Do you ever notice how some people can easily breeze through the moving process like it’s no big deal? It’s not that these people are just calm people or super hard workers. It’s because they have many years of experience moving and are well knowledged with doing things the right way, and understand certain moving tips.
In order to have a simple and successful move, no matter how large your home is, it’s important to understand each step of the moving process and the best ways to navigate them.
With many years working in the moving industry through my family’s moving company as well as many personal moves under my belt, I’m here to share with you my top moving tips to become a pro at moving.
These moving tips have been broken down into each step of the process and I have also provided some additional resources to help you along the way.
Now, moving is not actually simple, and a lot of things can go wrong, especially if you are moving out of your parents’ house for the first time. But, if you make the right moves and break down each step of the process, it will seem like a piece of cake. In some cases, you may need to know how to move in a hurry, so it’s important to know the right steps to take.
These next moving tips are the preparation stage of the moving process and are the most important tips for the entire move. These moving tips will likely by completed shortly after you know where your move will be taking place.
Moving Tip: Understand What You Have
This is the first stage of the moving process. It’s best to take a thorough look around your entire home, garage, and backyard to get a full understanding of exactly everything you have. It’s very common for people to underestimate the true amount of things they have.
1. Know What You’re Moving
Make sure you know exactly what’s being moved and what you’re getting rid of before you hire the moving company. That way, they can give you an accurate move estimate based on the items you need to move.
2. Not Everything Is Worth Moving
Certain items in your home may be more expensive to move than to buy again at the new location, especially for long-distance moves. For example, if you are moving long-distance, in which movers charge by the weight, it might not be worth moving your old weight set, or older larger pieces of furniture. Before you have the moving company pack and move everything you have, first do an audit of what items can be sold, donated, or thrown away. For tips on how to get rid of old furniture before moving visit: 8 Ways To Get Rid Of Old Furniture Before Moving.
3. Separate “No Go” Items Into Anther Room Or Garage
It may take time to get rid of items you don’t need, so anything that you will be getting rid of that’s easy enough for you to move, place into another room and get them out of the way. For any larger items like furniture, make sure you let the movers know you don’t plan on moving them when they come for the moving estimate and inventory.
4. Sell, Donate, or Toss Items
Many people will have a moving sale a few weeks before the move to get rid of the stuff they don’t want. You can also sell items on websites like Letgo, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. Anything you can’t sell, consider donating to local donation centers or find a charity that will pick up items for free. Anything you can’t salvage, throw away, and lastly, check out this list of items you cannot pack or move and dispose of them properly.
Moving Tip: Hiring & Preparing For Movers
The moving company you choose can make or break your move. If you properly prepare for the movers and hire the right moving company for your needs, your move will go much better.
5. Understand What Kind Of Moving Company You Need
Are you moving just down the block? Or are you moving to a rural area halfway across the country?
The type of move, the move size, and distance will determine which moving company is best suited for your relocation. You will need to decide whether you’re seeking a few extra hands to assist you, or if you’ll need a full-service moving company that comes in, packs your stuff, transports it, and unloads it. Remember to keep in mind, the more services or time you need, the more expensive the move will be.
If you are moving within the same state and under 200 miles, you will need a local residential moving company (intrastate moving company). If you are moving over 200 miles or moving across the country, you will need a long-distance moving company (interstate moving company/van line). Based on your unique situation will determine how movers will charge for your move.
6. Check With References
A smart step to take when hiring a moving company is to ask a friend, family member, or real estate professional for a recommendation. If you know someone who has recently hired a moving company, reach out to them and ask about their moving experience. If they had a good experience, then you might want to consider going with the same company You can always trust the first-hand experience more than any online review.
7. Make Sure The Mover Provides A Detailed Estimate
A creditable moving company will take inventory of all your furniture and belongings to determine the weight and bulk of your move. This can be done either in person or through a virtual survey. The estimator should be detailed and accurate; making sure to check all of your storage places such as closets, drawers, cupboards, and garages.
