17 Simple Tips for a Successful Move

Shot of a young man and woman sealing boxes in their apartment

From planning to unpacking, there are a lot of moving parts when relocating yourself or your family. Even if you’re moving on up, the process can still lead to some stressful situations. Minimize the hassle—and save time and money in the process—with these moving tips.

Planning for Your Move
• Collect free boxes. Call your local grocery stores for extra boxes, and ask wine/package stores for wine cases, which are great for packing glassware.
• Invest in custom boxes. Wardrobe boxes and custom containers are worth the money for keeping items like artwork and flatscreens safe.
• Calculate moving costs. Include supplies (boxes, tape, etc.), on-the-road expenses, storage, and moving trucks or movers. Check out unpackt.com for a comprehensive guide on calculating moving costs.
• Keep, sell, donate, or toss. Having trouble letting go? Keep in mind that sold items make you money, donated items equal tax deductions, and tossed items lessen the amount you have to move.
• Organize a moving folder. Include moving quotes, contracts, and all receipts (as many moving expenses are tax deductible).
• Organize and draft a floor plan. Start planning the layout of your new home, and assign functions to rooms in advance.
• Color code. Assign a color to every key area of your home. Print colored labels to tape onto boxes with clear tape, and add a splash of the color to all sides with colored duct tape or markers.
• Create a number system for boxes. This will help you prioritize boxes you should unpack first and ones that can wait.
• Create a moving key to follow. Include your color code and number system, and then print multiple copies to place in every room.

Smart Packing Solutions
• Take photos of cords. A quick snapshot of the cords on the back of complex electronics is a small action that you’ll be thankful for later.
• Keep hardware organized. Tape screws, bolts, and nuts directly to furniture, appliances, and picture frames. Use a ziplock bag for larger hardware, label it, and attach the bag to the item.
• Pack heavy items in rolling luggage. Books, for example, are nice to store together, but their weight adds up quickly. Avoid heavy lifting by wheeling them in your luggage.
• Contain with plastic wrap. Use plastic wrap around drawers and other storage items, like a silverware tray. It’s cheap, doesn’t leave sticky residue, and saves time by allowing you to avoid emptying every container.
• Protect mattresses. Put your extra fitted sheets to good use by doubling them up around mattresses to keep them clean.
• Pack small kitchen items in larger ones. Try putting spices in the Crock-Pot and measuring cups in a mixing bowl. Get creative!
• Use towels for cushioning. Wrap delicate items in towels for an extra layer of protection that costs nothing.
• Clean as you go. As you pack, quickly clean off items to avoid carrying excess dirt into your new digs.

To help make the process as organized as possible, plan out your big event with this moving time-frame worksheet. And don’t forget to let your cable company know. Use this change of address checklist to make sure all of your accounts are notified of your change in residence.