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The Ultimate List of Moving Hacks to Make Your Relocation Painless

Posted in Moving Tips & Tricks on October 26, 2020

Is your spine chilling and hair rising from the thought of an approaching move? If so, you’re not the only one who thinks that long-distance relocation is a real nightmare. But, with the right moving hacks, it can be quite simple. The only thing you need is excellent preparation and some relocation tips to kick off your move.

Have you created your household inventory list? And you’ve already prepared your colorful moving binder, a handy organizational tool, without which a relocation would be real mayhem, right? These are excellent preparatory steps to gather all the necessary paperwork and documents, such as contracts, expenses-related notes (more commonly known as moving budget), checklists (starting from its majesty moving to-do list), different notes, etc.

But, what about all those things that are usually taken for granted, such as how to pack clothes for moving or dealing with packaging fragile items? You might say there’s no difference between packing the most important documents and your kitchen appliances – you declutter, store what you need, and leave behind what is old or out-of-date. Yes, in theory it sounds very straightforward, but in practice, it’s another story. As soon as you start, you’ll face many questions and dilemmas related to packing supplies, your valuable possessions, moving essentials, or your dog’s needs during this chaos if you’re moving with pets.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of handy and practical hacks to make moving easier. And before we start, we have the first tip for you: start your packing as soon as you decide you want to move. That means – now. And let’s find out how.

Pre-Moving Tips

Before you start packing, some preconditions should be fulfilled, such as obtaining packing supplies, having a clear plan of decluttering, and what room should be packed first. These are tasks that require your time, energy, and determination to perform them all within a set timetable. Because once you book your cross country movers, you won’t be able to delay your relocation date. They have tight schedules, and deadlines must be met. So, try to efficiently organize your daily activities, avoid procrastination, and finish everything you set out to do before moving. But for starters, let’s find out more about the first steps you should follow as a precondition for hacks for moving.

Some Household Items Are Perfect Alternatives to Packing Paper and Moving Boxes

You don’t need to be a relocation expert to know that buying new packing materials can be really pricey. Even though you’ve probably heard so many stories about new and similar size packages you should obtain (read: buy) because they will limit the movers’ job to pack a moving truck, why wouldn’t you be cunning and resourceful? You can purchase special dish packing boxes or mirror boxes for fragile and delicate objects if needed, but there are plenty of objects you can use instead of cardboard packages. And, truth be told, you already have them in your own house:

  • Suitcases
  • Briefcases
  • Baskets
  • Hampers
  • Plastic containers.

Also, you can always try with free moving containers. You’d be surprised how easy it can be to get some of these. Visit local stores, grocery shops, bookstores, liquor stores, or local schools, and ask if they can give you crates and packages they don’t need anymore. Believe us, they will gladly leave them to you.

When it comes to packing paper, here are some household alternatives:

  • Pillowcases
  • Sweaters and coats
  • Linen
  • Towels
  • Scarves
  • Blankets and sheets
  • Newspapers and magazines.
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Stock Up on Supplies Beforehand

You can also find numerous supplies online at discounted prices, and that can be an excellent way to stock up materials before you start stowing. No matter how much stock you obtain, you can never have too many boxes, duct tapes, box cutters, labels, bubble wrap, etc.

Try to find colored tape to facilitate your moving process. It can help you differentiate which containers are for which room.

Use the Most of Your Groceries and Household Items

If your relocation is approaching, know it’s useless to buy additional groceries and overfill your fridge. Moving across the country means that no perishables are allowed, and you should make your last grocery shopping about two weeks before the move.

The same goes for items such as soaps, shampoos, wash gels, toilet paper, etc. A useful rule of thumb is the less you have to bring with you (or throw away), the better.

Choose What to Pack and What to Toss or Donate

Most moving tips and hacks start with decluttering your living space. When going through your belongings, decide what you will keep, what to donate, and what to sell. Also, start with one room at once, stowing bit by bit, and throw anything you don’t like anymore. You probably know that most long-distance movers charge by the weight of your cargo. So, if there are fewer things to stow, you’ll have to pay less and be free to handle other relocation tasks.

Pack Your Valuables Separately

It’s always a good idea to put aside your important documents, jewelry, family heirlooms, and anything that is of crucial importance for you. These should go with you in your car or the truck cab, so-called mom’s attic.

You Need to Book Your Movers Earlier and Ensure Smooth Relocation

Booking a professional moving services early has several advantages, such as:

  • Avoiding higher prices, especially if it’s a peak season
  • Ensuring that your movers are available on the relocation day
  • Booking in advance means less stress
  • Possibility to make your budgeting easier
  • Your timeline will be more flexible
  • You can think about special needs or specialty objects if needed.

Additional tip: when looking for the ideal movers, you should start comparing companies’ quotes and get the best possible offer. It’s recommended to book your cross country moving company at least three months in advance. That being said, in addition to early booking, you should include an additional period to get the best bid.

Keep in mind that you should look for the right movers as soon as possible
Do some preliminary steps and have peace of mind when the relocation date arrives

Packing Should Be Organized Step-By-Step

If you start your relocation by thinking about all tasks that should be done, you can easily become nervous, moody, and anxious. That’s why you should focus on one room at a time, which will allow you to see the fruits of your work after it has been finished. This focus will help you pack only items from one room, and after that, you can move to other places.

