Basic Moving Tips

Start Early!

  • You will never have all the time you need to move the way you want to move, so START EARLY!

First Get Rid Of Items That You Never Use And Don’t Want

  • You will be amazed to find out that you have many more possessions than you think you have. Start immediately to go through closets and drawers to identify items that you will never use again and don’t want.
  • Donate them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Purple Hearts, AMVETS, homeless organizations, or other local charities of your choice.
  • Start with a closet or drawer and get rid of these items as you find them. You don’t need to collect them all at once; throw a bag of items you are getting rid of in the car and on your next trip to the store or when you’re near a drop off point, stop in and make a donation. This will make moving much easier and less costly if you don’t have to pack and move items that you don’t want or need.

Buy Colored Stickers

  • Put a different colored sticker on the sides and the top of each box as you pack it that belongs in a particular room — for example, all boxes with yellow stickers go to the kitchen, all boxes with green stickers go to the basement, all boxes with red stickers go to Wyatt’s room, etc.
  • Speaking of Wyatt, this organizing technique will help engage your children in the fun part of moving also – let them pack and put stickers on their own possessions. They’ll have fun doing this, it will help you, and they will feel part of the activities.
  • When you get to your new home, put the same color sticker on the door jamb or a door frame to show which colored boxes go in which room. By doing this, you provide your movers a visual way to know where the boxes go and it will save you a lot of sorting and moving boxes and looking for boxes once they are all unloaded in your home. Also, you don’t need to be directing traffic and reading labels on boxes to find out where they go.

Buy One or Two Brightly-Colored, 3-Ring or Spiral Bound Notebooks In Which To Keep A Record of Every Box and What is In It

  • Starting with Box #1, number each box on one or more sides and the top of the box. As you pack it, make a note of each item you place in the box with that number at the top of the page.
  • This system is invaluable and is not as hard or time consuming as it may first appear. And, there are many advantages. First, you have an inventory and record of every item that you are moving. If you lose a box, or it’s not delivered to your new location, you can tell by the numbering system what is missing, and you know exactly what is missing.
  • You can find many, many items in your notebook that you’ve forgotten where you packed them. This book can be helpful literally years after you’ve moved if, like many people, you never get around to unpacking all your boxes when you move. Make sure it’s a bright, noticeable color, and can be easily found.
  • If you have other people helping you move, give them the 2nd (or even a 3rd notebook, possibly a different color) and make sure they log in what they are packing into the notebook. This will allow you to take advantage of the help others offer, and still keep your organizational system in tact.

Pack One Room At A Time If Possible

  • This will make things less chaotic and will make packing much easier. If you break up your packing into one-room sessions, you will keep most of what stays together in the same box or a few boxes and it will be easier to unpack and get the items put away in your new home. In addition, the job will not seam so overwhelming.

Find Free or Low-Cost Moving Boxes and Packing Supplies

  • Keep an eye out when driving in your neighborhood to see if people are moving in and ask if you can get their boxes when they’re done moving. One of our customers who was moving into a new condominium noticed that a neighbor who had moved in earlier in the week had thrown many flattened boxes out on the patio to save for the garbage pickup at the end of the week. She asked if she could have them and found that the owner was delighted to get rid of them, saving our customer hundreds of dollars on high quality moving boxes, including several wardrobe boxes.
  • You can also get free moving boxes that someone else wants to get rid of on a “swap me” exchange on Craig’s list, Facebook, Twitter, etc. in your old community and sell or recycle them the same way in your new community.
  • Additional free moving boxes can sometimes be found in shopping centers and strip malls where stores cycle through a lot of inventory. Boxes are usually flattened and free for the asking from store owners and managers. We highly recommend asking!
  • Other “free moving boxes” can be found in your own home: suitcases, laundry baskets, wastebaskets, and large kitchen containers. Other items like crockpots, large soup and canning pots can hold a lot of sharp knives and other kitchen utensils that you won’t have to pack separately and can be kept safe. They are all going to the kitchen anyway. Shoes can go in laundry baskets, as well as hangers that aren’t being used for clothing.
  • We were told by a recent mover (in fact, Joanne from Plano, TX – see her “testimonial” on the Testimonials Page of our Web Site) that Sam’s Club has the cheapest packing materials you will ever find.
  • Joanne was able to purchase 27 boxes in varying sizes and bubble wrap (possibly other materials) for a very reasonable price at Sam’s Club. The moving company she used was very impressed with the quality of the boxes and asked Joanne where she obtained them. The mover was surprised to learn that they came from Sam’s and at the price she obtained compared to what she would have paid to have a moving company provide the same boxes.
  • When collecting or purchasing boxes for your move, it’s generally easier to move smaller boxes that aren’t too heavy to manage.

