Getting ready to move into a new home is a daunting task – and it can be tempting to throw all your stuff into the nearest box and make your future self deal with it once you’ve made it to your new place... But, a little prepping and planning will save you time, money, and a lot of peace of mind. It might be extra work up front, but it pays off in the long haul and means you’ll be free from living in boxes as soon as possible.
We took it upon ourselves to reach out to a variety of professional movers and organization experts in our network to get their best tips on how to make your move go as smoothly as possible – both for you and for your team of movers. Below, we’re laying out exactly how to plan, pack, and move all your items into your new home with as little stress as possible.
- If you're planning a home addition, we've got plenty of advice on what to do to.
Pack for the new house, not based on old house locations.
Brenda Prinzavalli, Organizing Strategist, Balanced Organizing Solutions, suggests thinking of how you’ll be unpacking when boxing up your items instead of throwing everything into the same box
For example, if two kids are sharing a room now, but will each have their own room then pack their items completely separate so at the new house they can land in the new space; if you had a desk space in a kitchen, but now will have an office pack all the “office” items as office and not in with the kitchen items, etc.
- Bedroom storage ideas for the family.
Pack all “unknown location” items together.
'If you have an unknown location for items in a new house, pack all like items together,' Says Prinzavalli. 'Go around the house and collect those like items so they are together, you can purge if necessary, but this way you’ll have a known place for all those odd items.'
Examples include all office supplies (gathered from various junk drawers, desks, family room, etc.), candles and candle holders, batteries, towels and linens, photo frames, or cleaning supplies.
Book an early morning job.
According to Ryan Carrigan, Co-founder of moveBuddha, booking your movers early in the morning will pay off. 'If you're hiring a moving company, book the earliest morning time slot available,' he shares. 'The moving crew will be fresh so they'll get the job done faster and typically do a better job.'
Consider packing an overnight bag.
Carrigan suggests packing an overnight bag to save you the stress of locating all your essentials after a long day of moving. 'Put all your toiletries, medicines, and other personal items into a special box or suitcase that you take with you,' he says.
Source free boxes.
You really don’t need to purchase those expensive branded moving boxes—it’s not like you’re going to reuse them any time soon. 'Free boxes from liquor stores or groceries are a great way to save some cash but make sure you only get sturdy good quality boxes,' warns Carrigan. 'Flimsy boxes won't stack well and increase the chances of damage.'
Pay attention to weight distribution.
'The biggest mistake we've seen people make over the years is that they don't always consider that the box they've packed will be lifted and moved many times before they see it again,' explains Aaron Kirley, President of LugLess. 'Placing all your heavy items in one big box may seem like a good idea but even the sturdiest of boxes fail under too much pressure.'
Kirley suggests mixing and matching – pack heavy items along with lighter items. If it weighs more than a fifty pound checked luggage, odds are you may want to reconsider that box prior to taping it and stacking it for transport.
Pack “as if”.
Many people don't realize that even if they are storing or moving their boxes (and not shipping them), they will still be going on a truck or van and stacked with other boxes. They will most likely move around and a perfectly stacked row of boxes in a truck is no match for an unexpected red light or traffic accident.
'Pack your box as if it could be safely dropped from 6 feet off the ground,' suggests Kirley. 'If you think you've packed those plates and glassware like a pro, you should have little concern if it gets a little combat action during its trip to your new home or storage facility.'
Don’t throw last minute kitchen or bathroom items just anywhere.
'We can't tell you how many times an entire box or piece of luggage contents has been ruined due to a half-eaten jar of jelly or bottle of olive oil that's opened up or exploded,” shares Kirley. 'It usually is not only the box or bag it was in but what was stacked beneath it on the moving truck or in the storage facility.'
While it may seem like a good idea to toss the last remaining almost forgotten food items in with your clothes or bedding box; Kirley urges you to avoid it when possible. Did you really screw the cap on that well last time you used it? Odds are, probably not.
'Consider giving those items away or throwing them out prior to packing up your stuff,' says Kirley. 'Is it really worth it to save that last remaining bit of olive oil in the unlikely (yet possible) event it drips into the box with your bedding and/or clothes? The answer is obviously, no.'
Always protect your mattress.
According to Richard Dimilta, Senior Vice-President of Business Operations at Saatva, a luxury mattress and bedding company, when moving a mattress, there are a few things to do to ensure it stays in great condition during the move.
'You should cover the mattress in a high-density polyethylene mattress storage bag and make sure to wrap the mattress securely and tape the edges completely shut,' Dimilta explains. 'The bag should be form-fitted and sealed for the best protection.'
From there, Dimilta suggests putting your mattress in a protective cardboard box to prevent structural damage. Never put your mattress on top of your car, as this is unsafe and may even be illegal, depending on where you live. Instead, rent a box truck and avoid placing anything on top of the mattress, which can cause damage.
- The best mattresses if you need it!