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5 packing tips for your next move

Playing Tetris with your mobile truck should be the hardest part of moving – not the packing. With more than a dozen pulls under our belt, we have some tested and real tips that make the movement a little less stressful.

Go environmentally friendly

Make moving a little more environmentally friendly (and cheaper) by recycling and reusing things in your own home. Use clothes, socks, old fabric or even kitchen towels and hot pillows to give drawers and breakable parts a little extra padding. Even things like pillows and stuffed animals can make a good buffer in an uneven motion.

These items are not damaged and only need a simple wash when you arrive at the new place. You can also use old scraps of paper, magazines and newspapers lying around your house to achieve the same goal.

2. The Purge

two piles of clothes, one marked discard, the other marked keep

About a month before the big move, give your house a deep cleaning that results in you donating old items that you no longer use. You can use the Marie Kondo cleaning method to declutter and destroy. No one wants to unpack items that they will never use again.

Two weeks after the first decluttering session, go through everything again. If it feels overwhelming, tackle it room by room. Spend a day in the kitchen, then one for bedrooms, one for closets, etc. This makes your space for old, unused or unwanted items more manageable.

Do not be afraid to keep a goodwill pile while packing as well. If it’s not worth the effort to hike across the country, it’s probably not worth packing.

Boxing day

a man shoots a woman in a large box

Before you break out of your wallet to buy boxes, go to local stores near closing time and ask for boxes that they plan to throw away or recycle. Grocery stores, liquor stores, bookstores and even department stores often have a pile to choose from.

You can post on local yardsale sites or even search Craigslist to find people who give away old moving boxes for free. If that does not work, and you have to buy a new box or two, go to a big box before scaling out cash to buy boxes from a mobile company. Stores like Walmart or Home Depot sell boxes at a much lower price.

4. Handle with care

If your drawers do not come with handles, cut some. Especially if you let in a box of books (which you should probably put in a suitcase with wheels for easier transfer) you want handles. Before packing your drawers, take an Exacto knife and cut an upside down triangle, with the flat side facing the top of the drawer, in the drawer.

Cut the triangle so large that your hands can easily fit but not so large that it weakens the box considerably. If you need to, draw the triangle on the box before cutting – but that’s not an exact science. Find a shape that works for you and cut away.

5. Label maker

label maker on blank background

Get organized with lots of labels. At the very least, it is important that you label all your drawers with the room they came from and a brief description of the contents. This will help you stay organized as you pull drawers into your new home.

If you want to level up your label game, go in full color coded. Use colored labels on all your boxes to quickly sort them by room. Print a layout of the new place with colored label stickers in each room on the map. Hand out a map to everyone and make sure the boxes get to the right room the first time.

Moving can be stressful, but when you look at it as an opportunity to make a whole new space, things seem a little more exciting. When you live in your new home, give your bathroom an upgrade with a Japanese bathtub or show your kitchen a little love by knocking out the tops and adding open shelves. The house is your oysters.

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