Moving Tips
Read about packing and moving tips to help you prepare for every detail of your move.

Tips for Packing and Moving (2024 Guide)

Even if you’re excited about where you’re going, moving is never fun. But if you follow these tips, you’ll find moving easier the next time you and your family have to pick up and go.

Read on for tips on how to plan and pack for your move.

Planning for Your Move

The decision to purchase a home is often considered a life-changing moment. But it’s never as simple as deciding that you’re ready to go, choosing the perfect house, and moving your belongings from one place to the next.

Deciding to move can be quite a process, and dozens of factors affect how things play out along the way.

Fortunately, there are ways to make any move easier. We’ve compiled a guide to help you get started on the right foot.

However urgent your desire to claim your dream home as your own, take time to examine your goals and motives before you hit the real estate market.

Keep reading for our tips for in-depth move planning, or watch this video to learn about stress-free moving tips:

1. What are your long-term goals?

Do you plan to have kids? Would you prefer to own a host of pets? Thinking of investing in a home with plenty of property? Ponder the goals you’d most like to achieve in the long run, and consider how a move could put you in a better position to make them happen.

2. What will you need from your new home?

Dig deeper into how a new home will complement your life. Growing families may benefit from a larger home thanks to perks like increased privacy, more play space, and shorter bathroom wait times. You may prefer a property with a garage that can accommodate your household’s vehicles and provide a convenient project space.

Specific factors to consider on this front may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, interior square footage, the state and layout of the property’s lawn, parking and energy-efficiency measures.

3. What kind of community do you seek?

Your new home itself is only a portion of what that home actually has to offer. You'll be the neighbor to a surrounding community, which has to be taken into consideration. Parents will likely prefer a home within a reputable school district, and active homeowners may lean toward a quiet neighborhood that’s easy to explore on foot or via bicycle. Explore not only the immediate neighborhood, but also the home’s proximity to stores and other points of interest you may find necessary.

4. What’s your job situation?

Oftentimes, a great community will go hand in hand with a wealth of career options. Select a home and move to an area with plenty of job opportunities that you won’t have to worry about a shortage. Job availability will change with the times, but don’t launch into a sale unless you’re certain you can find an area with high demand for your skill sets.

5. How’s your credit?

Mortgages are a common type of installment loan. Like most other types of loans, your credit scores play a major role in the interest rates you end up paying throughout the span of your mortgage. Choosing to buy a home before improving your credit scores may not be the right move if you’d prefer to minimize the price you’re paying for the home over time.

6. Are you ready for a down payment?

You’re almost certainly going to have (or want) to pay a several-thousand-dollar down payment for your home.

It’s seldom simple to save this much money. That’s not to say there aren’t ways to minimize what you’ll pay up front, but you should be ready and willing to shell out a down payment if you think it’s a good time to move. Voluntarily paying a larger down payment can be beneficial in the long run, as it can help reduce your monthly payments.

Not sure where to begin? Several savings options give high returns without requiring a huge initial deposit. Certain online-only savings accounts, for example, offer accessible savings accounts with interest rates that are far higher than those available through brick-and-mortar institutions.

7. Have you considered additional expenses?

A home’s face value can seem sky-high as it is, and it’s not the only thing you’ll be paying for as a new homeowner. The home-buying process tends to involve numerous fees and expenses worth looking into before you make any concrete decisions.

Plus, once you’ve bought the home, you’ll have to deal with a host of expenses that you may not have come across in previous living situations. These can span from roof repairs to lawn maintenance and beyond.


Moving Tips for Unique Moves


Packing for Your Move

Packing can be a stressful part of your move prep-work, but here's a list of helpful things to remember as you get started:

  • Pack Rarely Used Items First: If you pack off-season and rarely used items first, you can start packing earlier, and get the hardest part (like the attic and garage) over while you still have energy.
  • Pack Like Items Together: Line up boxes like a filing system; and put items in their respective category. This strategy helps make sense of random items that collect in drawers and on closet shelves. And grouping things together allows you to answer questions like, “Do I really need this much Tupperware?”
  • Limit Miscellaneous Boxes: No matter how carefully you organize your packing, there will always be that inevitable last box containing a collection of assorted items. While it’s OK to have one or two at the very end, avoid labeling anything as “miscellaneous.”
  • Don’t Trust Your Memory: If your electronics setup is as complicated as the space shuttle, be sure to snap a photo or make a quick wiring diagram before unplugging everything.
  • Treat Hardware Like Gold: When you dismantle entertainment systems or furniture, take extra care that the hardware, cables, and remotes don’t get lost. Place accompanying items for each one in a labeled, sealed plastic bag. Then tape the bag to the item, or put all the bags together in one packing box. Securely wrap and tape dangling power cords.
  • Pack Safely: When planning how to pack up your kitchen, remember to use plenty of packing material to keep things from shifting and breaking. Bubble wrap and newspaper are great, and you can also make use of extra towels, pillows, and bedding. Be sure to leave out a stack of towels and blankets to pad furniture in the moving truck, or rent plenty of furniture pads. Always be sure to use the best packing materials available because knowing that your belongings are well-protected by quality packing materials can significantly reduce your stress and anxiety during the moving process
  • Label Everything: Each box should be clearly labeled with its destination room and basic contents. You may want to color code each room or floor. It also doesn’t hurt to number each box, so you can be sure everything arrived.
  • Immediate Needs: As moving day approaches, think about what your family will need in the first few days in the new home. Pack a small suitcase for each person, as well as a priority box for each room. In particular, you’ll appreciate having a kitchen box with first meal essentials, a box with clean sheets and towels for each bed and bath, and a logistics kit with important paperwork, phone numbers, reservations, cell phone chargers, and checkbooks. Label these boxes carefully and keep them where they can be easily accessed.

Other Packing Guides


Moving Day Tips

Now that you've planned and packed for your big day, here are some things to remember on moving day:

  • Move During the Week: If possible, plan your move for a weekday during business hours, so you can easily deal with utility problems or car trouble.
  • Plan Vehicles: If you’re taking multiple vehicles, designate at least one of them for “valuables” (ideally the one with the smoothest suspension!) This is the vehicle that will carry grandma’s china, Mom’s orchids, Dad’s flat-screen TV, everyone’s suitcases, your logistics kit, and anything else that simply can’t get broken or lost. If you're using a trailer, make sure you plan the right vehicle to hitch up to the trailer.
  • Load Heavy Items Near Front: Trucks and trailers will fishtail dangerously if the weight isn’t distributed properly. Start by loading heavy boxes near the front of the truck, followed by furniture. Put mattresses in last, so you can unload and set the beds up first when you arrive.
  • Think Tetris: Packing and moving is a lot like the video game Tetris – you’re trying to fit everything together so the maximum amount fits in the smallest space, utilizing every cubbyhole and corner. It’s a fun challenge, but don’t overdo it, so everything doesn’t topple over the first time you hit the brakes!
  • Pad and Secure: Use padding to keep furniture from getting scratched, and ropes or straps to secure each layer of boxes or load of furniture. That way, if one item shifts, there won’t be a domino effect.
  • Walkie-Talkies: If you’re traveling in a caravan, an inexpensive set of handheld radios is a lifesaver! Radios enable you to help navigate busy interstate traffic and check in frequently without having to call and answer cell phones.
  • Changing Your Address: You'll need to get in touch with USPS to change your address pretty soon after you move to make sure you get your mail.

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