Moving is never a fun process – here are 14 ways to make moving easier.
We were lucky enough to be able to work with U-Pack during our move. Our move was compensated in exchange for expressing our honest thoughts on our blog. Hopefully these tips will help make your move a little easier!
We’ve been hoping to move for awhile. Forrest and I graduated from BYU in 2013, and it was never in our long-term plans to stay in Utah. For months we had been searching out housing in Colorado, and when a home came for rent that was too good of a deal to pass up, we found ourselves with just a few short weeks to pack our house up and move to Colorado.
Considering this was during Thanksgiving, and we had to be out before the end of the month…it was somewhat stressful. Throw in me being sick, not being able to move into our new house until after the 15th of December, and having lots and lots of stuff, and it’s about enough to convince me to never move again (except, you know, for the fact that we want to buy a house in the next few years!)
Anyways, even though our house isn’t unpacked at all, we’re finally in. Since we’ve been married, Forrest and I have moved quite a few times. Even before we were married, we both moved around a decent amount as we lived with roommates. I’ll never claim to be an expert cleaner or mover, because I’m not, but I think we’ve learned a few tips along the way to make moving easier.
1) De-junk before you move
I think this is one of the most valuable things you can do. With every move, most people will inevitably realize they have a lot more stuff than they need. Why move all of that stuff that you don’t need to your new home? Chances are, you’ll end up not getting rid of it! So, a few weeks before you need to start packing (unless you are like us and move suddenly), go through every room in the house and de-junk. If you have clothes you haven’t worn in years, donate them. Toys that your kids have outgrown? Give them to friends, donate them to charity or a thrift store, or try and sell them on Craigslist. I’m someone who likes to keep things, so de-junking isn’t always easy – I always come up with reasons why we need things – but it feels SO good when you have a pile of things to give away. Because really, you probably won’t miss them!
2) Use U-Pack
Although we moved in November, we had been wanting to move for months. Timing just wasn’t on our side, and the housing rental market in Denver is rough. However, we researched high and low the best ways to move. We didn’t really want to hire a moving company, because they can be so expensive (and it’s hard to find one with good reviews.) We’ve used companies where you drive the truck yourself in the past, but that was more for short distance moves. Since we were moving to another state, it made it more difficult. We had a car to transport (and there’s no way I could have driven it myself the whole way), and since Jack is only two, we couldn’t put him in the front of the moving truck. After doing some research, I came across the company U-Pack. I contacted them about services, and they offered to cover the cost of our move in exchange for us sharing our experience. Even if we hadn’t made this deal, we definitely would have gone with them.
U-Pack provides you with storage containers that are called Relo-cubes. They drop them off at your house for three business days, and during that time you load everything up yourself. Then, they come and pick up the cubes and deliver them to your new home. Our experience with them was great, and I highly recommend doing this, especially if you don’t want to drive a truck yourself. The company was more than willing to work with our crazy moving schedule – we had to move out before the end of November, but we couldn’t move in until after the 15th of December – and everyone we spoke with was happy to help.
3) Pack and Unpack by Room
When you first start to move (and then when you unpack), it can seem incredibly daunting. I know it always feels that way to me, at least! I walk around, trying to figure out where to start. I’ve found that going room by room is probably the easiest thing to do. You can focus on one thing at a time, and your house doesn’t feel like it just has tons of randomness going on.
On a similar note, unpacking room by room is good as well. For me, it just makes me feel less stressed. When Forrest unloaded everything into our house, he tried to put boxes in the room they belonged in, which made it so much easier to unpack. We weren’t constantly shuffling things around. I just feel so much more accomplished when I can say one whole room is done, rather than just bits and pieces of other rooms.
4) Leave Cleaning to the End
As obvious is this may sound, don’t clean until everything is packed up and loaded! I made the mistake of not following this “rule” a few times, and I just spent a lot of extra time and effort re-cleaning things I cleaned before. For instance, I cleaned all the counter tops in our kitchen when we still had a lot of moving to do. After a few days, they were dirty again, and all the effort I put into them earlier was pretty much wasted. Some of my speed cleaning tips may come in handy!
