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Travel Packing Tips for Moving

Updated on April 16, 2013

Moving Tips

Did you know that the average American will move nearly twelve times in their life [11.7 to be exact]? What does this mean to you? Well, what it means to me is that you should ensure you know how to pack, what to pack, where to store it and what you will need to do when moving your valuables across the country. Now, don’t get me wrong many people will stay within the confines of their state. But, for the rest, we will be moving hundreds, even thousands of miles. These questions that I have addressed to you will be answered today as I provide several tips and advice. My way isn’t necessarily the right way, just what has worked for me in my relocations. First we will cover “How to choose a comfortable place” for you and your family.

Moving Out of State

Choosing a place to move can be exhausting. Especially since in today’s world, we are capable of broadening our horizons among the World Wide Web. Generally, what you will want to look for is the situations that will pertain to you. In other words, are you single or married? Do you work in a white collar or a blue collar environment? Do you have children or wanting to continue your education? These are all questions in which you will want to ask yourself before making your move. Remember, Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, Better known as the 7 P’s. The first thing I look at before making a move is the crime rate. How many of you know what state holds the highest crime rate? Probably only a few, I can tell you right now that the state is Tennessee, if you have children, a family or are just concerned about your own welfare this will be important to know. If you are anything like me you will want to continue your education. In other words, is there a University or Technical College that offers a degree you would like to partake in? If so, how far of a drive will it be from the community you wish to live? If you are used to a long commute it may not bother you to live far away. One thing I wish you to do before making that move is find out what you are comfortable with. For me, it is a half hour. For some, it may be upwards of a two hour drive. Some other considerations to look into are the price for gas and the type and age of your vehicle.

Next, I look at environmental changes or weather patterns. Is the area you wish to live in line for the next for a 100 year flood or perhaps it is located in tornado alley? Would you think that buying a piece of property next to an active volcano is a sound idea? Personally speaking, I do not, even if I have insurance. In today’s world, I realize it is hard to escape such weather patterns, despite if you believe in global warming or not. I feel as if Eastern Tennessee is a fantastic place to live in regards to environmental safety, but, not so much the crime rate. As I had mentioned earlier you may want to continue your education or perhaps you have children. What you will want to look at is the education system. First you will want to see how their schools rate among the system. Next, you will want to see if those are public or private schools. If you will be unwilling to shell out the cash, then I suggest your top schools remain in the public section. Ensure that if you are perusing a specific degree that they offer that degree. If you have credits from another school, it may behoove you to find out if they will transfer over.

Are you uncomfortable with moving away from your friends and family? If so then maybe you should look at staying within your state. It is really hard to start a “New Life” in a new community as you don’t have anyone to show you the ropes and may have no one to talk to about what you are experiencing. It will also cost upwards of three thousand dollars to rent moving equipment. If you are close to your family then maybe moving one thousand miles away is not the greatest idea. Another thing you will want to look at is job availability and the unemployment rate. Currently, the lowest unemployment rate in the nation is North Dakota with a low 2.9% according to the bureau of labor and statistics. This might be a great place to start if searching for a job; you may also want to look into the states that surround the area (Minnesota and South Dakota as their unemployment rates are also low compared to the national average).

Some other things to look into are allergies and activities. If you are anything like me then you are allergic to the world. You might want to consider what your allergies are and where are the best places to avoid them. Next, if you are young and single you may want to move somewhere where you will have a lot of entertainment, may it be the beach, snowboarding, playing paintball or riding your motorcycle. The point is to move to a location where you won’t feel as if it’s the arm pit of America (Jacksonville, NC) or Gods personal ash tray (Twentynine Palms, CA). I do realize that you may not always be able to select your number one area. But, hopefully you will be able to eliminate the odds that you will be placed in a terrible place, be it by choice or military relocation.

