30 People Share Their Moving Tips and Tricks

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Nov. 8 2019, Updated 3:22 p.m. ET

featured moving tips

When I moved from my first apartment in LA to my second apartment in LA, I moved two blocks away and I was broke, so I didn't hire a moving company. Instead, I flopped my mattress on top of my hatchback and enlisted two of my friends to hang out the windows and hold it in place while I drove to my new place at like 3 mph. It was not smart. Cannot recommend it. 

What I can recommend are all the tips and tricks in this thread. A YouTuber and creator known as Shameless Maya took to Twitter to ask her followers for their best tips to make the packing and moving process as quick and painless as possible. And they stepped up! Seriously, you might want to take notes because these are golden.

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Bike boxes

This. Is. Brilliant. You never have easy ways to pack all your framed artwork, so you end up just throwing them in the back of the truck and hoping for the best. Bike boxes are the answer.

Hanger bundles

When moving, I'm all for reducing, as much as possible, the amount of actual packing and unpacking you have to do. Packing your hanging clothes while still on their hangers is genius. Someone give this person a medal.

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Using clothes

Instead of wasting paper or plastic bubble wrap on your dishes, use your clothes to wrap your dishes! You have to pack both of them anyway. Might as well make your clothes extra useful!

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Hire movers

Hire movers. Hire movers. Hire movers. Did I mention you should hire movers? The last time I moved, I hired movers for the first time in my life, and the whole process was exponentially easier than it had ever been before. You don't realize how much stress movers alleviate until you use them. 

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"Immediate use" box

This is key. You don't want to be rummaging through tons of boxes to find your toothbrush on your first night in your new place. Pack one box with the things you'll need to use immediately and keep track of that box on moving day. You won't regret it.

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Masking tape

This might be the most brilliant thing I've ever heard. We've all been there, opening the same, empty cabinets over and over again because you're not sure what you already packed. This will make the packing job more efficient and give you a visual for all the progress you're making.

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Blue Ikea bags

You know which ones we're talking about, right? They huge and practically indestructible and perfect for moving large quantities of things. Plus, they're reusable, so they're way better than disposable garbage bags.

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Color-coded tape

Many times, you end up yelling at the poor movers as they bring boxes in. "Bedroom!" "Over there!" "Not there!" With color-coded tape that shows them where to go, you can preserve your voice.

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You do not want to take apart your couch to move it only to have no idea how to reassemble it when you get to your new place. In addition to taping the screws to the item, make sure to take pictures of every view of it while it's still assembled to have a reference.

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Free boxes

It's really a waste to buy moving boxes when all kinds of stores give them away for free. If you have enough foresight, spend a few days collecting boxes from stores before you start packing.

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Make your bed

If there's one thing you're going to want to do at the end of a long moving day, it's fall asleep. But you won't be able to if you forget to set up your bed in your new house.

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Packing books

Don't make your life harder by packing boxes full of heavy things. Distribute the weight and save your and your movers' backs. Everyone will thank you later.

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Vacuum-sealed bags

One way to make sure you're using space efficiently is to get one of those vacuum sealers. They make sure all the air is sucked out of the bag, so whether your packing towels or sheets or clothes, with a vacuum sealer they will take up much less space than they would otherwise.

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Use "existing real estate space"

I cannot recommend using the space you have enough. Why pack an empty pot when you can fill it with small spice bottles or utensils? When you're moving, it's all about efficiency, folks.

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Moving Men

You don't want to immediately ruin the hardwood floors in your new apartment by sliding your dresser from one side of the bedroom to another. And you definitely don't want to break your back trying to pick it up. These simple Moving Men helps you slide stuff around without being afraid of ruining everything.

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Necklaces in foil

There's nothing more frustrating than finding all your jewelry in a giant, tangled heap after you move. I've never thought about this before, but it would totally work to wrap your necklaces in foil!

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Take video

This is super important. You have to take stock of the state of everything when you move in and when you move out to make sure your landlord doesn't try to blame you for any damage you didn't cause.

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Keep sentimental objects with you

You don't want to feel the panic of misplacing all of your incredibly important documents and other sentimental items when you move. Best just to keep them with you during the moving process.

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Laundry baskets

Use every receptacle you have to pack stuff. Laundry baskets, suitcases, reusable bags, dog bowls... Use it all! You'll end up with so much less waste at the end of the whole thing.

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Manage expectations

Listen, moving is a big deal. And it always takes much longer than you think it's going to. I wouldn't say, make any dinner plans for the day you move. Just let things happen the way they're going to and don't stress when it takes longer than you expected it to.

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Plastic cling wrap

It might not be the most environmentally conscious choice, but there is no denying that large a roll of that plastic cling wrap does help keep your bigger items protected. 

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Scissors and utility knives

I'm interested in the second part of this particular tip. You cannot overestimate the importance of having a pair of scissors or a utility knife at your disposable during moving day. Otherwise, you're going to have the hardest time breaking those boxes open.

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Yarn trick

I just... I want to hug this person. It's so brilliant. With the yarn, you essentially create your own zippy wrapper like the plastic ones on the outside of gum packets. It would make things so easy to unpack!

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Liquor store boxes

Liquor store boxes with those partitions for wine bottles are the perfect place to store your glassware. You just have to make sure you get there on the right day. Maybe call ahead to make sure they have some available!

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Door stopper

You don't realize how annoying it is to keep opening the door to bring in box after box. Use a door stopper to prop it open and completely transform your entire moving experience.

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Beer and pizza

Ah yes, a classic tip. Friends will do... pretty much whatever you want for pizza and beer. If you can't afford movers, you can probably at least afford to bribe your friends.

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Shower curtain

There are probably things you haven't thought about that you should pack in your "immediate use" box... like a shower curtain for instance! Put towels on that list while we're at it.

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Moving is a great incentive to KonMari your life and get rid of the things that you don't use. There's no point hanging onto it and going through the effort of moving it if it's just going to sit in a closet.

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Donate food

Chances are you'll still have some unopened pantry items in your kitchen when you move. Take that opportunity to donate non-perishables to shelters or food pantries in your area. 

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Keep things in drawers

This is especially easy to do if you're not moving too far. I kept my clothes in my dresser drawers and just removed the drawers for my last move, so I could easily reassemble it in my new place and I didn't have to worry about unpacking clothes. Best decision!

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