In case you missed the news, my husband and I recently moved from our old mid-century home to a new 1960s ranch. We’re just about two weeks post-move, so I finally feel decompressed enough to reminisce about the process. Moving is never very fun. It’s an exhausting experience for everyone involved, and is emotional, too, but there are plenty of things you can do to make it go a little easier. Here’s a list of the 12 packing tips and tricks that worked for us.
12 Easy Packing Tips For Your Next Move:
1. When taping up your moving boxes, fold over the end of the tape and stick it to itself so you have something to grab when you get to your new home and are ready to tear into the box. In other words, you don’t need a knife to get into the box—you can just pull the tape right off by the DIY tab you made.
2. Scoop all of your hanging clothes into your arms while they’re still on the hangers, and then stuff them into the open end of a lawn-size trash bag. Pull the bag up and around the clothes and tie it up around the loops on the hangers. Now you can lift the entire group of clothes off the hanging rail and move them to the new hanging rail without having the take the items off their hangers. Bonus: You can reuse the trash bags after the move!
3. Purchase one brightly colored plastic tote and store all of your essentials in it—the items you know you’ll need right away in your new home or as you unpack. I bought a bright orange box so I could spot it easily amongst the piles of mismatched moving boxes and totes, and I filled it with things like hand soap and soap dispensers, paper towels, a box cutter, scissors, all of our important medicines (for both us and the pets), granola bars, all-purpose cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.
4. Put styrofoam or paper plates between your nice everyday plates to protect them during the move. Wrap the stack with bubble wrap, and then you should be good to go. This saves space since bubble wrap ends up wasting square footage in a moving box if you use it on every single item, and you can use the travel plates after the move. For bowls, use a paper towel between each to protect them during the move.
5. Before dismantling all of the styled shelves and décor in your old home, take a few photos of the setup with your phone. This will allow you to recreate the looks you loved from your previous space in your new one.
6. When taking down mirrors, shelves, and other mounted items that require specific screws and hardware, bag up each individual item’s hanging accessories and tape it to the mirror, shelf, or whatever so you don’t lose the pieces or get them mixed up with other hardware.
7. Stick blank Post-It notes onto empty drawers and cabinets as you pack so you know what’s done. That way you’re not constantly looking inside closets and drawers to make sure they’re empty.
8. Speaking of Post-Its, I also used these to organize the contents of our old kitchen in our new one. You can see this tip in action on my Instagram here, but the gist is that I wrote the contents of each drawer/cabinet from our old kitchen onto individual Post-It notes. Then, when we got to our new house I stuck those individual notes on each cabinet door and drawer to label them. Since I used Post-Its to lay everything out ahead of transferring stuff, I was able to move the notes to better spots before having to move the actual items. The bonus was that after we did move in our stuff, we knew where each item was because of the notes.
9. Pack books in suitcases with wheels since they get so heavy.
10. Cut v-shaped handles into the sides of boxes so they’re easier to pick up.
11. Use wine/liquor boxes with cardboard cubby inserts to stow away thin bottle-shaped or fragile knickknacks.
12. Clickable Sharpie markers allow you to avoid dealing with caps when labeling boxes.
If you decide you only want to take one tip from that list for your move, I recommend the last one. It was the biggest time-saver for me as I juggled labeling piles of boxes by myself, and now I get to use the nice clickable Sharpies everyday in our new house, too. They really are pretty amazing.
Do you have any moving or packing tips of your own to share? Please leave a comment! I found watching moving vlogs on YouTube to be really helpful as I gathered ideas before our move, but the comments sections of those videos were actually the most helpful. Everyone has so many creative ideas to share, and I hope you’ll offer some of your own genius insight in the comments section of this post so others can put it to good use.