As you know; we just had a big move. And this time; we actually had to move ourselves. It was not fun. But since when is packing up everything you own, shoving it into a moving truck and driving for hours any fun? But there are a few tips that help make the moving process a bit easier.
Top 10 Moving tips
- Begin early. If you know you are going to begin moving; start packing now! Don’t wait. The last thing you want is to have 3 days before a move and you still have to pack the entire house.
- Schedule the packing. I saw how long we had until our tentative move day. I divided up all areas of the house between the weeks we had before moving. Then Assign each week an equal workload of packing rooms. Only keep out what you absolutely MUST use between now and the move. That way you will stay on track and won’t overload yourself the last week.
- Gather boxes everywhere! Often times you can get boxes from grocery stores, floral stores, Walmart and other retail stores, even liquor stores. Often just call them up and see when they get shipments and if they allow you to pick up boxes. This will dramatically help save you money from buying moving supplies. Post on public boards that you are looking for free boxes. See if you know someone else who just recently moved in and offer to take their moving boxes for them.
- GET RID OF IT! Get rid of as much as possible! The less stuff you have to pack, carry onto the truck and unload from the truck the better. Old clothes..get rid of them. If you even think it won’t work well in the new house; sell it. Trim down the kitchen utensils. Do you really need 15 stirring spoons? (no joke I had over 15 stirring spoons! Time to trim down!)
- Hold Garage sales– don’t just toss what you don’t want. Try to sell off what you won’t be taking with you. Moving costs a lot of money. It helps if you can raise a fair chunk of that change by selling off what you won’t take with you. We were able to sell off a lot of junk and some furniture that wouldn’t fit and ended up with about $700 to get us settled into the new house to buy new table and chairs, a new grill, etc.
- Schedule the moving truck in advance. The last thing you want is moving day to come and not have access to a moving truck! Make sure you schedule your truck a Min. of 1 week in advance, but you may want to shoot more for 2 weeks ahead to be safe. You have a few different options for this
- upack– you can rent semi truck space! You order as much space as you want; they drop off the semi-trailer. You load it up and then they pick it up and drive it to your new home. It is super convenience. You have more time to load and unload. And then you don’t have to drive it to your new home. Cons: more pricey, and could take up to 2 weeks before your home goods arrive depending on schedule.
- Uhaul– the most common truck rental. Basically you rent the truck in the size you want. You load it. You drive it. You return it after you unload at the new destination. This is usually much more affordable than Upack. But not as convenient. Cons: you have to drive the moving truck, less time to load/unload, you have to pay per mileage and gas.
- Budget. Did you know you can rent a budget truck? These are rather common in our area. We got the same size budget truck but for about half the cost of Uhaul. This offered us a full 48 hours with unlimited miles. We just had to fill it up with diesel at the end. Cons: you have to drive the truck, you have to pay for diesel.
- Label as you pack! I can’t express how helpful this is when you move! As you pack each box, mark what is inside and what room in the new house it goes into. This will make unpacking so much easier you won’t regret these few extra minutes of labeling now. Especially if you are at the new house and trying to find that one particular item..like my belts…where in the world did I pack them? Oh yeah; the box labeled Belts- master Bedroom! I know exactly what room of boxes to go through to find them!
- Get help. Ask around to family, friends and neighbors to show up on the designated time/day and help you load all the boxes into the moving truck. This will speed up the process and make a full days worth of horrible work; a little lighter. Be sure to thank them, and even more kindly; have pizza there to help feed them at the end! And be sure to have plenty of water for them to drink as they work.
- Be ready on Moving day– Make sure you have called and canceled your utilities, internet, cable, city utilities, etc so you won’t be charged longer than you live there. Make sure on moving day that you have everything packed and ready to go! The last thing you want is for everyone to show up to start loading the truck and nothing in boxes. Nothing makes neighbors, family, friends more irritated than to show up to load you and you not ready.
- Clean as you go. Unless you are lucky like me and still have a few days left in your old house after the moving truck drives away; the easiest thing is to deep clean as you go. As you pack each room; do the deep cleaning necessary for that room. Especially the kitchen; as this is the worst room in the entire house to have move ready. Then after everything is loaded into the vehicles do a quick pickup of any trash left behind and a quick vacuum and you are good to go.
Even with us trimming down we still ended up having more than would fit into our moving truck. I guess that happens when you have kids and begin building a food storage. So furniture was left behind so we could fit the food storage in the moving truck. That is life. We will be getting a few new bits of furniture; and that would be easier to restock than our food storage.
All those moving tips should get you out of the house as smoothly as possible. Now once you arrive at your new house; hopefully you will have amazing new neighbors like mine that will help you unload the moving truck. If not call around and see if you can find help. If you have a new church; ask for help from the church members. Maybe you have family nearby you can ask for help.
Again make sure you have food and plenty of drinks to thank them for their help.
And remember that trick of labeling everything? This is the trick; have one person designated to direct traffic of all the boxes coming off the truck. Or have signs up. We wanted to color code all our boxes and have color coded arrows around the house to direct where each box went. But I ran out of time to get that done. So I was the traffic director and as each box came off the truck I told them if it went upstairs or down, and which room specifically it went to. This has saved us a lot of time trying to find everything now that we are in the house. And I can unpack one room at a time. The kitchen being the most crucial so that is where we have started unpacking after we got beds set up for sleeping that first night.
Moving Tips to save on packing materials:
- Use the drawers. We didn’t pack up everything in the drawers of the dressers. Just take the drawers out, move the dresser, put the drawers back in and you are good to go. Then at the new house take all the drawers out and put them in the right room. Move the dresser and then put the drawers back in. It will save on space in the moving truck and save you time packing/unpacking.
- Use plastic bags– for clothes that hang in the closet; don’t worry about boxing them! Use a large trash bag as a make-shift garment bag. Gather a number of items together still on the hangers and fasten them together. Slip the trash bag over then. Make a hole so the hangers can come through. Then tie the bottom of the bag closed to keep all the clothes on the hangers contained should one fall off the hanger during the move. Then when you get to the new house; just taken them and hang them right up. Remove bag and you are set to go!
- Pack for vacation. Use your luggage and pack everything you will need for the first few days at your new house in your luggage and then keep these easily accessible. That way as you are in your new house and still trying to find everything as you unpack; at least the essentials you will need will be easy to find like clothing, medications, essential documents/papers you need right away. This will save a lot of headache as you won’t have to hunt through a ton of boxes to find what you need.
Hopefully your move can go as smoothly as our move. Or Can I even hope it goes better? For even more resources check out Moving and packing tips, Moving tips on pinterest, and even 33 moving tips to make life easier.
What are your top moving tips?