Insanely Clever Moving Hacks that Make Packing Easier

Shannon Quinn - February 28, 2022

Moving can be one of the most frustrating experiences of your life. And some people need to do it quite often! Even if you’ve moved before, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Here are 35 moving hacks to help you have a much smoother experience going to your new home.

When you first arrive at your new home, you need to reach for the essentials. Credit: By Sophia Lee

35. Have an “Open First” Box, Bag, or Container

Bring a box or container full of necessities that need to be opened right away when you move. For example, you’re definitely going to need a roll of toilet paper! Some other items that can go in the box are paper towels, cooking supplies, scissors or a box cutter (to open boxes!), toothpaste, towels, and an outfit for the next day. Obviously, you’ll need to decide which items are the most important to you when you move.

Group your clothes together with garbage bags to make them easier to move. Credit: By Sophia Lee

34. Use Garbage Bags to Group Clothes on Hangers

If you have a large closet full of clothes, the idea of moving them might seem daunting, especially if you planned to put them in boxes. This idea is brilliant, because it’s basically like carrying all of your outfits in DIY garment bags. All you need is a box of extra large garbage bags, and a pack of rubber bands. Gather about 10 to 15 clothing items together and tie their hangers together with a rubber band. Then punch a hole through the bottom of the garbage bag, and feed the group of clothing through the bag so that the hangers are sticking out of the top. Now repeat the process until you have all of your clothes ready to go into the moving truck.

When you’re ready to move in the spring or summer, have a yard sale. Credit: Shutterstock

33. Have a Pre-Moving Yard Sale

If you’re moving in the spring or summer, consider having a yard sale before you leave your home. This is a great way to make a little bit of extra cash on items you no longer want. If you live in an apartment and you don’t have the option of doing a yard sale, you can also rent a table at a local flea market instead. Once the yard sale is over, you can donate the items you don’t need.

Pack up unwanted items and donate them to your local charity shop. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Donate Before You Go

Before you move, it would be a good idea to purge your home of anything you no longer want or need. And if you live in an apartment, you may not have the option of doing a yard sale. Donate your old clothes to the thrift store, and ask family and friends if they would be willing to take anything that you no longer need. The great thing about donating is that you’ll know that your belongings went towards a good cause.

Facebook Marketplace is a great place to make some extra cash. Credit: Shutterstock

31. List Items on Facebook Marketplace

If you’re trying to make money from your unwanted items, sometimes your best bet is to list them on Facebook Marketplace. This way, people can search for the items you’re selling. It’s a lot easier to find the right customers instead of hoping that the right person just so happens to drive past your yard sale. You can also charge more money on Facebook Marketplace compared to a yard sale where people have an expectation of only paying a few dollars per item.

Suitcases are great for protecting fragile items. Credit: By Sophia Lee

30. Use Hard Shell Suitcases to Pack Fragile Items

If you own a hard shell suitcase, a great use for them would be to pack any fragile items that you’re afraid might break during the moving process. Blogger Sophia Lee used towels to layer the various fragile items like her glass casserole dish and candles. Sure, you can also use bubble wrap and packing peanuts in a cardboard box, and it should be fine. But when you already have something heavy-duty like a suitcase, you might as well use it to protect your most fragile pieces.

Never over-pay for moving boxes. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Get Free Moving Boxes From the Grocery Store

Boxes can be surprisingly expensive, and the boxes from your Amazon orders likely aren’t enough to pack your whole life into cardboard. Before you move, try to do some scouting on free boxes. A good bet is your local grocery store or your big box stores like Walmart and Target. Ask if it’s possible to grab some free boxes. Usually, there is a day of the week when shipments come in, and they get ready to crush the boxes by the end of the day. With just a few phone calls, you could save a ton of money.

