You’ve found a new place to live and it’s amazing (plus you found some tips to make it even better). But you’re frantically Googling “moving hacks” the week before the big move.
Leaving one place and setting up a new home somewhere else should be pretty exciting.
But with over 40 million Americans moving every year, that’s a lot of lost gadgets, misdirected mail, and endless boxes to unpack.
It doesn’t have to completely suck. Check out our 9 awesome moving hacks that will make the process a lot less painful.
1. Be clever with your boxes
Using boxes is the obvious way to transport your stuff from A to B.
But who has the time or the patience to write the destination room on each one?
Buy several rolls of colored duct tape and just add a patch of each color to the right box.
That way, you know all blue boxes go in the kitchen. Or all green boxes might go in your new bedroom.
It’ll make it easier to direct the movers. And it’ll save you so much time.
And while we’re on the subject of boxes, cut inverted triangles into two sides. You might not think your box needs handles but you’ll thank us later.
You can also try to score free boxes at grocery stores.
2. Use unconventional packing materials
You want to save time and hassle, right?
So why buy bubble wrap when you’ve got clothes sitting around idle? That’s right, you can use your T-shirts and socks as packing material.
Wrap anything breakable in your clothes. You can pad the insides with other fabrics.
It’ll save you filling suitcases or boxes with your clothes. You’re essentially packing two things in the same box.
You can also buy a pack of paper plates to slip between your regular plates. It’ll help you to avoid chipping or cracking your plates in transit.
3. Treat your tech with care
You don’t want to take apart your tech setup, only to forget which wire went where later.
These two moving hacks will make your electronics a lot easier to move.
First, take a photo of your setup before you unplug everything. That’s a photo for every device.
And given Americans own around 24 electronic devices per household, that’s a lot of wires to unplug.
Keep your photos on your phone. Then when you get to the other end, just copy the photo when you’re replugging in. That XBox won’t set itself up.
Second, keep the old tube from the inside of a toilet roll. Use them to keep your wires from getting tangled up.
4. First night box
We know that your devices are probably the first thing you want to unpack.
But trust us, you do not want to get to your new apartment and wonder where you packed your toothbrush.
And you’ll want to be able to have breakfast and get dressed in the morning.
So pack a box of essentials to carry you through your first night and into your first morning. Remember moving hacks should make it easier to settle in, not just move.
5. Raise your packing game
Leave your clothes on their hangers.
But you can tape them together and put garbage bags over the top. Then you just need to cut off the bags and tape and hang them straight up in your new wardrobe.
If you’re really feeling lazy, you can also plastic wrap your dressers. It’ll save you unpacking your drawers and they won’t slide out during the move.
Pack your heaviest items in suitcases. That way you can pull them around.
Put anything liquid in its own plastic bin. Don’t be tempted to carry it in a box with other stuff.
Need to dismantle any furniture? Keep all of the bolts and screws in their own Ziploc bag. Just make sure you label it.
If you can, tape the bag to the furniture it comes from.
6. Make sure you can’t lock yourself out
Moving Day is stressful enough as it is without the worry that you might lock yourself out.
So wrap a rubber band around the door from one handle to the other. Make sure it crosses over the lock.
That way you don’t have to keep stopping to push door handles down or turn doorknobs. Just push the door open.
It also means you can’t accidentally lock yourself out on the sidewalk.
7. Leave your apartment the way you found it
If you’ve left any small holes in the walls of the apartment you’re leaving, we have moving hacks for that too.
Rub the hole with a bar of soap until it’s filled. You can also use toothpaste.
If your furniture leaves dents in the carpet, don’t worry. Leave ice cubes to melt in the divots.
Then you just need to lift up the fibers with a spoon.
And use a staple remover to hold your keyring open while you’re swapping out your keys.
Though if you’re using our RFID keys, you won’t need to.
8. But document your new home too
If you’re renting, make sure you document your new apartment through photos.
You don’t want an unscrupulous landlord trying to withhold your deposit for damage that was there when you moved in.
Moving hacks don’t just relate to the process of shifting furniture. You need to think about the admin too.
So it’s a good idea to change your address two weeks before you move. It’s one less thing to do once you’re in your new apartment.
For vehicle registrations or driver’s licenses, you legally have to change your address within 30 days of a move.
And remember to swap RFID keys.
9. Moving hacks don’t just relate to Moving Day itself
We’ve all got one of those boxes that moved from our dorm room to our first apartment and beyond.
Do we even remember what’s in it? No.
But we take it with us all the same. Why bother?
4-6 weeks before you move, have a good clear out of your stuff. Sell, donate or trash anything you don’t need or use.
It’ll give you less stuff to clutter your new apartment. That’s particularly handy if you’re short on space. (I know I wrote a piece for them on making small apartments look bigger if you want to link here!)
But it also means you’ll have fewer things to pack. And that can only make Moving Day a whole lot less stressful.
So get started on these moving hacks and focus on enjoying your new apartment.