The Bullet List {Moving Tips}

by Destri on July 29, 2010


I am still in the thick of moving and I thought I would share a few of my tips with you, and then have you all share some with me, since I still have one move ahead of me.

I have moved to 6 different states in the last 10 years, and numerous times within states.  This frequent house hopping by no means makes me an expert – to be honest this latest move has been the hardest – but I have gained a few tried and true tips that have helped me along the way.

With some of my moves I have had the benefit of a moving company, but sometimes not, so these tips will include a little advice for both.

  • If using a moving company take all of the items you don’t want them packing (undies, financial stuff), box yourself and set aside.  If you have things you are taking with you have them set in an area they won’t get in the way.
  • Take the loose items in all of your drawers and put them in a zip lock to bag.  This works especially well for junk drawers.  Then label the bag and put it back in the drawer if you have a moving company.
  • Pack heavy items like books in small boxes, and lighter items like blankets and pillows in larger boxes.  While your packing keep in mind that your going to have to lift that box.
  • If you are looking for smaller boxes, the produce section of your grocery store usually has banana boxes which work great.
  • Pack clothes in suitcases, they are easier to lug around!
  • If you have the room and you move a lot, try keeping the boxes and the foam to your nicer items for moving.  They have all the necessary packaging to ensure nothing gets broken.
  • Keep a moving journal with all of the phone numbers you may need.  This includes all of the phone numbers to people you may need to contact for change of address, and moving company phone numbers.
  • In that journal keep a list of all your credit card companies, utilities, and bank accounts.  Have the phone number and account number with them for ease of switching everything.
  • When moving a long distance it may be tempting to throw out all of your condiments from the fridge, but let me tell ya, they are expensive to replace.  We always put ours in a cooler and replenished the ice daily on the drive.  Not once have we regretted it, but we have when we didn’t!
  • Label your boxes well if packing yourself.  List the main items in the box and the room they go in.

Okay, now what advice do you have for me?  I have been a little spoiled with moving companies and this move has just about done me in!

Any tips on moving with kids and helping them with the transition?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda July 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

Oh man, I feel like our recent move was killer too. I can’t believe you’ve moved so much! Now my biggest problem is deciding whether or not we should unpack all of the boxes if we think we may be moving in another year! My favorite thing to do when we move is to keep all of our clothes on the hangers and wrap them up in a big bed sheet like a tootsie roll. So much easier than folding everything.


Destri July 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Awesome idea, I like to keep my hangers on too, just eliminates a step.

How is Idaho? missing Denver?


Miranda July 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I do miss Denver, especially our friends. But we are loving it here in Idaho!


Tiffany July 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

ok destri. obviously we haven’t talked in a long time b/c i didn’t even know you are moving! where are you moving to this time? hopefully closer to me so we can craft together!


Destri July 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Arkansas, so not super close but closer!


Jileen July 30, 2010 at 10:04 am

Are you moving back this way? Will we be graced with the pleasure of having you nearer? Hope the move goes well!


Tina July 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

Oh honey…I feel your pain. We have not moved in many years. You sound like a pro. My best advice for helping kiddos transition is LOTS of preparation talk and stories. Books are a great way to help kids wrap their brain around concepts through the safety of the experience of the character. Have you tried getting a little story about moving? If I can, I will try to look through my library for my clients and see if I have something.
You can also ask little ones to draw a picture about their biggest worry about moving and what they are most excited about. Sometimes it’s hard to see it through THEIR eyes.
I’ve been thinking of you and hoping it’s been smooth…


Destri July 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I took him to the pool yesterday for a break and then we had to go to our old house again, at dinner I asked him his favorite part of the day….”going to our old house” , not even swimming poor guy.
Thanks so much Tina I will have to go and get a book because this move is still within the state, the next one across the country, then he’ll say his old state!


Vanessa July 29, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I am in the middle of a move right now too. Te things that help me are…
Wrapping dishes in plastic grocery bags and coffee filters instead of newspaper. (That way they don’t get stained by the newsprint, and they may not even need to be re-washed.)
Cary tape and a marker around in an apron while packing boxes, or put the marker on a lanyard to wear around your neck, so you don’t misplace it as often.
heavy duty trash bags work great for clothes (still on the hanger if possible), linens and towels, They are easy to carry if you get the ones with the handles, just make sure they’re labeled well.
And finally, pack bags for a few extra days in the new house so that you feel less pressure to get everything out of boxes and can instead rest from your trip if you
removing far and you can focus on unpacking everything into it’s proper new place.


Destri July 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

I wished I had thought of the coffee filter idea! And lanyard with a marker, great tips. Good luck with your move!


Cindy July 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm

An old friend of mine with toddlers put her kids in a big box all day while they were moving/packing with a bunch of toys and they loved it. I’m sure she occasionally had to take a break to give ‘em a piece of bread, but overall they were happy to roll with it.


Destri August 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I love it!


Amy August 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

how cute! My son is the same way. Give kids a box to play with and they will play for hours! :)


Barb April 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

we call that a redneck playpen here in south FL – he he.


Amy August 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm

This might sound silly (as my husband called it, but later appreciated it).
The last time we moved I kept a journal. I Wrote on each box what was inside, and what room, and I numbered the boxes in that room. In my journal I wrote everything that was in the box, the room, the box number. When I needed something I knew what box to look for. This made things so much easier for me. It is a bit of work, and time consuming but I regretted not doing it before. Even though I had labeled my boxes very well, I always seemed to be digging. This prevented that all together, and made things much more pleasant. And even my husband who gave me a hard time about it, came to me later and thanked me, telling me that it was so much easier for him too. :)


Ben August 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

When you’re making the decision about whether or not to hire movers, make sure you keep things in context. Think about the time and effort it will take to pack, load, drive, and unload every item, but also think about the potential cost of damaged goods that may occur. By hiring professionals you will save all that time, exhaustion, and stress and only have to worry about getting yourself to your new home.


Ellen August 6, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’m moving [just] my room to go to college this year! I’ll be a freshman. I’m way way into all things crafty, so my room is a clutter pad! Wow, as i’ve gotten into my last week living at home, i’ve really realized how much STUFF I have in this room…amazing. Any tips for moving to college (where the place I move won’t have much space either, actually smaller).


Ellen August 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm

PS-love your blog!! :)


Kimberley August 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

Great blog! I have a couple things that I found helpful this month when we moved:
- Starting a month or so before hand, STOP replenishing household cleaners and more obscure condiments. This means you have less to pack when you leave and aren’t taking up larger amounts of space with only part-bottles of cleaners or condiments.
- If you have a credit card w/points (for groceries), and know way ahead of time that you will be moving, make sure you don’t spend your points! Use them for your first grocery trip after moving, in order to replenish and buy odds & ends needed in a new space.
- Start cleaning in advance. With your weekly chores, start adding some of the odds & ends jobs each week, like washing the very top of your kitchen cabinets.

Hope this helps, and thanks for this great resource!


Kimberley August 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

I forgot one thing! Our post office mail redirection is very expensive where I live, and not very reliable. As soon as I found out we were moving for sure, I started saving every piece of mail in a folder. I made sure to call each company and update my address, in order to avoid this cost!


Destri August 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Oh Kimberly, this tip is golden! I have moved three times this year, and our mail is such a mess. Love love this tip, thank you so much for sharing!


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