15 Prepping and Packing Tips for a Less Stressful Move (PHOTOS)

If moving day is right around the corner, you're probably feeling overwhelmed. Oh, that's an understatement? Sure, you've got a lot to do, but we've got you covered with tips for making the big move a whole lot easier. 

These hacks and tricks will help save you time and sanity as you and your family head to -- and settle into -- your new home. You're almost there!


What are your favorite moving tips?

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hacks to make packing and moving easier

  • Read the Fine Print


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    If you're working with a moving company, make sure you carefully read the contract before signing, and read their "bill of landing" before they start loading the truck. This bill details what they're shipping for you. Check for the correct address and any details you didn't agree to previously. Sometimes there are unexpected charges or mistakes, and those are harder to question after you've signed on the papers.

  • Clean Before You Move In


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    If you get the keys early, head over to the new place and clean the kitchen and bathrooms before you move all your stuff in in. You'll likely use those rooms on moving day, and it's a whole lot less of a headache if they're already clean.

  • Pack Anything You'll Want to Use First in a Clear Bin


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    Put anything you'll want to use the first day or two in clear storage bins so you can see (and find!) them easily. This might include things like a shower curtain, soap, towels, paper plates, cups, napkins, cleaning supplies, and any urgent medications. Make them the first things you open in the new place. Then you'll feel like you can take your time with everything else.

  • Pack Overnight Bags for Everyone


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    Likewise, pack overnight bags with essentials for you and each person in your family. You don't want to be feverishly searching through a bunch of boxes to find kids' favorite loveys, pajamas, toothbrushes, or blankets at 10 o'clock at night.

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  • Label Boxes on the Sides


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    Each box should be labeled on the sides (so you can see where it goes when stacked) with your family name, its contents, and the room it goes to. Even better, color code by room with tape.

  • Wrap Kitchen Breakables in Towels


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    No need to buy a ton of bubble wrap. Use your kitchen linens to wrap your glasses and other kitchen breakables.

  • Pack Plates Vertically Like Vinyl Records


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    Pack your plates vertically like you would with record albums. This reduces pressure on what's usually the thinnest part of a plate -- the center -- and helps prevent breaking and chipping. You can also place Styrofoam plates between each plate for padding. That's so much easier than wrapping them up individually.

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  • Pack Liquids Separately


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    Always pack bottled liquids (cleaners, shampoo, etc.) separately from everything else in case of leaks. And to prevent those leaks, try unscrewing the lid, placing cling wrap over the opening, and putting the lid back on as tightly as possible.

  • Pack Makeup With Cotton


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    Fill your cosmetic compacts with cotton balls or pads so the powders and pigments don't break in transit.

  • Pack Jewelry in Egg Cartons


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    Pack your jewelry in empty egg cartons, so they stay divided up and less likely to get tangled. (Make sure the cartons are completely clean, first!) Cover the pieces in each cup with cotton or other padding so they don't move around. Tape the carton shut, or better yet, wrap the entire thing shut with a few layers of cling wrap. Put the carton in a safe place if the jewels are valuable.

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  • Pack Screws & Bolts in Plastic Bags


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    Put little things you'll need again, like screws, bolts, and knobs for dismantled furniture, in labeled plastic bags. If possible, tape those little bags to the furniture or equipment they go with. You don't want to risk these essentials getting lost or mixed up.

  • Keep Your Clothes on Hangers & Bag Them


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    To pack the clothes hanging in your closet, skip a step, and just keep everything on their hangers. Slip a large garbage bag over batches of clothes, securing the bag shut and the hangers together with a twist tie. See how it's done on the blog The Wicker House

  • Move Clothes Inside the Dresser


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    No need to empty your dresser drawers. Leave your clothes inside and wrap the whole dresser in stretch wrap made for moving.

  • Use Magazines to Slide Furniture


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    To slide furniture across the floor without scratching it, slip magazines or newspapers underneath the legs. Easy!


  • Photograph Your Electronics Wiring


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    Photograph the backs of your electronics so you can remember what to plug in where. It can be confusing!

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