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Take it from a girl who has moved across the country 3 times in a year… moving doesn’t have to be hard.
The first time I remember moving was when I was 7. Of course I didn’t have to do anything so it seemed like a big adventure at the time… until I realized we would be living in our travel trailer all summer while our house was being built. Luckily, I didn’t move again until it was my own choice and I was off to college.
In college I managed to move a total of 12 times (in and out of places) from August 2005 to May 2010. Pretty sure my parents wanted to kill me. Once out of college, I had to move in with my parents temporarily while waiting on an apartment, then into and out of an apartment I shared with a girl friend, and lastly into my parents after the lease ended when I waiting to hear from a job I wanted out of state. After it was confirmed I got the job (yay!) I packed my tiny Ford Fiesta with everything that it could fit while still holding two passengers.
Once in Arizona, I moved into the first apartment and then out the following year on Labor Day weekend (around 105 degrees each time, no big deal). Then I moved 20 miles east into a condo and stayed for 15 months until I moved cross country to Ohio with Ryan. I moved in with Ryan and moved out 8 months later and across the country back to Arizona. Back into the same condo I had left less than a year ago. I stayed at that condo again for 11 months and then back across country I went with Ryan and here I am in Dayton, Ohio… TO STAY!
That, my friends, is my moving history. I wasn’t even an army brat and I have moved A LOT. So why am I telling you all this? I think of myself as a moving expert of sorts. I’m also pretty damn good at applying to jobs. I would hate to see how many I have applied to in my life and how many interviews (AND JOBS) I’ve had. But we will save that for another day! Summer tends to be a big time for people to move since kids are out of school and it’s easier to get time off for vacation. Ideally, you should try and move in an off season especially if you are renting since prices are lower (back to school puts apartment prices on the rise!). It’s also better to move when it’s cooler! Just don’t wait for December if you are in the Midwest. I have moved in 105 degree weather AND 32 degrees with snow and I will take 105 degrees any day of the week!
What are some of my best moving tips I’ve discovered through the last 10+ years? Keep reading!
Most Important Items
Chances are you are going to be beat at the end of the day after moving and not feel like digging into any boxes. Make sure to pack a box/bag with the things that you will need the first night/day. Include items like medication, toothbrush, pajamas, toilet paper (bold because I have forgotten it before and don’t want the same thing to happen to you), disposable plates/cups/utensils, snacks, pet food, and cleaning supplies. Another item I have included in the past is a shower curtain liner. Nothing sucks more than getting done moving and just wanting a nice hot shower and to climb in your bed and all you can do is sort of spray off because you have no liner! A quick trip to the dollar store can knock off most of the items on this list.
More items you should put on your list prior to even starting the moving process (that can also be picked up at the dollar store) is stuff to go in a moving supplies basket. I hate when I am packing up a box and have to get up and find the tape in the kitchen, the scissors in the bathroom, etc. Make a little basket with all your supplies and carry it into each room with you! You will always be able to find everything you need. Items to include? Scissors, tape, labels, markers, plastic baggies, and a utility knife.
I like to wrap things like plates and picture frames in my clothes, towels and scarves. They are thicker than newspaper and you have to move them anyways! Pillows and stuffed animals are also great to shove in between items to stop breakables from shifting and breaking in a car or moving truck.
Leave No Space Empty!
Fill up your crock pot, cooler, microwave.. anything with extra space to save on extra trips. Also fill your luggage with heavy items! Now you can just roll that stuff to the truck rather than make multiple trips struggling!
Keep Clothes on the Hanger
Really! It saves time and keeps them from getting dirty or wrinkly. Put all of your clothes in groups and put a garbage bag around the bottom so that you only see the hangers. Once you are in your new place you can put them right back up in the closet and just remove the bag!
Nuts and Bolts
Remember those baggies you put in your moving supply basket? You are going to need those for screws and nails. Don’t be like me and put them all in one bag. Or separate them and then not label. As you disassemble items, put the nuts and bolts into the baggies and label the bag with what it goes to!
Are your walls white? Get a bar of soap (white!) and rub it over the small nail holes in the walls to avoid owing anything for damage in rentals!
Saran Wrap Is Your Best Friend
Seriously. It will save your boxes and belongings from spills. Cover anything that can spill like toiletries, perfumes, food/spices, paint… and candles. In the hot Arizona sun, I ended up with candle wax all over the trunk of my car!
Space Saver Bags
You know those bags you use a vacuum on? It sucks all the air out and you’re left will a small little bag of your stuff. These are great for pillows and blankets when you are cramped for space (think the Ford Fiesta). I was able to fit waaaay more in my car with those!
Toilet Paper Rolls
You these to put your cords in. Then write on the outside what it goes to. No more guessing!
I like to think of moving as a Tetris game. You have to figure out what item will fit in each little nook and cranny. Pack your car/truck as tight as you can and items are less likely to break since they won’t be moving around. I also recommend selling and purging as much as you can. Donate or give it to friends too if you don’t need it! Less to have to pack and move! Check out this post about selling your stuff! What other tips do you have for moving?