Packing up your belongings doesn’t have to involve stress, broken items, mountains of boxes, and a disorganized mess. Check out these moving hacks to tackle downsizing, packing, moving, and unpacking like a pro. See how these simple tips and strategies can make moving easier, whether you’re headed across town or across the country.
Downsizing Tips to Make Moving Easier
What Stuff Should You Downsize?
Check out these moving hacks to find areas where you may be storing unnecessary or unused items in your old house:
- Rotate hangers: Rotate your hangers every time you take an item of clothing off of them. This will show you what items you don’t use often. Set aside any clothing not worn in a month, season, or year.
- Remove damaged belongings: Now is the time to pass on that chipped mug, worn rug, or broken chair.
- Review your food and toiletries: Don’t pack hundreds of rolls of toilet paper or cans of beans. Go through your groceries and toiletries and start using or donating them before you make your move.
What Do You Do With All That Stuff?
Whether you’ve found a few items or have piles of unwanted belongings, here are the basic packing tips to reduce the amount of stuff you’ll take.
- Sell: Use Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or a good old-fashioned garage sale to earn some cash and sell unwanted belongings.
- Donate: Look for local charities to donate unwanted items that are still in good condition. Some charities will even pick up your donations for free!
- Recycle: Some items may be damaged or worn to make selling and donating impractical. Find ways to safely recycle these large and small items, especially electronics.
Don’t run out and buy hundreds of moving boxes. Save yourself time and money during the moving process by using these packing hacks to reduce the number of boxes you need.
Where Can You Find Free Moving Boxes?
Picking up and relocating your entire life may not be free, but your moving boxes can be. Here are some great places to find free boxes to store your stuff:
- Local community: Reach out through Craigslist, Reddit, or your workplace to ask for unwanted boxes.
- Freecycle: Freecycle literally has the word “free” in its name. Find unwanted cardboard boxes with the hassle of buying them.
- Retailers: Grocery, liquor, and retail stores go through tons of boxes. Ask for any unused ones and you’ll likely score plenty before you make your next move.
- Neighbors: What do you do with moving boxes after you move in? You get rid of them as quickly as possible. Chances are you have neighbors that recently completed a move, and they are likely more than willing to give you their boxes for free.
How Can You Save Time and Space While Packing?
Make moving easier with the right strategies to pack your stuff. You’ll find you need fewer boxes than you thought and be able to unpack easier with these moving tips:
- Create your own packing materials: Clean socks, towels, and linens make great packing materials to pack plates and other breakables. Use these to wrap your fragile items instead of buying bubble wrap or packing paper. Check to make sure nothing can stain your linens and towels. Save money by covering knives with dish towels and rubber band them in place.
- Pack your bags: Use your suitcases, backpacks, plastic bags, and trash bags to load up all your extra clothes. Sturdy suitcases with wheels can also be used to pack books and other heavy items.
- Use your dresser drawers: Your dresser drawers store your clothes at home, so why not on the road as well? Save space by pulling the drawers out and covering them with plastic wrap to keep all the clothes in place and neatly organized for your new home.
- Avoid peak moving season: Peak moving season can mean a shortage of packing materials, moving trucks, and professional movers. See if you can schedule your relocation for a less busy time of year.
- Measure furniture: Does your sectional sofa or king-sized bed fit in your new home? Measure everything to ensure it fits conveniently in your new home. Plan on selling items that don’t fit well in your new house before you move to save on time and effort.
Moving Day Hacks: With or Without Movers
It’s time for the big day. If you’ve been using all these moving hacks, then your moving day shouldn’t be a major stressor. Use these last-minute tips to sail your way through the final day of your move:
- Know your route: Are you flying or driving to your new house? Do you know the most convenient way to get there? Plan out your route, including any stops at hotels or rental houses.
- Make it an entertaining day: It’s important to keep out entertainment options during your next move, especially for your pets and/or children. Select your favorite road trip playlist or podcast and get excited about your travel plans.
- Use a rubber band on your doorknob: Your moving date inevitably involves multiple trips in and out of your home. Instead of worrying about locking yourself out, string a rubber band around both doorknobs of your exterior door. Cross it over the latch to keep it from fully closing and locking yourself out.
How Can You Keep Track of Your Boxes?
These moving hacks are all about saving time and effort when you get to your new place:
- Label moving boxes: This hack can be basic or full-blown organizational genius. At the basic level, write the name of the room where the box belongs on the outside of it. For a more organized approach, write a full contents list on the outside of every box. For extra credit, color-code your boxes to make it easy to place them in the right room. Use our free moving box label templates to get started!
- Take a picture of your TV wires: The back of a TV can resemble a spider’s web of cables and wires. Take a clear picture of it so you know exactly which wire goes where. Use a paper towel roll to keep them from tangling.
- Create a full inventory list: Worried about all your cardboard boxes making it to your new home? Create an inventory list of all the valuables, large items, and boxes you’re packing.
- Pack your truck like a pro: Find out how to load a moving truck to maximize space and enjoy a stress-free moving day. The most important tips include starting with heavy items and heavy boxes in the back, using moving blankets, and loading in tiers as you go.
What Should You Leave Unpacked Before Moving Day?
Don’t wait until moving day to discover you’ve packed all your clothes, toilet paper, and other essentials. Set these items to the side to ensure a smooth traveling and unpacking experience:
- Suitcase: Think about how long it will take you to reach your new home and unpack your boxes. Pack a suitcase for a few days, or even a week, to avoid hunting for your clothes, a toothbrush, or toilet paper at your new place.
- Cooler: Keep out plenty of food and drinks for moving day and at least one day at your new home. A takeout order is a great option, but be sure you stay hydrated and fed during the big move.
- Travel essentials: This can include phone chargers, backup maps, a first-aid kit, and other items that may be helpful during your travels and first night.
Discover More Packing Tips With MovingLabor.com
Combine these moving hacks with a DIY moving strategy to save 40-60%. See how it works and explore more packing tips with MovingLabor.com.