I’m now coming off of my 12th move; my 5th move over state lines. There’s really no right way to move- everyone has different goals in mind. Some want to move for the cheapest way possible and will bend over backwards to do so. Others would rather spend a lot and have it be effortless and convenient. I don’t ever go about packing up and moving in a particularly organized way, I just do what’s most convenient.
Look into all of your options
Like I said above, everyone has an end goal. Before my last move I looked into PODS, shipping my items, etc. and ended up renting a UHAUL and driving myself. I shipped my things with a moving company 2 weeks before my move to Chicago. Just make sure whatever you do decide to do, you look into every option possible and weigh them out.
Don’t buy boxes
With my most recent move I was very lucky to have a friend who had just moved from one apartment to another locally. He had bought boxes and gifted them to me after the fact (Thanks Nick!). When I moved to Chicago from Maryland, I worked in the food and beverage industry and snagged a ton of boxes from my employers. Buying boxes isn’t necessarily expensive, but it’s something you can save on if you put in a little effort. Look on craigslist, grocery stores, etc.
Use what you have
I have a million market and tote bags from shopping and avoiding plastic/paper bags. I try to pack these up as they take up less room than a box and the items are usually more accessible. Use suitcases, duffles, etc.
Use your clothes to pack
While I don’t recommend avoiding bubble wrap completely, I try to use up all of my t-shirts on items that might break in boxes. I try to put glasses and mugs in socks and shirts as well. You’re killing two birds with one stone.
Get rid of everything you can
Seriously, cut throat, just start tossing stuff. You don’t need the teddy bear your 11th grade boyfriend gave you on your 2 week anniversary. Take old items that aren’t full-on trash to The Salvation Army, or have a garage sale if you’re trying to pinch pennies.
Pack decor first
This always helps me getting the ball rolling on moving. Psychologically, when my house looks emptier (bare walls, etc.) I’m more likely to continue where I left off and get done quickly.
Closet, meet garbage bag
Bag your clothes hanging in your closet with the hangers still in tact.
Label your boxes
Everyone has different preferences for this. I don’t like writing down every single item in the box (I keep it pretty broad) but I do number my boxes to make sure I’m not missing anything.
Plastic wrap liquids
Use saran wrap over the tops of liquids to avoid spilling.
Eat what’s left of your food
Before your move, save some money and work on finishing the rest of the food you have in your house. That way, nothing needs to get thrown out or packed with your stuff.
Pack your everyday items last
This should go without saying, but I usually pack everything except what I would pack up for an weekend out of town. Last year my items came a little late to Chicago and I was fine because I brought with me enough items to last me a few days.
I usually start doing this as soon as I have a lease signed. Switching over billing addresses, set up a mail forwarding system, etc. It makes life a lot easier when you’re actually settled in and not thinking about it.
Clean as you pack/ Hire a cleaning company
Also pretty self explanatory, but as you’re moving things around keep everything clean. Not only does it make your job easier when everything is said and done, but it keeps from living in a state of messiness before you head out. As far as a cleaning company goes, my Maryland landlord made an exception for me having an animal as long as I got the carpets cleaned before we left. When leaving my Chicago apartment I had a subleaser moving into my room. It’s fairly affordable to have someone come in and clean up after you, and it will guarantee you your security deposit back, and happy subleasers.
What are you tips and tricks to making a move quick and painless?