Your Guide to Simplifying the Moving Process

tips for packing, labeling, moving

Let’s face it.  Moving can be anything but enjoyable.  Spending endless amounts of time organizing, labeling and packing can be a truly daunting task that induces a lot of stress in people.  But the fact of the matter is, the moving process doesn’t have to become the horror you may think.  There are many strategies to simplify the process and make it a bit more tolerable.

Planning Your Move

The first thing you should think about is simply planning out the logistics.  How will your items be transported? Who should you notify of your change of address?  What items will you need to have on hand for the packing process and for moving day?  Let’s go over some answers.

When deciding how to transport your items, you have many options.  First of all, you can pack up your personal vehicle and make multiple trips to your new home.  The benefit to this is that it is likely the least expensive option, depending on how far you are moving.  Many people, however, opt to get the process finished more quickly.  This is where moving truck rentals come in.  Typically, renters pay a base cost and are charged a fee per mile, but if you visit some storage rental facilities even offer truck rentals for free to customers!  Again, depending on how far you are traveling, the costs will vary.  The obvious benefit to renting a moving truck is that you get everything all packed in at once; no need for multiple trips.  To really make it easy on yourself, consider hiring professional movers to complete the job.  Just be prepared to shell out some extra cash for their time.

Another important consideration to make prior to a move is filing for a change of address with multiple parties.  It is common to contact the post office (to forward your mail), the DMV and any companies with whom you pay bills or credit card payments to.  If you have kids, be sure to file for a change of address with their school or school district.  If you have pets, look into licensing requirements for your new city.

As far as moving supplies, it’s also a good idea to keep a back-up inventory of items which are universally essential it comes to moving.  Be sure to pick up:

  • Packaging tape
  • Boxes (we’ll cover where to get those later)
  • Markers
  • Colored labels
  • Newspaper (to wrap breakables)
  • Stretch wrap (to protect furniture)
  • A Box cutter

Finally, do a walk-through of your new place.  Take measurements of room sizes so you can plan your furniture arrangements and plan how to maneuver various pieces into each room.  Also, take measurements of windows so you can purchase window coverings and blinds for your home.  In addition, make a list of repairs that will be required prior to moving in (if applicable) and contact the appropriate parties to arrange for services.  Save money on repairs by enlisting the help of friends or family.  Ask around and see if anyone you know can help in their spare time.  Professional home improvement companies can be expensive, so don’t forget this step.

Packing and Labeling

Nothing will make your move go sour faster than not planning the packing process.  Scrambling to pack everything at the last minute is hardly the ideal process when it comes to moving.  To ease potential stress, simply aim to pack a few boxes every day starting a couple weeks prior to moving day.  This will break up the process and make it seem less monumental.

To ease stress even more, adopt some kind of labeling system so you can keep track of what is where.  You can do this by actually listing what is in the box, labeling by room or using a color-coded labeling system where each color corresponds to a particular room.  If possible, try to pack each box in a strategic manner; try not to mix kitchen goods with bathroom products, for example.  By doing this, you save a lot of time unpacking because all boxes can be unpacked in their dedicated location.

Here are some creative tips for packing your items:

  • Instead of using bubble wrap, opt for protecting fragile items with sheets, blankets or clothing that you would otherwise be packing anyway.
  • If you are the ultimate organizational wizard, download an app for your phone which allows you to assign a QSR code to a box, print it and tape it to the box, and list the contents inside. Read more about doing this here.
  • Keep your clothes on their hangers.  Wrap a plastic garbage bag around the clothing and tie it, leaving only the hanger exposed (so you can still carry clothing easily).
  • Find free boxes at wholesale stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club, at furniture stores or at your local liquor store. You can sometimes find them on community-specific sites, such as CraigsList as well.
  • Cover the openings of shampoo or soap bottles with Saran wrap and screw the cap back on to protect against spillage.
  • When transporting dressers, keep the drawers in the unit and secure them with heavy duty tape so they don’t slide open.
  • Store hardware from your disassembled furniture in Ziploc baggies and label them for easy assembly later.
  • Before unplugging your electronics, take photos of how they are hooked up.  This takes the guesswork out of powering them up later.
  • For bed sheets, blankets and other bulky items, purchase some Space Bags.  Simply insert the items, vacuum the air out and your items become flat (and easier to transport).
  • Use stretch wrap to cover your heavy duty furniture and prevent scratches.
  • Place a cover over your mattress to keep out dirt and stains.


If you’ve done a thorough job packing and labeling your items, unpacking should be somewhat of a breeze.  To start, it is best to remove each box from the truck/vehicle and deliver it directly to the room specified on the box.  That way, you have everything in the place it will stay right away.

When you have everything transported into your space, it’s best to prioritize what should be unpacked or taken care of first.  Generally, it is advised to focus on the larger items or items that get the most use first and then move on the smaller, secondary items.  Many people jump right to decorating after getting the primary items tucked away, but avoid this! It’s exciting to begin decorating and make it feel like home, but it’s better to live in a less cluttered space before doing so.  The last item on your list should be arranging décor and hanging pictures on your wall.  After all, they do say “save the best for last.”

When all your boxes are unpacked, set them aside and either offer them up to friends, post them up on a classified site (like Craigslist) or simply recycle them.  But do save a couple of them for storage purposes at your new place.

Are there some items that don’t seem to have a place or you simply don’t have space for?  Look in to storage centers in your area to house those extra items.  Storage units come in many sizes and come with a range of prices to fit your unique needs.


You are now equipped to manage your upcoming moving process and be sure it goes off without a hitch.  Planning is the key to success in all moving processes and if you follow this guide, you’ll be leading a (nearly) stress-free moving day.