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Here2_4's avatar

All the best moving tips right here?

Asked by Here2_4 (7152points) October 21st, 2014

Some members say they have moved recently. Some members say they will be moving soon. Some members say they move frequently.
Could the movers (and shakers) please share all their best moving tips?
Big deal, or little footnote, please advise us all what you have learned with past moving experience(s).

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21 Answers

janbb's avatar

Label boxes with what type of things are in them and where in the new house they should go.

Here2_4's avatar

I learned that one, finally! It isn’t enough just to label what the box contains. If you hire movers, or have friends help, it is great to have labels like, “Dining room, under bay window.”

Buttonstc's avatar

If you need to save on the expense of buying moving boxes, there are plenty of really strong boxes available at liquor stores.

If they can hold a dozen or more full glass bottles them they’re strong enough to handle most of your stuff, even books.

Only one little downside is that they’re kind of smaller than typical moving boxes. But for heavy things that’s really an advantage.

And if you need larger boxes (such as for pillows, quilts etc.) then you can always buy a few of those since you’ve saved on the majority

Coloma's avatar

Pack a lot of your dishes and breakables in containers with your linens and towels. Works great and no excess paper and bubble wrap all over the place.

CWOTUS's avatar

Work for a company that pays for the move.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t try and empty all your boxes (at the new place) in a hurry. Do it methodically and slowly or you will end up moving things multiple times.

johnpowell's avatar

Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of the crap you never use. Don’t pack it, put it on the curb.

snowberry's avatar

Lots of movers won’t gas up until after they’ve been to your house. They’ll fill their truck with your stuff, and then gas up afterward. Then they’ll head to the warehouse to weigh their truck. You’ll be paying for your move by the pound, and this means extra cost to you.

Tell the movers they must weigh their truck after they’ve gassed up, and that you’ll be checking times on their receipts, so they’d better be right.

ibstubro's avatar

If you can drive a van, hire one as cheaply as you can.
Use newspaper and overpack.

snowberry's avatar

Make liberal use of the egg-crate separators that come with apples from the grocery. These separators are the absolute best when it come to packing and separating fragile stuff from your other things. Use tissue paper, then newsprint, (or towels), then the egg-crate.

For really delicate but small things, you can place them in a container on a bed of rice or something similar in size, then pour more rice or around the item. Fill it full, and then put on a tight fitting lid. It will travel well, even through the mail, as long as the rice is firmly packed with little room to shift. Don’t press too hard though, or you’ll crush it.

snowberry's avatar

If you buy replacement insurance, you’d better take dated photos of every single thing they’re going to move, just before the movers come. Take them from every side, top, bottom and all sides. Photograph every scratch too, because they’ll make a note of the damages too, but if they put a new ding in your coffee table, you can still make them fix it.

It’s very risky to pay your mover to store your stuff. That’s when things disappear, get broken, etc. Bekins told me they were going to pack my items specially at the warehouse before they stored it, then moved it to our new home. They made it sound really nice.

Then they packed my 200 year old wing back loveseat so it rode on its side all the way from Utah to Indiana. Then they told me it was broken when they picked it up. The story gets worse from here. Never trust a mover. Ever. Make them earn your trust.

Here2_4's avatar

A box of books is way too heavy to deal with. I prefer to mix them in with something else. I stand the books around the sides so they can add support there. I then fill in the center area with something which is not so heavy, but won’t be crushed by the books if one should topple.

Buttonstc's avatar

If you want to save a ton of money as well as having almost complete control of your stuff, use a company called U Pack.

Anywhere up to 3 days ahead of time, they will deliver a full size trailer to your location.

You can then either pack it yourself, with friends or hire a couple of college kids or all purpose handyman types from Craigslist.

You then load all your stuff in starting at the back. Then put in the large plywood divider and secure it in place.

They will be charging you by the foot for only the amount of space your stuff takes up.

You call them to come pick up the trailer which they then take to their nearest terminal to the place you are moving.

Once you arrive at your new home, give them a call and they will again bring it right to your exact address.

Unpack, call them and they’ll pick up their trailer again. And that’s it.

This is sort of like the POD system but much cheaper. The pods only come in a few sizes and you get charged for all of the space regardless of how much of it you use. Thus, it’s pretty expensive. Plus, I think it’s hard to estimate accurately how much space is needed and people tend to go for too large rather than too small.

With U Pack you’re only charged for the amount of space you’ve actually used. It is significantly cheaper. No gas charges or extras added on.

I used them when I moved from Pa. to Michigan after comparing costs for each method (Moving Co., UHaul, or POD system) U Pack was the cheapest, easiest method allowing me the most control.

I hired a couple of college guys from Craigslist to unpack for an extra $200.00 and that was it.

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Coloma's avatar

Oh, and if you need to move geese to a new home put them in wardrobe boxes and bungie them to the inside of the moving van. l Yep, I did this once and the driver had to call his mom on his cell phone so she could meet us and see my geese in their warbdrobe boxes. lol

ibstubro's avatar


The ultimate moving tip!

Buttonstc's avatar


Geese in wardrobe boxes, huh?

That is without a doubt the most unique moving tip I’ve ever seen in my life :)

If anyone ever asks me how to move geese I’ll definitely mention it.

One quick Q tho. Aren’t those boxes made from cardboard and wouldn’t they try to peck their way out ?

Coloma's avatar

@Buttonstc Nah…they don’t have the beak power to peck through cardboard, at least not in an hour or so. Since they are so tall when they stretch up their necks it was a perfect solution. haha

jca's avatar

Have a box with scissors, tape, string, magic marker, and things you need to live for a few days – toothbrush, toothpaste, other hygiene items like soap, and a pot or pan. If worse comes to worse, you have what you need to get by for a few days in your new place.

Also, when you label boxes, label all sides, since when the boxes are stacked up, you may not be able to see most of the sides.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t recall if anyone mentioned making a checklist, but that’s been a lifesaver on many of my moves. (I’ve moved coast-to-coast six times in my career, with several smaller moves in between.)

Make a list of all of the things that you need to do, including stopping and starting service accounts at both addresses, mail forwarding, school registrations, etc. All of the things that have to be done between, “Honey, I got the job and I need to start in [whatever time period].” to “This place feels just like home to me now.” Include dates with all of those things: when they need to be done, and when they absolutely must be completed.

Don’t forget to list “houseplants” and their needs as well as pets in your planning and checklists. In all of those moves we never lost a houseplant or a pet. (Or a child, in case anyone was wondering.)

Buttonstc's avatar

”...or a child…”

Cute :)

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