10 Shortcuts to Make Your Move Easier

Posted on Aug 14 2015 - 10:06am by Suzanne De Vita

packing to moveNear or far, there’s no short of challenges when it comes to moving. Between organizing an entire household, changing addresses and vetting out movers, relocating to a new home can be more hectic than happy. And the biggest stressor of all? Packing.

To help alleviate some of that stress, we’ve compiled a list of clever shortcuts that will ease the burden of packing before (and unpacking after) a move.

1. Find Freebies Forget buying boxes. Pick up free ones through Freecycle.org or the “free stuff” section on Craigslist, both of which list items by location. If you can, seek out boxes of varying sizes. And skip the supermarket cartons–they may contain food residue.

2. Pack to Unpack The hardest part about packing is figuring out where to start. When boxing up your belongings, start in the kitchen, which typically houses the most items that are not everyday essentials. When you arrive at your new home, unpack your bedroom first, and leave the kitchen for last.

3. Color-Code Besides being time-consuming, labeling a box with its contents can give thieves the upper hand as you settle in. To save time and stay safe, assign each room a color and use coordinating colored duct tape. Stick a piece of tape on both the top and sides of boxes so that they can be easily identified when stacked or apart.

Related: Moving on the Mind? 5 Telltale Signs That You’re Ready

4. Bag It – Don’t waste time un-hanging (and re-hanging) closet garments. Group a few hanging clothes together with a zip tie, slide a black garbage bag over them, and make a hole in the top of the bag for hanger hooks. To “unpack,” simply remove the bag and tie.

5. Cover Up – Save yourself a step–and a few extra bucks–by forgoing the mattress cover sold by your mover. Instead, place the fitted sheet you use regularly on your mattress, then cover both sides of the mattress with two older fitted sheets you no longer use.

6. Wrap It – Instead of emptying out the drawers of small-scale furniture, like end tables or corner desks, wrap heavy-duty plastic wrap around the piece of furniture, from top-to-bottom and side-to-side. This will seal the drawers in place and prevent spillage on moving day, and save you hours worth of unpacking time.

7. Tape Under – If certain furniture pieces require disassembly before moving, keep all of the parts together to save time when re-assembling. Place all bolts, screws and small pieces in a Ziploc bag, and tape the bag with clear packing tape to the bottom of the piece.

8. Fill Space – Damage on moving day is often caused by items shifting en route. To make certain your household items stay secure, use socks to fill in ‘dead air’ space, especially in and around breakables like glassware. If you want to save even more time, use t-shirts to wrap larger items.

9. Even It Out – If you’re using a moving truck, even out the weight when loading furniture and appliances to help prevent damage. To make your move as smooth as possible, place the refrigerator in the front right section of the truck and the washer and dryer opposite, front left.

10. Be Secure – No matter how many precautions you take, there’s no fighting gravity. When loading your plastic-wrapped furniture, place the side with drawers against the wall of the truck to prevent them from opening. If your mover provides them, use tie-downs on the side walls for added security.

SuzSuzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online associate Editor and social butterfly. She is moving in two days and has yet to start packing.


15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jan Green August 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm -

    Great post Suzanne! Relocation and packing is one of my specialties so I appreciate your thoughts as well. Good luck with your move. Just did that!

  2. Cynthia August 19, 2015 at 6:57 pm -

    On the idea of colored duct tape on the boxes why. It add to put the coordinating colored tape on the door frame of the room where the boxes are to go?

  3. Eric Armstrong August 19, 2015 at 10:09 pm -

    Excellent information here…one place I’ve found boxes (and the wrapping paper and quilted paper for safely packing fragile items) is on our local military bases. I’m retired now, but did my share of moving and would gladly share my boxes & paper. Otherwise it’s either thrown away or recycled. I recycled my boxes and donated the paper to a local school or day care for the kids to use for crafts or art work. Seemed to make the teachers happy. Good luck with your move!

  4. Francesca Azzara August 20, 2015 at 9:49 am -

    Great tips! I measure the space I’m moving to then I measure my furniture before moving.


  5. Les Vyhnalek August 25, 2015 at 7:16 pm -

    Another great place to get free boxes: self employed direct sales folks. My wife sells Mary Kay and always has boxes. Probably the same box situation for other direct sales like Partylight, … Just give them a call – I am sure they would be happy to part with them.

    • Nick Caruso August 26, 2015 at 9:20 am -

      That’s a great idea, Les, thanks!

  6. Christy Valdez September 15, 2015 at 8:16 am -

    Packing is a difficult task while shifting house. Thanks Susan for your shortcuts. Your “even it out” short cut for refrigerator was excellent. Let me try it in my next shift.

  7. Sharon Clayton September 24, 2015 at 7:16 am -

    Colored tape is a great idea. I have never known that it could be so easy. Last time when I moved I made a list with numbers and put numbers on the boxes. It was a complicated task. http://manwithavanstjohnswood.co.uk/

  8. Gerry Wilson July 12, 2016 at 7:59 am -

    Really nice post. Your post is expressing what I actually wanted to know, thanks for sharing…Packers and Movers Auckland

  9. Aashi September 16, 2017 at 2:53 am -

    I totally agree with you! When it comes to moving, it’s always a good idea to get a head start. It will certainly help the move go over more smoothly. Nice tips! Thanks for the advice!

  10. Marco Brooks March 23, 2018 at 8:45 am -

    Sometimes it is very hard to find good content on this topic. But your blog is my way to desired information, Your moving blog provided us valuable information to work on move easier. You have done a excellent job!

  11. Moving Feedback February 19, 2019 at 5:33 am -

    You have done an excellent job! Packing is definitely a difficult task while shifting house.

  12. 9Kilo Moving May 23, 2019 at 1:33 pm -

    The best advice out of all the above mentioned 10 shortcuts is “Pack to UnPack”! Unpacking is the most boring yet an important task in order to get the new house ready to live! Thanks for sharing!

  13. JB Reliable Packers August 28, 2020 at 10:41 am -

    very informative! I would like to add one suggestion that while packing all your goods irrespective of any type always use bubble wraps based on the thickness and additionally cover in carton boxes in a air tight position, a small mistake while doing this can result in scratches and damages.

  14. Joshua Haley April 24, 2021 at 2:03 am -

    Most people often over look the fact that they have to unpack once they relocate to the new home. They pack everything so firmly and tight that unpacking becomes a real pain. Your tips are practical and worth the share. Thanks!