Be sure to label your moving boxes from the front and the side. Credit: By Sophia Lee

28. Label Your Moving Boxes

For some of you out there, labeling your boxes seems like a no-brainer. But it’s definitely crucial if you want to make your life easier. Grab an index card and write which room the items are in, as well as a description of what’s in each box. For example, you might write “kitchen, plates and bowls.” Remember to put the labels on the side of the boxes, since they’ll be stacked on top of one another in the moving truck. Since the writing is on the index card, you can always remove it later if you want to reuse the boxes in the future when you move again.

Use a box cutter to create your own handles in cardboard boxes. Credit: Emily Norris

27. Create Your Own Handles in Your Boxes

Sometimes, boxes are really difficult to carry without handles. All you need to do is take a box cutter and make two slits in the shape of a V. Then pop your hand through, and it creates a small triangle that you can use as a handle. Do this on both sides of the box, and you now have two handles to help you carry heavy boxes to your new house or apartment.

The bedroom should be the first place to unpack so you have somewhere to relax. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Unpack the Bedroom First

Let’s assume that you did a good job labeling all of your boxes, and you know exactly where your bedroom items are. It would be a good idea to unpack your bedroom first. Make your bed, and pull out those toiletry essentials in the bathroom from the “open first” box. This way, when you’re exhausted from a full day of moving, your bed is already made for you. (via By Sophia Lee)

Remember to send packages to your new location. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Send Amazon Prime Orders Directly To Your New Home

Everyone needs new things when they move into a new house or apartment. But if you order that stuff before the move, it just creates more for you to take in the moving truck. Once you get your new address and keys in hand, make sure you start sending your packages directly to your new home. This will make your life a whole lot easier.

Vacuum pack bags are used to shrink clothes down to make them easier to move. Credit: Emily Norris

24. Use Vacuum Pack Bags

A great way to save space while moving is to use vacuum pack bags. This will shrink down a stack of clothes by taking all of the air out of them. Once this is done, it becomes a lot easier to pack your clothing into boxes and get it into the moving truck. (This is assuming you haven’t used the hack above all about grouping your clothing together on hangers.)

Make sure your boxes are not too heavy for everyone to pick up. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Weigh Your Boxes

When you’re packing boxes, it’s all too easy to accidentally pack too much into a single box. Usually, there is a group of people helping you move, and it’s only courteous to make sure you’re not packing so much that it’s going to break their back. If you have one, pull out your bathroom scale and weigh boxes before you seal them up. The rule of thumb is that a moving box should be no more than 30 pounds. And if you have heavier objects, put some kind of warning on the side of the box like “Caution: heavy. 50 pounds” so that your movers know when to ask for help.

You may be able to carry your drawers filled with clothes to the next house. Credit: Emily Norris

22. Pull Out Your Dresser Drawers With the Clothes Still Inside.

If you plan on moving shorter distances, you might want to just keep all of your clothes neatly folded inside your dresser drawers. When it’s time to remove the dresser, remove the drawers with the clothes still inside. This way, when you get to your new place, you can simply put the drawers back in. However, this might not work if you’re moving far away and need a moving company to do everything for you. This is more appropriate if you’re using a pickup truck and your own car to transport everything.

Get creative with how you move you socks to your new home. Credit: Emily Norris

21. Pack Your Socks In Your Boots (Or Over Wine Glasses)

When it comes time to pack your socks and shoes, stuff all of your socks into your boots. This will help your boots keep their form, and it also gives you a good place to put all of your socks. Some people also use their socks to cover fragile objects like champagne flutes and wine glasses. Get creative! You never know where those socks can help cushion something you’re packing.

Folded tape makes it easier to rip off the box once you arrive at your new home. Credit: Emily Norris

20. Fold Over the Tape When You Pack a Box

When you’re taping up your moving boxes, make sure you fold over the end piece. This makes it a lot easier for you to rip the tape off of the box once you arrive at your new destination. Of course, you can always use scissors to remove tape, too. But if you’re a woman with a manicure, you’ll thank us for using this tip, because it’s going to save your nails.

