We just moved from central PA to our new home in the Greenville area of South Carolina and it was hard! Having survived the move (just barely), I thought I’d share my favorite moving hack tips with you on how best to pack your things for the move. This post contains affiliate links to a few products I recommend that will make packing easier and ensure your items arrive to your new home in great shape!
Moving Hack #1: Obtain free moving boxes!
Moving is expensive. Whether you are moving yourself or going with a company, the price of moving adds up. You can ask for your moving quote without boxes to see if it’s worth scavenging for your own. The only boxes I purchased for our move were wardrobe boxes (which I highly recommend). The rest we were able to obtain for free from the following stores:
- Pier 1
- Barnes & Noble
- Vitamin Shoppe
- Liquor stores
The key to obtaining free boxes from stores is to call at a non-busy time BEFORE arriving at the store. Be nice and agreeable on the phone and ask to speak to a manager. We found that our success in obtaining boxes was entirely based on the manager’s mood at the time we called and their willingness to give us boxes varied from store to store. They are doing you a favor by saving boxes from the compactor and bailer. It’s much easier for them to not deal with the public’s demands for their boxes, so don’t be surprised or upset if you receive a no from some stores. If you persevere in your calls, you will receive plenty of yes’s! The Pier 1 stores in our area were hands down the most agreeable! Their boxes were amazingly sturdy for my obscene amount of home decor and the managers were all willing to help me out. HomeGoods was also great! Stores that said no from the get-go and that they “don’t offer boxes to the public” were Walmart and Target. Try asking at the smaller niche store chains for best success.
Moving Hack #2: Use liquor boxes and vitamin boxes to pack stemware and glasses.
Many free liquor boxes and vitamin boxes have sturdy bottle inserts inside that are perfect for your glassware, barware, stemware, and vases. These boxes kept all of my stemware intact and made packing them up a breeze!
Moving Hack #3: Use Smart Storage Labels.
A company sent these Quick Peek smart labels to me before our move and they were so helpful–especially for boxes of items that had random contents. The labels work with a free downloadable app called Quick Peek and you simply place the label on the box, scan the label in the app, and take a picture of the contents. You can scan your box label once you move to bring up the contents picture. Watch the 30 second video below to see how they work. So cool! You can purchase the Quick Peek labels on Amazon.
Moving Hack #4: Utilize room label stickers for easy box labeling.
It’s imperative to label where each box should go in your new home. Save yourself some time (and some sharpie markers) by buying room labels. Just use a label on each box to instantly designate which room your items should be delivered to. You can buy them here.
Moving Hack #5: Use what you already have on hand to cushion boxes.
I felt like we were spending a small fortune on packing paper and bubble wrap, but I also know we saved a ton of money by utilizing towels, toss pillows, blankets, and sheets when packing breakables. You can also pack items within storage baskets to consolidate items and add protection to breakable items.
Moving Hack #6: Wrap organizing trays in plastic wrap.
You’ve already done the hard work of organizing your utensils, junk drawers, and jewelry items so don’t undo all of that hard work! Wrap your organizing trays in plastic wrap and pack them in a box for easy unloading.
Moving Hack #7: Wrap drawers and chairs in plastic wrap.
One packing item that I highly recommend you splurge on is the Mini Stretch Wrap Film with Handle! This stuff can be found cheaply online at Amazon and at most big box stores in the moving supply section.
Use it to keep drawers on furniture secure, protect upholstered chairs, secure small items and hardware, and tightly pack bubble-wrapped plates. You will find many creative uses for this! Moving wrap film comes in a large size as well, but I prefer the smaller size as it is easier to manage.
Moving Hack #8: Use inexpensive foam plates between your dinner and salad plates.
Buy a large pack of foam plates for under $10 to place between all of your dinnerware. Wrap stacks of plates in bubble wrap and place vertically instead of horizontally in a box to keep them from breaking. This worked brilliantly for all of my dishes and I did not have one dish casualty!
Moving Hack #9: Use pipe insulation and pool noodles to protect the perimeter of mirrors and large frames.
I own approximately 197 large mirrors and picture frames. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. However, I didn’t realize how many large pieces of *breakable* wall decor I own until we began packing. Foam corners are sold for $10 for four corners which was just insanity. I wasn’t willing to spend that much per mirror/frame so began strolling the aisles of Lowe’s and Home Depot to figure out what might work instead. You can purchase six feet of 1″ pipe insulation for just a few dollars!
Cover your mirror/frame in packing paper and then use the adhesive on the pipe insulation to secure it to the corners of the frame. Note: If you secure the adhesive directly to the frame it may remove the finish. Learn from my mistakes. For larger frames, cut pool noodles to size and use them to protect the corners.
Moving Hack #10: Purchase furniture sliders to move heavy items with ease.
Investing in a pack of reusable furniture sliders has enabled me to rearrange my living room and dining room by myself–which has definitely paid for itself in the place of marital therapy. 😉 Furniture sliders will protect your floors and enable you to move heavy furniture and mirrors easily.
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