Even though it can be tricky and challenging, cross-country relocation doesn’t have to be chaotic. Well, at least not once you learn some of the best moving hacks to make the entire process run smoothly. We understand just how overwhelming and emotionally demanding uprooting your life may feel. Plus, there are those move-related tasks waiting for you to take care of them. No wonder you start feeling anxious and stressed-out. But we are here to help.
If you haven’t moved before, the entire endeavor probably seems even more intricate than it actually is. You don’t know where and when to start. And there are so many tricky tasks that you have no idea how to handle. Take a deep breath and learn some life hacks for moving. Whether it’s packing, lack of patience, or the overall organization that troubles you, there is a solution to it. The ultimate list of moving tips and hacks to ease your upcoming relocation is always the same, regardless of your reasons to move, so, let’s start with that.
Use Some Smart Moving Hacks to Prepare for Your Move Properly
Nothing can make a move more stressful and chaotic than not being prepared for every step of the process correctly. To save yourself from trouble down the line, put in some effort to learn more about relocation and how to get ready for it. Even if you’ve moved several times so far, there is always something that can be done better. Let’s take a look at the key steps to take and tips to follow to be fully prepared for your upcoming move.
Start Getting Ready Several Weeks Before Your Moving Day
One of the most common moving mistakes is procrastinating. Yes, we understand that relocation isn’t precisely your idea of a fun time, but postponing your preparation because of it only makes things worse.
Last-minute moving is, of course, manageable, but it can be much more stressful. To avoid additional pressure during this hectic period, get down to business early enough. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to start getting ready four to six weeks before your scheduled relocation. It may seem like it can be done in less than two weeks at first glance. But don’t let this impression fool you.
Create a Checklist to Keep Track of Everything
When you don’t have everything under control, dealing with moving stress and relocation depression becomes even more challenging. Don’t let things slip out of your hands and spiral out of control. Create a plan and write it all down in the form of a checklist. That way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting something crucial that can cause you any problem later on. It will also be easy to keep track of everything still waiting to be done.
Even if something seems small and insignificant, do write it down. Note every single step and every single task. Once you get started, even forgetting your passport or ID is possible. It may seem ridiculous now, but there will be so much to handle. Your checklist will turn out to be the most valuable thing you’ve done.
Cancel Your Utilities and Update Your Address
For some reason, people often forget about this rather significant step – canceling their utilities at the old place and setting them up at the new one. It doesn’t take you long to get this done. But if you leave it for the last moment, the chances are that you, too, will ultimately forget about it.
The safest way to go about it is to contact the utility companies as soon as possible. Notify them of your relocation date, so you don’t have to worry about spending your first day at the new place without electricity or water.
Another crucial step is to figure out how to change your address before you go house-hunting. After you notify the post office, don’t forget to update your address for utilities and subscriptions.
Create an Inventory List
Before you put all your stuff in boxes, you should first create a household inventory list. Not only will this help you keep everything organized, but you should also have a household inventory if you’re planning to get insurance for your belongings. It can also come in handy in case you need to claim damage. Of course, you don’t want to think about anything getting damaged or broken, but it’s good to be prepared. Instead of the actual list, you can also create a photo inventory if you find it more convenient.
Plan Your Budget
Finances are among people’s primary concerns when it comes to relocation. To be sure you have enough to cover all moving expenses, even if you managed to find a job before moving to another state, it is essential that you set your moving budget right from the start.
When you determine how much you can afford to spend on this endeavor, you can plan every following step accordingly. Or you may realize that you should wait a bit more until you save up a few more bucks. Whatever the case, what’s important is that you eliminate the element of surprise.
If you’re planning to hire professional movers, you can ask them for a moving estimate to help you get the idea of how much money you should allocate. Feel free to ask them what is the cheapest time of the year to relocate if you want to be economical.
If you want your move to go smoothly, one of the crucial tips is to prepare early enough and stick to your to-do list.
Make Sure You Have Enough Boxes and Other Packing Supplies
Before you get started, it is crucial that you first create a list of packing materials for moving. Then it’s time to obtain everything on that list to have everything necessary to protect all your things properly.
First of all, you should gather enough boxes of various shapes and sizes. You should also figure out the best-sized boxes for moving different belongings. If you want to save a few bucks, you can look for different types of packing materials on Craigslist. A useful hack to lift those boxes easier, later on, is to cut rectangular holes in the sides.