With the right organization, you'll prevent chaos and mess
The most important thing is to be organized and declutter step-by-step

Use Only Smaller and Medium Boxes and Make It Easy for Both Yourself and Movers

One of the most practical packing hacks for moving is to use only smaller and medium containers. Don’t fall into the trap of stowing the tons of possessions into one jumbo box. It might be a practical way to have all in one place, but that’s only at first glance. When it comes to lifting it and loading onto the truck, you’ll need the help of two people to handle. Even more, there’s a chance that the bottom of the box will crack under heavy load.

Smaller packages are always better choices and more suitable for lifting and carrying.

When Packing, Color Code Your Containers

Labeling tons of packages might be frustrating and sometimes tedious. So, why wouldn’t you save your time by picking up a sheet of colorful stickers? Each color should represent a specific room, which will give you a chance to identify the right box for each thing. Also, who would like to hunt the marker every time after sealing the box?

Cut Handles Into Boxes and Make Lifting Easier

How to carry your packages much easier? It’s simple – just cut triangles in containers about one-third of the way down. You’ll get handles for easily transported cargo.

You Can Label the Tops of Boxes, but Sides Are a Must

One of the best life hacks for moving is related to labeling. You probably place stickers on the top of your containers after sealing them. Yes, it’s understandable. But, what about the sides of the packages? Once they are packed into the moving truck, movers won’t have either time or possibility to look for the top label. So, use your stickers for both lids and sides.

Remember to put stickers on your boxes' sides
Labeling sides of containers is very important

Pack Your Clothes Efficiently With These Tips

Who likes to stow all those household tidbits, clothing, shoes, and thick winter jackets? Probably nobody, but this should be done in the most painless way possible when the time comes. If you’re wondering how to stow your apparel quickly and efficiently, keep reading. Our tips will put a smile on your face.

Use the Drawers

There’s no point to empty your drawers and pack clothes into cardboard packages when you can use drawers as containers by themselves. Just leave the whole content as it is, but make sure to secure the drawer by wrapping it up in a plastic wrap.

Leave the Clothes on the Hanger

Why unhang your apparel, fold it, place in the box, and hang it at your new home? There’s only one simple and just amazing step you should do with your clothes on a hanger – leave them where they are, group 10-15 hangers, secure with a rubber band, take your largest garbage bags, and use them as a wrapper.

Pack Socks Into Shoes and Boots

Do you know a perfect way to store your socks? Instead of using your precious boxes, fill your shoes with socks. This way you’ll have all footwear-related items in one place and won’t be in the situation to find your tights stuck among books or snacks. But, you can use some of your socks as handy storage for glasses, small vases, and something similar. Also, they can be good padding as an alternative for crumpled paper or bubble wrap.

Be practical and leave all your hanging apparel as it is - just enfolds it with large garbage bags
Leave your clothing on hangers and swathe it with garbage bags

Wrap Up Breakables in Towels and Linens

When speaking about delicate objects, you don’t need to buy expensive supplies to protect them adequately. Just use things you’ve already got. We’ve mentioned socks already, but don’t forget about towels and linens. If you have your favorite perfume, mug, pot, or something similar, use these household items to protect your breakables.

Your towels and linens are an excellent alternative to pricey wrappers and paddings
Instead of bubble wrap, place your glasses into thicker socks or fold with linens

Wrap a Piece of Plastic Around Objects That Are Prone to Spills

What about all those small bottles of shampoos, soaps, and cleaning supplies that are opened, but you don’t want to throw them away? Don’t worry about spilling during the transit. Put plastic wrap under the lids and save your clothing and furniture from spilling the content of your bottles.

If you attach plastic wrap under the lids, there won't be spilling around
Secure all the bottles properly with plastic wrap

Pack the Heaviest Things in Suitcases

Do you know what the heaviest packages are? Those crammed with books. Lifting them is usually backbreaking work, and the truth is that the best books are on shelves. But when the relocation comes, you can bring all your editions (even all hardcovers) to your new home. Just provide enough suitcases with wheels.

For a detailed look on many of these hacks, check out this video:

Make Sure to Pack Your “Open-First” Box

Having all your important things for the first night near you is a must. The first day after the relocation is chaotic, jammed with different tasks, such as unpacking tons of containers. Looking for your pajamas or toothbrush can be nerve-wracking. So, facilitate the work and store some essentials in a transparent, plastic box. This way, you will be able to spot your phone charger or favorite snack fast.

Keep your essentials with you during the move
Bag with essentials is a must

Ask Friends or Family Members to Help You With Toddlers and Pets

Moving preparations are quite stressful for adults, so imagine how they affect children and pets. If your kids are too small to help you on moving day (and during the packaging process), it would be best for all to leave them with friends or family. You will have peace of mind, and they will be safe and carefree.

The best choice is to keep kids away from the relocation chaos
Leave your children and pets with friends until you finish overwhelming pre-moving tasks

Last But Not Least – Make Your Bed

After moving in, here’s one thing that you should do first. No, it’s not unpacking your coffee maker (it can be the second thing to do), but getting your bed set up and the whole bedding on it. This will help you feel like home, allowing you to lie down whenever you like. And one more thing you shouldn’t forget: tip your movers. Thanks to them, you’re at your new home now. By choosing them for the cross country move, you avoided moving scams and potential frauds. And those would ruin your relocation experience beyond the help of any hack.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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