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7 Stress Free Moving Tips - Make Moving Easier

Updated on September 14, 2014

Why Is Moving Stressful?

Most people hate moving. I know I do!

You've spent years living in one location, making it your own; Painting walls, adding furniture you didn't have before, and collecting items to make your home unique.

Then, all of a sudden, you get a new job that forces you to relocate, you get new neighbors that are loud, annoying, and obnoxious, or your landlord raises your rent by $350 a month and you realize you're paying more in rent than you make every two weeks!

You're then forced to find a new place to live. "The Search" can sometimes take weeks or months.

While finding a place to live is stressful in itself, I hope these 7 moving tips can help relieve some of that built-up stress that comes along with moving.


Avoid dirty dumpsters.
Avoid dirty dumpsters. | Source

#1 - Find Free Boxes

They say "the best things in life are free." This is true when it comes to finding boxes for packing.

To help save you hundreds of dollars in moving expenses, you can find your own boxes. I personally recommend "dumpster diving" behind stores that don't sell food. You'll want to use boxes found behind liquor stores (they have supportive boxes made to carry heavy items), department stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond, and hotels.

The boxes you find in dumpsters behind these locations will be clean, sturdy, and still intact.

Many businesses get a "recycle commission" from box companies (or recycling places) if they can flatten the boxes down and ship them back. You'll want to get the boxes before they cut them down!

You'll also want to avoid places located in shopping centers because I've found that the community dumpsters are really smelly. While you may find a few good boxes, do you really want to dig through piles of 2-week-old pizza to get them? Probably not.


Bubble wrap gets expensive.
Bubble wrap gets expensive. | Source

#2 - Don't Buy Bubble Wrap

Large companies know that you need bubble wrap for packing. They use your desperation against you and jack up the prices for even the smallest rolls of wrap.

Bubble wrap is as expensive as you're willing to pay for it. This is why my genius wife created our own bubble wrap...it's called "Use Your Own Clothing Wrap" and it works great!

Start in your closet. Find items that you can go without during your move and use that clothing to protect your valuables. Wrap vases, glass lighting, and electronics with your t-shirts, jeans, and sweatpants. You'll be packing two items at once. Isn't that great?!

This method will also save you about $40 per bubble wrap roll and those prices can add up fast.

If money isn't something you worry about, then get bubble wrap. It sure makes things convenient!

Make a packing checklist.
Make a packing checklist.

#3 - Changing Your Address Ahead of Time

Rather than waiting until the week-of to call your phone company, water and power company, internet company, credit card company, gas company, post office, IRS, DMV, doctor's office, insurance company, bank (and the million other places)...call ahead.

Most of these places allow you to schedule a change of service address months in advance. This way, you can avoid any unforeseen problems the week you're moving. You can also ensure that you'll have service in your new location and avoid going without internet, water, power, etc.

Add labels such as LR, BR, BATH to your boxes.
Add labels such as LR, BR, BATH to your boxes.

#4 - Organize Your Boxes

You know the uneasy feeling of shoving clothes, frying pans, DVDs, and shampoo all in one box, putting that box in the corner, and then packing 30 more boxes just like it (only to realize you NEED those clothes this morning)?? BUT...you didn't label the box so you have no idea where they are and you're stuck having to cut open 30+ boxes just to find them?

That is one of my scariest nightmares!

Every time you pack a box (and I know this sounds tedious and annoying - but will save you anxiety and stress), write these two things on each box: 1) A one-to-two word description of what's in it and 2) Where that box needs to go in your new place.

You can write short labels like LR (living room), BR or BED (bedroom), and BATH (bathroom).

Just adding those two small bits of information will not only help you find things you may need before you move, but it will also help you place each box in the correct room in your new home.

You'll never find yourself opening that heavy box of encyclopedias in your kitchen when you needed them to be in your upstairs closet!

Put the stuff you won't need for a while in boxes.
Put the stuff you won't need for a while in boxes.

#5 - Prioritize Boxes

To make moving easier, it's better to prioritize which items you need before moving and which items you can live without.

If you can find items you won't be using for the (month) before your move, pack those first.

Label the box, shove the box out of the way, and move on. This might make your home or apartment messy/cluttered during your move but it is a great way to ensure you get everything packed in time rather than having to pack all of your boxes the night before.

Personal note: I've been on the packing/moving-myself side AND the helping-a-friend-move side many times and can tell you that helping someone move that didn't do this step gets really annoying, really fast. "I came there to help you move, NOT pack your boxes first and then help you move!"

It's always better to be prepared than to assume everything will go right at the last minute, because how often does everything go smoothly when you need it to? Thanks Murphy!

Hire someone to do your dirty work.
Hire someone to do your dirty work.

#6 - Hire Packers

If you've read up to this step and are thinking, "While the previous steps will work, there is no way I want to do this myself..." then you're in luck.

Did you know that you can hire people to pack for you? Here's a review for a company called Pack Attack in San Fransisco, just to give you an idea on what they do and how they do it.

Hiring someone to pack for you can save you time and energy especially if you don't have anyone that can help you, you're not in shape and could injure yourself, or you just don't feel like doing it yourself!

While these services are making business a lot of money, remember that these people don't care about your stuff. You may think they do, and the business will tell you they do, but they don't.

Packing your own boxes will give you that peace of mind to know you've taken every precaution to protect your valuables. If shortcuts were taken, it's because you took them not because workers are paid by the number of boxes they can load.

Watch the video below and you'll see what I mean...

Don't Hire These Guys!

Hire someone to do the heavy lifting.
Hire someone to do the heavy lifting.

#7 - Hire Movers

When you can't get your friends to help move your boxes and furniture, you can hire professional movers to load (and unload) your stuff.

This will not only save you time and energy but will also prevent any injuries you would have accrued moving yourself.

You know the feeling the day after when the energy drinks have worn off and your lower back is killing you, right? Prevent this by hiring people to move those heavy boxes for you.

If you truly want to make moving easier, follow the 7 moving tips above. They will help you save time, money, energy, stress, lower back pain, and help the transition to your new place be much, much easier!

Which step did you find most helpful?

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