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Moving Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Updated on August 18, 2016

I once moved three times in the same year - all in the same city. I wish I could say it was easy because it was in the same city, but, it wasn't. You still have to pack up everything, load and unload, then unpack everything.

Moving is exhausting, you get so tired, and you're always pressed for time. You're pressed because you have to vacate the property by a certain time, and you're already being charged for your new place - even though you're not there.

But you know, what if I told you that moving could be an almost pleasant experience? I said almost pleasant because you'll have to feel some kind of pain no matter what the circumstances are. But if you have the time, and you have a plan (which I will unfold for you), the sting from 'moving' can be removed.

In this hub we will cover the following topics that will make your move easier, and enable you to experience other aspects of the move other than just exhaustion and toggle-switched rants.

  • When to Start Packing for a Move
  • How to Pack for Moving
  • Non Profit Donations
  • Moving Supplies
  • Moving Out of State
  • Quotes for Moving Company's
  • Do it Yourself Moving


When to Start Packing for a Move

Sometimes, you have a few weeks to get ready for a move, sometimes you have a few days. When should you start packing for a move? As soon as you know that you will be moving, you need to start making plans.

If you know you're moving in a few months or more, than you should already have a plan of action. Know where you're going, and how you will be getting there - there are a ton of decisions to be made, and the sooner you get started on them, the sooner you will be able to put a plan in place.

If you have a large home, you need all the time you can get to prep your move. Look at your home with a mover's eye and start deciding what you will be willing to take with you, and what will not be making the move. The items that won't be making the trip with you needs to be separated. If you have a covered patio, garage or a spare room, place everything that won't be going there.

Now, everything else will be going on the move with you. Start packing items that you don't need on a daily basis like china, any clothes that you won't be needing, and collectables. Any furniture, dining sets, end-tables, etc can be wrapped and ready for the move.

More important decisions need to be made like if all your furniture is going, your beds, your cars, and any seasonal recreation equipment.

Large Item Decisions to be Made

Large Item
Moves with Us
Yard Sale
Recreational Vehicles
Kitchen Applicances
Living Room Furniture
Bedroom Furniture
Kitchen/Dining Room Furniture
Exercise Equipment
TVs, Computers, All Electronics
This table gives you an idea of what kinds of decisions you need to make so that you can plan on what you will be taking.

How to Pack for Moving

You should decide how you will be handling the entire move. If you'll be using a moving company you won't have to do a thing. But if you're going to have more of a hands-on move, you need to decide whether you will be renting a truck, having a cubicle dropped off and picked up, or a bunch of pals in trucks.

All furniture needs to be wrapped in furniture blankets - these are heavy duty and padded blankets designed to protect your furniture from any shifting during the move. If you're packing a truck or cubicle, pack it heavy on the bottom, and always make sure that the load is balanced. I cannot emphasize how important this is - an uneven load can shift and cause heavy damage to your items. All heavy items on the bottom load, all medium heavy above that, and light and fragile items at the very top.

The most important thing to do, is to set the load. Whether this is done by partitions, belts, or by purposely setting boxes to interlock, it must be done in order to make the load more secure.

Non Profit Donations

You should have an idea of what items you have that could be donated - you should also know where to have it donated. Your favorite church or charity will do. It could help you with a tax write off, so keep all your receipts from your move.

Most organizations will have a receipt for your donation, and some will just give you one to fill out yourself. When you look at the items that you might want to donate, you will actually be giving more when it comes to items that you are not able to sell in the yard sale.

If you are running out of time, sometimes you end up giving more away than you really want to, that's why it's incredibly important to start early.


Moving Supplies

You can find moving supplies for a decent price at most moving facilities. They have specials, and most times, they will work with you if you have a lot of supplies to pickup. It's always good if you have boxes available from a warehouse or store, but it you don't, you can always pick them up.

Shrink wrap (plastic wrap that shrinks to a tight fit, similar to Saran wrap), bubble wrap, furniture blankets, boxes and tapes are standard move items. Don't forget to use markers to mark a brief description of contents, and from what room they belong in. This way when unloading, you will know where the boxes go instead of opening each box. Also when you pack, don't mix contents with other rooms, this will just confuse you're unpacking.

Always see if you should buy a hand-truck or rent one. If you purchase one, you can easily pack it on the truck and use it on the other end when you unpack.


Moving Out of State

Moving out of state always gives you an added pressure because you need to make decisions based on an educated guess as to when the movers or items will arrive. If you are driving, anything can happen, so always give yourself an extra day or two to get to your new home. It's hard to determin where you will be in a few days, and the worst if your things are there, and you are not. Storage fees can start adding up if your calculations are off, so plan ahead of time, have back up plans, or have a friend or family member there to help smooth things over.

It's enough pressure just to make the move, try not to put too much responsibility on yourself unless you feel you can really handle it. You will have a much more enjoyable experience if you plan your move in advance. You will have enough anxiety from your new job, neighbors, and friends once you get settled.

