6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly

| 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Some moves are bigger and more hectic than others. But let’s just get this out there: moving stinks! I don’t know one person who has ever said, “Moving is great!  I love it!” Quite the opposite! That’s because it’s just plain miserable most of the time. Packing up all of your belongings, schlepping them to another town, state, or country? Not fun at all. Am I right?

It would be dreamy to hire a moving company to do all the work, but since that’s not always an option, I rely on some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you to help you or someone you know have an easier time packing and moving — and hopefully making it a bit less miserable in the process.

Ready to get packing? Let’s go!

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom
6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom
6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom
6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom
6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom
6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

6 Tips for Moving Home and not Stress (as much)

To start, I always plan my packing around the end goal, which is, Secret #1: to be able to find everything when I need it. That seems kind of obvious, but once there are dozens of stacked boxes all over the place and everything feels disorganized and messy, you might not be able to find that box with the pair of scissors or pocket knife you need to start opening up all the other boxes. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I would remember what was in certain boxes as I was packing them only to forget a few minutes later — even right after I taped them up!

The method I use now does take a little more effort at first, but on the other end of the move, it makes unpacking and organizing infinitely easier.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Secret #2: Each room is designated a number. For example – Living Room 100, Kitchen 200, Girls’ Room 300, Boys’ Room 400, Primary Bedroom 500, Bathroom(s) 600, Office 700, Storage Room 800, Garage 900, and so on. You could also color code the rooms, but the numbering has worked best for me.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Secret #3: I have a clipboard with a notebook or a stack of paper. Each page corresponds to the rooms and boxes in the number series.  Some rooms might need extra pages because of a higher number of boxes for that room. This will make more sense in a second.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

I assemble my supplies — boxes, packing materials (like bubble wrap or packing paper for delicate items), markers, a notebook and clipboard, and dozens of rolls of tape. Then it’s time to start packing the boxes.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Secret #4: Each box is numbered so that it corresponds to the room to which it belongs. If I have five boxes for the Kitchen, they would be numbered 200, 201, 202, 203, and 204, etc.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Secret #5: On the clipboard sheets, I will write a general list of what is contained in each box. It doesn’t need to be too specific at this point unless there is a particular item I know I’ll want to find immediately when we arrive at the new place. For Living Room, for instance, I might be packing pictures from the wall, albums, CDs, DVDs, decorative items, and maybe the pillows from the sofa.  I would list them in that way on the notebook sheet and even on the box.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Sure it’s easy to just write the box contents on the outside of the box. And I do that too, but writing it down on a sheet in an organized way helps me keep track of everything better and if a box inadvertently gets lost, I know what was in it. Make sure to write the box contents down before you seal it up.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Secret #6: Inevitably there is are going to be things that may not have a specific place, or they might be things you find under the couch after all of the boxes have been packed. That’s where the Miscellaneous category comes into play.

Also, I might have a few boxes marked as Important. This could be my 000 series of boxes. The things in these boxes are going to be things like cell phone chargers, important documents that I don’t carry on my person, or even a family heirloom. Those get marked with red because they are important and I can see that at a glance. Secret #7: Some or all of these boxes are also going to be the boxes that I want to pack with me in the back of the car or will be the last on the truck so I immediately know where they are upon arrival at the new house.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

I know this might sound a bit excessive and overwhelming, but once you get going it is a snap. The reason I keep doing this is that it works so well on many levels. As the moving van is unloaded, it’s easy to see which boxes go in which room. This is a great help when you have other people helping you. It can be overwhelming to be the one in charge! But this eliminates some of the stress. You know what’s in each box just by looking at it. No more tearing open box after box looking for a lost item. It’s also great for insurance purposes because you have a detailed list of your possessions if anything is damaged, lost, or stolen.

Also, some things don’t need to be opened or unpacked right away. It’s summer now, so if I know I have my Christmas decorations in a box labeled for my storage room, I don’t need to unpack that. But with Fall just around the corner and school starting, I will really need to know where the jackets and sweaters are packed.

6 Secret to a Smooth Move | Design Mom | 6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly: supplies needed featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Other Tips for Moving:

– Don’t pack books or other heavy items in big boxes! It seems like a great idea until you have to pick them up. For books, use smaller boxes with sturdy bottoms and sides. Tape them well.

– When packing fragile items like dishes, use dishtowels, tablecloths, and other similar items that you would be packing anyway to cushion them.

– I save original boxes and styrofoam packaging materials for small appliances and electronics (when I can or if I have the storage space) because it’s the best way to protect those items when moving.

– Stock up on plenty of packing tape. You don’t have to go crazy with taping, but you’ll run out faster than you think. One strip of tape in each direction should be sufficient for a simple across town move.

– Moving boxes are expensive to buy! Check Freecycle and Craigslist for free boxes. Another great resource are dumpsters behind restaurants, grocery stores and apartment complexes. Or, ask a friend who has just moved to save their boxes for you.

Now tell me, do you have any tips for moving home to add to my list?