You should also have plastic wrap to cover all the bottles with liquids before putting the top back on to prevent the liquid from spilling. Be sure you learn how to use bubble wrap and get lots of it. Bubble wraps are essential for packaging fragile items. Other supplies you should put on that list include:
- Foam peanuts
- Moving blankets
- Furniture covers
- Packing paper
- Duct tape
Alternative Packing Materials
In case you can’t gather all the necessary supplies, there’s no reason to worry. There are all kinds of alternative solutions scattered around your house that can prove to be a real-life-saver. For instance, if you’re wondering how to pack books, here’s a suggestion – you can put them in the suitcases with wheels. Suitcases can be rather useful for all kinds of bulky items. Even if you have enough sturdy boxes, putting books in your suitcases is a space-saver.
Are you wondering how to pack dishes? Here’s a useful hack for wrapping the plates – put Styrofoam plates between your plates to prevent them from breaking during transport. If you’re worried about how to pack paintings for moving, pipe insulation or pool noodles can be used to protect the frames. The same goes for the frames of mirrors.
The key step to a hassle-free move is to obtain all the necessary supplies to protect your precious belongings.
The Best Packing Hacks for Moving
Since this is usually considered one of the most troublesome parts of relocation, some packing hacks for moving will come in handy, too. If you absolutely have to relocate on short notice, there are some essential packing tips for moving in a hurry. But if not, do get started as early as possible, as this can be a rather time-consuming part. Where to start? Get rid of absolutely everything you won’t be using when you move to ease the entire process.
Declutter, Declutter, and Declutter Some More to Make This Step Easier
The fewer belongings there are, the easier it gets. If you want it all to run smoothly, go through your stuff, and create a pile of stuff you haven’t used in a while, and you certainly won’t in the future. Then, divide the things you no longer need into categories.
When you’re done sorting out, create a separate pile of stuff for charity. Why would you throw away something that can still be used when you can donate unwanted items before moving? Decluttering is particularly important when you’re moving to a smaller home. Also, if you and your partner are moving in together, you should get rid of all double pieces of furniture you might have. Whether you’re relocating to a smaller house or from a house to an apartment, this step can save you.
Declutter by dividing the things you need and the ones you don't need.
Ask What Things You’re Not Allowed to Bring
The things you won’t be allowed to take with you include perishable food. If you don’t clean your fridge before relocation, the best thing you can do is to donate extra food. There are many organizations where you can give away your food, such as Move for Hunger. Other usually prohibited items include flammables, compressed gases, in some cases, plants, and flowers, as well as certain medications. You should check if there are any other specific rules and regulations to avoid investing your patience into something you cannot bring.
You can donate any extra food you have to certain organizations.
Go Room By Room
One of the crucial packing tips for moving to make your relocation less stressful is to deal with one room at a time. Otherwise, it can quickly become chaotic. When you’re dealing with several rooms at once, you can easily forget where you put some stuff and disrupt your timeline. Simply put, you can say goodbye to well-organized and smooth packing.
To avoid this worst-case scenario, create a plan and stick to it. Decide which room you use the least and start with the stuff there. Don’t get started with another room until you’re completely done with the previous one.
Go through each room to check if everything is ready for moving day.
What to Do With Your Clothes
When you think about all the work you have to put in to take care of your clothes, it’s relatively easy to get discouraged. First, remove the clothes from the hangers, fold them, put in the suitcase, then unfold and put one by one back on the rack when you settle in. But why complicate things? You can simply leave your clothes on the hanger, and then put them inside a trash bag. Quick and easy, right?
You can save a lot of space when packing clothes for moving if you roll up each piece of clothing instead of folding it. Another useful hack to keep in mind is to leave the stuff in the drawers. Again, why not skip the unnecessary taking out and putting back in if you don’t have to? You can just take out the drawers with the stuff in them and secure them with plastic wrap to keep the stuff in place.
Besides just putting clothes in the boxes, you can try some other things.
What About Electronics?
Are you wondering how to pack electronics for moving? Naturally, you want to be entirely sure that your valuable devices are fully protected and delivered intact to your future address. Whether you should pack a computer or some other gadget, the safest thing to do is to put them in the original packaging of each electronic device.
