Over 35 million Americans move each year on average. If you’re about to be part of that number, you need to consider some moving tips!
While hiring professional movers can be useful, you can do it on your own. These are some of my personal DIY moving tips to help you transition you and your family to your new place.
1. Clean Out Your Home
Once you know you’re going to move, you should go through your belongings. Consider what you use all the time and what you can live without. If you have lived at your current place for a while, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of stuff.
Go through all of your clothes, books, furniture and cooking supplies. Determine what you use regularly and what you want to keep. Take out all of the items that you don’t need or want and look at their quality.
If the stuff you don’t need is in good quality, you can sell it online or take it to a consignment shop. For items with a bit of wear and tear, you can donate them to a local charity. You can throw out the things that are in poor condition.
Cleaning out your home will help lighten your load come moving day. Even if you don’t get rid of a ton of stuff, any bit helps. You’ll have fewer items to worry about moving, so your move can go a bit more smoothly.
2. Make a List
One of the best moving tips to simplify things is to make a list of everything you own. You don’t have to list every individual item, but you should group similar things together. Instead of listing each shirt you own, you can write down the number of shirts you have.
Make lists of all of your clothes, furniture, books and cookware. Outline your electronics and their chargers. If you have a hobby, you can list any equipment that you use for it, such as a sewing machine or knitting needles.
You can categorize your lists by the room the items belong in. Or you can set categories based on the size or function of the item. Whatever you do, you want to make sure you include everything in your current home so that you won’t forget anything during your move.
3. Start as Soon as Possible
Once you get close to moving day, start packing your items as soon as you can. You won’t be able to pack stuff like your toothbrush until moving day. But try and pack items that you don’t use as frequently.
You can start packing books and off-season clothes early, for example. The less you have to pack right before you move, the easier it will be.
While you may have plenty of belongings that you can’t pack early on, you should do what you can. And as long as you don’t tape the boxes up, you can always unpack an item if you need it. Then, you can put it back into the box for moving day.
4. Pack Items Properly
When you work with professional movers, they can help you pack your belongings. But when you do it yourself, it’s up to you to make sure you pack everything securely. You don’t want your items to shift during your move, especially breakables like your dishes.
Consider investing in moving boxes to pack your stuff safely. Used boxes are okay for soft items, but they may not have enough structure for some things.
One of the best moving tips for packing valuables and breakables is to use packing paper or towels. Wrap the paper or fabric around the items. Then place everything in a box and make sure there’s no room for the items to shift.
This video has some great tips for packing items efficiently:
5. Think About Your Moving Distance
Next, you should think about how far you’re moving from your current home. If you’re moving across town, you’ll have a bit more flexibility than if you’re moving to another state.
Staying in the same town means you’ll be able to make a second trip more easily. But if your move is hours away, you’ll need to make sure you get everything in one trip. You’ll need to double-check your home before you leave.
6. Rent Moving Gear
Whether you’re moving across town or the country, you may need to rent moving gear. A moving truck or container will give you enough space to move your larger items. You can then fill the extra space with smaller boxes.
It can also help to rent furniture pads to protect your couch while moving it. If you don’t own a dolly, renting one can make it easier to move multiple boxes at the same time. Then, you won’t have to make as many trips from your home to the moving truck.
You should rent equipment that will make moving easier on you. If you don’t think you need a moving container, you don’t need to rent one. However, you should consider what you will need to simplify the process.
7. Ask for Help
One of the most important moving tips for DIY moving is to ask for help from friends and family. Make sure you give your friends and family enough notice before your moving day. Then, they can clear their schedules to help you.
You can also make things easier on others by listing everything you need to do on moving day. Provide copies of lists of the boxes and what goes in them. That way, you can make sure your friends pack and move items how you want them to.
You can also get help to take care of your kids and pets on moving day. Look for a babysitter or pet sitter. If you’re moving within the same town, you can also send your kids to daycare or your pets to a pet play center so that you can focus on moving.
8. Consider Your Schedule
Speaking of moving day, you should decide when you can move. Sometimes, you’ll have a short window where you can move. For example, if your lease ends at your current place, you’ll need to be out before then.
But if you have any flexibility with the move date, think about your schedule. Consider when you’ll have enough time to move everything. You can pack and unpack before or after work, but transferring everything can take a few hours to a full day.
If you have work or your kids have school, try and move on a weekend. You won’t have to worry about missing a day, and neither will anyone who helps with your move.
9. Separate Your Nightly Essentials
Your nightly or daily essentials will probably be some of the last things you pack. Examples include your toothbrush and toothpaste, medications, face cleanser, deodorant and a change of clothes. In all of the various moving tips, it can be easy to forget about your essentials.
When packing, be sure to keep these items separate from the rest of your stuff. Even if you move early in the day, you may need to access these things quickly.
You can also pack individual essentials bags for each of your kids. That can give them a sense of responsibility during the move, and they’ll be able to find what they need.
10. Get a Good Night of Sleep
The night before your move, do what you can to get good quality sleep. Make sure you wind down and go to bed early. If you have a nighttime routine, follow that as best as you can.
Either way, make your current bedroom comfortable with a decent pillow. Keep the room dark, and turn down the thermostat to keep you from overheating. Set an alarm for the morning and make sure you fall asleep early enough to get seven to nine hours of sleep. I highly recommend using a soothing night light, especially if you have little ones that are prone to waking up!
If your kids feel anxious about the move, you can decide if you want them to sleep with you or not. Sometimes, it can be comforting to sleep as a family. But if you want to focus on undisturbed sleep, you may not want your kids in your bed.
11. Get Ready for the Day
One of the best moving tips you can follow is to have a good morning routine the day you move. If you normally eat breakfast, eat something to prepare for the day. Brush your teeth and hair, and do your makeup if that’s something you normally do.
You should also dress comfortably. Choose loose-fitting clothes that allow you to bend and move. When moving on your own, you’ll have to do a lot of lifting, pushing and pulling. You need to choose an outfit that will allow that.
It’s also important to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Pack your heels and sandals and save them for when you get to your new home. Put on a pair of tennis shoes or some other sturdy pair of shoes to protect your feet while you move your stuff.
12. Load Up and Head Out
Once you’re ready for the move, make sure you know where everything is. Go through the list you made to ensure you don’t forget anything. After you load up your truck, go back through your home to check for any small items you have left behind.
If you need to check out of your apartment, don’t forget to take the key back to the office. When you know you have everything, you can lock the door and drop off the key. Then, you can hit the road and head to your new place.
Once you reach your new address, you can start moving boxes and furniture into the new place. As long as you packed things well, you will be able to find everything. Then, you can unpack more efficiently, and you can start to enjoy your new home.