The actual move is one of the hardest parts of the process of transferring from one house to another. You may even feel immediate stress as soon as hear the word “moving”. This article will provide you with moving tips and tricks to help you keep your sanity as well as keeping the whole moving process under your control.
In the Philippines where I am from, moving is not really a big thing. Families typically stay in one house for a very long long time. Moving usually occurs for students or a single person moving from one dorm or small apartment to another. When you are single, you usually only have personal belongings to move so it only takes a little luggage and your moving is done. When I came to the US in 2014 to marry my fiancee, we leased a townhouse for a year and after that lease, my moving journey began.
After our townhouse lease expired in 2015, we decided to move into a smaller apartment until we could find a house. We decided to buy and not rent so we could have a place we could truly call home. During that time, we only had few pieces of furniture and personal belongings so the move was a lot quicker. However, moving was still difficult because we did not hire a professional mover. We rented a moving truck and basically did everything ourselves with a help of my husband’s son and friend. They helped us with the lifting of heavy stuff.
During our 2nd year of leasing, we finally found a house that we liked. Actually, we decided to build a brand new home. So, in the middle of 2016, we moved again for the 2nd time to our new house. Since we learned our lesson from our first move we decided to hire professional movers.
It was an exciting moment for me not because moving was easy but because we were moving into our first house together. My husband and I did a lot of customization to the house like changing the paint color of the entire house, adding molding and trim in our hallway and living room, building a brick patio and doing landscaping.
My husband was kind enough to put me in charge of the interior design aspect of the our house. However, two years later in 2018, our circumstances had changed and we decided to sell our first house. We rented a condo temporarily until we could find our 2nd home. However, it took two years to find a new home. In fact, we didn’t find a new house until February 2020.
This house was a total fixer upper so we renovated the whole thing inside and out! After three months of renovation, we finally moved in. This was my 4th move in 7 years of living the in US! Needless to say, I have a lot of experience when it comes to moving.
Step by Step Moving Guide
Below are moving tips and tricks that I personally used and learned during my moving journeys. I hope that these tips and tricks will help you with your next upcoming move.
- Set-Up Your Utilities and Internet 2 to 4 days before your moving date – You will want to make sure that all utilities are turned on several days before your move. Don’t forget to have the internet installed and activated as well. Be sure to give yourself a few days of cushion in case of unseen issues.
- Find a good and reliable Moving Company 30 to 60 days before your planned moving date – Be sure to find and schedule your move with a moving company 30 to 60 days ahead of time. Do not wait until the last minute as movers typically like to schedule a month or more in advance. If you wait, you may not be able to make your planned move date.
- Do a thorough House Cleaning – You are probably thinking house cleaning should not be part of your plan since you are moving anyway. However, cleaning will give an opportunity to declutter (throwing out useless items) and put things in order to make your packing easier and faster. It will save you time and money because you do not need to pack and bring the useless items into your next home. Remember, a messy surrounding makes the packing time consuming and confusing.
- Make a List of Moving Item Essentials and Buy Them – Depending on how much stuff you have, I would suggest to start packing between 3 to 6 days before your move date. Make sure that you already have essential moving items on hand before your packing schedule starts. Below are moving item must haves:
- Packing Tape NOT scotch tape
- Packing Paper
- Bubble Wrap/ Peanuts
- Permanent Markers
- Color Coded Labels
- Make Freezer Meals 2 Weeks Before Your Moving Date – Cook at least 4 varieties of your families favorite meals that can be frozen at least 2 weeks before your moving date. This will give you 2 to 3 days without needing to cook a meal which will allow you to focus on unpacking your belongings in your new home.
- Categorize each item according to its usage and its family
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- All breakables or fragile items should be packed tightly in their boxes and fill in the gaps with peanuts packing material, old clothes or soft towels.
- Keep Like Items Together – Do not mix clothes with your decor or food with your books. All items under the same family or function should be packed together in a box and labeled accordingly.
- Use a COLOR CODING METHOD – Color code each room of your new house and then label each box with the color of the room where the box should go in the new house.
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- Pack and Label Everything a day Before your moving day – Make sure that everything is inside a box especially if you are hiring movers. You pay movers on an hourly basis so things that are left unpacked slow down the moving process. Why? The movers will make several trips to load and unload unpacked items which prolongs the process and therefore, causes you to pay the movers more than expected. Aside from that, unpacked items make it impossible for you to account for all your belongings.
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- All small items should be place in a container or a bag and label each item before is put it inside the box.
- Use a Number System Method – Aside from color coding, label each box with a number so you would know how many boxes you have and you would know immediately if any box goes missing on moving day.
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- Use A Last Out First In Box – Pack items or groups of items in order of their frequency of use. The least used items should be packed first and should be LAST to load in the moving truck. Items that you use everyday should be the last to be packed and should be the FIRST box to load in the moving truck. The reason behind this method is that the boxes with least used items (boxes that are loaded last in the moving truck) will go in first into your next home so at the end of the move, those boxes will be behind the boxes containing items that you use frequently. Therefore, you will able to unpack first all the boxes that contain items essential to your everyday needs.
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- Items that you store in the basement or in the garage as well as home decor can be packed first even few weeks before your moving date.
- Label the box that you want to open first or boxes containing your essentials with “Unpack Me First” so you know which boxes to open first once you are done with your move.
