1. Pack an overnight bag containing all the essentials, including a change of clothes for the next day and your necessary toiletries. We also recommend keeping your laptop in this bag, as it is easily damaged or misplaced.
2. Pack the items you will need FIRST in a clear plastic bin. A few ideas: scissors, trash bags, plastic plates/forks, paper towels, a pot/pan, phone chargers, power strips, and power tools.
3. Wrap your breakables (dishes, glasses, etc.) in CLOTHING. Save on bubble wrap AND move your clothes simultaneously!
4. Pack your glasses in clean socks.
5. Label the sides of boxes, NOT the tops. Label boxes by room- unpacking by room is much less chaotic.
6. If you can, show up to your new home before the move and pre-clean the bathroom and kitchen. Put up a new shower curtain liner and stock the bath towels and toilet paper. You’ll want to take a hot shower in your new home after a long day of moving.
7. Place an extra cotton pad or ball into your powder cosmetics to keep them from breaking.
8. Cover the openings of your toiletries with saran wrap, then put the tops back on.
9. Pack plates vertically, like records. They’ll be less likely to break.
10. Pull drawers out of the dresser and cover the full-of-clothes drawers with Press-N-Seal.
11. Press’n Seal is also great for keeping jewelry displays intact.
12. Buy a roll of stretch wrap. It works like Press’n Seal but on a bigger scale. You can group items together, and it’ll protect your furniture from getting scuffed and scratched.
13. Keep sandwich bags handy for holding any small parts of things you have to take apart, like curtain rods or mounted flat-screen TVs, and tape the sandwich bags to the back of the item they correspond to.This method also works with electronics cords.
14. Beer boxes are the best for books because they have handles on the sides.
15. Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where all the wires go.
16. Cut down on boxes by making all of your baskets, laundry bins, hampers, and suitcases work for you. Use a wheeled suitcase for heavy things like books.
17. Pack a closet by wrapping up a bundle of clothes in a trash bag. This also keeps the clothes on the hanger.
18. Vacuum seal all out-of-season clothing so they can go directly into storage in the new home.
19. Along with food and alcohol, give your friends who help you move first dibs on anything you originally planned to sell or donate.
20. Make sure everything is completely packed before your friends show up to help you move. Don’t be that horrible person who makes everyone wait around/help you pack. Also, if you have enough friends, split them up into shifts — one set to help you move in the morning, and another to help you move when you get to your new home.
21. Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.
22. If you’re renting, take photos of your cleaned-out old home and your new home before moving in. This is essential if you ever hope to get your deposit back. It will save you major headaches with difficult landlords who charge you cleaning and repair fees unnecessarily when moving out.
23. Fill the nail holes in your previous home with a bar of soap.
24. If you’re doing a cross-country move and you don’t need your stuff immediately, consider shipping via Greyhound. It’s an inexpensive shipping option for large items. Just remember to pack your stuff really well — your boxes WILL get a little beat up along the way.
25. Change your address at least two weeks prior to moving. This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ve also got Amazon, PayPal, credit cards, your bank, magazine subscriptions, and your mail to worry about.
26. If you own items that you want to get rid of but are too valuable to just give away, start selling on eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist at least 6 weeks before moving.
27. Arrange for a charity organization to come pick up the items you don’t want at least a week or two before moving. It’ll save you the trouble of having to take it there yourself.
28. Make your last grocery trip two weeks prior to moving.
29. For same-city moves, hire a sitter for the children and pets.
30. Remember to defrost your refrigerator at least a day before moving and wipe up any liquid.