What does it mean when you find a great hack for something? These days, it usually means someone’s found a way to improvise something quick, clever and effective! We’ve pulled together some of the greatest hacks ever to save you time or money and bring you some solutions you might not have considered while packing and moving!

Pre-move Hacks

  • Notify anyone who needs to know of your change of address two weeks before move-out.
  • Pack a small bag for every family member with a couple of changes of clothing, pajamas, toiletries, and other essentials. Having what you need for a night or two in an easily accessible spot will be a benefit when you’re tired during your move days.
  • Buy a good tape gun or two! You won’t be sorry.
  • Make a plan to keep track of your moving expenses for reference later.
  • Bon appetit! Weeks before your move, start using up as much of the food you have as possible, and consider donating unopened shelf-life food to a local food bank.
  • Call the utility companies to schedule turn-off at your current home and start-up at your new home. You’ll feel good you handled it ahead of time, and you won’t have to do it in a rush later on.
  • Make a list of important documents you want to take with you for easy reference and start compiling them.
  • Reduce and recycle! Whether clothes, décor, furniture, gear or housewares, if it isn’t usable or treasured, if it doesn’t fit or serve a purpose, consider parting ways with it!
    • Have a yard sale. If you have the time and want to pick up a few bucks, consider selling some of the things you no longer want.
    • Be careful with electronics. Instead of throwing away old batteries and electronics, find an electronics recycling center in your area.
    • Call for a pickup. There are lots of options for donating, and companies that haul away trash. If you know you’ll be donating or discarding items before or after moving day, schedule the pickups in advance.
    • Remember if you can’t part with it yet, you can postpone the decision!  We offer short- and long-term storage, so if you’re not certain about whether to release some of your belongings but you won’t use them in your home, let us store them for you until you can make that decision.
  • If you take possession of your new home before the move, clean the bathrooms and kitchen before you move in, or pay a cleaning service to address the entire home while it’s empty.
  • Instead of throwing away old batteries and electronics, find an electronics recycling center in your area.

Packing Hacks

  • Slide groups of clothes on hangers directly into garbage bags so you can just hang them up at the other end of your move!
  • Invest in some blue IKEA bags – they’re inexpensive, sturdy and can withstand a lot of weight. They’re great for moving toys or big items, like fluffy bedspreads, and fold away later.
  • Use toilet paper rolls to organize your cords – and you can write on the roll what it belongs to!
  • Put knives inside an oven mitt to prevent injuries.
  • Wrap breakable items like picture frames or dishware in your clothing and linens. Not only are you saving on bubble wrap, you’re also packing multiple items at once.
  • Avoid messy surprises by putting a piece of plastic wrap between the top and the bottle for liquids (shampoo, lotions, etc.).
  • Color-code your boxes – it’s an easy way to know what family member or room they belong to without writing on every box.
  • Fill those suitcases! They can hold quite a bit, and the handles and wheels will make for easy transportation.
  • Stack plates with Styrofoam plates in between – it’s a good, inexpensive way to cushion them for the move.
  • Label your boxes on the side rather than the top so that when they’re stacked, you can still see what’s in them.
  • Use sandwich bags for small important items like screws, and then use packing tape to secure the bag onto the item it goes with. When you go to put a bed frame or bookshelf back together, they’ll all be in the same place.
  • If you’re economizing on packing supplies, find free moving boxes on the Craigslist “free” section or through Freecycle or Nextdoor. You can also ask for boxes at local stores.
  • Use containers like baskets or large pots to store and move smaller items.
  • Use your camera!
    • Snap a shot of what’s in a box for a quick reminder later on of the general location of something you need.
    • Take a photo to remember your cord set-up. Whether it’s a TV or another electronic, this is an easy way to recall how to put all those cords back where they belong.
    • If you’re a renter, take pictures of your new place before you move in. You want that deposit back!

Moving Day Hacks

  • Wrap a rubber band around your doorknob so you don’t get locked out. Wrap around one doorknob, then cross it over to the doorknob on the other side so that the lock is blocked. When you are going in and out of your house, you won’t have to worry about being locked out.
  • Don’t move the cooler – use it! If you have a good-sized cooler, stock it up with drinks and snacks, and put it in your car so you can access it when you need to.
  • Pack a container with disposable plates, cups and plasticware for the first few days in your new home.
  • Get yourself packed the day before moving day. Unless you have contracted for moving services, too, commit to being completely packed before your movers arrive.
  • Keep little kids and pets safe! Small children and roaming pets can be problematic on moving day. Try to park them with friends or relatives during the height of the move – you’ll have less to worry about, and they’ll be happier!
  • Don’t waste time organizing if you’re on a tight timeline. If you need to move swiftly, pack carefully and quickly, but don’t worry about labeling and sorting everything – you can figure it out later when your time isn’t so stretched.

Settling-in Hacks

  • Get the kids’ rooms and the kitchen set up first! If you have kids, setting up your children’s rooms gives them a place to be comfortable and stay out of the way as you get your new home in order! And addressing the kitchen sets up the “hub” of the house – handling this early on gives you a big win right away and clears you to focus on other rooms.
  • Do some meal planning! Even if you set up your kitchen first, you probably don’t actually want to cook right away. Stock up on quick foods, like sandwich makings, or plan for takeout so you can eat and run…back to your unpacking and settling in.
  • Unpack the essentials first, and then schedule unpacking sprints. You don’t have to unpack everything the first day or two. First unpack what you need to function and be comfortable, and then push yourself to unpack the rest with some short bursts of activity throughout the next week or two.
  • Make a date to ensure you settle in quickly. Here’s a great motivator – schedule a housewarming party or an informal gathering about a month after your move to have an unpacking incentive date to work toward!
  • Break down boxes as soon as they’re empty.  Keep clearing your space at your new home. Getting empty boxes out of the way as soon as they’re empty shows you the progress you’re making!