- Moving Tips and Tricks
- Do not put your VERY IMPORTANT PAPERS AND ITEMS in a box – Keep your valuables with you and on hand. Do not entrust your valuables to anyone.
- Essential Boxes – Pack all essential items that you need during the first 3 days in your new home.
- Food Box – Containing coffee, tea, cereal, snacks, mugs, plastic silverware, paper plates.
- Cooler Box – Containing your frozen meals and other refrigerated food.
- Personal Essentials – Clothes and underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and soap, towels, bed sheets and pillows.
- Cleaning Supplies – Containing all your cleaning essentials.
- Orient your movers about color coding and your numbering system that you implemented and guide them accordingly. Let them know where you want them to put your furniture and fixtures.
- Items that should not be loaded in the Moving Truck
- All your important papers and valuable items
- All your Essential Boxes (if possible)
The reason behind this is you do not want to search for those essentials. They will be readily available once you need them. This will make your moving process more comfortable and of course under your control.
Optional Moving Tips That I Highly Recommend!
Optional Moving Tips 1.0 – Make A Furniture Layout – If you want to settle in quickly into your new house, develop a furniture layout plan. A furniture layout plan will help you determine where you want to position your furniture in a specific room. In this way, during the move, you can direct the movers and let them know which furniture will go into a specific room and how you want them to position it. Once the move is done, all your major furniture and fixtures will already be where you want them to be. This is actually a very helpful extra step to take especially if you have a lot of furniture. You will also find your new home somewhat organized right after the move is done because you will only have some boxes to unpack.
How To Develop The Layout Plan
- Get the dimensions (Length x Width x Height) of your major furniture and fixtures such as your sofa, coffee table, side table, accent chair, dining table, buffet table, TV console cabinet and others. Typically, most of the furniture and fixtures will go into the living room, dining room and master bedroom.
- Get the Length and Width of your next home living room, dining room and master bedroom.
- Download a home interior design app. In my case I downloaded a TapGlance app with a “STANDARD” feature and paid $4.99 . The app was easy to use especially the layout mode. You can easily drag and drop free items and materials, remove, customize the dimensions, reverse, rotate and arrange the entire room. Tip: You can download the app and use it for 2 weeks for free! There are also a lot of free interior design apps and tools that you can choose from. Just check your app store.
I have always been interested in interior design so I decided to download this app just for fun. However, a week before our move, my main concern was if all our furniture and fixtures were going to fit in the condo. We were basically moving into a condo that had half the square footage of our previous home. I realized that I can use this app to figure out the layout of our furniture in our next house. We asked permission from the landlord of the condo if we could go into the unit to get the dimensions of each room. Luckily, the landlord permitted us to do this and we went there 2 days before our moving date.
As you can see, my rendering was really not that good. However, my only goal at that time was to figure out where to position all of the furniture because I did not have much time to left. The extra step of creating this layout plan really helped! I directed the movers and told them where to put things and how to position them in every room. After the movers were done, all of the major furniture and fixtures were in their designated location and the only thing that was left for me to do was to unpack our boxes. It also saved us from having to do any heavy lifting.
Optional Moving Tips 2.0 – If you get a chance to go to your next house multiple times before the moving date, grab that opportunity! As I said above, we bought a fixer upper house last year and renovated it before we moved in. When the renovation was almost done, a week before our move date, I decided to pack our least used items. When we would go to check the status of the renovation, we would bring these items with us since we were already going to the house anyway. Below are the items that we brought into the new house every time we checked on the renovation:
- Out of season clothes ( I used a trash bag to pack our hanging clothes)
- All small items that were hard to pack and home decor
- Wall leaning mirror
- Throw pillows
- Half of our kitchen essentials like plates, cooking ware, silverware, mugs and glasses
- Half of our pantry essentials (I filled up the empty space of our slow cooker and other cooking pots with smaller pantry essentials like spices)
Optional Moving Tips 3.0 – If you can get into and hold the key to your next house a day before the moving date, do it. This way, you can bring as many of your kitchen essentials to the new house as possible. These will be things like frozen meals, refrigerated foods, plates, silverware, cookware and pantry supplies. Clean your kitchen area by wiping using a disinfectant cleaning solution. Don’t forget to clean all of your kitchen cabinets and inside the refrigerator. Make sure to put in the refrigerator all foods that need to be refrigerated. Load your plates and other dining ware into the dishwasher so when you move in the following day, you will already have clean dining ware.
Optional Moving Tips 4.0 – Save your moving boxes as much as possible. Although most of the professional movers do not recommend using boxes that have been used, we did it anyway. We kept all of our used boxes that were in good condition because we knew that we were going to be moving again soon. After two years in the storage area of our condo, the boxes were still in excellent condition. They were sturdy and strong so we decided to use them again. We did make sure to secure the bottom of the boxes with plenty of packing tape and by doing this, we did not encounter any problems at all. It saved us quite a bit of money.
Just remember, when it is time for you to move, do not be stressed about it. Just think of it as a new adventure and a new experience for you and your family. You will able to live in a new place, meet new neighbors and have new opportunities. Moving will never be easy but there are a lot of moving tips and tricks that you can follow. There are also many helpful essentials that you can buy to make your moving process easier.
Heavy-Duty Large Adjustable TV and Picture Moving Box with Handles
Heavy-Duty Extra-Large Moving Box with Handles
Bubble Plus and Packing Paper Combo
Furniture Stretch Wrap