Most people dread moving. Packing, organizing, transporting, attempting to bribe your friends to help — the whole process can seem daunting, but if you use these tips and tricks, moving day might be a lot less stressful. Happy packing!

1. Be thrifty, find free moving boxes

Save a little cash and acquire all the boxes you need for free. Best places: the ‘free’ section on Craigslist, grocery and clothing stores, and warehouse style stores.

2. Purge your stuff

Now that you’re sorting through all your things, it’s a perfect time to see what can be donated or chucked altogether! Make an effort to pare down your possessions so your move will be a little easier and your new home will be a bit less cluttered.

3. Create a schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. Otherwise, it’ll be pretty stinky and leaky!

4. Take pictures of your electronics before you unplug

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a picture on your phone or camera of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go! This will save you a ton of time when you set it up again.

5. Put hanging clothes in garbage bags

Keep your clothes on the hanger, but wrapped up. When you get to your new abode, simply take off the garbage bags. Don’t forget to label so you know whose stuff is whose!

6. Pack a first-night box

Most people don’t think to do this, and end up rummaging through several boxes on moving day to get their pajamas or the coffee maker. Pack yourself a “first night” box with all your toiletries, some clothes, and anything you’ll need the following morning such as dishes and silverware or your hair-dryer. You can even buy this cute IKEA box if you’re tired of seeing your own handwriting:

7. Safely pack your plates

Since they’re already plate-shaped, foam disposable plates are awesome for packing your real plates. Put them in between each plate in your stack before you pack it all up. Plus, you can totally class up the cheap comfort food you’ll want to get after you’ve finally unpacked your last box some day. Here’s an example from TheFrugalGirls.com:

8. Plastic Wrap Your Drawers — With Everything Inside

Use plastic wrap to keep dressers drawers shut when the moving truck jostles them about, or for trays of items that would be just fine staying in the trays as long as they didn’t fall out. Plus, you can leave its contents in there, since the drawers no longer have a risk of sliding open!

9. Use Wine Cases For Your Glassware

There’s bound to be a local bar, winery, or even some grocery stores that have empty wine cases you can snag. Keeps your glasses organized and it’s easy to stuff some newspaper and such in each compartment so there’s some padding to protect them.

33+ Helpful Moving Tips Everyone Should Know ~ Get free wine box cases from your local restaurants and use them to pack glassware!

10. Don’t Mix Items From Different Rooms

Keep items from one room in boxes separate from the others, it’ll save you a lot of sanity when you finally unpack.

11. Make A Packing Supplies Basket

Save yourself from losing packing supplies or running around your house/apartment because you left the scissors in one room and the tape in the other. Get a box or a basket for supplies that you can carry with you from room to room, that way you’ll have all of it with you as you switch tasks and don’t have to spend time retrieving supplies you left in another room.

12. How To Pack Jewelry

Use egg cartons to easily transport your jewelry. Tape them shut so nothing falls out! Also, use toilet paper rolls for packing necklaces or loose bracelets. Just put one end through the roll and fasten the clasp.

13. Keep Screws & Bolts Organized

If you have to dismantle any furniture for your move, don’t forget to keep all the loose screws and bolts organized! Put them in plastic baggies and label them so you know which piece of furniture they’r for and don’t lose any.

14. Cut holes in sides of boxes for easy lifting

Use a box-cutter to cut triangle-shaped holes on either side of your heavier boxes to give you makeshift handles for easier lifting!
4 Weeks Before: Gather Materials

15. Use Storage Bins For Seasonal Items

If you don’t already store your seasonal/holiday items in plastic bins, now’s the time. That way, once you’re moved in, you can simply transfer the plastic bins to your closet or basement without having to unpack their contents.

16. Use Soft Items For Padding

You don’t need as much packaging material as you think! All sorts of soft items around your home can be used to safely and efficiently pack other items. Towels, socks, sheets, and other soft or cushy things make great and free packing material. Environmentally friendly, too!

17. Color-code Your Labels

Black and white labels are hard to distinguish when you want to start unpacking at a non-glacial pace. Use colorful labels instead — you can handwrite them, or simply print some out — and devise a color-coding system for your boxes to easily keep track of what is where.

18. Use a Rubber Band to Keep Your Front Door Unlocked

When actually moving your boxes into your truck or van, you’ll be going in and out of the house a lot. Wrap a rubber band around one doorknob and stretch it around your door to wrap the other end on the opposite knob. This will keep your door from accidentally getting shut and locking you out in case someone forgets to keep it unlocked!

19. Keep ALL your liquids separate

Cleaning supplies, dish-washing supplies, whatever it is, if it’s liquid put it in a separate plastic bin. If it falls or spills during the move and you’ve left it in another box, it’ll soak everything. Ew.

20. Pack With a Guide

Look up visual guides for packing your moving vehicle, like this one. Advice may differ if you have a van or a truck.

33+ Helpful Moving Tips Everyone Should Know ~ How to pack the truck like an expert!

Now go pack like a pro!

Featured photo credit: Moving truck/Matthew W. Jackson via flickr.com

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