Moving 101: Easy Ways to Make the Most of Any Move

Dreading the big move? Here are ten tips to help you pack smarter, load better, and get your stuff from where you are to where you want to be—without the stress.

Managing the move

Moving Boxes

If you haven't moved in several years, the prospect of sorting through, packing up, and picking up roots may seem a bit overwhelming. You probably know some basics (like not sealing cardboard boxes with duct tape), but there is so much more you can do to make the move more manageable. Here are ten tips to get you moving!

Keep a notebook


At least two weeks before moving day, write out the contact information of utilities companies, subscriptions, and memberships that will need to be turned off, cancelled, or transferred to your new home. If you're renting, make a list of any repairs you need to make before handing back the keys (this is especially important if you have a deposit on the line). Take inventory of "essential" items to keep close on moving day.

Stay Organized

Organizing Bills

When scheduling to turn off utilities (gas and electric, water, phone, cable, internet), consider extending those services for a few days extra if you plan to clean and make repairs after you've moved out of your old space. And by all means, don't forget to schedule utilities at your new house!

Toss what you can

Donation Box

Before you even start packing, evaluate your furniture, clothes, kitchen supplies, and sports equipment. Weed out unwanted items and sort them into "sell," "donate" and "toss" piles. Clean the items you will be packing, so you don't bring dust and grime into your new digs.

Pack smarter

Dish Towels

Instead of packing bath and beach towels, use them as padding for other objects. Saved plastic grocery bags make excellent box filler too. Plain old crumpled newspaper is an old standby; just beware that the ink can rub off and stain items.

Watch the weight

Packing Books

Pack heavy items in small boxes to minimize weight or rolling suitcases so you never have to lift a finger. When possible, save your back by packing boxes on a table or counter. Don't forget to pack by room, and label your boxes on top and all sides.

Use drawers

Packing Dresser Drawers

Contrary to what some may say, you can pack some clothing and other light unbreakable items into furniture drawers and seal the drawers with masking tape—just be mindful of the added weight.

Get a lift

Moving Safety

Improperly lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of back injuries. U-haul sells various moving supplies—such as hand trucks, furniture dollies, forearm forklift moving straps (for heavy appliances) and furniture slides, to lessen the physical strain. If you’re truly set on moving-it-yourself, invest in these supplies to ease your mind—and back.

Hire a babysitter

Moving With Children

If you have pets and/or children, arrange for them to be taken care on moving day. If your children are anxious about the move, consider hiring a babysitter to keep them entertained and fed (and out from underfoot), while still keeping them somewhat involved in the process.

Load smart

Loading the Truck

While this should be common sense, it still bears repeating: when packing up the truck, stack lighter boxes on top of heavier boxes. Load boxes of "essentials" (toiletries, medicine, pet food, diapers, electronics) last, so you can remove them first upon arrival.

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