Moving is on just about every list of life’s biggest stressors. It’s all smiles and cheers once you have found a new home, but then the reality of everything you need to do sinks in – packing and unpacking – and you start to think, “Where do I even begin?” Well, this list is a good place to start. You’ll find 25 packing and moving tips that should make getting out of your old home and into your new one a lot less stressful.


  1. Pack a few essentials in an overnight bag. After a move, no one has the energy to unpack right away!     Make it easier on yourself by packing a bag of essentials such as toiletries and a change of clothes – especially if you have to work the next day. This way you won’t be digging through boxes when it’s time to brush your teeth.
  2. The items you’ll need FIRST should be packed in a clear plastic bin. Set aside a clear plastic bin or bins to pack those key items that you will need to begin to set up house and make it livable while you unpack the big stuff. For example: paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc. By storing these items in a clear bin, you can see what’s inside; also, it will be much easier to spot and find among the cardboard boxes.
  3. Wrap breakables like dishes and glasses in clothing. Not only does this let you save on bubble wrap, but you’re also packing clothes and kitchenware at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone! Also, following the same principle, you can pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks for additional padding.
  4. Label what’s in your boxes and the room they’ll go in. This enables you to unpack by room, which simplifies the unpacking process. Important: Label the sides of boxes, not tops, so you can identify them if they’re stacked.
  5. Color-coding your boxes can help, too. Assign each room a color and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Put a color marker on each room’s door so that movers know where to place the boxes.
  6. Before the move, pre-clean the bathroom and kitchen. If you are able, get a jump on moving in by cleaning the bathroom and kitchen ahead of time. Hang up a new shower curtain liner, bring in fresh bath towels, and load the toilet paper dispenser. After a stressful and busy day of moving, you’ll appreciate being able to shower off the day.
  7. To keep your powder cosmetics from breaking, place an extra cotton pad or ball inside the case. In addition to being a good moving tip, this is a good practice for traveling in general.
  8. Use plastic wrap to cover the openings of your toiletries, and then put the lids back on. This is a simple but effective way to keep your toiletries from breaking and leaking all over during the move.
  9. Wrap plates in newspaper and pack them vertically. Place them in boxes pretty much the way you’d load them in a dishwasher. They’ll be less likely to break.
  10. Cover dresser drawers with Press ‘n Seal. This way their content stays organized and doesn’t spill during the move, which saves you from having to unpack and refold the items in the drawers.
  11. Purchase a couple rolls of stretch wrap. This great stuff works like Press ’n Seal but is tougher and good for more large-scale wraps. Try group-wrapping items together and wrapping your furniture to protect it from scuffs and scratches.
  12. Keep sandwich bags handy. These are ideal for holding small things like screws or any small parts of things you have to take apart. To save you time having to search for the bags later, tape them to the back of the item they go with. NOTE: You can use this method to pack cords for your electronics.
  13. Pack your books in beer boxes. They usually have handles on the sides, which makes carrying heavy book loads easier. Ask your local liquor store for empty cases.
  14. Take a photo of the wires/cords connecting your electronics. Red cord goes here, yellow goes … where?  This will help you remember how and where all the wires go.
  15. Pack stuff in laundry baskets, hampers, and suitcases. This reduces the number of boxes you need. So that they’re easier to move, use the wheeled suitcases for heavy things like books.
  16. Vacuum seal out-of-season clothing. Not only will they take up less space and be a easier to pack, but they can also go directly into storage at the new place.
  17. Give your moving friends dibs. Since you’re not paying your friends to help, reward them with food and drinks, and let them have first pick of anything you originally planned to sell or donate.
  18. Finish packing BEFORE your friends arrive to help. Also, if you have enough friends, consider splitting them into shifts — one to help you load up in the morning, and one to help you unload at the new place.
  19. Number your boxes. Then create an itemized list, by number, of what’s in each box. This way, you can make sure you’re not forgetting any boxes, or that none have been stolen.
  20. Hire movers as opposed to using friends if you have a lot of fragile valuables. The majority of movers have insurance so you are compensated if something breaks. Also remember to book them weeks in advance — you’re not the only person trying to get out of your space on the last day of the month.
  21. Read the fine print of your mover’s policy. Some have odd rules such as they will only move items in boxes vs. say garbage bags. This means, you’d have to pay them for unnecessary boxes at a marked-up price no less,  and wait around while the garbage bag contents are repacked in boxes.
  22. Consider shipping via Greyhound for cross-country moves. If you have the luxury of time and don’t need your belongings right away, you might find it is less expensive to ship larger items via Greyhound. A word of advice, though: Make sure you items are really securely packed as they will get roughed up a little going this route.
  23. At least two weeks prior to moving, change your address on all key accounts. Things like utilities and cable are the easiest to remember, but don’t forget your Amazon and PayPal accounts, credit cards, your bank account, magazine subscriptions, and your mailing address.
  24. Use eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist to lighten your load. You’ll probably have items that you want to get rid of but don’t want to just give away. Try selling those items on eBay, Etsy, or Craigslist at least six weeks before moving. These transactions can take awhile to execute, so allow yourself plenty of time.
  25. Donate items you don’t want to a charity organization. In most cases they will pick up the items and you won’t have to take them there yourself. Just be sure you contact them at least a week or two before the move.


We wish you the best of luck with your new home sweet home. Hopefully these tips will help take some of the headache out of moving. If we can be of any assistance with regard to other aspect of new home ownership such as mortgage loans or home insurance, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest Day Air Credit Union Representative.