8. Make Plans For Children & Pets For Move Day
The last thing you want is kids or animals running around getting in the way of the movers. This is very unsafe for everyone involved in the move. Make sure you’ve lined up a babysitter or pet sitter for move day. Moving with kids can be tough but if you have planned properly and have taken the right steps to ensure an easy transition, it will be much easier.
9. Know Where The Moving Truck Will Park
This is likely something your moving company will ask you when they give you the moving estimate. If you live in an apartment, ask the manager what the options are for moving trucks and parking situations.
If you’re hiring movers, packing is likely going to be the toughest part and take most of the work during the moving process. You can also have the movers help you pack your goods for you if you don’t want to take on that task. Here are some packing and moving tips to help you during your move.
10. Start Early & Take It Slow
Knowing when to start packing for your move is key. You should start packing for your move at least 3 weeks prior to your anticipated move date. The actual moving preparation process should start at least 6-8 weeks before your move. The earlier you start the packing process, the easier it will be when your move date approaches.
11. Acquire The Right Packing Materials
It’s no question when you move, the success relies on having the correct moving supplies or packing supplies matched with being prepared. Check out our complete moving supplies checklist to make sure you’re prepared for the packing process.
12. You Have More Stuff Than You Realize
It’s not until you have to move that you realize how much stuff you actually have. Make sure you get enough packing supplies to begin with to avoid multiple trips to the store.
13. Use Heavy Duty Dish Pack Boxes For Kitchen & Other Fragile Items
When you buy your supplies, make sure you pick up several heavy-duty boxes. These are boxes that are twice as thick as normal boxes. This keeps fragile items from breaking. Also, be sure to learn how to properly pack your moving boxes to avoid any breakage during your move.
14. Use What You Have
Suitcases, plastic bins, towels & linens are all great things to use in place of boxes and packing paper. Before going out and spending a lot of packing materials, make sure you check to use what you already have.
15. Tape & Label Boxes Correctly
When taping boxes, it’s best to put three pieces of tape on each side. When labeling boxes make sure to label them on the sides and on top.
16. Use A Tape Dispenser
Moving tape can be tough to work with so consider using a tape dispenser to make the task quicker and easier.
17. Pack By Room
To keep organized, I recommend packing by room and start with the rooms you use least often.
18. Pack Non-Essentials First
It’s always best to pack your non-essential items first, that way you don’t accidentally pack things that you’ll need later.
19. Keep Large Boxes Light
You never want to pack a large box so heavy that either you or the movers can’t lift it, or the box breaks and the items fall out the bottom. It’s best to pack light items like pillows and comforters into large boxes.
20. Pack Heavy Items Into Small Boxes
When you’re packing your heavy items like books, always pack these into small boxes so they don’t get too heavy.
21. Leave Some Clothes In Dressers
As long as you have a sturdy dresser, it should be ok with the movers to leave some clothes in them. However, make sure you remove any small items that may move around and make sure it’s not overly packed. And of course, if you’re moving long-distance and you need your clothes, you’ll have to remove them.
22. Keep Clothes On Hangers
Keep clothes on the hanger when moving and simply place a garbage bag over your clothes and use the tie strings to secure the hangers. You will be able to easily move your clothes from hanger to moving truck to your new closet without the hassle of packing and unpacking.
23. Keep Track Of Small Valuables & Move Them Yourself
When moving, people you don’t know will be in and out of your home, which can make it very easy to blame misplaced items on the moving company, realtor, cleaning company, or even friends who may have helped you move. To prevent any misunderstandings, make sure you always know where your valuables are, or keep them close so it’s impossible to misplace them.
24. Use Plastic Baggies
Plastic bags are great to use for random small items you need to keep together.
25. Take Pictures Of Electronic Components
Take pictures before you unplug everything so you know what gets plugged back into what when it’s time to reassemble.
26. Pack An Essentials Day Box
You always want to pack a day box for the day of your move. You want to make sure you have on hand some extra clothes, medications, toiletries, and other important items you typically use on a daily basis. What goes in your moving day essentials box.
