Moving Guide


Just the word sends me into a nervous twitch!! I know that moving can be exciting and a new chapter to one’s life. But for me, it is simply exhausting and overwhelming!

It probably is due to the fact that I have had over 50 addresses in my life!

Since I recently did an “inside” job of moving while having new floors put down, I thought this subject matter might be quite timely! The Summer Months are the most active moving months of the year. With children out of school, good weather conditions and the ability to have doors and windows open without letting the heat out the door; June, July and August are the months to make the Big Relocation!

I have come up with a list of Tips and Ideas to make your move easier and maybe a little bit fun! Remember – I have done this 50 times! LEARN from MY mistakes!!!

Pack trinkets and collectibles first. You don’t need these things until you are ready to set up the new home and begin decorating.

Pack breakable trinkets and collectibles in clothing that you aren’t wearing right now like heavy winter socks and mittens and hats

Pack Books in boxes that can be easily lifted and strong enough that they can be piled on top of each other on a two-wheeler for easy mobility.

Pack dishes vertically (less likely to break) in clothing and fabric to save on bubble wrap

Pack immediate “need” things like pots and pans, dishes and silver, tape and cutter and toilet paper in a clear plastic bin so you can see inside for quick access

Make sure that EVERY box is labeled.  The more detail on the label the better. Putting “Dad’s Junk” is NOT enough detail!

While you are labeling every box, ADD another Label that says what room it should go to in the new house: Bathroom, Kids room, Living room, etc.….

Put labels on the SIDES of boxes, not the top; that way, you can read what is in the box when boxes are piled high to the ceiling!

Keep things IN dresser drawers. You can wrap the drawer with Press and Seal or Heavy Cellophane and treat them just like boxes

Put jewelry in plastic bags inside jewelry boxes; that way, they won’t toss around and possibly break

When breaking down furniture or shelving, have plastic bags handy to put the nuts and bolts and screws. Then tape the plastic bag to the furniture. Just in case, I also write with a sharpie on the bags what piece of furniture these nuts, bolts and screws go to!!

If possible, buy a huge roll and roller of plastic sealer wrap. You can wrap boxes together inside the truck so that they won’t become wobbly and you can also wrap furniture to avoid scraping and nicks! I LOVE this kind of wrap and go through it by the ton!

Raid the liquor store for boxes! If you catch them on the right day, they will have lots of subdivided boxes that you can pack glassware, bottles, statues and even small plants! Most of these boxes come in 12 squares and I would jam them tight with soft things around the glassware and then yarn and fabric and rolled magazines in some of the other squares!

If you have baskets as part of your décor, use them to pack things in! Also, clothing hampers, wastebaskets, suitcases are all excellent packing boxes!

Before you pack up any electronics like TV, stereo, computer, take a picture of what they looked like all plugged in! This is a lifesaver for a non-techie like me!

Packing up a closet can be so easy if you use large plastic bags! Keep the clothes ON the hangers and divide the clothes up to be “LIKE” lengths. Then scoop the clothes up from the bottom and tie the top of the bag to the group of hangers!

Out of season clothes, blankets, pillows, sheets and covers should all be vacuum packed. This just gives you so much more space in boxes!

Wash everything BEFORE you pack it up! No need to bring dirty into your bright future!

Two weeks before the moving date, put in your new address at the post office. Mail will begin arriving at the same time that you do!

If you are moving across town, try to cut down on how much food you purchase two weeks before the move date. If you are moving across country, have a feast for all of your helpful friends!

Talking about friends…Of course you are going to be feeding your friends and providing libations, but make sure you ask them for your help at least 2 weeks beforehand and then remind them again a few days before the event. Make sure you are completely packed before your wonderful friends arrive! Everyone gets so mad at the person who isn’t even packed yet!  Maybe even split your friends into shifts! Some will help you load and others will help you unload! Remember, they are volunteers and they are Golden!

If you were or are renting, make sure you take before and after pictures! They can help in any disputes you may have with a landlord.

Fill in nail holes!  I have always used plaster Spackle, but you can use white toothpaste or a bar of white soap

If there is anything leftover from your move that you don’t want, you can give it to your helpful friends or donate to charity. Make sure the charity picks up before you hand in the keys!

One day before moving, defrost the refrigerator and clean it thoroughly with a lemon scent cleaner. Leave the doors ajar. If the refrigerator is moving with you, make sure it is clean, dry and bungie corded closed!

Also clean the stove and oven, scrub bathtubs and showers and run vacuum or mop.

On the day of the move:

Cover toiletries with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t get everywhere and put into plastic bags. Place cotton into face powder and makeup so that it doesn’t break

Put all the items that you will need at your new home right away into clear plastic bins or bags and put at the back of the truck!  Last on – First off!

Pack an overnight bag with all the essentials!

Have a blow up mattress and sheets, blankets and pillows all together in a big bag.  If your arrival at your new home is late, you can get some much-needed rest right away!!!

And, just some personal tidbits on my experiences.

Have plenty of water available!  Keep hydrated!

Have snacks around like apples and bananas, muffins, trail mix, chips and sandwich fixings!

Have pet food and bowls and water ready.  Your pets are going to be a little freaked out and they have to feel like they are at home as quickly as possible!  Bring in their bedding and bowls right away.

If you have children, it is probably an excellent idea to have a babysitter for BOTH kids and pets while the moving is happening!

I have never used a professional moving company, but many of my friends have and their advice has always been; Pack as much as you can yourself, especially the precious items and make sure that you READ the contract INCLUDING the fine print!

Now that you have moved into your new home, things don’t always look the same way.  You will need to think differently about your belongings and start reusing and repurposing items and furniture.Perhaps the old couch goes into the playroom this time with an old quilt thrown over the top and the kitchen table now becomes a desk in the office! And… you can always sign up for Storage Unit Auction List and find auctions in your area to discover NEW treasures for your NEW Home!

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