Moving Tips

There are a lot of different ways to go about packing and moving depending on your conditions. Moving out of state is different from moving across town, and moving from an apartment or rental will be different from moving out of another house. Things can also change depending on whether you are moving house yourself or hiring a moving company or even moving most of your items into a storage unit.

With all the different factors involved and however you plan on moving, make sure you think it through so that you can create a plan that will work for you. As someone who has moved 15 times, I know how stressful the moving process can be if you wait until the last minute. This post is going to help you get started and give you time to create a moving plan. It’s also filled with packing tips to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

When to Start Packing

The first thing to decide when you’re preparing for a move is when you need to start packing. If you are looking to move within six months, go ahead and start prepping your items the best that you can. The first step is going through all of your belongings. The intention is to get rid of all the things you don’t want to take with you. You can create different piles as you go through your home.

Some main rooms that keep a lot of items we don’t use are the kitchen, closets, attic, and garage! You can read this post that covers packing items in your home that are out of season or aren’t currently being used before it even goes on the market.

Make a pile of items to purge that need to be thrown out. Have another pile of useable items that you can donate. Try to sell more expensive or valuable items. The last piles will be items you currently sill use, which you can keep where they are, and items you want to keep but don’t currently use. These items, such as out of season clothing or kitchenware that you only use once or twice a year, can be packed, labeled, and stored in the attic.

The more boxes you prep for your move, the easier moving will be. You can start this process several months in advance. Once you find a new place to move in, you can create a moving plan. This will help you stay on task to get everything done in a timely manner instead of rushing last minute.

On your moving plan you need to pick your moving day and then work backwards.

Schedule times to disconnect services in your current place including (but not limited to) internet, cable, and utilities. If you are moving your fridge it needs to be defrosted and disconnected at least one day before you move it. Create a list of things that need to be packed up and put them on your calendar. When the day for your moving task comes, don’t procrastinate! Get them done.

A few months before you move is also a good time to look for the best moving deals if you’re hiring someone to help you move. The more action items on your moving list, the less likely that things will be missed. Moving is hectic enough, so make a plan to reduce the chaos.

Packing Items You’ll Need

There’s a lot that goes into moving. You will definitely need packing boxes, but be sure you buy all different sizes. You don’t want to pack heavy items in a large box, so you will need to buy small boxes. Get a mix so that packing goes smoother. You can either buy packing materials or ask friends, family, or coworkers if they have any extra material you can use.

If you live in a neighborhood, request if any of your neighbors have any materials on your Neighborhood Facebook page.

When buying materials, you can go to UPS, Lowes, Home Depot, or even Walmart! Just be sure to stick with packing boxes instead of using other items that may not be strong enough. The other materials that you will need in addition to moving boxes are packing tape, a packing gun, packing paper, bubble wrap, blankets, furniture pads or sliders, and Ziplock bags.

You can also buy a large permanent marker to write on boxes and different colored tapes to easily identify boxes for each room (we will cover this in the next section, Packing Tips). What you need will depend on if you’re moving by yourself or hiring a moving company.

Packing Tips

Here are some packing tips that will make your move easier. The best way to make the move go easier is to label every box. If you’re really organized, add not only what room the items are from, but which room they are going into. Make a quick list of the items inside, i.e. cooking utensils, bathroom towels, etc. This way when you start unpacking it will be easier because all of your boxes are packed by room.

Go through your home and pack room by room and don’t mix items in boxes! Don’t add items from the kitchen to the master bedroom boxes. Try to pack each item by category when packing up a room. For a visual aid, you can even use different colored tape on boxes for specific rooms. This way you can easily identify where the boxes should go.

You can place out of season items that you should have packed ahead of time in vacuum seal bags to keep them fresh. Stick to the packing tips above when putting these items in boxes.

Pack heavy items in small boxers. You don’t want to put them in a large box and stack additional things on top. For any cosmetics, powder, or blush, put a cotton ball in the compartments so they don’t break during the move. Cover the openings of toiletries or gels with saran wrap and then screw the lid on top so that the bottles don’t leak.

Pack plates vertically instead of stacking them as they are

less likely to break this way.

When packing breakables, use a lot of wrapping to protect them. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Use ziplock bags for any screws or wires used for your appliances. Label each bag and just like the boxes, only use one bag per appliance so you don’t get anything confused. You can do the same for all the wall nails, but these can all go in one bag. Also, take photo of electronics so you know where all the wires go!

The Week You Move

The week that you move is the time to start packing all the other items in your home that you are still currently using. This is going to be the hardest part. Go ahead and pack clear plastic boxes of things you’ll need straight away. In these boxes you can include cleaning supplies, dishware and cups, and any other items you will need upon your move. You can also pack paper plates, utensils, and napkins just to bee safe.

You will also need to pack an overnight bag for the first few days in your house. This includes all clothing and any jewelry, documents, or other items. You will also want to pack your valuables if you have hired a moving company. It’s better to keep these items on hand just in case they get lost.

If you have children, pack items for them in a small bag. Don’t just pack clothes, but books, movies, toys, video games, their pillows, or any other items that are important to them. Pack items so that your children feel like not all of their belongings are being packed away.

Don’t buy anymore groceries the week you move. Clean out your fridge!

Now is also the time to start cleaning out your fridge and freezer. If you’re moving somewhere close by you can always move these items the day you move in. If you are moving your fridge then you will need to defrost it the day before moving. Disconnect the ice maker and be sure the line is drained before moving it. Wipe down your fridge and put baking soda in it to keep the mildew out.

Moving Day

On moving day there’s a lot going on. That’s why this is the most important day to stick to your schedule. If you hired movers talk to them about the boxes that you need to be unloaded first in your home. The movers will load those boxes in the truck last so that they will be the first ones off the truck. And you can get these boxes unpacked first!

Finding a moving company is one extra thing to add to your list, and Consumers Advocate made this task easier for you. They have comped a list of the Best Moving Companies of 2019. Check out their article here:

As a rule of thumb, all heavy items and furniture should be loaded into the truck first. Any outdoor items will also need to be packed today since it’s hard to pack these items before hand. Load boxes from the same room together so it’s easier when all the boxes are moved in. This way you can unload one room at a time.

Organize as you unpack each box, this will save you time later on.

Even if you don’t think organizing your boxes by room is important, one thing is. Make sure everything is packed up before you start moving so you don’t have to stop and then start moving again. Lastly, if you’re renting, take a picture of the cleared out space before you leave! This way you know that everything was in order when you moved out.

That’s a Wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helps you through your moving process. These are the packing tricks  that I have learned throughout the years. Each tip helps the transition go smoother. Hopefully your move will be an easier one to manage after using the tips in this post. If you want anymore information on packing or moving tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Here’s my email:

I would love to help you through this process. And if you’re in the Birmingham area, I can help you sell or find your dream home. There is also more information on the closing process that you can read here and click on this link to learn more about what home buyers need to know. These posts will help you through the process of buying your home.

If you have kids, learn how to move with children in this post. It will help you with the packing, unpacking, and moving process so that it goes smoother for the entire family. If you want a fun, new way to help declutter your belongings, try the KonMari method! Learn about this here.