Water Cooler: Moving tips and hacks

Rachel Baker, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
·3 min read

Apr. 8—With winter behind us, peak moving season is just around the corner. If you're planning on moving this summer or in early fall, now is a great time to slowly prepare so your move is as smooth as possible. Here are some tips for getting ready for a move and some helpful hacks that can come in handy the day of.

Start planning for the number and types of boxes you will need. Depending on how large your current living space is and how many belongings you have, you will likely need about four to 10 boxes of various sizes per room. It's also helpful to have another five to 10 spare boxes just in case you run out or need to swap out sizes.

Planning early means you have time to collect free boxes. Contact friends, family and local businesses to see if they have spare boxes they'd give away. Check community listings such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or Nextdoor to see if anyone has listed boxes in the free section. You can also start accumulating packing material, either from online shopping orders, friends or your workplace. Acquiring good-quality boxes frees up your budget for purchasing a few specialty moving boxes, such as those made for televisions and large, framed art.

One of the main drawbacks of free boxes is the lack of carrying handles in the sides. Make your move a lot easier by carving handles into the boxes yourself. Use an box cutter or utility knife to make two slits at a 90-degree angle on the side of an empty box. Push the triangular flap in, and you have a sturdy and roomy hand grip.

Before packing, declutter as much as possible. Nothing is more frustrating during a move than hauling a bunch of stuff that you couldn't care less to keep. If you have a lot of large items to donate, check with local thrift stores and charities to see if you can schedule a free donation pickup.

Pack storage items, out-of-season clothing, décor and miscellaneous items like books and toys first. This allows you to get a large chunk of packing done long before the stressful few weeks before the move date.

Consider vacuum packing clothes and textiles. You can do this by purchasing vacuum packs, or you can even use a garbage bag by holding the open end tightly around your vacuum hose. This can save you a ton of space and makes large, fluffy items a lot easier to transport. You can leave your wardrobe items on hangers and wrap a plastic bag around them for protection. This allows you to throw your clothes right in the closet when you get to your new home.

Put unconventional items to use as packing material. Use leftover single-use plates to pack your dishes. If you have some extra towels and linens, you can use them to protect fragile items. Reusable grocery totes can be great for organizing odds and ends within boxes, or can be used to carry things for the move.

On the day of, pack a few essentials to be kept separate from your other belongings. Pack an overnight bag for each family member to ensure everyone has pajamas and clothes for the first few days of unpacking. Pack a box of essential toiletries such as toothbrushes, soaps, a few rolls of toilet paper, beauty products and first-aid supplies. Do the same for your essential kitchen supplies, such as a coffee maker or kettle, chargers, a few bowls, plates and utensils, and some cleaning supplies. This allows you to enjoy a few home comforts right away after an exhausting day of moving.