The Best Moving Tips From People Who Move A Lot | i should be mopping the floor
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The Best Moving Tips From People Who Move A Lot

I've compiled the BEST moving tips from people who move a lot.
From wrapping utensils in paper towels and putting in baggies to taking pics of your tv wires to refer to once you're in the new place...there are all kinds of helpful hints below.

Have I mentioned I have some awesome friends? Since living in a military community for the last nine years, a lot of my friends are members of the military, or military spouses. Sadly, that means a lot of them aren't here too long. Thank goodness for Facebook so we can all stay in touch after they've moved on to their next duty station (and YAY for when they come back!). Some of these friends of mine move every two years...collectively, they all have A LOT of moving experience.

After this recent move of ours, I realized...I truly stink at moving. We just moved a mile away. But, it was, by far, the most stressful situation I've had in a long time (and I was the ding dong that did this while I also finished a book deadline, worked full time, and maintained the blog...bleh!). 

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of tips from all my moving save the rest of you from the haphazard moving style we just put ourselves through. 
Many of these quotes are things I have, indeed, done during one move or another. I think my own best advice is the UNPACK FIRST bag or box. Keep paper towels, toilet paper, bed sheets, paper plates and plastic cutlery, towels, cleaning supplies, and important documents in one large bag that you keep up with and bring into the new place first. It's so much easier to grab the bed sheets out of the bag and throw them on the bed so you can flop once you're done for the day. A few of my friends have a similar kit or bag.

These are all quotes from my friends who have all moved a bazillion times (some are military friends, some just like to relocate!). Thank you SO much for the help,  Dana, Melinda, Jarita, Amee, Casey, Shelrena, Jill, Susan, Loree, Scott, Beverly, Kimberly, Natalie, Kim, Amy, Liza, Marla, Kristina, and the incredible Tommie (the queen of organization!). Please keep in mind, this list includes tips for those who may pack and move themselves as well as tips for those who have movers and packers. 

Thank you so much to Bounty Paper Towels who made sure I was well stocked in paper goods going into this move. They're also bringing us this post today.