Keep all of your cleaning supplies together in its own box. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Pack Cleaning Supplies In Their Own Box

Even if you’re moving into a space where a cleaning crew has already gone through before you arrived, you still may need to clean up a mess once you’re done moving in. Make sure you put all of your cleaning supplies in the same box so that it’s easy for you to access right away. For some of you, it might even make sense to put some wipes in the “open first” box.

Paper plates help to cushion in-between kitchen plates. Credit: Emily Norris

18. Use Paper Party Plates to Help Pack Your Fragile Plates

If you have kids, then you probably have plenty of leftover paper party plates. Use these to stack in-between your fragile ceramic plates when you’re packing. It just gives them some extra support before you wrap them with newspaper or bubble wrap. This will come in handy especially if your plates are special to you (i.e. Fine china, family heirlooms).

You can color coordinate boxes for each room of the house. Credit: Emily Norris

17. Use Colors to Coordinate Boxes

While you’re packing, use packs of multi-colored sticky notes or a pack of multi-colored markers to color coordinate your boxes. For example, you might want to use a blue marker or sticky notes on all of the boxes that are going into the kitchen, and pink for everything in the bedroom. This makes it easier for your family, friends, and the movers to know which boxes go in which rooms.

Carry heavy items in rolling suitcases. Credit: Emily Norris

16. Pack Heavy Objects in Your Rolling Suitcase

Earlier on this list, we mentioned weighing your boxes to make sure they don’t exceed 30 pounds. Another great moving hack is to take those heavy items and put them in your rolling suitcase instead. This way, the objects are being rolled from one place to another without having to carry it. A blogger called Emily Norris packed her child’s book collection in a rolling suitcase, because she knew it would be too heavy to pack in a box.

Each family member should have an overnight bag ready for their new house. Credit: Emily Norris

15. Every Family Member Should Pack a Bag as if They’re Going Away For a Night

Earlier on this list, we mentioned having an essentials or “open first” box. Along with that, you should highly consider taking your suitcase and packing a bag as if you were going away for the weekend. This way, you have everything you need to be comfortable in an unfamiliar place. If you have kids, this can be incredibly important, because they will want to pack their favorite toy, a book, and other comfort items with them.

Keep screws and bolts inside of a ziplock bag. Credit: Emily Norris

14. Hold Onto Furniture Screws and Bolts in a Ziplock Bag

When you’re taking apart furniture that you’re moving to your new place, make sure you don’t lose any of the screws and bolts! Put all of the furniture pieces into a Ziplock bag, and duct tape it to the back of the furniture. This way, you never have to guess where you put those small pieces during the move. It makes it so much easier to locate the screw and bolts and put the furniture back together again once you arrive at the new location.

Protect framed artwork by packing them horizontally. Credit: Emily Norris

13. Pack Framed Artwork Horizontally

If you have a lot of framed photos and artwork in your home, then you already know the anxiety that comes with packing so much fragile glass away in one place. A moving hack is to simply pack your frames horizontally, rather than stacking them on top of one another. Fill the gaps in the box with things from around the house like your towels, clothes, or blankets. This should protect the frames from being broken during transit.

Hire someone to take care of your kids or pets when you’re packing. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Get Child or Pet Care

When you’re a parent, it can be next to impossible to watch small kids and pack at the same time. Dogs and cats can also develop a lot of anxiety when furniture is being moved, and they might even run out the front door if you’re getting help from movers who don’t know any better. This is why it would be a good idea to hire a babysitter or take your pets to a daytime pet care facility, just to give you a stress-free day of packing without worrying about caring for your loved ones.

Help your children get comfortable when they first arrive at the new house. Credit: Shutterstock

11. If You’re a Parent, Unpack the Kid’s Rooms First

Earlier on this list, we suggested unpacking the bedroom first. But if you’re a parent, it may be a better idea to unpack the kid’s rooms first. Your kids are going to need rest and comfort just as much as you do, if not more. If you have time, unpack all of the bedrooms. But make kids your priority.