27. Donate & Eat The Food You Have
For the few days leading up to the move, make sure you are eating all the food you have left in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. For food that’s leftover, you can donate them to your local food pantry or hire a moving company that is partners with Move 4 Hunger and they will donate the food for you.
Day Before Move Moving Tips
28. Confirm Your Movers
It’s always best to make sure that you confirm with your movers the day prior to your move that everything is still a go. Usually, the movers will do this as well, but make sure everything is still in order with the moving company.
29. Prepare Your Refrigerator
Make sure you unplug and defrost this before moving day as well as clean thoroughly and wipe down any excess moisture inside the freezer.
30. Turn Off Your Sprinklers
It’s very common for people to forget to do this and come morning time, the movers will be running to find you to shut off the sprinklers.
31. Prepare Your Appliances
You may be asking yourself, will movers move appliances and prepare them for moving? It’s very likely that your movers will not uninstall and re-install your washer and dryer. Make sure you properly disconnect the water and gas lines to prepare them for moving. Depending on which moving company you choose will determine whether or not they will disconnect them and reconnect them.
32. Make Sure Everything Is Packed & Ready To Go
You don’t want to not be ready for when the movers arrive. This can lead to disarray on moving day and could cost more money.
33. Clear Pathways
The movers will need a walkway from the moving truck to the residence as well as a walkway in and out of your home. Especially if you are living in an area where it snows and you are moving in the winter. You’ll have to make sure everything is clear and easy for them to get in and out.
34. Gather Essentials
Move day is going to be a bit hectic it will be easy to misplace important items like passports, airline tickets, medications, etc. Make sure you gather up all these essential day items to put them in your day bag or day box.
Move Day Moving Tips
Moving day is another important time to make sure you’re taking the right precautions to make sure your move goes smoothly. Below are a few moving day tasks to make sure the day is a success!
35. Be Available On Move Day
On moving day, you or somebody should be there to direct the moving company on where to place items and just answer any questions the movers may have. This will save time and money during your move.
36. Direct Movers But Let Them Do Their Job
You want to be around to answer any questions the movers may have on the move day but make sure you give them enough space to do their job.
37. Consider Having An Ice Chest With Drinks Available
Most likely the movers will have their own drinks, but it’s always good to have some extra refreshments on hand for yourself and the movers.
38. Keep Cleaning Supplies Behind
There will likely be some cleaning to do after furniture is moved. Make sure to keep behind a vacuum, broom, mop, and whatever else you need to do one last final clean before departing. If you’re a renter, it’s especially important to clean the residence to make sure you get your security deposit back from the landlord. Keeping your cleaning supplies handy will also help you when cleaning your new house before moving in.
39. Remove Your Sheets & Bedding
This is a task you must do for your bed, your children’s beds, and any other bed in the home on move day. You might also be asking yourself, will movers assemble and disassemble your furniture and bed frames? In most cases, yes, movers will assemble and disassemble your furniture. In fact, some items like bed frames will need to be taken apart in order to move them safely.
40. Tip Your Movers If They Do A Great Job
It’s custom to tip the movers who help on the day of your move. A good amount is about an extra $6-$10 per hour per mover.
Money-Saving Moving Tips
Here are a few moving tips for saving money during your move that will help your wallet. Much of the previous tips will also save you money in that many of the costs occur when you are not prepared to move or have not taken the correct steps.
41. Move During The Week
Weekends are the busiest times when people need moving services, especially towards the end of the month. Many movers charge more during these peak times, so consider moving during the week or ask your moving company if they can discount your rate if you choose a day during the week.
42. Compare Moving Quotes
Not all movers will quote your job at the same cost. Also, understand that professional movers will do a better more efficient job moving your items. When comparing quotes, always check the reputations online of moving companies. This will give you a sense of what to expect on moving day.