The Best Moving Tips From People Who Move A Lot:
  • Place all your silverware in zip-top bags! Reduces amount of washing you do on move-in day
  • I wrap my silverware in paper towels so they aren't clanking together. Then it gets bundled in baggies.
  • Also use zip-top for board games, small toys etc., to reduce lost pieces.
  • always buy some cheap totes/plastic tubs for things that are fragile. They survive better than cardboard boxes and won't get crushed and you can always use them later for storage and to organize. They also usually have handles, and are easier to carry.
  • Put remotes to items in a zip-top bag. Tape that bag to the item (like the TV) if you don't have the original boxes.
  • With that tip, keep all original boxes with the receipt taped to the inside of the lid in case the item breaks during the warranty period. Write in a sharpie on the outside when the warranty expires.
  • When moving we create a centralized box to keep all parts in. We will put bed & other furniture screws in bags and label and then put all in one location.
  • Pack a large tote with items you will need immediately: paper plates, utensils, one pot, one pan, napkins, towels, a shower curtain liner (you never know if you'll have a door on the shower, and a set of sheets for each bed. Label this as "unpack first". Put a huge sheet of green construction paper on it. Make it stand out from the other 1000 boxes!
  • Cover your hanging clothes with garbage bags... Groups of 5 or so.
  • Also, dump junk drawers from desks or kitchen into individual rubbermaid lidded boxes. You can use baggies for things like paper clips too.
  • Buy little bitty bags for jewelry. Put each chain necklace in one bag. You can put all stud earrings in one bag, but dangles need a bag per pair. Is it more work? Yes. Do you get tangles? No. You can also thread chains through a straw and then clasp them, then put multiple straws in a bigger baggie.
  • I used paper towels in between my plates to keep them from clinging. And then later used them to wipe down the cabinets and plates at the new house so they didn't go to waste.
  • Do not pack things that you don't love! Bless someone else with this stuff.
  • Make sure all trash cans are empty. Tape a piece of paper over it. Packers will pack a full trash can!
  • If something is still in a box in the basement, don't take it. You didn't need it the previous two years, you won't need it any time soon.
  • I use XL zip-top bags for EVERY DRAWER...dressers, kitchen utensils, spices, junk drawer...all the things.
  • I take down all of my frames, mirrors, paintings, wall art, etc and put them in one location together so the movers don't pack them in random boxes. I also go through all the rooms and collect all my picture frames and put them together in one spot. I do the same for silk plants, candles, table top decor. I want it all packed together so I can find it easily at our next house instead of it packed in various boxes.
  •  I put dryer sheets in shoes, in between towels, sheets, etc. They smell so good on the receiving end!
  • Start two months in advance, clean out your home office. Scan and shred. Be sure to set up a filing system for everything you scan. Make your goal to have a paperless home office. Hand carry your most important documents and a hard drive with your scanned documents. If you're a homeschooler, start even earlier,and create digital portfolios of children's work and grades. If you find yourself in a motel for an extended time, having all this easily accessible can be really helpful.
  • If you're not moving door to door, initial over the seam of each and every box. If it's opened during storage at a warehouse, you will know.
  • Plan for what you will need as soon as you get there and not want to have to dig through boxes to find. Pack your own "go kit" with bedding, towels, toilet paper, paper towels, disposable plates and utensils, soap/shampoo, small tool box, a few sets of clothes / shoes, band aids, disposable cups, some cleaning supplies, coffee maker and supplies, pen and paper.
  • If I haven't worn an article of clothing during "this" duty station, it is given away. The only exception being when I moved to Hawaii and away from Hawaii. I wasn't throwing out wonderful winter coats for a tour in Hawaii. I am frugal, not stupid. 
  • For me actually, considering I am not organized, I am more like a walking tornado, the best thing I do is designate a room or walk in closet the week or two before movers arrive. That is our non pack room. So, suitcases, etc. paperwork, anything that is traveling with us gets put in that room. The night before the movers come, that room is sealed with crime scene tape and I put large signs in multiple languages on the door saying NOT THIS ROOM. DO NOT PACK THIS ROOM. FORBIDDEN. Etc. I presume based on the crime scene tape the movers think it is where I left the bodies but, it works, it makes me laugh and certainly simplifies the packing for me. 
  • Oh and regardless of the custom at the particular duty station, I ALWAYS feed the movers and NEVER pizza since they get that from everyone all the time. Funny enough though, here in Italy the movers would not consider food from me, it was a horrid thought for them since it would lessen their lunch break (standard lunch break in Italy for movers is 3 hours...seriously). However, they really loved American Dolce so I whipped up some brownies while they were taking their lunch. Happy Movers make for a better experience.
  • This last move I used a roll of Bounty paper towels for all my daughter's necklaces to keep them from getting tangled. Works better than tissue paper to keep them from slipping around and was easy to unroll them.
  • We have moved 7 times in 10 years. I always pack a suitcase with clothes/ Necessities for the family. Then box everything else. There's nothing worse than getting moved in during the first week or two and not being able to find what you really need.
  • Take a picture of the back of the TV to remember where all the wires go.
  • I'm also a big fan of zip-top baggies! Not only do I put all my silverware in them, but I also put all my underwear in zip-top baggies, too. We can't have strangers touching my panties, y'all. wink emoticon
  • Plastic wrap your utensils in their appropriate utensil drawer divider. That just gets thrown into a box - but at least all of the utensils are together and CLEAN!
  • When the packers start to pack your dishes, instruct them to place a disposable foam plate/bowl between each dish.
  • Stuffing your cups full of paper towels before they are wrapped will help keep them from getting chipped. 
  • Save your toilet paper rolls. Cut end to end so there is a slit down the side. You can wrap your necklaces around the roll lengthwise. No more tangles. If there are charms tuck those inside the roll with paper towel at each end to hold it in. No scratches.
  • And from my hilarious friend, Amy..."Just burn it all-start over in new location."
Be sure to leave your own moving tips in the comments below...I'd love to add them to this list.

Moving? Bounty is a must have, multi-use product for cleaning up messy moves and making your new house feel like home. Bounty is more absorbent, so the roll can last 50% longer.

Today's post was brought to you by Bounty. 
I am a member of the #QuickerPickerUpper Team. All opinions are my own. 


  1. As I'm moving in two short weeks, this is very timely! I'm anxious to try some of these out!

  2. As a person who has moved alot also and no not in the military. I think the best idea was Amy's. Burn and start over. Difinetly has it's advantages. LOL jk! It does get harder the older you get.