In case you haven’t noticed, these moving tips are in no particular order… much like your new home will likely be immediately after the movers have left.
I thought about trying to arrange these chronologically or in order of importance, but the order I do things (and how important things are to me) might not be the same as how others would. Therefore, I decided to keep them in more of a random order.
Donate What You Don’t Want/Need
Moving is a fantastic opportunity to purge stuff that has been sitting in storage for many years. There’s no point in moving stuff to the house if you don’t want it or need it.
Purge your closets, storage areas, donate canned goods to the local food bank. Create ongoing donation boxes (if you’re anything like me, you’ll need several of them).
You can either take them to a local donation center or contact one of the charities that will pick clothing and household goods from your home.
Start Packing Even While Your House is On the Market
Don’t waste precious packing time waiting for your house to sell.
Even if your current home is on the market, you can still pack. Just make sure to stack boxes neatly in one corner of the room and try to keep them out of line of site from the front door.
Pack an Essentials Box for Moving Day
Keep the emergency/essentials in a separate box or storage tote and bring it to the new house first, that way you have what you need at your fingertips, just in case. Keep things such as bottled water, toilet paper, paper towel, Band-Aids, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, a box cutter, your child’s favorite teddy bear, etc. in the essentials box. You just want enough to survive for the first few hours until you can start unpacking.
Move it with you (don’t put it into the truck) and use a box or tote that looks unique or mark it with big, bold writing so that you can easily spot it if it ends up in the wrong place.
Once, not that long ago, I was in the middle of moving into my new home. As the sun set and I went to turn on the lights to be able to see what I was doing, I realized that the previous owner had removed and taken with them every single light bulb in the entire house. Since then, I always include light bulbs in my essentials moving day box as well.
Keep Track of Incoming Mail
Make a running list of all mail that comes in over a 30 – 60-day period. This will help you remember the important places that will need your new address. After the fact, your “forwarded” mail from the old address will let you know who you might have forgotten.
Change Your Address with the Post Office
No matter how hard you try to remember everything, or how much your convince yourself that you get everything digitally now, you will forget at least one (or more) important piece of mail. I’ve had checks arrive at my house for the old owner MONTHS after they moved out.
By putting a change of address in with the United States or Canadian Post Office, they will forward your mail to you and you can then catch and update anything you missed.
Move Valuables and Extremely Fragile Items Yourself
If you get possession of your new home before move day, you can do some of these things early, such as moving valuables and very fragile items, setting up your utilities, and changing the locks.
Change Your Keys, Not Your Locks
Take your existing locks (and the keys) to the local hardware or home improvement store and they can change the locks for FAR less than it would cost to hire a locksmith or replace the entire lock set.
Give Away Your Old Moving Boxes for Free
Flatten boxes as you unpack them and collect them in one place. You can post them on Craigslist or a local classified site for free pickup by another mover.
Not only does this help someone else save time and money finding or buying moving boxes, but it also keeps your boxes out of the local landfill.
Keep Last Minute Boxes Handy While Movers are Loading
Keep two or three open but unpacked “last minute boxes” so that you can easily pack up anything you find during your final check.
No matter how thoroughly you thought you had packed, there’s almost always about 3 boxes worth of stuff that you find at the last minute.
The boxes should be assembled with the tape gun and moving labels handy so you can pack those forgotten items and get them onto the truck likety split.
Pack a Travel Suitcase, Enough for One Weekend (or Two Days at Work)
Pack a set of clothes, toiletries, and other essentials to last for two days in a suitcase and move that with you (not in the moving truck) and place it somewhere handy in your bedroom.
What you pack in the suitcase will depend on what you need to do over the next two days, so it can be casual clothes if you have the time off or work clothes if you immediately have to return to the office.
That will give you enough to stay freshly cleaned for the first day or two while you locate and unpack the rest of your stuff amidst a sea of boxes.
Take a Digital Photo Inventory
Before you start packing, take digital pictures of EVERYTHING in your home. At least everything of value. That provides a digital inventory in case disaster strikes and allows you to prove the condition of an item should something get damaged in the move.
That can include furniture, jewelry, clothes, tools, your collection of vintage books, etc.
The pictures don’t need to be fancy – you’re not trying to become InstaFamous here – just something that shows what you had before the move started.
You can also take pictures of your electronics and how they were connected so that you have a reference point when you are trying to reconnect them at your new home.
Moving Tips, Learned by Trial and Error
It has taken several moves (more than I care to count) and several moving disasters to put together this tried and true list of moving tips & packing hacks.
We hope these moving tips & packing hacks help you have a safe and easy move, and that your new home brings you nothing but joy and happiness!
Before you start packing, don’t forget to download your free PDF copy of The Ultimate Moving Checklist.
Free Printable Moving Announcement Cards
As a thank you for spending your time with us today, we have pulled together a few Free Moving Announcement Cards that you can customize with your family name and your new address to let friends and family know about the big move!
Simply click on the image of your choice to open the printable PDF file and right click to save the file to your computer. Then add your family name, address, and housewarming details (if you wish).
Have More Moving Tips to Share?
If you think we’ve missed something in this list of moving tips, please add your own hacks to the comments below! (We reserve the right to blatantly steal your ideas an update this list accordingly!!)