Put sharp objects inside of an oven mitt to prevent them from chipping. Credit: Emily Norris

10. Pack Sharp Objects in an Oven Mitt

Some of the most difficult items to pack are your knives and other sharp objects. They tend to poke through almost anything you put them in, and it can be very dangerous. Aside from wrapping each blade in cardboard, you can slide sharp objects into an oven mitt. They are normally thick enough to handle being poked, and it gives them some extra protection during the move. Additionally, long, shallow Tupperware with a lid could also make for a safe knife packing option.

Take pictures to remember where everything was hanging in your previous home. Credit: Emily Norris

9. Take Photos of Your Vignettes

If you have taken a lot of time to set up a gallery wall or vignette in your current home, make sure to take pictures before you leave. This way, you can look back to your photos as references and copy exactly how you set it up in your hold house. Of course, some people want to take the opportunity to decorate their homes in a new way. It’s completely up to you. But either way, photos can help capture some good memories of your old home.

Labeling boxes by number of priority can help with the unpacking process. Credit: LydiOutLoud

8. Number Your Boxes in Order of Priority

This next tip comes from a blog called LydiOutLoud. When you’re labeling your boxes, write down the number of priority that they need to be opened. For example, if you have three kitchen boxes, the most important box will be the one with your bowls and plates. So you’ll want to label this as box number one. Objects like your muffin tins are likely to be less important, and they can be packed away in box 3 or 4.

Newspaper on the bottom of your furniture legs helps prevent them from scratching the floor. Credit: Emily Norris

7. Put Newspaper on the Bottom of Furniture Legs

Nothing comes in handy around the house quite like spare newspapers. Many advertisers will even stuff your mailbox with local papers with deals that often go to waste. But when you’re moving, suddenly, you can’t get enough of the stuff! Wrap the legs of your large pieces of furniture with newspaper, and this will help to prevent them from scratching your new floors when you arrive in your new home. You can also do this on the legs of chairs and stools.

A photo will help you remember where all of your TV cords go. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Take a Picture of Your Wires

If you’re not a very tech-savvy person, you may want to take a picture of the wires on the back of your TV. This way, you know where everything goes once it’s time to move to your new place and put all of the wires back in place again. Same goes for gaming systems, computers, and more. Also consider labeling your wires so that you know where everything belongs. (via Chessa Kali)

Let everyone know your new address before you move into the new place. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Change Your Address Two Weeks Before Moving

Remember to change your address on all of your bills before you move to your new house or apartment. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself two weeks beforehand. This gives the companies enough time to transition. Meanwhile, you’ll still be at your old address receiving mail that was sent before the address change. Just make sure you know where the mail is going at the new address. If it’s an apartment, make sure that you’ll be able to access the mail if it arrives early. To change your address, click here.

Frozen meals will make your life easier the first week in your new home. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Buy Frozen Food

If you’re buying groceries for the new house, be sure to stock up on frozen meals. These are easy to pop in the microwave or oven and call it a night. When you first move somewhere, you may spend the entire week getting settled. So it’s okay to go easy on yourself when it comes to cooking. No one expects you to cook gourmet meals in your new kitchen right away.

Keep your spices inside of a pot to make them easy to carry. Credit: Pinterest

3. Pack Your Spices Inside of a Pot

When you’re moving pots and pans, there is a lot of space inside of there that can be used to carry something. So why not put your spice collection inside of a pot? In the image above, you can see that someone put their spices into the crock pot. These normally come with a lid, and can even be wrapped up for extra safety as you move.

Paper and plastic products can help make your life easier when you first move. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Buy Paper Plates and Plastic Cutlery

Similar to buying frozen food, no one wants to be doing a ton of dishes after they have been unpacking boxes all day. Go to your local dollar store and buy a pack of paper plates and plastic cutlery. This way, everything can be thrown away at the end of the meal, and cleanup is easy.

Grocery delivery will make your life easier the first week you move to a new place. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Get Grocery Delivery

If you’re not already used to ordering groceries during the pandemic, it’s time to start. When you move to a new town, you may not even know where the grocery store is! Give yourself a break by ordering grocery delivery so it’s one less thing to worry about while you get settled into your new home.