchases a couple of weeks in advance. People often make the mistake of continuing to buy things online, even a couple of days before the big move. You don't want any delayed shipments to arrive at your old home. Make sure to postpone any online orders until you have moved to the new place.
I have witnessed several people having to deal with orders that they could not receive anymore. It's never pretty. On one occasion the new inhabitants of the old home even 'forgot' to mention they received several packages for the old inhabitants of the house.
2) Another thing that is important to pay attention to when moving homes is the meals for the moving day itself. You do yourself a favor by cooking in advance and making sure that everybody involved has enough to eat. It will be a stressful day and by cooking beforehand you take away one possible source of stress. At the same time, this gives everyone involved enough energy for the day.
A couple of times I have been involved in home moves where the homeowners did not consider food in their moving plans. Scrambling to arrange things to eat made things more difficult and slowed the entire process of moving down.
--Tim Koster, CleverCreations
A lot of people go through getting rid of junk or clutter either by disposing it or trying to sell it (garage sales, one off ads). This is either wasteful or very time consuming. My tip is to try to donate it to various local or national charities. There are drop off spots for many items such as cloths, shoes, houseware in places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. For the big stuff like beds, couches tables, which take space, are costly to move and hard to sell, finding an organization that picks up is super convenient. In a nutshell donating is a win win, others benefit from your donation, and you save time as well as get a tax deduction write-off which sometimes will equal to the money you could collect selling the stuff.
--Rany Burstein, Diggz
By downsizing prior to a move, a person will have less to pack and take. This will be of increased relevance for family caregivers relocating aging parents. This can be a daunting task as, typically, seniors have accumulated a mountain of accumulated stuff which can't be brought along. If moving Mom/Dad into a long-term care home, family caregivers will find that these facilities offer very little in the way of extra storage space. Furniture may also be too big or bulky to fit in a care home room or a smaller senior's condo and may be unsafe (a senior may not have the strength to stand up from a couch/chair and could become trapped).
But sorting through parental belongings can be time-consuming and emotionally draining. Certain items can have significant nostalgic value. By starting the process as soon as possible, family caregivers can make better decisions as to what to keep, donate, delegate, or discard. Declutter - if something hasn't been used for a year, sell it. If something is broken and cannot be repaired, throw it away. When decisions cannot be made immediately, parental keepsakes could be kept temporarily in a paid storage unit. Whether you're a family caregiver or otherwise, moving can be made easier in other ways: taking things slower to avoid become overloaded; using smaller boxes for ease of carrying; labelling boxes or photographing the box contents; wrapping breakables inside socks, shirts, or towels; completing packing prior to moving day; reserving any required elevators at a starting point or destination; measuring space (to ensure furniture will fit in a new home ...); and/or hiring a professional moving company or do-it-yourself truck for mid-month rather than month-end.
--Rick Lauber, ricklauber.com
Arguably, the most important aspect of moving homes is the planning. And no, I’m not talking about just creating mental notes. In this scenario, planning pertains to creating a meticulous and well thought of moving check-list. Most importantly, this moving checklist should be created well in advance, about 2 months prior to the move at least.
Winging it is all well and good until you start getting burdened with unforeseen challenges. It can be anything involving packing materials, finding the right moving company, dealing with your kids and pets or even getting in touch with your utility service providers to transfer or discontinue their services.
Planning for what you need, what you don’t, where you might require a helping hand, what kind of unexpected challenges can pop-up makes a world of difference. More often than not, it’s the stress that gets to those moving than the actual labour of moving. When planning, make sure your checklist includes every pre-move, during move and post-move aspects, including your employment, work leave and other such scenarios.
--Rostislav Shetman, 9Kilo Moving
One specific tip that most people do not think about when moving homes is to start in advance. Some people believe their moving will not take them too long but there are many things to consider. Start early so that you have enough time to declutter, shred paperwork, take your time in organizing to make it easier to unpack as well. If you plan ahead of time and finish packing before moving day, you can have a smoother moving day experience. So often people keep packing until the very last minute and before they know it, the movers arrive, and they have things to finish packing. Make sure to think about your belongings and to see if you will need additional storage space. The last thing you want is to not have enough space while your new home is ready for you.
--Davida Redmond, Mobile Mini
If there is one thing that I can highly recommend - it is to eat all of your food. Now - I know that’s something many people won’t think about, so I’m here to mention it. It’s a big pain to move food around, as some foods can perish within a day if they aren’t refrigerated - and can take up needed space in your moving truck or vehicle. So, after you’re done packing - take a look at your fridge and invite some friends or family over. Make a giant feast, and try to eat everything that is perishable. With all the food in your stomachs, you won’t need to plan packing for it nor will you have to pack it later. It’s a great way to lessen the load on your move - and it isn’t wasteful at all. Food does cost money, and by throwing it away, you’re losing out on money. Also, any unopened food can be donated to your local food bank ahead of time, which is great for your local community.
