Moving: Tips, Tricks, and The One Thing You Must Do

photo via popsugar
in the past 5 years, i've moved 5 times. that's right, i'm on the one year plan. i actually don't mind it terribly, although when the time comes to pack up my apartment again after just one year, it's a bit of a different story. i've picked up some tricks and methods for things that have helped make the packing process a bit easier and the unpacking process much more organized. 

leave your clothes on their hangers
one of the rookie mistakes i made the first couple times moving was taking all of my hanging clothes off of their hangers, folding them up, packing them in a suitcase, and then having to re-hang them all after i'd moved. the box that held all of the hangers was like a life-size version of Barrel of Monkeys. i stumbled across this little tip somewhere on the internet and it completely transformed my move! keep all of your hanging clothes on their hangers. group together 20-35 of the hangers (depending on the size of your trash bag) and tape the hook part of the hangers with duct or masking tape. i typically pull the tape around the hangers a couple times, just to ensure that all of the hangers are secure. cut a slit about 1" wide at the top of the trash bag and cover over the hangers (like those plastic bags that they use at the dry cleaners). fold any hanging pieces into the bag and tie the trash bag closed. then you can just toss those bags into a box, your backseat, or a suitcase and not have to worry about losing any of the clothes or having to re-hang them! 

label your boxes, descriptively! 
this seems to obvious, but i've seen too many people move without labeling what's inside the boxes! i like to get descriptive, like "decor for living room wall" or "white bed sheets", instead of just "living room" or "bedroom". that way, when it comes time to unpack, i know exactly which boxes to start with and where they all belong. another thing i've seen people do is number the boxes and keep a detailed list of every thing that is inside the box. if you're super organized and have the time, that's a great option, too! 

use bath towels + blankets for fragile pieces
packing materials always seem to cost more than i anticipate, so an easy way to cut down on the cost of bubble wrap or protective papers is to use your bath towels, kitchen towels, sweaters, blankets, and anything else soft to wrap fragile items. i still use the bubble wrap for the kitchen boxes, but lamps, trays, larger decor items, and art all get wrapped in my clothes and towels and packed away in a box. 

assign colors to rooms
i've moved both with professional movers and without and this tricks works wonders for both ways. using colored duct tape, sticky notes, or regular markers, assign a color to each of the rooms in your new place. when you're packing up your boxes, attach the color to the outside of the moving box where the movers can see it. when you arrive on moving day, put a piece of tape (or the sticky note) on the threshold of each room, so that the movers can see it when they're walking through. that way, they can put the right boxes in the correct rooms without having to ask you where it goes or piling it all into one room. having the boxes separated for you upon move-in makes the unpacking process quite a bit less daunting and more organized. 

purge as you pack
this has to be one of the best things i've started doing in my recent moves. i'm a collector - i buy one shirt in 5 different colors, add that cute little trinket to my cart at Home Goods every single time, and buy bed linens like they are going out of style. so, i have a good amount of stuff. which means i have a lot to pack, which is the worst. so, i've gotten into the habit of purging as i pack. having to pack up all of your things is the perfect way to also take the time to look through it all and make a pile of everything you don't want/need/use. for clothes, if i haven't worn something in the past three months, it's outta here. for home decor, i tend to get sick of looking at the same thing over and over again, so if i've had it long enough that i'm tired of seeing it or it's just not going to fit in with my style in the new place, it goes in the pile. while this can make packing taking twice the time, i cannot explain to you how wonderful it felt to drop a car-full of stuff off at the Salvation Army the week before we moved. a literal weight was lifted AND i had at least 3 less boxes that needed to be unpacked. win-win. i would say that this is the single most important thing that you can do.

while packing may not be at the top of your list of things you love about moving, you can certainly make it a little less painful by using any and all of these tips! 

1 comment

  1. I can relate to moving yearly. My family moved a lot when I was growing up. Leaving your clothes on the hangers would save me a lot of time taking the clothes down, folding them, and then unpacking them when you get to the new place. I'll make sure to tape the hangers together like you say. Putting a trash bag over it is genius. With the right packing materials, this move might not be so bad.


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