These are my most useful packing and moving tips! Some things worked and others not so much!
I’m sharing packing and moving tips while it is still painfully fresh in my mind from our recent move. In fact, as I type there are boxes waiting to be unpacked!
After living in the same home for seventeen years we made a big decision to move about 30 miles away to be closer to my husbands job and our grandchildren.
Moving was such a big deal for us I began with an extensive search for the best moving tips I could possibly find. In my dreams ours was going to be such a well organized move! At least that was the plan!
The first thing I did when we finally decided to sell our home was to create a secret board on Pinterest to save tips for both selling our home quickly and having a smooth move. Pinterest is such an easy way to save information. Follow me on Pinterest here. Also see The Seller’s Complete Checklist with a free printable with all the tips we used to sell our home.
The very best packing tips I found came from moving companies. We used Good Guys Moving & Delivery and have absolutely no complaints. Our movers loved the system I used for identifying boxes so I’m really happy to share that one!
The next thing I did was to make a list of items I would need to purchase for packing purposes. I created two baskets as shown below. One for all the tape we used to color code our boxes and one for resealable storage bags, markers. tape measure and such.
Essential items for packing include
- Packing Tape ( Duck HD Clear performed best)
- Packing Tape dispenser
- A couple rolls of regular tape
- Magic Markers
- Screwdrivers (some things have to be taken apart for packing)
- Measuring Tape
- Reclosable storage bags (Quart and Gallon)
- Small carrying tray with handle to hold all the supplies (Dollar store item)
- Plastic container for holding all the colored Duck Tape (Dollar store item)
- Duck Tape in various colors (one color for each room in the new house)
- One piece of white foam board
- Lots and lots of boxes for packing (we bought ours at Home Depot)
- Dish foam roll
- Bubble Wrap
- Packing paper
In addition to the bubble wrap and packing paper, I used almost every towel, sheet and blanket in the house to wrap breakable items. My husband and I began to believe that almost everything in our house was breakable!
Baking Dishes and Glass Mixing Bowls Hack
Big glass baking dishes can be safely tucked inside the folds of comforters for safe moving travels. I got as many as five baking dishes in one big box of comforters!
Sheets work great to wrap glass mixing bowls. Be sure to create somewhat of an accordion style fold so you can set smaller bowls into the larger ones.
Our Color Coded Box System worked like a charm! The movers loved it which made we feel great. Just use a foam board as above to create the code then place it in a prominent place in the new home on moving day.
Place a strip of matching tape on each side of the packed boxes as seen below. I placed a piece on each corner and one on top so the movers wouldn’t need to search the box for the color. As they began to unload the truck, they quickly memorized which room to take the boxes to eliminating the need for anyone to direct traffic.
We bought all of our boxes from Home Depot for several reasons. First it was quite simply easier than hunting all over town for free boxes. Second, it made stacking boxes onto the moving truck much easier because we only used two sizes. We used the small and medium boxes.
Pack plates vertically using Dish Foam between each. Cushion the bottom of the box with a towel first. If you have space left, tuck in towels or washcloths.
Foam disposable plates do work as a cushion between dishes but you will need to purchase the better brand which is larger. The cheap foam plates are not thick or large enough to pad a full size dinner plate which is the reason we wound up buying the dish foam roll.
Use packing paper to wrap glasses. Place them in the box vertically nestled close together to prevent movement. I stuffed decorative throw pillows on top of the glasses for more cushion.
One of the best tips ever is to use handle tie trash bags to keep clothes bunched. I found bunches of 10 to fit well in each bag and still be manageable. This will also prevent smudges and stains from occurring on your clothes during the move. The best part is that you can still use the trash bags.
What Did Not Work For Us
Stacking dishes in a bucket did not go well for us! I used foam plates as cushions between dishes which were stacked inside a 5 gallon bucket. Only dessert size plates will even fit and there is no way to close the top or protect it from damage. The only thing which got broken in our entire move was a few dishes in this bucket!
The other thing which did not work for us was the trick to use toilet paper tubes for packing cords. We kept all cords with it’s respective item which made setting up electronics much easier in the new home. We also used a see through storage bin with a lid for extension cords and such. Because I did save a whole lot of toilet paper tubes which were not useful, keep an eye out for some toilet paper tube crafts in the near future like these cars!
How to survive your first few days in the new home
Pack a suitcase as if you are going on vacation for a few days. Be sure to include your daily toiletry items as well as several changes of clothes and comfortable shoes.
Also pack another suitcase with bed linens for each bed so you won’t have to hunt for them on movin-in night when you are exhausted.
One more absolute must from my perspective is to pack a picnic basket with disposable plates, forks etc. to use the first couple of days as the unpacking begins.
Depending on how far away you are moving, it is so helpful to plan a simple meal and have those groceries easily accessible. Our first couple of days I cooked spaghetti, a Crockpot full of Hoppin John and we also made sandwiches.