There are very few things in life that are as stressful as relocation. What's worse, just before making a move, you also have the hard task of selling the old family house and buying a new one. During these few months, you'll deal with real estate agents, movers, individual buyers, and sellers. As if that wasn't enough, most people still have to go to work during this time.
Our Moving Tips and Tricks for Your Smooth Move
No matter how tiresome this process might initially seem, there are ways to make it easier. Basically, you can make a major difference by planning ahead and using a few packing techniques. In this article, we'll share the best moving tips and tricks from a professional organizer that will make your relocation a breeze!
1. Make painful cuts
One of the best moving tips is being ruthless toward your old belongings. The truth is, we don't need most of the stuff lying around our homes. Old shirts, rugged dresses, worn-out trinkets from a trip a decade ago; all this stuff belong in a trash can!
Before even getting out your boxes, perform a thorough cleaning of your wardrobe. Donate everything you can to the Red Cross and other charity organizations while sending the rest to the nearest dump. If you have enough time, you can even try to sell better-looking pieces.
As for the furniture, we suggest that you create a mental image of how your new house might look like. After finding your perfect interior design, dispose of anything that might go against your vision. If you have some nice pieces but you're not sure how to incorporate them, we suggest you leave them in a warehouse for the time being.
2. Remove the ugly
A good way to test an item during decluttering is to classify it as “pretty” or “ugly.” As it turns out, we usually have a bunch of stuff we no longer deem suitable, whether because they're rugged or out of fashion.
That being said, a good way of making the cuts is by taking a look at your belongings and determining if you're embarrassed about using them. In most cases, people will start with items they haven't used for a while. However, you can also throw away anything that will interfere with your future interior design.
We also suggest you consult with your partner regarding the stuff you want to buy. If you don't have cash for a new kitchen, then don't plan a new interior based on that.
3. Put the basics in a suitcase
Take out the biggest suitcase you have and put all the necessities in it. These are basically your toiletries, paper towels, underwear, socks, and t-shirts that you'll use in the following days while waiting for the moving truck. That way, you don't have to worry when the moving boxes will arrive, as you'll have everything at the tip of your fingers.
One of the best packing hacks is taking plastic bags and stuffing them with clothes. These garbage bags are ideal for small cars as you can stuff everything inside, maximizing the space. Although your clothes will be a bit wrinkled, you'll be able to carry much more stuff with you.
Just make sure to avoid placing fragile items in the bags, as this will result in a disaster!
4. Leave stuff in drawers
One of the coolest tips for moving is not packing at all. Don't put too much stress on yourself, folding your clothes and packing them in bubble wrap; they'll get messy anyway. Instead, leave as many items in drawers as possible. Not only will they stay neat within dressers, but you'll also save a lot of time during the packing process.
If you're worried that the drawers will slide while in the moving truck, we suggest that you take a packing tape to secure it. Keep in mind this might damage sensitive wood or leave marks, so be careful how you're using it.
5. Start with critical stuff
Professional movers recommend that you always start by checking the basement, garage, or attic. This is where people keep most of their old belonging that serve no purpose. By decluttering these messy rooms, it will be much easier to proceed with the following steps of the moving process.
But before you go ham, we recommend you rent a van or at least have a car nearby. You'll be surprised at how much stuff people throw away after checking their storage rooms. So, there's no point in just putting all your old stuff in an old pile and waiting for another day to throw them out.
Instead, it's much better to address the elephant in the room right away.
6. Sell everything you can
Some people will throw away all their old stuff without giving them a second glance. The others will try to get as much money as possible by selling them.
Ideally, you should start decluttering as soon as you make a decision to move out, way before you start looking for a new home. The moving date will come much faster than you might think, so you'll need some time to advertise the old junk and sell it.
If you don't plan ahead, there's a good chance you'll be forced to sell your expensive belonging at a fraction of their market value. Although you can make a garage sale, we suggest you put everything online. Not only will web advertising help you get the best price, but you'll also sell stuff much quicker.
7. Use smart labeling
Some of the best packing tips revolve around labeling. This makes sense because you can save a lot of money and time by simply being organized. Moving tricks such as this are important not only for families but also for professional movers carrying your stuff.
Basically, you should mark cardboard boxes based on the room they're going to. If the box consists of toiletries, mark it with "Bathroom." After packing clothes in a box, put the label "Bedroom" (or wherever you keep your clothes. This way, the movers will know exactly where to put the boxes, so you don't have to backtrack.
