As we’re in the thick of it (30 boxes down…30 to go!) I put together a few hacks that are keeping me and my family sane through the process. Feel free to drop in any additional tips or ask questions in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products that I personally love.
12 packing hacks to keep you sane during your move:
You shouldn’t have to pay for boxes. Check with your city’s recycling center for free moving and packing materials. Other great places to search online are: Craigslist, Facebook groups and Nextdoor.
Declutter. You already know this, but I’m including it anyway! Get rid of items. Sell, donate or trash items you don’t need or absolutely want. Facebook marketplace and ThredUp are both great options for selling. I promise you’ll thank me later.
Make a packing playlist. Seriously! Since I have a toddler, we’re currently streaming BASHO and friends and kid’s reggae to get us through!
Packing Clothes. Many, many websites will tell you to hang your clothes in a trash bag to keep them together and easy to pack. I get it, I’ve done this in every one of my 10+ moves (except my move to NZ….that would have been weird). But I have a better idea and one that will blow your mind, cause it blew mine just yesterday: pack your clothes in a box. Leave them on their hangers, grab about 10 articles, fold them in half (or 1/3 for dresses and pants) and put them in a medium size box. Keep layering them opposite of each side until you fill the box. Some companies charge by the box or bag and I was able to put 5X as many articles of clothes in 1 box that would normally fit in 5 bags. And I’ll just pull them out on the hangers to put away. Easy! I wouldn’t do this with delicate or couture items, though, because they will be wrinkled. As an avid-non-ironer, I tend to not have much items that needs ironing. It’s worth investing it at least 1 wardrobe box for those items.
Don’t leave any space in a box. Use any crevices for small pieces, towels, books, etc. Speaking of books, don’t put all your books in one box (unless it is a small box) – it will most likely bust! We disperse them among different boxes.
Egg cartons are great for jewelry and other small items. Press & seal glad wrap is also your best friend! I use this in so many places, including for my necklaces. It keeps them tangle-free and is easy to pull apart after the move.
Tape cords and remotes to the back of electronics. Never lose that remote, or forget which TV it goes to, again!
Utilize dressers. Check with your moving company, but many will ask that your drawers are emptied for everything except dressers. So pack up those dressers with clothes and other light items if this is an option!
Use bright red tape for your fragile boxes. One year I used different color labels and that didn’t go over well with movers. Now we put red tape at the top of the box and around the paper label. Easy to see no matter the angle and you don’t have to put those fragile stickers on every side.
Save those towels for breakables. Don’t just pack them away in a linen box, it will be much easier for you to keep them in your closet until everything is packed up so you can easily access them for breakables. Don’t forget hand towels either, those are excellent for kitchen items.
Save your luggage. Packing your day-of (or week-of) necessities is super important, and it is so much easier to live out of your luggage a few days than it is with boxes. Plus moving companies charge per luggage, so keep those packed in your vehicle. And pack them full, not just for an overnight stay – remember never to leave anything empty. Another great option for luggage is packing your books. We have done this with same-day moves and it is much easier to pack them full and roll them than it is to use several small boxes.
And my number 1 favorite tip that has kept me sane through every move: a notebook with a key to where everything is packed. There are a lot of tutorials out there for this very thing, and even boxes have an area to write the contents. But, I like to keep mine super simple with this method…. Every box has a room name and number. In my notebook, I number each box and bullet every item that is put in that box.
Why is this the easiest way? When I need to find my son’s extra diapers, I can look in my notebook. A specific pan or spatula? Notebook. No digging through all the boxes, or moving boxes around to look for the contents written out. I just scan them for “Kitchen #4” and grab the box. This is a wonderful tip for those that will pack over-time (or even a day later).
And to make your life easier (because if you are moving, life kinda sucks right now) I have put together a practical printable with this style you can throw into a binder. Download, print and go. You’re welcome!