43. Have Movers Only Do The Hard Work
Set up all the boxes in the garage or in the front of the house in stacks 4-5 feet tall and make sure everything is packed and ready to go. That way, the movers can just come in, load the boxes, wrap the furniture and get everything moved out quickly. For a local move, the quicker the movers can get in and get out, the less it will cost.
44. Ask The Movers Do A Quick Wrap Of Furniture
Many movers will protect all your furniture with pads and stretch wrap regardless of the quality of furniture. But if you have low-quality items and are looking to save money, you can tell the movers to just do a quick stretch wrap of the items. This will save them time and save you money. Just understand there will be a slight higher chance of damage and your movers may ask you to sign off in case any damage happens.
45. Have A Garage or Estate Sale
Having a garage sale is an obvious money maker. When you have your garage sale, mark your items to sell. Remember, it’s just as much about getting rid of your items so you don’t have to incur the costs of moving them as it is about profiting from the sale of your stuff.
46. Avoid Eating At Restaurants Leading Up To The Move
It’s tempting to eat out every night during the days leading up to the move. Your kitchen will be in disarray and making a meal could be tough. Although eating at restaurants will be likely, there are other options that won’t break the bank. Cheap and easy things to buy are pizza, rotisserie chicken, or spaghetti. These are all easy things you can still make even if your kitchen isn’t fully functional.
Moving Tips For Moving Yourself
Even when hiring movers, the moving process can be stressful, but deciding to move yourself without hiring movers is even tougher. Here are a few things to do when moving yourself and without a moving company.
47. Visit Our Guide
Our guide for moving yourself will help you understand what you need to do to have a safe, and successful move.
48. Stretch & Warm Up Your Body
Remember, you’re about to do a few things your body hasn’t done in quite some time. Make sure you stretch and warm up a bit before lifting and moving heavy items.
49. Have A Good Breakfast & Hydrate Throughout The Day
This will give you the initial energy you need throughout the day to carry out the difficult tasks.
50. Enlist Help & Take Care Of Them
When hiring your friends to move, understand that there is a more likely chance of a few things going wrong since they are not professional movers. If you really need to save money and your furniture is cheap then asking your friends is fine. Just make sure you provide them with ample drinks, food, and maybe take them out for a drink or meal at the end of the day.
51. Rent A Moving Truck
To rent a moving truck from Uhaul, Ryder, Penske, Budget, or Enterprise, all you need is a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years old. Unlike rental cars you don’t need to be 25 to rent a moving truck. You can also rent a moving trailer.
52. Gather Essential Moving Equipment
Wheels are your friend when moving. It’s common for people who are moving themselves to skip the dollies and hand carts and carry everything. That’s the quickest way for someone to get hurt. Be sure to rent a few 4 wheel dollies and hand carts from the moving supply store or where you rent your moving truck. You’ll need these items:
- Furniture Dolly
- Appliance Dolly w/straps
- 4 Wheel Dolly
- Extra Straps & Tie Downs
- Furniture Pads and/or blankets
53. Prepare Several Days In Advance
The earlier you start packing the less stressful moving will be. It’s always recommended to start packing at least 1-2 weeks before moving day.
20 Moving Hacks
- Use trash bags to secure hanging clothes
- Use towels & clothes to wrap hanging clothes
- Use baggies for hardware on the furniture and tape them to the side
- Plastic wrap your utensils tray
- Fill your pots with your spices and other small pantry items
- Wrap your knives in your oven mitts and secure them with a rubber band
- Use socks to protect stemware
- Wrap cords in toilet paper rolls
- Take pictures of electronic set-ups
- Use plastic wrap to place over tops of liquids to secure
- Cut handles into boxes that don’t have them
- Use space bags for clothes to save space
- Use your wrist to carry the tape
- Fold over the corner of tape so you can find it again
- Use rubber bands to wrap around the door to keep them open
- Write the labels on the sides of the box, not the top
- Use suitcases and luggage bags for moving heavier items
- Put ice on furniture spots on the carpet until the pop-up
- Move all small valuables like watches, cash, jewelry, and other items yourself
- Take pictures of your furniture before and after