Moving is hard. The only people who actually enjoy it are professional movers, and that’s only because they’re getting paid for their efforts. For the rest of us, moving is a stressful, physically exhausting, experience — even if you hire someone to do the heavy lifting for you. The good news is, there’s a hack for that. Oola is here to help you move!
We won’t show up to lift your couch, but we did gather our best tips for packing, unpacking and organizing to help make your moving day as painless as possible.
Moving Tip #1. Start Early
Moving is eye-opening. A sudden, forceful reminder you have a lot of things you don’t use. Clothes that don’t fit, old lamps in the garage, and miscellaneous items in the kitchen that seemingly don’t serve a purpose. If you wait until the last minute to do your packing, chances are you’ll end up taking many of those items with you because you won’t have time to sort them all out. This will create more work at your new house.
If you plan early, you can hold a garage sale, donate items you don’t need to a local charity or invite your friends and family over to see if they’d like to keep any of it for themselves. We suggest doing a walk-through to identify the things you don’t need approximately one month in advance of your move.
Moving Tip #2. Use Correctly Sized Boxes
Use small boxes for heavy items such as books. Large boxes filled with heavy items will be too difficult to lift and move. Those bigger boxes are best used for lighter belongings such as towels, bedding, and plastic utensils.
Don’t waste space. If a box of books is getting too heavy to lift, fill the top portion with something light. This will help make sure you don’t run out of boxes later on.
Moving Tip #3. Keep Your Boxes Off The Ground
Bending and stooping is hard on your body, and is one of the things that makes moving so painful. Minimize this whenever you can by placing your boxes on a table, countertop, or bed, whether packing or unpacking. Your legs and back will thank you in the morning.
Moving Tip #4. Reinforce Your Boxes
Make sure you use good, sturdy tape on the bottom of your boxes to reinforce the weak spots and seams. This will keep the bottom from falling out, assuming your boxes are properly weighted and loaded. Once your box is packed, seal it with more tape to make sure the top flaps remain closed.
Moving Tip #5. Pack Room By Room
Don’t commingle your boxes when you’re packing for your move. It may seem like a good idea to wrap dishes in T-shirts and bath towels to save on packing supplies, but this also means it will take you far longer to unpack. It’s much more efficient to make sure that all the items in each box will be going in the same room when they’re unpacked.
Moving Tip #6. Label Your Boxes
Most people know a key part of packing for a move is labeling boxes containing breakables. But don’t put your marker away yet. Be sure to label every box by room and content as well. Think of all the time you’ll save if your box is labeled, “Bathroom/Towels” or “Kitchen/Serving utensils.’ You may also want to star boxes with high priority items so you know they’ll need to be unpacked first.
Moving Tip #7. Use Sandwich Bags For Small Pieces Of Hardware
If you’re disassembling your bed, kitchen table, or bookshelves, chances are you’re going to have some hardware to keep track of. Place the nuts, bolts, screws, and hinges from these items into a sandwich bag. Use one bag per piece of furniture and label it clearly so you know where to use them when you’re ready to assemble them again.
Moving Tip #8. Assemble Your Bed First
Our next moving hack is to prioritize your tasks once you get to your new house. It often takes days or even weeks to unpack, and if you unpack your boxes at random you’ll likely find yourself living in an uncomfortable, functionless home. We suggest assembling and making your bed first so you’ll have a comfortable place to crash if your body gives out the first night due to exhaustion. Next, move on to the high-priority items from your kitchen and bathroom, and then continue tackling rooms and boxes depending on how vital the contents are.
Moving Tip #9. Check With Your Internet Provider In Advance
If you plan to use cable and internet, you’ll want to make sure your new house is already wired and compatible for your service provider of choice. If you’re not sure, give them a call and ask them to check your address. If you find out it hasn’t been set up yet, you’ll likely have to schedule an in-person visit. You can do this in advance while you have them on the phone for the day after you move in. Otherwise, you may experience a lapse in service as you wait to get on their schedule.