If you don’t have the original packaging, put the devices in containers that fit their size. Never choose much larger containers to avoid electronics from shuffling around. Put chords in toilet paper rolls to prevent them from tangling. One more rather useful piece of advice is to take pictures of the back of your TV. You know which wire is plugged in where now. But when it comes to plugging them again upon arrival, the chances are that you won’t be able to remember it.
Packing electronics can be tricky, so make sure you do it carefully and use high quality supplies.
Measure Your Furniture
Packing your furniture when moving is probably one of the most challenging items on your to-do list. So, to determine if it is worth the trouble, you should first measure your furniture to check whether it fits your new place. If it turns out that some of your furniture pieces don’t fit your future home, you can always find a place where you can donate furniture before you move. When it comes to those pieces that you are going to move, put towels beneath them. Not only will it be easier to drag the furniture, but it will also protect the floors.
Before you go to your new home, measure all of your furniture to see if it will fit.
Here’s How to Deal With Your Kitchen Efficiently
When it comes to packing kitchen items, there are several ways to handle this efficiently. For instance, you can do a similar thing with utensils that you did with your dressing drawers. Simply secure the entire utensil organizer using a plastic wrap without previously removing spoons, forks, or knives. If you still have some knives that are not kept in the organizer, you can put them in old oven mitts to prevent injuries when unpacking. Another useful hack is to put your spices and dish towels inside the pots to save some space.
Secure your kitchen items so they don't get damaged.
Pay Special Attention to Breakables
Your breakables are probably among the most valuable stuff you’re planning to relocate. Whether they are expensive or they just have emotional value, you don’t want to risk damaging any of them. Thus, it is necessary to be extra careful when handling these.
This can be particularly tricky if you don’t have proper cushioning materials. But it is manageable to get everything intact to the future address. For instance, you can put some of the breakables in socks or wrap them with linens and towels.
You have to take extra care of your fragile items.
Put Labels on Each Box to Know Its Content
When you place all your stuff inside the boxes and suitcases, you won’t be able to remember where you put what. If you can’t keep track of the stuff, your unpacking after the move will be much longer and more challenging. The best thing to do to always know what you put in each box is to write the content of each box on its sides and top. Thus, you won’t have to remove another box on top of it to see the label.
In addition to labeling each box with its exact content, it is also a good idea to write down the room to which it belongs. So, when the movers are unloading the truck, they’ll get the job done much more efficiently when they know exactly which box goes to which room.
Label each box so you know what's packed inside of it.
Don’t Put Your Valuables and Important Documents With the Rest of Your Stuff
When it comes to your passports, IDs, certificates, and other vital documents, the golden rule is to always keep them close. Movers don’t take responsibility for these, so you shouldn’t take even the slightest risk of losing them. The same goes for some highly valuable jewelry, as well as money. It is advisable to put these in separate plastic bags to protect them from any potential damage. Then put them in a bag that will be with you all along.
Handling all your stuff can be tricky, but with the right tips and tricks, it can also be fun, and go without any hiccups.
How to Repair Damages to Get Your Deposit Back
If you are renting your home, we assume you’d like to get your deposit back when you move out. But what about those holes in the walls, dents, and stains in the carpets, or scuff marks on the floors? Don’t worry – here are some tricks to help you repair these damages so that your place looks just like when you first moved in:
- Fill nail holes with toothpaste or white Ivory soap
- Place ice cubes on dents and wait until they melt, then lift the fibers using a spoon
- To remove stains, mix one-part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water, and spray the area. Leave the mixture for a minute, and then scrub the stain off the carpet using a scrub brush.
- For scuff marks, all you need is a tennis ball – rub the scuffs with a tennis ball until the marks disappear.
Take a Picture of Your New Home
In case you’re renting your future home, too, don’t forget to take a picture of it before you settle in. If there are any marks or damages already made, you can use the photos to show your landlord that they were already there. Take this step to ensure your deposit when you leave the new place, too.
When all your stuff is packed, damage will be more obvious, so use some tricks to repair everything and get your deposit back.
What to Do When the Moving Day Comes
You’ve been preparing for it for weeks, but the very relocation day can still be stressful. We guess you could use some moving day tips, too, so as not to forget about something important. Here are some of the most significant things to keep in mind, so it all runs smoothly.
Make a Plan for Your Kids and Pets
When you’re relocating with your children, you should think about the best way for them to spend the relocation day, which can be too hectic for the little ones. You can ask a friend or a family relative to spend the day with them or arrange a playdate.