--Eugene Romberg, We Buy Houses In Bay Area
You may not even know it, but there are a lot of different items connected to your mail. For things like your bank accounts, credit and debit cards, mail service delivery, gym memberships, subscription platforms, home insurance policy, and so many more, you'll need to update your address immediately. The simplest way to go about this is to start building a checklist of everyday items that need an address change immediately.
--William Schumacher, Uprising Food
Take down measurements of furniture and white goods in your current house. Then also take measurements of the spaces in your new house. Sit down with pen and paper and draw everything to scale on a piece of paper. One will be your floor plan and then cut out all the furniture and whitegoods. Move the cutout furniture shapes around physically on the floorplan page to have a plan about what goes where. Find out if your couch will fit in the lounge, will your fridge fit in the kitchen. Then on the day when furniture gets moved, you already know where everything will fit. It will save so much time and effort.
--Kassandra Marsh, Lakazdi Business and Marketing Document Design
After seven international moves and nearly twice as many domestic moves, I've learned that PREPARATION is the key to a successful move. It doesn't matter if you are moving across town or overseas, many of the same things still need to happen. There's more to it than just hiring a moving company.
Sell, give away and donate the things that you no longer need before you pack. This will make moving less expensive, easier and a feel-good experience, as the people receiving the things you no longer need will be very grateful. You may even make some money selling the items of value that you no longer need.
Stage your belongings based on the layout of your new home. Put a sign in each room that corresponds with the room where the items will be going in the new home. This will ensure that the boxes are labeled in a way that will make unloading in the new home easier.
Forward your mail and transfer or cancel your utilities and other services. Schedule the set-up of utilities/services at your new home. As bills and other important mail arrive during the last month in your old home, provide the senders with your new address.
Plan meals and sleeping arrangements for the transition period between homes. If you have children, make arrangements for their care. Consider having a special family dinner or leaving party in your home. All of this will help you leave your home on a positive note.
--Linda Mueller, The Expat Partner Coach
No matter how far you’re moving, the most important tip is to go the extra mile. Moving prices change from day to day and company to company, so a little extra work often means a lot of additional savings. If you get a quote from one company, you should get a second, third—or even fourth—quote from other options. And when you finally make a decision, ask for a discount. You can often end up saving hundreds of dollars.
--Kurt Manwaring, Move.org
Moving can be completely overwhelming. If you've ever experienced it, chances are that you've cried into an empty box before. While you have plenty of planning to do when it comes to hiring a moving truck, packing boxes and safeguarding breakables, you also have to be sure to take care of yourself!
Be sure to get plenty of sleep, and always stay hydrated! But, most importantly, keep your stress levels in check. If you find yourself in an anxious situation, step away for a bit, take a short walk and clear your head. When you're moving, you'll need to be ready to make many decisions on the spot. That's why it's important to have a clear mind - free from stress, anxiety and anything else that could interfere with this big adventure!
--Dr. Colette Widrin, Balance Blends
One thing that people often forget when moving are the little things. We all have those super-small valuables or keepsakes that require extra care when packing. This is why it's worth it to invest in bubble wrap and smaller boxes that will hold these items tightly, so that they don't bounce about and potentially be broken.
Additionally, don't put these smaller boxes in the moving truck with the large, heavy boxes. They're much safer in the backseat or trunk of your car - even if you have to make a few trips.
--Joey Campbell, Sundae
My top suggestion for moving is to throw a packing party. This serves two excellent purposes: not only is it a great way to see your friends and family all in one place before you move, but it will make the packing process go much more quickly than if you were doing it by yourself.
Give your guests plenty of notice by sending out invitations well in advance. It’s a good idea to schedule the packing party for a date several days before the movers come, so that the bulk of your packing gets done and you don’t have to live without your essential belongings for long.
The best way to accomplish the packing is to come up with a list of packing-related tasks (and a brief explanation for each) that anyone can do and write them on a big poster. Then, attendees can choose a task and start working on it, with minimal instruction, and cross it off when they’re finished. As the host, you’ll probably spend most of your time “floating” among your guests, chatting and making sure they know what to do. Your main job is to facilitate the packing with lots of food and drinks -- pizza is always a winner!
This doesn’t negate the need to hire movers, though -- your packing party guests shouldn’t have to do the heavy lifting. And, of course, there will be plenty of things that you’ll want to pack yourself, but you’ll be amazed at how much it helps to have some extra pairs of hands. It will make the packing experience a lot more pleasant, and you’ll hopefully end up with some very positive memories of your move.
--Matt Satell, Little Bundle
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