Everyone dreads moving – it’s a chaotic, exhausting event. The list of things you need to accomplish in just one day is, frankly, intimidating, so here are some cool tricks that will give you a head start.

1. Hire a Sitter for Your Children and/or Your Pets

Keeping track of kids and pets is the last thing you want to do when moving. Doors will be opened a lot, people will come in and out, and you’ll be in over your head. It’s the perfect scenario for disaster: dog escapes and gets lost, or kids go through the boxes you just packed, making a mess. Save yourself from all that trouble by hiring sitters. If you can enlist the help of friends/family for the job, even better – it will save you some money. Anyway, make sure you have childcare and pet care lined up for moving day.

2. Measure Everything at Least Twice

Don’t rely on your eyes and your talent for approximation when it comes to moving furniture from one house to another. It might look like it’s going to fit properly in the new space, but you can only know for sure once you measure everything.

Use masking tape to draw on the floor of the new house the exact shape and size of the furniture you intend to bring in – it will give you a sense of how much space each piece of furniture will take up and whether it fits or not.

Don’t forget to measure door frames: your antique wardrobe will probably look great in the bedroom, but are you sure it fits through the door? It’s essential to measure door frames if you have massive furniture that can’t be taken apart.

Avoid cluttering too much of your old furniture into the new space. You don’t want to feel all cramped up – pick only the pieces that you love and are truly useful and put the rest in a storage unit until you decide what to do with them.

3. Stretch Wrap Is King

Buy a large roll of good-quality stretch wrap. Not the kind they sell in supermarkets, for food, but the one you find in hardware stores. It will be your new best friend during the move. You can wrap anything in it, and it will stay put. Get some wrap over your nightstand drawers and you can move them with all their contents. You can do the same with any drawers that are not too heavy to be moved with stuff still inside.

Stretch wrap is also perfect for pairing together irregular shaped items into easy-to-move blobs. If you’re using a dolly, the wrap will hold several boxes together, helping you move more things at once.

Family with dog moving in

4. Be on a Roll!

Suitcases on wheels are priceless during a move. You can use them to safely and easily transport both heavy and fragile items. Imagine a box filled with books. Your back hurts even when you just think about lifting it! Now imagine the books inside a trolley suitcase – a lot easier to carry, isn’t it?

Rolling suitcases are also great for transporting fragile, breakable items, like dishes and glasses. There’s always a chance that someone drops a box full of china plates, or the bottom of the box breaks; with a suitcase, those risks disappear.

Make the most out of your rolling suitcases. You could even try to borrow a few extra ones from your family and friends – they’re extremely useful.

5. Work Smart, Not Hard!

Moving involves a lot of heavy lifting. You can avoid the back-breaking work by renting a dolly. If you don’t have access to renting one, or you simply don’t want to spend money on it, there are some creative, alternate solutions.

Use a skateboard or a wheeled plant stand in place of a dolly. Be careful, though: transport only heavy boxes, not furniture or appliances that might tip over, and secure the boxes to the skateboard or the plant stand – some stretch wrap will keep them in place!

Furniture sliders are a great accessory for moving appliances and furniture without scratching the floors. The sliders (or gliders) are small, slippery and durable disks that you place underneath the furniture’s legs or corners. Once you put the sliders on, you can move heavy items with just one push – they slide easily on smooth surfaces.

6. Keep Your Friends Close and Your Tools Closer

Your tools need to be the last items to go into the moving truck, and the first items to come out. Disassembling the furniture for transportation, reassembling it at your new home, taking things off the walls or, on the contrary, mounting things on other walls – all those activities require tools. Keep close to your toolbox, you’ll be needing it a lot throughout the day.

7. Make Your Bed and Sleep in It!

Quite literally – you’ll need a good night’s sleep after all that moving day hassle. Plan ahead to have your bed ready by nightfall. Prepare a box that contains pillows, bedsheets, blankets, pajamas, towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes for the entire family. Load it into the truck near your mattresses. When you unload, take the mattresses directly to the bedrooms and make the beds right away – you’ll be grateful for it at night, when you’ll be exhausted. Don’t worry if the bed frames are not installed yet, you can sleep for a couple of nights directly on the floor. It will be plenty of fun, for the kids, at least.

8. Bed & Breakfast

You got the beds covered, but what about the next morning’s breakfast? You’ll all be starving, that’s for sure! A quick meal in your new kitchen, before getting back to the unpacking and organizing, is more than welcome. You probably won’t be in the mood (or shape) for shopping, so buy some easy-to-grab breakfast foods like milk and cereal ahead of time.

And, perhaps most importantly, try to switch your perspective and to have some fun: appreciate the workout, have your favorite snacks at hand, put some music on and dance a little bit in your new home.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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