You found a great apartment or condo, the lease has been signed and in a few days, you’ll be moving into your new place. Moving to a new home is exciting, but packing is among the most dreaded tasks in the history of the world (there is no research to support this, but it’s probably true). Luckily, with a few handy moving hacks and the proper equipment, it’s possible to make it through moving day with all of your stuff and your sanity intact.
Use your clothes as packing materials
Bubble wrap and plain paper can be handy for wrapping up items like glass picture frames, coffee mugs and your dishes, but they can also be spendy. To keep your moving budget on the low side, consider using your clean laundry to wrap up your breakables. A BuzzFeed post full of moving tips points out that you’ll actually be multitasking with this approach: you’re packing your t-shirts and your cereal bowls at the same time. For glasses, clean socks are perfect padding (just stretch the sock and put the glass in it) and for larger items like mirrors, use sheets or a comforter.
Search for free boxes
Buying boxes can use up a major chunk of your moving budget, so with consideration to your wallet, Apartment Guide suggests asking local clothing or grocery stores if you can take extra boxes they may be preparing to recycle anyway. Also, if you notice a “sold” sign going up on a home in your neighborhood, you might also keep your eyes peeled for boxes being stacked up on the curb. Ring the bell, introduce yourself and ask if you can have the boxes—the new neighbors will probably be glad to see their boxes put to good use.
There’s equipment for that
One of the best and most useful pieces of equipment you should have on hand—no pun intended—for moving day is a hand truck (or “dolly”). Not only will it save your back, but it will also allow you to easily move more than one box at once, which cuts back on time. Other equipment you can rent for moving includes aluminum loading ramps and platform trucks, which are great for heavy furniture or appliances.
Tackle packing the kitchen first
Any moving hacks list will say the same thing: pack up the kitchen first. This room tends to take a lot more time and effort to pack up than most people realize, so doing it first when you are still wide awake and relatively enthusiastic is a great idea. Most kitchens have plenty of weird-shaped items like mixers and blenders and you’ll want to take extra time to carefully pack sharp things like paring and steak knives.
Pack your most-needed items in a clear plastic bin
Set aside a big clear plastic bin and put all of your essential items in it as you go. There is nothing worse than spending all day moving and then being unable to find your toothbrush or deodorant. Suggested items to include in the box: health and beauty items like shampoo, liquid hand soap, toothbrush and toothpaste; a clean change of clothes, sheets for the bed, and your laptop.