Or maybe more entertaining, do you have any horror stories from moving?

P.S. — Find all the posts in this series here.


Photographs and post created for Design Mom by Lindsey Rose Johnson.

90 thoughts on “6 Secrets and Tips for Moving Home Smoothly”

  1. Nice blog right here! Additionally your web site so much up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink
    for your host? I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  2. I have a “huge smile” on my face! While reading your tips, and, viewing your photos, I thought “we could be sisters!” LOL For my sister is 13 1/2 yrs younger than me and would just throw up her hands and saw – you do this – to anyone in hearing range during a move!!!! (Really) This is my second in a period of 14 months and my 6th in 10 1/2 years. I am getting good at it, but, this is our LAST thankfully.
    I did everything you suggested except I did put the names of the rooms for I did not want to confuse my husband. We are the only ones moving us usually anyway.
    This move we have one extra set of hands! Wow. I have been packing for months but we got the house in a 2 week period, so, I would stress that it is NEVER TOO EARLY to pack away “anything that you are not using or won’t be” by the move in date. So Glad that I did this.
    I just had to share with someone, and, you seem very nice. Thanks for your tips. Enjoy the Easter Holiday!

  3. Pingback: Correspondence Blog

  4. Thanks for the tip.. I probably wouldn’t label my boxes the way I lbeled my inventory sheet however because I’ve had things go missing before when moving.. But I’m loving the idea to keep a move organized because unpacking it all can be overwhelming when you don’t know where anything is or what goes in what room.

    I saw that you live in the Oakland area, I’m planning to make a move to Oakland or one of the surrounding cities, would it be too much trouble if you could possibly tell me a few areas I DONT or DO want to live in? Any tips you might have would be greatly appreciated! Off to more moving tips cuz I feel like you can never have enough!

    Desiree

  5. When replacing the carpet in my apartment everything had to be packed then moved to lobby. I numbered a sticky note to the wall (wall 1, and position on wall, items on side table 1-1, couch 1-2, end table 1-3– boxes had corresponding # written on them . Next wall was 2–. Then when movers brought things in they put boxes under sticky notes on walls. All I had to do was open boxes and apartment back in order.

    Some people said I was being a little OCD, but new carpet installed and everything back in place in that day.

  6. I once had a friend whose husband was military tell me that when they were moving back to the US from Europe, the crate with most of their furniture somehow fell off the ship.

  7. Pingback: 12 How to Move: Moving Out Checklist – Tip Junkie

  8. Pingback: 12 How to Move: Moving Out Checklist | Tip Junkie

  9. Pingback: Reality. Not interested. | What A Payne

  10. Great article! I would also add that for dishes you may want to purchase special dish boxes. These have padding and dividers so that the plates don’t break. There are also boxes for lamp shades, glasses, etc. Also, if you are moving a mattress you might want to buy a mattress bag.

  11. If you are only moving across town, you can put a beach towel in the bottom of a laundry basket and put a stack of dinner plates in it, then fold one end of the towel over the top. Next put in plastic items and fold the last end over the top and tuck it in. This can go directly in your car. Use a second basket for bakeware or pans (no super heavy pans), anything you will want right away. Your dishes and pans will not get dusty from being in boxes in a moving truck and you will be able to use them immediately when you arrive. I have also wrapped my silverware tray in a bath towel and placed directly in the bottom of a bin that I filled with necessities that I will use immediately: 2 kitchen towels and wash cloths, dish soap, hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, a few bath towels and wash cloths, gallon ziplocs filled with meds, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shavers and a ziplock with all the remotes. Every family member has a suitcase with 2 days of clothes, their favorite toys/electronics, cords, alarm clocks, a book (or 4) makeup and blow driers. Suitcases go in the car and immediately into their new rooms. When my kids were little, their toys went into colorful bins with lids. They were easy to keep track of and the toys went into the new house first. The toys stay clean in the bins and can easily be used as a makeshift toy box until their rooms are set up.

  12. Pingback: How to Create The Ultimate Packing Inventory List – Bibby and The Gretz

  13. I read your full content. You said this content the most stressful days are the few days before the move and the day of the move. it’s a very helpful post. So I like your content thank you so much.

  14. This (re)post came at the perfect time for me! We are in the middle of packing for a temporary move a mile away. I especially love that you acknowledged and allowed for the messy nature of moving by introducing a “miscellaneous” category. I can’t express how much the concept of this is easing my mind and stress level over packing.

    One thing I would love to hear your thoughts on is tips for getting your spouse involved or on board with this method. The world has certainly changed since this was originally written and I think many women are noticing the tremendous amount of mental and planning labor they take on for the household. When I first read this, my heart sank because while my brain works this way, my husband’s most definitely doesn’t, and I feared that it would just be more frustrating to have half of our things organized in this method and half in whatever method he uses (tape and stack). Since then, I’ve thought of a few ways to try to teach him the method so we can do it together, and I am going to try it, but I’m curious what you or other readers think about getting the rest of the family on board.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top