5) Hire a Cleaning Company
Okay, this may seem like the lazy way out, but if I had thought about it beforehand, I would have done this. Many cleaning companies/people offer move out specials, and they have a lot more resources for cleaning than the average person might. When we were moving, I was SO sick. I could hardly stand up without getting really lightheaded. I actually started researching cleaning people in the area, and I found some amazing deals. If you don’t want to worry about the cleaning part, definitely look into this.
6) Get Boxes from a Grocery Store
We had been saving boxes for the past year or so, and I really thought we had enough to move. Well, about half way through our move, we realized that was definitely not true! I was grateful for a tip we were given awhile back about where to get free boxes, so we didn’t have to spend money.
Most grocery stores have tons and tons of produce boxes that they just get rid of at the end of the day. We always just go to the produce section and ask if we can go grab a bunch of boxes. They don’t charge us, and the boxes are very good quality. They typically all have kinds and are very sturdy.
7) Label, Label (and color code!)
Labeling is so important for your sanity. Not only does it make it so you can put boxes in the right room when you move in, but it saves you from having to open every box to find something you are looking for. We have a label maker that we used that was super simple to use on all our boxes. As we’ve been unpacking, it’s been really helpful to know what exactly is in each box.
8) Pack a Small Bag for Yourself
Since you are packing up your entire house, make sure that before you start packing, you set aside a bag for you (and everyone in your family) that has essentials – toiletries, clothes, etc. It’s important to make sure you have enough for about a week after you move out, just in case there is some kind of delay in your belongings being delivered.
9) Use Blankets and Towels to Wrap Breakables
We have so many blankets and towels, and instead of just packing them up in a big box, I used them to protect our breakables. This way, I was able to save more space by packing them together, and I didn’t have to worry as much about gathering up newspapers from around town to wrap our breakables in. Plus, I think blankets and towels provide a little more protection.
10) Use Sandwich Bags for small parts and instructions
Do you have a lot of things in your house that require assembly? While some things you can probably put in your moving truck without disassembling, other things are a little harder to do that with. This was the case with Jack’s bed. By taking it apart, we freed up a lot more space for other things (and believe me, we needed it. Our Relocubes were PACKED.) However, his crib had tons of nuts and bolts, so I made sure to store them in a little sandwich bag as soon as I removed each bolt, so I didn’t lose them. If you have a lot of things you are taking apart, consider putting all the little bags together in a big box (though make sure to label each bag!)
11) Use baskets and suitcases
I’m all about making moving easier and more efficient. Even though we were able to get a lot of boxes for free, we made sure to pack things up in baskets and suitcases as well. They had to go with us, and they take up a good amount of space, so why not fill them up?
12) Take photos moving in and out
This is mainly important in regards to getting your deposit back/avoiding fees (if you are renting.) If you can get to your new home before your stuff gets there, do a thorough walk through and write down anything that is wrong with the home. Then, take pictures of everything! When you are moving out, take pictures of any damage, but also to document how well you cleaned it. You don’t want to be hit with some fees when you move it for damage that may have been done before you moved in (and while hopefully most landlords are honest, in case you have one that’s not, it is good to have proof of cleaning in case they say you didn’t!)
13) Change address ahead of time
Do you want to make sure all your mail goes to your new place? Of course you do! I made the mistake of going to forward our mail the day we left, only to realize that they weren’t able to start forwarding it for another week. Fortunately, I was able to just put a hold on the mail until that date, at which point it was all forwarded to our new house. However, it just would have been easier to have remembered to forward it before that! You can request a change of address here, and I believe they charge $1.
14) Use disposable products
Trust me on this one, the last thing you want to be doing when you are moving is doing dishes! Go to the store and buy disposable plates, cups and forks. It will make your life so much easier and you can pack up all the kitchen stuff in the beginning!
15) Clean new place before stuff arrives
If you are driving your own truck, this may not be as easy to do. However, if you hire a company (such as U-Pack) to move you, you’ll likely arrive at your new home before your belongings are delivered. If you are moving into a previously occupied home, it may or may not have been cleaned to your liking. Even if it was cleaned while the people were moving out, moving leaves behind a lot of dust and grime. And trust me on this one – an empty house is much easier to clean than a house full of boxes. By using a company like U-Pack, there is usually about a week between when they pick up the Relo-Cubes and when they deliver them to your new place, so take that time to make your new place shining clean!
What tips do you have for making a move easier?