Moving Tip #10. Fill Your Suitcases, Hampers, And Baskets
Suitcases, hampers, and baskets have a great deal in common with moving boxes in that they are designed to hold things. So don’t let them go to waste. Load them up with items before loading them into your truck. This will also reduce space and the number of boxes you need to purchase.
Moving Tip #11. Use Plastic Trash Bags For Soft Goods
Boxes are great for heavy, pointy items such as books and silverware, but in general they aren’t very efficient when it comes to packing soft goods such as sheets, towels, and clothing. Pack these items for your move in a trash bag, which will take up less room than boxes and you can use them to fill out the extra spaces in your truck. Once you unpack them, you can use them to collect and throw out garbage post-move.
Moving Tip #12. Be Aware Some Items Need Special Care
Flat screen and plasma TVs need to be transported in an upright position to minimize pressure on the screen, which can ruin your picture and cause permanent damage. If you still have the box, this is the best way to move a flat screen television. If the box is no longer available, wrap your television in blankets or towels to keep it protected. As always, check your manufacturer’s guidelines and follow their instructions anytime you are moving an electronic item.
Moving Tip #13. Pack An Overnight Bag
Pack your overnight bag with essential items you’ll need in the first 24 hours after your move. Think coffee, a change of clothes, medication, toiletries and pet food.
Moving Tip #14. Bundle Your Wires With Tape
Bundle together your wires for your computer, television, etc. with masking tape. Clearly label each bundle and put them together in a box marked “Wires,” so you don’t have to open eight different boxes to find them.
Moving Tip #15. Transfer Your Mailing Address
Call your credit card companies, bank, insurance company, etc. two weeks in advance to make sure they have your new address on file. This is also a good time to schedule the discontinuation of your electricity and utilities and have it transferred to your new residence. You can go online to change your address with the United States Postal Service to make sure your mail finds its way to your new home, but there is a $1.00 charge for the service. Otherwise, you can do it for free if you visit their local branch and fill out the paperwork in person.
Moving Tip #16. Pack A Bag With Water And Snacks
Moving is exhausting, especially on a hot day. You’ll want to keep your body fueled and hydrated, but a trip to the store or drive-thru can waste valuable time, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. Keep a bag on the ready with refillable water bottles, fresh fruit like bananas or apples, and granola bars to keep everyone moving until it’s time for a break. And don’t forget your pets. They get thirsty, too, so be sure to pack a shallow bowl they can drink water from.
Moving Tip #17. Pack The Truck Strategically
If you throw boxes and furniture into your truck willy-nilly, you could end up with less space or items shifting and being damaged during travel. Therefore, it’s vital that you think about how you pack and load. Load the truck with the heaviest boxes on the bottom and stack the boxes and bags containing breakables and soft goods on top for the best results and lowest risk of damage.
Moving Tip #18. Leave Clothes On The Hangers
Leave the clothes from your closet on the hanger so it will be easier to put them away in your new home. Keep your clothes clean and protected with a trash bag by bundling pieces of clothing together and pulling the bag down from top to bottom. Then poke a hole through the top to pull through the handles to make them easier to grab and move.
Moving Tip #19. Check Out-Of-Sight Areas
Once your moving truck is full, it’s important to walk through your house to make sure there are no items left behind. Common places people overlook when packing are the medicine cabinet, the drawer under the oven, and the cupboards above the refrigerator. Double check your crawl space or attic if you have one, and even the side of your house to make sure you didn’t forget your bicycle or garden hose.
Moving Tip #21. Plan Dinner And Next Morning’s Breakfast In Advance
You’ll probably be too exhausted to cook a gourmet meal after a full day of moving. Our last moving hack is to plan dinner in advance so you’ll know how you’re going to feed yourself no matter how exhausted you are. This may mean throwing a frozen pizza into the oven or ordering take-out. Think meals that don’t take preparation, groceries, or a fully unpacked kitchen. It’s a good idea to think ahead to the next day’s breakfast, too. Easy items such as muffins, fruit, and bagels are easy to enjoy regardless of the state of your kitchen, and can give you the energy boost you need to continue unpacking.
We hope these tips will make your next move less intimidating. And most of all, we hope you love your new home!