These 12 moving hacks will make your move so much easier

Easy and breezy 😌

A pile of moving boxes on a pink and purple background, with heart eye emojis around it
(Image credit: Future)

Let's be real, getting ready to move into a new apartment is a daunting task. 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 trust me, a little bit of organizing will save you time, money, and a lot of peace of mind.

Sure, it might be extra work up front — but it will all pay off in the long haul, and mean you’ll be free from living in boxes as soon as poss. Plus, that first night take-out will taste so much better knowing there isn't loads to do.

We chatted with a variety of professional movers and organization experts in our network to get their best tips on how to make your move go super smoothly — both for you and for your team of movers.

Here's how exactly how to plan, pack, and move all your items into your new home with as little stress as poss.

12 moving hacks that are totally genius

From clever thinking to clever packing, here's how to have a smooth move, for your breeziest fresh start yet.

1. Pack for the new house

When it comes to packing, you have to work smarter, not harder. "Think about how you’ll be unpacking when boxing up your items, instead of throwing everything into the same box," says Brenda Prinzavalli, organizing strategist at Balanced Organizing Solutions. "For example, 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." This will mean less going back and forth between the rooms — as good as that is for your step count, it isn't so good when you've got things to do.

2. Put all “unknown location” items together

Not sure where you're going to put certain things? Put them all together. "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," says Prinzavalli. Examples include all office supplies (gathered from various junk drawers, desks, living room, etc.), candles and candle holders, batteries, towels and linens, photo frames, and cleaning supplies.

3. Book an early morning job

They do say that early birds get the worm — the productivity worm, that is. 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." 

4. Label everything

Summon your inner Pinterest-er and get those boxes labeled up bestie. Make sure each one has its contents and the room it belongs to on it. By doing this, you'll avoid any confusion or misplacing items. Oh, and unpacking will be 10x easier and quicker, trust. BTW, this adorable Phomemo label maker is Amazon's Choice, if you want your boxes looking real cute.

5. Consider packing an overnight bag

There's nothing worse than having a busy AF day of moving, getting exhausted, and then not being able to find what you need to get comfy. Carrigan suggests packing an overnight bag to save you getting stressy. "Put all your toiletries, medicines, and other personal items into a special box or suitcase to take with you," he says. Make sure to put it down somewhere safe too, so it doesn't get lost among your moving boxes.

6. 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," explains Carrigan. He does advise only getting sturdy ones, as flimsy boxes won't stack well and increase the chances of damage. NTY.

7. Take photos before you move in

Trust me, your future self will thank you later for this idea. Before you bring in all your boxes, take pictures of all your rooms, so you have a record of your apartment's condition. If you spot any damage, take a picture of this individually, log it, and send it to your landlord ASAP. This way, you won't be charged for anything you haven't done when you move out. 

8. Pay attention to weight distribution

Sorry peeps, but you can't just throw everything into a box and hope for the best. "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," explains Aaron Kirley, president of LugLess. Kirley suggests mixing and matching, such as packing heavy items along with lighter items. Then, if it weighs more than a fifty-pound checked luggage, odds are you may want to re-distribute the weight. 

Not sure how heavy your box is, and want to weigh it properly? These Smart Weight scales have over 8,000 five-star reviews.

9. Pack “as if”

Many people don't think about the fact their boxes will be stacked with other boxes, which will most likely move around. AKA, 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." Keep everything tightly wrapped, and you won't open up any disasters later on.

10. Don’t throw stray liquid bottles just anywhere

Think you've finished packing, then found a stray bottle of shampoo and thrown it into the box? Sorry, but that's a no-no. "I 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." Instead, Kirley says to consider giving those items away or throwing them out prior to packing up.

11. Always protect your mattress

Sweet dreams are def not made of dirt and dust. According to Richard Dimilta, senior vice-president of business operations at mattress and bedding company Saatva, there are a few things to do to ensure your mattress 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. From there, Dimilta suggests putting your mattress in a protective cardboard box to prevent structural damage. BTW, if you need a bag, this Cosybreeze one is super highly rated on Amazon.

12. Use packing materials wisely

Yes, all the movies seem to have unlimited streams of newspaper when moving. But they're spendy, and so unnecessary. Instead, save yourself some money (and save the trees too), by using items you already have. Clothes, towels, or blankets are all plenty strong and soft enough to wrap fragile items in. They'll also save you serious space in your moving boxes too — bonus.

Up next: 10 moving mistakes you should def avoid 

Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn is an experienced travel and lifestyle writer with a keen interest in interior decorating and home optimization. An avid traveler, she's currently splitting her time between her apartment in a century-old châteauesque building in Montreal and her cozy chalet in the woods (that she built with her own two hands... and many YouTube tutorials!). Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, Tatler Asia, Forbes, Robb Report Singapore, and various other international publications.

With contributions from