Don’t Think You Can Only Pack Boxes

  • A tip we received from one of our customers was to purchase plastic bins with lids, some with wheels and some without. These can be purchased on sale. They stack and you can put big bulky things in them that are hard to pack (non-breakable kitchen items, bedding, etc.). Movers just stack up these bins in your garage, basement, or house in a neat stack, and they remain insect free and dust free until you unpack them. Afterwards, you have great storage containers to keep in your basement or garage.

Pack Valuable Items In Your Locked Car

  • You know what these items are. Pack them and put them in your locked car and you won’t have to worry about where they are, and you will have control over their location and their use.

Pretend You Are Going On A Trip For A Few Days

  • Get your suitcase out and pack it for your pretend trip. Put the suitcase in the car. When you get to your new home, you will have all your personal items, curling irons, toothbrush and toothpaste, pajamas, shaver, toiletries, etc. in your suitcase, and you’ll know exactly where they are. You are moving your suitcases anyway, so you might as well use them.

Packing Fragile Items and Keeping Track of Them

  • Use brightly colored gift wrapping tissue paper to wrap small fragile items. This will help you to easily identify fragile items among the packing paper in your boxes and keep them from getting tossed out in the packing materials.

Keeping Track of Screws, Nuts, and Bolts for Furniture

  • When dismantling beds and furniture for moving, put all the nuts, screws, and bolts into a small plastic “baggie” and tape to the furniture with masking tape or painter’s tape.
  • When you get to your new place and start re-assembling the furniture, everything you need will be right with your furniture.

Packing Materials

  • Once you know you’ll be moving, stop recycling or throwing away the plastic bags you get from stores where you make purchases. These make great packing around and between dishes and other breakable items. You can also use them to pack shoes, greasy tools and garage items, and even jars of olive oil that tend to leak sometimes. (You can recycle good bags at the new place).
  • If you don’t like packing with newspaper, buy the soft rolls of shelf lining material to pack glasses and fragile things. This will keep them protected and also avoid breakage of fragile items. Once in your new home, you can re-use the liners in drawers and cupboards.

Tips for a Good Night Sleep On Moving Day

  • Wash and pack a set of sheets for the beds (and some towels). Put your pillows, sheets, and towels in the car. You will probably put the bed together first, and make it. This will help you get a good night’s sleep in your own clean, comfortable bed the first night you’re in your new place. You won’t have to sleep on the floor or find a motel because you’re too tired to find the linens and make the bed.

Save Your Food

  • If you’re just moving across town, into the next county, or not too far away, put your food in coolers with ice and move it to the refrigerator in your new home. (This can be the last thing you move).

Dealing With The Moving Company When They Have Delivered Your Goods And Are Ready To Leave

  • This can make you feel that you don’t have time to carefully assess your possessions and make sure nothing is cracked, dented, broken, chipped, or missing. Take the time to assess your possessions BEFORE you sign any papers of delivery or release. Make sure you are satisfied with the condition of your possessions. If you don’t take the time right then and you do find some damage later, it’s much harder to resolve any issues and problems that arise in assessing liability and filing claims.
  • When your movers have unloaded all your household items, they are often in a hurry to move onto the next job. They want you to sign the papers releasing them of obligation and get on their way.

Saving Yourself Aggravation with the Phone, Cable, and Internet Services

  • You will most likely have to make contact the provider of each service you have (phone, internet, cable, satellite, etc.) to arrange cancellation or transfer of your services. For instance, if you have your phone and Internet Service with the same provider, you very often have to call each department or division to cancel separate services.
  • Whether calling, e-mailing, or changing your service online, make sure you have a confirmation number, receipt, or document that shows that you cancelled the service and what the date was to avoid future billings for service you thought had been cancelled.
  • Don’t forget to call and schedule termination of all your utilities, mail services, newspaper deliveries.

Save Your Back, Prevent Injuries

  • Be sure to use good lifting techniques and body mechanics to avoid injury to your back. Recommended lifting techniques by physical therapists include:
  • When lifting an object, keep it close to your body to minimize strain on your back.
  • Maintain the natural arch in your lower back and keep your head upright.
  • Bend your knees and lift with your legs vs. bending over and using your back to lift.
  • Use a dolly for heavy items and ask for assistance from a helper.
  • Avoid extension cords and throw rugs that you might trip or fall over while moving items into your new surroundings.
  • Take occasional breaks during your move to rest and relax.
  • Many people think these save-your-back mechanics don’t make a difference, but they can save you pain, injury, agony, and money!

If You’re Ambitious, Save Yourself Some Money

  • Having a Yard Sale is often a good way to get rid of items that you don’t want to move, even if they are good items, and a “Moving Sale” draws even more people who might not attend a Yard Sale but would attend a Moving Sale. Often there is a wide variety of good items sold at a Moving Sale and you can make some money from the items you don’t want to move, and also save money not moving them!

Don’t Forget To Thank Everyone Who Helped You Move!

  • Moving is hard work, and good helpers can be hard to come by. Make sure you let the people who helped you in any way know how much you appreciate their time, effort, good will, and muscles.

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