Relocating with your pet calls for a few more preparation steps to take, even if you’re moving to another state alone. Relocation can be rather stressful especially if you are moving with a dog. So, to protect your furry friend from all the hassle, consider leaving him with a close friend. Another option is to designate one separate room where your companion can be and leave their favorite toys to keep them entertained. If you choose the latter, remember to check up on your pet regularly so that they don’t feel lonely and scared.
Get up Early to Get Started As Soon As Possible
Since there will be so much going on, you should get up early. Leave yourself enough time to prepare breakfast and eat it in peace, and then get ready for the movers. If you’re relocating in summer, getting up early is also important if you want to avoid dealing with all the heavy lifting in the scorching heat.
You shouldn’t leave anything for the last day, but in case you do have something left to pack, that’s one more reason to set that alarm clock as early as possible. You can also manage to take your kids or pets to your friends and be back home just in time.
Keep Snacks and Drinks Close
As we previously mentioned, you should empty your fridge before relocation. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be left with absolutely nothing to eat. On the contrary – it is crucial to have some food and drinks to get you through. So, don’t forget to prepare some refreshments and keep them close so you can access them whenever you want. Some snacks and bottles of water will mean a lot.
No matter how important relocation is, your health should always be your top priority, so think about yourself even in such a hassle. Drink enough water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re relocating during summer. And don’t forget to grab a bite or two to have enough strength for such an effort.
Don’t Forget the Bag With Moving Essentials
In addition to keeping your documents close, you should remember to bring a bag where you’ll keep the rest of the moving essentials. Put the stuff needed during your relocation or right upon arrival to your future place in this bag. And always keep your moving essentials somewhere close, where you can reach them easily at any moment.
Some of the most commonly needed essentials include the following:
- Daily medications
- First aid kit
- Basic toiletries
- Change of clothes
Wrap a Rubber Band Around the Doorknob
The last thing you need is to get locked out of your place. And with so many people going in and out of the house, this can easily happen. To be on the safe side, you should string a rubber band around your doorknob on the inside, and then cross it over to the knob on the outside. The rubber band will keep the door from locking, so you don’t have to worry about this. You can freely go in and out and not think about accidentally closing the door.
When the relocation date finally arrives, be prepared for it – don't let it all fall apart at the very end of the entire relocation process.
Turn to Professional Movers for Help
Are you wondering how to move a piano? How about packing glassware for moving? We suppose you’re not that thrilled about either of these, as well as many other tricky-to-pack belongings in your home. What about your vehicle? You don’t want to drive to the future address, but you do want your car there. How to solve this one?
The answer to all your move-related troubles is, in fact, quite simple – you can turn to professional movers for any help. If you don’t know how to pack bulky or extremely fragile belongings, ask for packing service. If you want to transport your car across the country, learning about how car shipping works and asking for the auto transport service is the right choice for you, especially when relocating to the suburbs. And if you happen to need a safe place to store your stuff before, during, or after your move, that’s what storage units are made for.
But how much does all of that cost? Don’t worry about that either. There are always ways to reduce costs.
How to Reduce Costs?
If you’re relocating on a tight budget, so you think you can’t afford to hire professional movers, we have some good news for you. There are many ways to reduce costs when moving and have the cheapest way to move out of state. If you prepare accordingly, you can save quite a few bucks.
The safest way to reduce the costs is to pick the right time of the week and month to move. By right, we mean that you should stick to the middle of the week and the middle of the month when you’re scheduling your relocation date. Weekends, the beginning and the end of a month have proved to be the busiest period for movers. So, their services are more expensive then.
You’re probably also wondering about the best time of the year to move. If you want to save some money, avoid summer, as this is the peak season for professional movers. You should also avoid national holidays and weekends because moving during the holiday season can get pricey.
Sometimes, you should step back and leave it to experts to do their job.
Feeling Ready for Your Moving Adventure?
You decided where to move and now it is time to do it. Sure, relocation, no matter if you are moving for a relationship or in pursuit of knowledge, does sound like quite an endeavor. But, as you can see, with the right precautionary measures and tips and tricks to keep in mind, it can turn to quite an adventure and fun experience just like that. Get ready for your relocation properly to keep anxiety about moving out at the bay and see for yourself how enjoyable relocation can be.
For any concerns or doubts, do not hesitate to contact professionals to help you out. Stick to your plan, check the safety of your future neighborhood, start getting ready early enough, rely on these hacks, and you’re good to go.