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30+ Best Moving Tips

You know your move day will be here before you know it – there’s so much to do!  But the good news is there are many ways you and your move team can prepare. Here are more than 30 of the best moving tips that can make your move day easier. These moving tips are geared towards families that plan to do all or some of their own packing.

Before Packing

1. Clean out your closets, attic, and basement.  Donate, throw away, or sell items that you don’t need anymore. Less to pack!
Good items to donate are: … if you haven’t worn it in over a year. …if an appliance still works but you have not used it in years.

2. Schedule the cancellation of utilities ahead of time to avoid paying for services when you’re no longer there.

3. Carefully inspect any items that have been stored outside before packing them for egg masses. Pests, such as Gypsy Moths are a serious threat in the Northeast. For more information, please visit the USDA’s:

4. Notify family and friends ahead of time with your planned address change.  Take time to say goodbye before your busy move day. Any going-away parties should be held in the weeks before your move.


5. Don’t use boxes without tops, without tops makes it impossible to stack the box properly in the truck or a portable storage container.

6. Do put aside items for an overnight bag (or suitcase) for each family member containing all the essentials.

7. Write “Unpack First” on boxes you’ll need to unpack first when they arrive at your new home like bed sheets, kitchen utensils and drinking glasses.

8. Don’t pack items you need to bring with you like medications and phone chargers. Don’t pack away children’s favorite toys before the move.

9. Use plenty of paper to help cushion and absorb shock while in transit.  If using recycled materials, never let newspaper touch light colored items directly because the ink can rub off onto and stain an item.

10. Avoid overloading boxes, but try to pack firmly enough so that there is no empty space left for items to shift.  The top of the box should close easily without force, but should not bend inward.

11. Be careful if using any plastic storage bins.  Plastic bins may crack and become weak leading to crushed and broken items.

12. Avoid using trash bags to pack anything including clothing because the bags can rip easily and are not stackable inside the moving truck.

13. Always put heavier items in smaller boxes, lighter items into bigger boxes.

14. Use enough packing tape to make sure it is completely sealed and no items can break though the bottom of the box.  Apply tape to the bottom and top of the box instead of just folding the tops in.

15. On the outside of each box as you pack, write what’s inside and what room they will be going into. Example: “Dishes -> Kitchen”

16. Sandwich bags are handy for keeping hardware for TV, furniture, etc. together.

17. Take pictures of how electronics are connected so you can easily put everything back together.

18. Have a separate box for chargers, remotes, wires etc. ONLY.

19. Use wardrobe boxes to make closets easier to pack. Wardrobe boxes are tall and have a metal bar to hang your clothes on inside upright.

20. Wrap furniture in reusable movers blankets (low cost ones are available at places like Harbor Freight, or use old heavy blankets) to wrap around furniture to protect them from bumps and scuffs.  It also helps protect your walls and floors to have hard edges covered.

21. Pack lampshades in a boxes by themselves.  They fit better and delicate lamp shades will be safer surrounded by packing paper.

22. Pack papers and books into a book box (a small box). Boxes filled with books get heavy quick!

23. Always use dishpack cartons when packing china and dishes. They are boxes with a thicker cardboard to protect your dishware. Crumple a layer of paper or bubble wrap on the bottom to cushion the edges. Pack plates vertically, like records. It keeps the box tighter and helps to prevent them from breakage.

24. If you choose to leave packing of fragile items to our professional packers, please be sure to let us know ahead of time (not the day of your move) so we may prepare to bring extra wrapping materials and document any items of exceptional value. Very large fragile items like chandeliers may require crating to be secure.

25. Wrap sharp pointy items carefully and cover the edges. Label which end is sharp to help you avoid cutting yourself when unpacking.

26. To avoid broken makeup, place a cotton pad or ball into your solid powder cake cosmetics to keep them from breaking. Do not pack these items if you are moving long distance or going to storage. They are likely to spoil.

27. Wrap shoes in clean paper sheets (or individually in their shoe bags) to keep them from rubbing and getting scuffed. Don’t use plastic bags on leather or it may grow mold from trapped moisture.

28. Place items like pump soap and shower bottles into plastic Ziplock bags and seal closed to prevent spilling.

29. Paint cans, gasoline, propane and other flammables, combustibles or pressurized containers (aerosols) are NOT to be packed.  These are non-allowable hazardous items.  Not only are they restricted by law, they are also a danger to your items in transit.

Loading the Moving Truck Day

30. One of the last boxes to go on the moving truck should be your packed box of moving day essential items that you and your family will need immediately after the move. By making sure it’s the last thing added to the truck so it will be the first thing off the truck.

31. Grab your pre-packed overnight bags and suitcases (#6. above), moving day is here!

While Unloading and Unpacking at Your New Home

32. Inspect boxes carefully before picking them up. Is the bottom of each box still secure?

33. Always squat when lifting or lowering an item. Do not try to bend, twist or reach while carrying something.

34. When opening boxes, do not use a kitchen knife because most are too thin and can break. Use scissors or a box cutter instead.

35. Unpack fragile glassware and other delicate items on a flat padded surface low to the floor to avoid damage.

36. Always flatten boxes and separate all paper to insure all items have been removed from out of the paper.  It is possible for small items to be misplaced or thrown away if this step is not performed thoroughly.


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