Whether you are moving for the first time, or are a seasoned pro, I’m here to share a list of 15 of the most helpful moving and packing tips.
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After 9 years in the same house, my family and I moved to a new home a few months ago. Packing up and moving an entire house can be a stressful so I reached out to friends and family and asked them to share their best moving and packing tips with me. And now I’m sharing them with you!
Below you’ll find a list of 15 of the best packing and moving tips:
Color code using duct tape
Duct tape is the cheapest way to color code your moving boxes! I was able to find at least 10 different colors/patterns at my local Dollar Tree. Before you go, make a list of the different rooms you’ll be packing up, such as, kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc. Make sure to grab multiple rolls of each color so you don’t have to waste time going back to the store.
Duct tape around the corner of box
When a friend shared this tip with me, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself! By duct taping around the corner of each box, it allowed me to see the color of tape quickly and easily. This was so helpful when we moved because the box didn’t have to only be facing one direction in order for me to see where I belonged.
Zip tie hangers together
This tip was shared with me by a friend whose family is in the military and has moved multiple times. Bunching a group of hangers together and using a zip tie to secure them is a great time saver and makes moving the clothes so much easier.
Black garbage bags over your clothes
In addition to zip tying the hangers, you can also put a black garbage bag over the top of them (poking a hole through the bottom) and then tying the bottom of the bag together. We moved our clothes in a car so I didn’t personally use this tip, but I can see how it would be really helpful for keeping your clothes protected from getting dirty if they need to be put somewhere like the trunk or moving van.
Write content description on an index card
For boxes that don’t need to be opened immediately, or that need a more detailed description, use an index card taped on the outside of the box. This saves you from opening unnecessary boxes when you are unpacking. I think this tip is also helpful if you are going to be putting your items in a storage unit and they won’t be accessed for a while.
Moving box binder
For anyone who wants to be super organized when moving, label each moving box with a number and then keep a binder with paper in it. As you fill up boxes, number the box and catalog what is in it in the binder. Then when you unload and need “that one thing” you know where to find it and don’t have to open every single box. I would recommend starting at “1” for each room.
Create a house map/legend
If possible, print of a couple copies of the layout of your new home. Put a copy on the front door and the garage door (or other major door) and color in each room with the corresponding color of duct tape. Label each door in your new house so whoever is helping you move can find the right room for each box they bring in.
Buy lots of packing materials
If you’ve never done a big move before, you might be shocked at how much packing material you’ll actually need to get the job done. Make sure to buy more than you think you’ll need and then take back the extra (if you have any). You will save lots of time and hassle if you don’t need to make supply runs for basic packing supplies such as tape and bubble wrap. Another option is to have a moving company, such as Muscle Men Movers, do a packing materials estimate for you. They can also come in and wrap and move large pieces of furniture such as a piano (in Utah).
In addition to using packing material for your dishes or other small breakables, consider using mismatched socks to as way to cushion your glassware.
Use what you have for padding
Going along with the tip above, use what you have to help pad fragile items. Towels, socks, hot pads and blankets all make great packing materials. Plus, it saves you from having to use a separate box just for those items.
Sort as you pack
As you are packing, don’t just throw stuff into boxes, thinking you’ll go through it during unpacking. While you probably will do some of this when you unpack, it’s a lot easier to go through it at the time. Create a specific place to keep items to be donated. Bring a garbage sack or box in with you so you don’t have an excuse of not having anywhere to put things you don’t want or need. Don’t be afraid to let go.
Let the kids help
If you are like me, you might be tempted to try and pack up everything by yourself so you know it’s been done. But the truth is, you’re going to need some help along the way. I found that my older kids (ages 8 and 6) were actually pretty good at packing up their own belongings. I helped them label but other than that, they took care of it. Involving them in the packing may also help them process the move and give you a chance to talk.
Another thing you can do to include your kids in packing is to make a game of it. Set a timer and see how long it takes to finish a certain room. Or try to beat the buzzer. Turn on some music and sing along!
There are few things more annoying that packing up a box and then forgetting exactly what you just put in it and you’ve taped it up. Save yourself the hassle and write what is in the box before you tape it it. Additionally, be specific about what’s in the box. For example, my kitchen boxes were labeled: can opener, cheese grater, spatulas, etc.
Start packing early
This might not always be feasible, but if you know you’ll be moving, start packing as early as possible. You can start the process when you start putting things away to show your home to potential buyers. (Check out my post on tips for staging your home!) This will make the packing much less stressful.
Designate a “last day of ___”
It can be hard to know how long you’ll need certain items, which is why designating a “last day of ___” is helpful. Whether it’s dishes, laundry or something else, having a specific date you’re going to stop prepares you for packing it up.
Bonus tip – Have water and snacks for those helping you move! Whether you’re going with a professional moving company, such as Muscle Men Movers, or having family and friends help out, everyone will appreciate having something to refuel with.
I hope you found these tips helpful as you pack and move!