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Just 15 Really Smart Things To Do The Next Time You Move

Small tips that will make your transition from old home to new home as stress-free as possible.

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1. Before you start packing up your entire life, fill an overnight bag as if you were going away for a weekend.

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Think toothbrush, pajamas, a change of clothes, and anything else you might need in the next 24 hours. When it comes to moving, things rarely go according to plan, but by doing this you can guarantee you'll be able to get yourself ready for bed — and day two of moving — without needing to pull any boxes open.

2. Next, pack an "open first" box to, you guessed it, open as soon as you arrive in your new place.

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Inside this box goes everything you will need while you move. A roll or two of toilet paper, soap, a towel, and enough drinking glasses to meet the thirst needs of everyone helping out on the day are all necessary for this box. Add in your phone charger and you'll make the first couple of hours in your new home much less stressful.

3. And keep your cleaning products in a box or bag that's easy to access.

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The only thing that's worse than moving into a house or apartment that's still covered in the previous tenants' filth is having to rip open five different boxes to deal with the mess. Even if the last inhabitants were good people and cleaned properly, empty houses can get gritty over time, so there's a good chance your kitchen and bathroom will need a once-over when you arrive.

4. Color coordinate your boxes, according to the room their contents belong in.

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This can easily done with colored packing tape or by taping sticky colored notes to the box, and will make unpacking a lot faster. In addition to a color-coding system, it's also extremely worth it to get specific when labeling boxes. Rather than a simple descriptor like "kitchen," go into specifics — e.g. "plates, napkins, cutting board." Opening more than one box at a time is the least practical way to unpack, and this process really helps avoid that.


5. Take the frames down from your walls at least a week before moving day to allow plenty of time for any repairs that need to be made.

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I don't care what those damn sticky hooks say — they are NOT always renter-friendly. While there are, of course, instances where the universe is kind and your hooks will slide free without any damage to the wall, there are also plenty of times when the opposite is likely to happen. When you have ample time to visit a hardware store and put your DIY skills to the test, this is no major problem. However, if you leave this task to the day of your move and then the paint chips, you're facing a panicked few hours or a chunk out of your security deposit.

6. Take photos of the back of your TV and internet router before you unplug everything, so you know how to put it back together.

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This task will literally take you five seconds and could potentially save you hours, especially if you're running an intricate entertainment system.

7. Pack your heaviest items, like books or canned food, into suitcases.

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I've made the mistake of packing books into boxes before and let me tell you right now, it was a total disaster. Beyond being too heavy to lift, the box itself just wasn't strong enough. Utilize those suitcase wheels and just trust me on this one, okay?

8. Transport your hanging clothes inside garbage bags.

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This has to be the easiest of all moving hacks. Leave your clothes hanging and divide them into groups of five to 10, depending on the thickness of your hangers, then cover with a garbage bag, securing the top with a rubber band. These makeshift garment bags will protect your clothes during the move and arrive in your new place ready-to-hang.


9. Consider the size of your new place in comparison to your current one.

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Even if your new place is bigger overall, a decrease in one room probably means a decrease in the stuff which belongs in that room. For example, if you're going to be working with less kitchen space then you're used to, allocate more time to purging your dinnerware and cookware before you start packing. The same goes for storage space — if your soon-to-be home has less wardrobes than your current spot, consider culling spare bedding, extra towels, and rarely-used luggage, as these items can take up a hell of a lot of space.

10. In the month leading up to your move, start sorting through your stuff.

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Combining purging and packing may seem like the logical thing to do, but in reality, all it's going to do is draw out your packing time. While sorting through your belongings, pay extra attention to the things you haven't touched since the last time you moved. We all have that box of cords, old magazines, or craft supplies that we swore we needed in our lives but haven't touched since we taped closed the top the last time we moved. Now is the time to find it a home that isn't yours.

11. Write a moving checklist, as well as a game plan for the big day.

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Putting things on paper makes them way harder to forget, especially when said paper is stuck to your fridge or bedroom door. Include everything you need to get done before the move on your checklist from changing your address, to donation bin drop-offs, to end-of-lease cleaning. For your moving day agenda, divide the day into blocks of time, noting the super important things like arrival of movers or deadline for dropping your keys off, and working everything else around those.

12. Delegate tasks to the people you're moving with.


As anyone who's ever relocated with their family, friend, or partner will agree, moving can result in serious stress, which can then lead to serious tension. One easy way to avoid a fight breaking out on the big day is to share the load of stressful pre-moving tasks. Doing this prevents anyone being able to say anything along the lines of "I've done everything for this move on my goddamn own," and saves a lot of time that would have been wasted on side-eyes and slammed doors.


13. Buy more packing equipment than you think you'll ever need.

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There aren't many things worse than getting to your last couple of boxes and realizing you've run out of tape, so buy up. Even if you don't use it all during this move, packing tape always comes in handy. If you really want to make your life easier, consider buying a tape dispenser to work even faster.

14. Keep some empty Ziploc bags on hand.

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You may not think you'll need Ziploc bags (or that you currently have enough), but I assure you that you will (and that you do not). These are great for keeping hold of small thing you absolutely cannot lose, like the screws to your bed.

15. As soon as you arrive in your new place, take photos.

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Now this tip may not help you this moving day, but it will certainly help you on your next one. Add timestamps to your photos and record any damage, marks, or stains you come across. These will come seriously in handy if your new landlord starts asking questions when you move out.