Consider having a 'moving sale' to get rid of items that you don't really want to take along with you, and at the same time, raise some much needed cash to help defray moving costs. Start having your sales every weekend, this way, you'll be able to get a better idea of how large a load you'll be shipping out.

Quotes for Moving Companys

Having quotes from at least three different companies will help you decide whether or not you can actually afford a moving company, or at least how much of the work you will actually be willing to do in order to get a price that fits your budget.

For most, they haven't the faintest idea of how much a move costs, and this will give you a ballpark figure as to the expenses that you will incur. As soon as you have three quotes, get quotes from U-haul companies to see how much their trucks will cost you including the estimated gas that you will have to purchase for the drive. After that, get quotes on the cubicles that moving companies have available.

When you are armed with this information, you can then make a sound decision based on all the information that you have gathered. It can be a combination of two or three different types of moves - you can hire a moving company to move your big and heavys, pack a cubicle with all your fragile items, and rent a truck that can also pull your car behind it. Figure out what works the best for you, and set the plan in motion.


Do it Yourself Moving

The most important decision you need to make, is to make sure that you don't bite off more 'move' than you can handle. Moving is very exhausting, and the worst thing is not getting the rest you need before you have to drive off with your whole home with you.

When I moved from the East coast to the West coast, just before packing my SUV for the drive across America, I found that I had about 10 square feet of items that would not be making the trip with us. I left behind several tools, a new microwave, brand new heavy duty shelves, yard machines... the list goes on.

Make sure you have more than enough room for items that you want to go with you, and for the items staying behind, have a plan to dispense of them so that you're not stuck at the last minute.


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    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 2 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      I agree raquette - another good tip would be to have a good labeling system so that when you get there, you're not like, " crap, this again?".

      Thanks for your comment. Peace. Kawi.

    • raquelle148 profile image

      raquelle148 2 years ago

      Planning ahead of the date of move is important, indeed for the mover. For, they will have enough time to sort their things.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 3 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      That sounds about right Connie, although cost difference by state/city/etc, you're in the ballpark. It would be good for you to get estimates from others, but some moving co's charge for boxes and supplies. You can always ask them to estimate how much it will cost for them, and hold them to it so theres no big surprise. Other than moving companies, you'd be surprised with the possibilities when you bribe friends and family with pizza and beer. lol. Use this link for more info, and good luck on the move. Peace. Kawi.

    • profile image

      Connie 3 years ago

      I am moving a few miles away to a better apt. The moving co has supplied the boxes tape packing paper bubble pack and styrofoam bullets. Do you think $128 an hour is a lot? They are not doing the packing for me. That would be much more.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment rose-. Not my favorite thing to do, but like everyone else, we go through the need a few times in our lifetime. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Hi truthfornow, thanks for your comment, I feel your pain. Yeah, moving is right up there with pulling teeth. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for the comment and the share vespawoolf! I agree, procrastination is the milady to any deadline move. Peace. Kawi.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      I have moved a few times and it has always been with mixed emotions. On one hand I looked forward to the change and on the other hand I absolutely dreaded the packing and all the planning that went with it. This is a wonderfully informative article that will help many in their moves. Thank you for sharing! (Voted Up) -Rose

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Moving is such a drag. I have moved so many times in the same city to the point it was crazy. Now, I don't feel like moving at all. You have a nice list of tips to make this painful chore a little easier. Voted up and useful.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is interesting and useful information. We have also moved 3 times this year, once all the way across the country, so I can relate! Here in Peru there are no moving companies who do the packing for you (they only transport the cargo), so these are helpful suggestions. I heartily agree with the need to mark boxes with content for easier unpacking and loading the truck correctly by weight so there is less change of damaged items. My big downfall is not starting the packing ahead of time. I hate moving so much that I tend to procrastinate! Maybe next time will be better, after reading your article. : ) Thank you...voted up and shared!

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks Alison, appreciate the comment. Yes, and soon will be in use once again as we make the final leg back home to Hawaii. I'll definitely kick up a hub when I put that one together... lol. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Mahalo bruddah Joe, thanks for the comment and good words. It was a trip moving from Florida to the Northwest man. We shipped a pod and drove our SUB across America and stopped at all the tourist stops - Route 66 was a trip! Underground lake in Tennessee where we saw graffiti from civil war soldiers, Elvis' mansion and running from tornadoes in Oklahoma was just a few of the hi-lites on our trek across this great nation. Aloha, and peace. Kawi.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 4 years ago from UK

      It is obvious that a lot of personal experience has gone into compiling this advice. Voted up and useful.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      In this day and age, where so many are in professional and/or circumstantial transition, or when the kids are ready to leave the nest, the information you've provided here is very helpful. Thanks for sharing, Kawi! Aloha, and good luck with your upcoming move!