20 Helpful Tips to Make Moving Easier

Whether you're moving across town or across the country, it can be a hassle. But there are proven ways to minimize confusion, stress and damage when you relocate. If you find yourself moving to a new house or apartment any time soon, here are 20 helpful tips that can make the move easier:

Tip 1: Ask friends or hire professionals?
Make your arrangements in advance. If friends help you move or you decide to hire professionals, make your arrangements weeks ahead of time. Even if you do the move yourself, it may mean renting a truck or arranging for short-term storage. Some apartment communities have relationships with certain moving companies that offer discounts, so check with your property manager to see if this is an option. Just remember, which ever way you choose, the longer you plan ahead, the less chance of encountering problems.

Tip 2: Consider using moving containers. 
Moving "pods" are fundamentally big containers you fill with your stuff. On the day you move, the entire container is picked up by a truck and taken to your new location. If you have room outside your current house or apartment to store a large container for several days as you pack it up this can be very convenient. Check with the new property manager or homeowners association if this is an option.

Tip 3: Start Packing Well in Advance. 
Waiting until the last minute to start packing for a move is a recipe for disaster. Start with decorative and seasonal items, saving the "must-have" items like some clothes, plates and drinkware to pack for the very end.

Tip 4: Sell or donate unused clothes and household items. 
Moving to a new home is a great time to "clean house" by having a garage sale, putting items on Ebay or Craigslist, and making donations to local charity which can sometimes be a tax benefit. You will have less stuff to move, and you'll have some extra cash on hand as well.

Tip 5: Use clothes to wrap fragile items. 
Bubble wrap is expensive. So use your tee shirts and flannel shirts to wrap dishes and other breakables. Put glasswear inside clean socks.

Tip 6: Stack plates on their edges. 
Speaking of dishes, if you're packing plates in a box, insert them vertically like vinyl records. They're a lot less likely to break if packed vertically. Remember to use clothes or paper to pack in-between plates.

Tip 7: Pack stemware glasses upside down. 
Placing stemware upside down places the stress on their large rims instead of the fragile stems.

Tip 9: Pack in layers. 
When packing up mix-matched items, pack in layers. Put the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter ones on top. Put wrinkled-up paper on the bottom of each box for padding.

Tip 10: Make sure each box is packed solid. 
Boxes should not rattle and items shouldn't shift inside. Makd sure boxes are packed full and tight.

Tip 11: Put your "first use" items in clear plastic bins. 
The last items that you pack will most likely be the first ones you unpack. If possible, use clear plastic bins so you know exactly what and where the first use items are located.

Tip 12: Use a Sharpie to mark each box by destination. 
Put all kitchen items together, pack living room items and bedroom items together and mark each box accordingly.

Tip 13: Number your boxes. 
When you're finished packing, number the all boxes and record the total. This way you'll know if any box goes missing when you arrive and unpack at your new home.

Tip 14: Vacuum seal clothing. 
Buy vacuum seal bags for your clothes. Squeezing all the air out of your clothes will help you significantly reduce the space needed and number of bags needed when moving.

Tip 15: Save your hardware. 
You may need things like screws, brackets and hangers as well as other hardware for any curtain rods, mini-blinds, shelves, and so on that you're moving. Pack and store these in plastic ziploc bags and identify them clearly with a marker.

Tip 16: Photograph the backs of your electronics. 
When it comes time to hook your computers, televisions and sound systems back up, it will be a lot easier if you have a photo of each that shows you which wires and plugs go where.

Tip 17: Complete a "Change of Address" form with your local post office. 
This is something you should do at least two weeks prior to your move.

Tip 18: Keep important papers with you. 
Put your important documents like legal papers, addresses, contracts or passports in a single envelope and carry it with you in your car when you move.

Tip 19: Pack an overnight bag with personal essentials. 
Even if you're just moving down the street you should have an overnight bag with all your personal items and a fresh change of clothes so you'll be ready to function the next day.

Tip 20: Take pictures of your empty apartment. 
If you're renting, its a good idea to take pictures of your old apartment just before you leave, as well as your new apartment before you move in. This will provide solid photographic proof in the event of property damage or security deposit disputes.


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