Pack an overnight bag containing all the essentials. Chances are, you’ll be too tired to unpack your things. You’ll want your essentials within easy access, including a change of clothes if you’re going back to work the next day as well as all your toiletries. It’s also a great way to transport a laptop, which could run the risk of getting stolen during a move.
Pack the items you will need FIRST in a clear plastic bin. This includes things like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc. The clear bin allows you to see inside; it also separates itself from the myriad of cardboard boxes.
Wrap your breakables (dishes, glasses, etc.) in clothing to save on bubble wrap. Two birds, one stone: you’re packing your clothes and kitchenware at the same time.
For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks.
In addition to labeling what’s in your boxes, add what room they’ll be going into, as well. When you arrive at your new home, unpack BY ROOM. The unpacking process will feel more manageable. And remember to label the SIDES of the boxes, not the tops. This way, you’ll be able to identify them even if they’re stacked.
If you can, show up to your new home before the move and pre-clean the bathroom and kitchen. Put up a new shower curtain liner and stock some new bath towels and toilet paper, as well. You’ll want to take a hot shower after a long day of moving.
Place an extra cotton pad or ball into your powder cosmetics to keep them from breaking. This is a great tip for traveling in general.
Cover the openings of your toiletries with saran wrap, then put the tops back on. This will keep your toiletries from breaking and leaking all over your stuff during the move.
Pack plates vertically, like records. They’ll be less likely to break.
Keep sandwich bags handy for holding any small parts of things you have to take apart, like curtain rods or mounted flat-screen TVs. Tape the sandwich bags to the back of the item they correspond to. ALSO: use this method with the cords for your electronics.
Beer boxes are the best for books because they have handles on the sides.
Make sure everything is completely packed before your friends show up to help you move. Don’t be that horrible person who makes everyone wait around/help you pack. Another note: if you have enough friends, split them up into shifts — one set to help you move in the morning, and another to help you move when you get to your new home.
If you have a lot of fragile valuables, hiring movers as opposed to asking friends can end up paying for itself. Many movers come with insurance, which means if something breaks, they have to compensate you. You might want to weigh the pros and cons though — they won’t want to be responsible for a television that isn’t properly packed in its original box and could end up charging you upwards of $150 to pack it as they see fit.
If you do hire movers, be sure to read the fine print and find out if they have any weird rules. For instance, some movers will only move things in boxes, not garbage bags. Which means you’ll be paying them extra for unnecessary boxes at a marked-up price.
If you’re renting, take photos of your cleaned-out old home and your new home before moving in. This is essential if you ever hope to get your deposit back. It will save you major headaches with difficult landlords who charge you cleaning and repair fees unnecessarily when moving out.
Fill the nail holes in your previous home with a bar of soap.
For same-city moves, hire a sitter for the children and pets. The last thing you need is to be worrying about losing track of your kids or pets on this stressful day.
Change your address at least two weeks prior to moving This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ve also got Amazon, PayPal, credit cards, your bank, magazine subscriptions, and your mail to worry about.
Remember to defrost your refrigerator at least a day before moving and wipe up any liquid. Else you’re going to have stinky wet mess when you get to your new home.