Moving Tips & Advice
What to Do Before You Pack
Preparing as much as you can before your move will help make the process as seamless as possible. Prepping before you even start packing is the first step.
Gather Packing Supplies
It’s easier to gather packing materials early so you have everything you need once you’re ready to start packing. Supplies like packing tape, labels, and markers help organize and secure your boxes. Materials like packing paper, bubble wrap, blankets, and towels to help you protect your items.
Find Packing Boxes
A lot of liquor stores, grocery stores, and other retailers usually have empty boxes they recycle. You could also call around to find if any places will set some aside or look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to find some in your area.
While this is an inexpensive and sometimes free way to find materials, these boxes aren’t the best option if you want to protect your items while moving. Cardboard boxes designed for moving are the best option for your breakable items.
Organizing Your Packing Boxes
If you’ve gathered a variety of boxes, you’ll want to make sure you have consistency. Similar shaped boxes are easier to pack and save space in your vehicles. Double check that boxes aren’t torn, wet, or damaged so you have time to buy moving boxes or containers somewhere else, if needed.
Declutter & Clean Your Home
Before you start packing every item in your house, see if there’s anything you don’t need. Clean your house and see if you have items you can throw out, donate, or do something else with. It’s easier to go through items before you pack rather than having unnecessary items to take with you on the move.
Take Pictures of Your Intricate Items
Take pictures of any appliances or electronics that have a complicated setup so you’ll know how to plug cords back in at your new place. If you like the layout of your art and pictures on the wall, take a picture of that too so you remember.
What to Do During Packing
You’ve finished your packing prep and you’re ready to actually start moving! Read on for tips of how to make this sometimes daunting task a breeze.
Use Right Boxes For The Right Stuff
Heavy items are best in smaller boxes so they are easier to lift and maneuver. Lighter items are best in larger boxes so you can move more around at once. A bulkier or more awkward box is always easier to carry if lighter objects are inside. Create a packing plan instead of throwing things into boxes.
Care For Your Fragile Items
It’s important to wrap fragile items like electronics, glass, art, and other valuables. If you have the original box that items came in, it’s the ideal way to move them. Or wrap breakables well in bubble wrap, paper towels, quilts or blankets. Fragile items like dishes are best packed vertically.
Pack by Room
Instead of throwing anything you see into a box, it’s easier to keep boxes separated by room. If you have dishes and utensils mixed in with your living room decorations, it will be more complicated when you’re unpacking. Keeping each room to its own box will create a more streamlined process. If you pack by room, be sure to label your boxes, so you know where to unload on moving day.
Pack a Little at a Time
When you’re ready to start packing, it can feel overwhelming. It usually takes longer than expected, so try to pack a little at a time, one room at a time. If you know when you’re moving out or in, it’s a good idea to pack in advance to ensure you have enough boxes and other supplies.
Securing Your Boxes
Now is the time to put your supplies to use and secure your boxes with plenty of packing tape. You might need more sealing depending on how far your move is, but too much tape is never a bad thing.
If you use professional movers, many movers will want to see how you packed your fragile or valuable items before you secure and seal the boxes.
Label & Organize as You Pack
If you want an easier unpacking process, organization is key. Clearly label and mark your boxes so you know exactly where to find your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and other items when you’re moved in.
What to Do Before You Move
Now that you’re packed up, you can focus on the move itself. We’ve gathered some moving tips for things you can do in advance to help make moving day as smooth as possible.
Keep Your Documentation Organized
Creating a dedicated folder for your moving paperwork keeps you organized. Putting reservations, checklists and receipts will prevent anything from getting lost.
Set the Date
If your move-in date is flexible, choose a day that works best for you and anybody who might be helping. If you need help from family and friends, let them know in plenty of time. If you’re hiring a moving company, weekday rates tend to be less expensive.
Map Your Route
If you’re renting a vehicle, map out your route to save time and money. Efficiency is key when it comes to moving. Even if you’re moving across town and you know the way, think of rush hour, traffic, or any other events going on.
Make Sure You Change Your Address
Changing your address a little bit before you move can save you a headache. This prevents mail, packages, and bills going to your old address for a while after you move.
Set Up Utilities
Setting up utilities, Wi-Fi, and other amenities before the move will ensure you’re all squared away and have heat and water the first day in your new place. Also be sure to set a stop service day for any utilities at your old place so you’re not paying for services in a place you no longer live.
Pack an overnight bag with clothes, toiletries, and anything else you’d like to access on your first night at your new place. Games, movies, and disposable dining ware are also fun options. This eliminates having to go through different boxes after you’ve been moving all day. Now’s your time to relax!
Set Aside Cleaning Supplies
Keep a box of cleaning supplies separate so you can clean your old place if needed. You’ll also have everything ready to clean your new place before you move everything in.
Stop Buying Groceries
It’s best to stop buying groceries about a week before you move so you’re not wasting a lot of food. Depending on how far you move, some food is easy to transport, but other food can be thrown out or donated to a local food pantry.
What to Do During Moving
You’re packed, organized, and have everything squared away. It’s moving day! Learn how to make this day as stress-free as possible.
If you’re moving out of or into a rental, taking pictures of the empty space is important. This can serve as documentation of the cleanliness you left it in, and proof of any damage that is already there.
Load the Truck with a Plan
It’s best to not throw everything into your moving truck or other vehicles. Pack large items first and fill with small boxes. Boxes of similar size will stack and fit together nicer than haphazardly throwing things in the truck.
Unload the Truck with a Plan
If friends and family are helping you, it will make things easier and move quicker if you delegate tasks. Since your boxes have nice labels, that helps with taking boxes into the room they belong.
You did it! Celebrate with your DIY moving crew with pizza or snacks to show your appreciation. Enjoy your first gathering in your new home.
Use Our Move Planner
Check out our comprehensive 8-week move planner alongside our professional moving tips. This planner will guide you through your move from two months out, all the way up to move-in day.
We cover everything from procuring moving quotes to preparing for packing day. With almost a century in the moving industry, we understand what makes for the best moves, and we strive to pass all that we’ve learned on to you.
Stay Organized with Our Moving Checklists
Mayflower has consolidated our professional packing and moving tips into convenient checklists. Start preparing and stay organized along the way.
Packing for a move can seem overwhelming. Mayflower helps you master packing with our 13-step moving and packing checklist. These essential packing tips save you time and money and ease the burden that comes with packing for a move.
Before you start boxing your items, make sure you understand what is allowed or restricted. Hazardous items like explosive, flammable gases, and toxic substances pose a potential threat to the health and safety of movers. These should not be packed into your shipment.
Plan for your move with our fool-proof moving supplies checklist. Ensure that you have moving boxes, protective packaging and more. Check your moving supplies off your to-do list ahead of time so you can enjoy a seamless, organized move.
Navigating the first night in your new home can be difficult without the right supplies. We recommend you pack a “first night” box with items you’ll need for basic unpacking, cleaning, eating and hygiene. Get expert moving tips from Mayflower that will help make an enjoyable first night in your new home.
Tips for Getting a Moving Quote
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Other Resources To Help With Your Move
Check out our blog , complete with how-to articles, packing videos and trusted advice from Mayflower.
We have compiled our collection of packing videos that show you how to pack everything from shoes and books to dishwashers and linens.
Have questions about your move? See our Moving FAQs .
Select Your Moving Services
Mayflower can help ease the burden of moving any distance, long or short. We can customize your personal moving plan to handle as much as you need. From full service moving to packing and storage options, Mayflower is your trusted guide through the entire process. Pick your services and leave the rest to us!