8. Group items
Even if you decide to only bring the essentials, it'll probably take a few weeks to use some of these items. This is especially true for winter clothes and decorative pieces, which you don't even have to unpack in the next month or so.
Before you start packing, you should group items based on their function and current usefulness. If it's summer, there's no point in prioritizing winter clothes; they can be in separate boxes so you can unpack them at your leisure. Similar goes for tools and garage items, which you don't have to bother with until you use them.
Categorizing items also provides benefits during packing. For example, starting with the plates makes it easier to handle the packing supplies. In other words, you don't have to pull out bubble wrap every five minutes because you forgot a few glasses.
9. Use different boxes
Besides labeling, you can also do a great job by using different types of compartments for different objects. For example, you can use large boxes for large, clunky items, medium-sized boxes for trinkets and memorability, and wrappings for clothing.
You should also use different packing supplies depending on what you're transporting. As mentioned, regular clothes don't require much protection, and you can just put them in any garbage bag. However, specialized boxes with hangers are a fantastic choice for hanging clothes for work.
Depending on what's in the moving boxes, you might consider adding some extra layers of protection. Packing paper and plastic wrap is ideal for fragile items such as dishware or devices.
10. Load dishware last
Speaking of sensitive items, it's best that you pack your dishware last. Even if you hire the best moving company on the market, there's still a chance that the team will make some mistakes when packing boxes. Chipping your old nana's plates is the last thing you need, and even if you have insurance, nothing can replace the emotional value.
So, by instructing the movers to put these boxes last, you can rest assured they won't be crushed by larger, bulkier items such as furniture. Furthermore, as you're packing them last, the movers can easily find a way to place the box without endangering anything that might be inside. By loading dishware last, you're also ensuring it will be unloaded first.
Of course, the same moving tip also works for other delicate items such as paintings.
11. Prioritize unpacking
Based on everything said in the previous sections, it becomes obvious that unpacking is every bit as important as packing. Families start the moving process with a pep in their step, only to lose energy and get stressed out along the way. By the time you arrive at your new home, you'll be so drained that you probably won't fully unpack for several weeks.
Given all of that, you should create an actionable plan that will make unpacking as simple as possible. Pack the moving truck based on bulkiness, with larger furniture going first and delicate items going last.
When you pack boxes, place the most important items on the top. For example, you can put your favorite T-shirts on top, while winter clothes can go on the bottom. The similar goes for new cutlery vs. the old cutlery.
12. Create a checklist
One of the best yet simplest packing tips for moving is to create a moving checklist. Although some people might think that this is unnecessary, it will prove to be crucial at certain steps.
Basically, having a moving checklist ensures that the entire process is streamlined. You can create an outline of which boxes to put first in the van and which ones come last. A checklist is also necessary if you have a tight schedule and have to plan what you want to do during certain days.
Although this might sound a bit over the top, it would be a bad idea to put everything in an Excel sheet. This trick works like a charm for larger families with small kids. As your children are spending most of their days on their phones anyway, you can simply send them the file to remind them of their daily moving duties.
13. Outline a budget
People who never had to experience relocation are generally shocked when the bills start piling up. As mentioned, during packing and moving, you usually have lots of other things on your plate. For example, you might have to settle all your previous property debts, pay taxes, and get a real estate agent and moving company.
These things add up really quickly, which can easily get you in a pickle. This is why it's of utmost importance to remain frugal and save money wherever you can. Luckily, there are lots of ways to save money when moving out.
We suggest you start by scheduling movers during their off-season. Additionally, you can save money by purchasing moving supplies in bulk. You can also use your clothes and stuffed animals instead of bubble wrap for sensitive items. If you can, try to save money on a storage unit, minimizing expenses whenever you can.
Speaking of saving, boxes are another major ticket that can drain your budget. This is especially true of specialized wardrobe boxes that can cost an arm and a leg. As mentioned, you can save money by leaving as much stuff within the drawers or by using bags. An even better trick is to ask for free boxes in a local grocery store.
Conclusion: Arm Yourself with These Moving Tips to Dial Down the Stress
Moving can be a monumental task fraught with emotional and physical challenges. However, by arming yourself with the right moving tips and tricks, you can significantly reduce the stress associated with this life-changing event.
Whether you’re moving out of California or some other state, this article should provide universal knowledge to guide you throughout the process.
Always remember that each one of us has a system for packing; some people might look at our tricks at deem them overly convoluted. However, these secrets were compiled by the industry's best experts, and there's no reason to think they won't work for you. So, take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to move like a pro!