Packing Supplies & Equipment

The other day my wife and I were packing up our things for yet another move. She came across her Collin Stuart boot box (I have no clue what the value is of these are, but, I assume it is like Danners for women). When she opened it she came across balls of lint and paper. I didn’t realize what it was, but, for her it was instant, mice. She looked through several pairs of shoes and her couple hundred dollar boots, sure enough; they had made a meal of them. Mice are notorious for climbing and chewing their way into anything. This is why you will want to use the utmost care when packing. Ensure that if you are packing or storing food that it is properly sealed. Regardless you will want to use a box that is harder to chew through. If at all possible use a plastic box with a sealable top, this may eliminate the rodents desire to make a home in your clothing, motorcycle helmet, and expensive baskets. If your things will be sitting there for several months you will want to seal the tops with duct tape so they can’t slip in through the cracks. Nevertheless mice have a hard time climbing up a slick surface and may be detoured by this fact. Personally, I use plastic totes because of my hate for the sounds of cardboard when rubbed together, their ability to repel water, their durability and lastly, their convenience. They are easy to carry and stack which will ensure your products stay working at their final destination.

How often do you pack something and you run out of room, even if it is by nothing more than a smidge. For most people the answer is all the time. In other words you will want to ensure that you are utilizing as much space as possible. If you are packing shoes and socks, it would benefit you to place the socks into the shoes and then in the crevasses around them. One product that I love is the Space Bag. Space Bags work by taking out the air in-between clothing. This is great as many of us may have more clothes than we know what to do with. You can use the Vacuum ones or the ones where you simple press the air out. One thing about the “press able” ones is that the clothes can block the air way. Either way, both of them work and truly offer you more space. When packing pots and pans it will behoove you to take the sock and shoe concept. Simply place the smaller items inside the larger items to offer you more space.

Extra Space

A lot of people pack things that really sit around and don’t see any use. This could mean making extra money in a garage sale. If it is a paper Mache mask you created in school twenty years ago and hasn’t seen day light since, it probably can be thrown away. Yes, it may still hold some sentimental value. In which case I would usher you to wear it as you burn boxes and dance around the flame. You can then part ways and remember your ludicrous moment forever. If you have clothes that don’t fit you any more I am sure someone will enjoy it. What this means to you is to make someone’s day and donate it to the Good Will. Several other items that you may want to consider getting rid of is old CD’s, DVD’s, outdated electronic equipment and books. These items can take up large amounts of space; this extra space can cost you hundreds when moving as you may have to rent a larger sized vehicle. If you are storing your things in a storage unit, it may benefit you to get insurance. You may also want to look into their security and those that most commonly use the facility. Some storage facilities offer you a free truck rental if you should store with them which is worth looking into. This can allow you to bring your things to storage with ease. Speaking of trucks we will look at the best rental trucks on the market in my opinion.

Moving Trucks

Hands down, Penske is the greatest for equipment, ease, and affordability. When I moved from California I was very concerned with pricing. I made sure to shop around for the best price; since I was an active duty Marine I was awarded a military discount on top of the low value. All in all I was able to rent a larger truck for 1,000 dollars cheaper. Their vehicles are much newer than the ones that were provided at the U-Haul just down the road. This may not go for all locations, but, it may be something to take into consideration. The customer service was great and I had no problem picking up my truck and dropping it off. U-Haul and the less notorious companies just didn’t provide me with the same service. Next, a common question you will ask yourself is “How much space do I need” or “Will this be enough”. I didn’t think that the truck I rented would be enough, yet, it offered ample space and I had plenty left over. One tip I have to solve this issue is if you are renting out a storage unit before moving or even utilizing a bedroom, pack it as if you were packing it in the truck. Once your done you will be surprised at how much space you have left over and will get an accurate idea of how much space you will need to rent. Take a picture of the room or unit and take it with you when picking out a truck.

Moving & Packing Conclusion

If you plan on moving again those plastic totes and space bags you have already purchased will save you money and heart ache. Knowing how to pack, what to pack and how to haul your valuables will ensure you success in your current and future travels. I wish you all luck in your endeavors.


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    • nurseleah profile image

      Leah Wells-Marshburn 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Interesting hub. What makes Jacksonville, NC the armpit of America? I love coastal areas of North Carolina and am pretty curious about what Jacksonville is like and why you rate it so poorly.


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