Moving - Best Suggestions for Easy Move Needed

Updated on March 05, 2012
P.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
12 answers

Hi Moms, we'll be moving locally within the DFW area within 4-6 months, depending on when the house gets sold. I need to prep to get it on the market - basically pack as much as possible so it can be staged. My husband is working out of town so won't be here for the prep work part. I have a 5 year old and a full time job, so it's nights and weekends.

Has anyone out there moved a bunch and have recommendations on the best way to do the packing up? I appreciate your help - websites, books, personal experience - all are appreciated.

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answers from Seattle on

Pack a suitcase for each of you. 2 for each kiddo (one with toys).

Then pack absolutely everything else.

For the kitchen... leave out 1 knife, 1 cuttingboard, 1 pot, 1 pan, broiler sheet, coffee maker/kettle. Everything else is extra, and needs to be packed (including dishes and silverware. Use and wash plastic).

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answers from Columbia on

I've moved more times than I care to count.

Buy your boxes online. There are great sites out there which sell packages with tape, markers, packing paper, etc. Uhaul is a complete rip off...their boxes are SOOOOO overpriced.

Start researching moving trucks. Call around and compare prices. Reserve WAY in advance. You'll want lots of time to pack your truck. I hired a moving company to come out and pack my truck for longer haul moves, since I wanted it packed nice and tight so things wouldn't shift. Totally worth the money and time saved.

I usually go through each room and put everything I use often in a specific place in the room. Then I pack up everything else. Break down beds and cribs. Kids can sleep on mattresses on the floor or in a Pack and Play. If you can live without it or make do with a travel-friendly version...take it apart and have it move-ready.

Pack up the rooms you use the least first. Label by room on the top and one side. Label fragile items with a star. Put all your boxes into the garage (easier to pack the truck from there) or the most accessable room.

Buy yourself a dolly (hand-truck) from Lowe's or Home Depot. Mine was $40 and I use it ALL the time even between moves. Much eaiser on your back than hauling boxes from room to room.

Make and post a timeline of events and a list. You're going to need to know when to change utilities over and start new ones. Some companies might require that you pay to get out of a contract. Some might need a week or more more in advance to get a technician out to shut it off or turn it on (gas, cable, water).

Best of luck!

ETA: I almost forgot...put furniture parts (screws, washers, nuts, bolts) in a ziplock bag and tape that ziplock securely to the underside of the table or another unfinished place. Makes it a LOT easier to find.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Not sure if this is to simplistic but pack per room first with all the things you are not needing. Label boxes by room and an idea what's inside.

I always do my kitchen first as there are a lot of bowls and stuff I don't use everyday. I buy my boxes from Uhaul. Have a couple of the tape rollers and some big Sharpies. Roll breakables in newspaper.

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answers from Chicago on

Number your boxes
3 - things that can go into storage, things you can live with out for a while
2 - things that can go into storage but want/need with in a month or two
1 - the last things you pack and the first things you unpack

So what you pack up NOW while you are prepping the house to go on the market are "3"
What you pack up in the month leading up to would typically be "2" and what you pack up the week you move would be "1"

You unpack 1, 2, 3 easy!

In addition at Uhaul stores they have packing tape that is color coded and labeled by room - makes things VERY easy for you and if you have movers to get things into the right place the first time.

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answers from Lakeland on

I would go through each room and pack things you want to keep and donate the thing you don't want. When I started packing to move here to FL there was so much stuff that my hubby and I had never touched in years, we got rid of things that sat around collecting dust. I would leave certain items (that are not personal) for staging, like wall art, room decor, etc. Pack up anything that you are not using regularly now, it will make it that much easier when you do move. Label the boxes just in case you need to pull something out, if the label is on the outside of the box you can find something quickly.

As for staging, a fresh coat of paint and a good house cleaning goes a long way. You do not want specific tastes to stand out in your home so that almost anyone could see themselves living there. Trust me people will look everywhere in your home and you want it to be as clean and clutter free as possible. The housing market has changed so much that you need it to stand out as much as possible.

U-haul sells boxes, but Home Depot and/or Lowes are much cheaper. They also carry packing tape, bubble wrap and everything you need.

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answers from Chicago on

go to the closest u haul store they have these kits you can buy which has rolls of tape in different colors that says things like kitchen, living room, dining room bedroom #1, bedroom #2 etc.... this made our move a lot easier. when your packing the kids rooms you use the same color packing tape on all of their boxes. same color on living room etc. that way when your unpacking at the other end its easier for the movers to know which room to put which boxes in. pack everything that is out of season first. you can get it out of the way. get a storage locker and start packing and moving stuff into it. when you do the big move the movers can stop and gather that up on the way. (if you ahve a basement or shed you can use you don't need to pay for storage but we didn't have that option)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Our packing method works really well if you like to be uber get a note pad and you write everything down!

K-1 (on box)
K-1 (on paper)
Pots & pans
cutting boards
L-1 (living room)

Write everything down on the note pad and you will have the easiest un-packing EVER!

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answers from Kansas City on

i know it sounds daunting but since you have so much time you'll be okay- just do NOT procrastinate. i also have a small child and work, so we did a lot of nights and weekends. we've done it three times in the last 5's intimidating but not impossible. your 5 year old can help you a lot at this point. good luck!

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answers from Austin on

Good suggestions, also consider hiring someone to come over and help you pack..even if it is a high schooler or collage student. You can mark shelves with notes that say "pack and a description of what you want the box labeled". Especially stuff in cabinets, closets, etc. Dressers.

Heck I have been hired to pack up rooms for clients, while they were on vacation. They came back to a totally, packed up house. All they had to do was pack up their few clothes and some basics, to move into their new home. I charged. $15. Per hour, but am also really fast,

Also a good time to donate stuff you really do not need. Place this stuff in specially marked boxes.

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answers from San Francisco on

I start by packing the knick-knacks from each room in their own box and then label the box. The labeling is really the key. If all boxes are labeled, the move-in and unpacking go so much faster.

If you're staging, you'll want most of the knick-knacks gone anyway. As they show on HGTV, declutter, declutter, declutter!

Once all the knick-knacks are packed, then I go to the linen closets and start packing them. I would pack all but the towels. You can simply wash and put sheets right back on the bed.

After that, bedroom closets. AFter bedroom closets, then I go to the kitchen and start packing away pots, pans, accessories that you don't use on a regular basis.

Just go room by room and pack up what you won't need and then go back and do it again. You'll be surprised how much gets packed after 2 trips through each room!

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answers from Appleton on

I never buy boxes I just get them from stores. Label everything--if you lable the boxes 'bathroom'- 'kitchen' ect you will run around looking for the toilet paper as you child is holding themselves doing the potty dance. Make sure you lable important things clearly. Bathroom: towels, washclothes, toilet paper, cleaning supplies. Kitchen: dishes (FRAGILE) Bedrooms can be packed simply take the drawers out the the dresser and take dresser out and put in truck--put drawers back in. If you have room in the drawers add in stuff from the closet. This way when you get to the new house you will know where the pjs and undies are and won't have to dig. If you can pack your car with boxes from the kitchen and bathroom and garage and move that stuff in the days before the big move. If you can clean and set up the kitchen and bathroom before the big move it will be a lot less stressful.

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answers from Washington DC on

To put the home on the market?

The first thing I would do is have a home inspection done. This way you KNOW what deficiencies your home has and can fix it. then get an appraisal - so that you know what your home is worth - comparables, etc.

If you have carpets - get them cleaned or replace it.
Hire someone to come in and paint if you need painting done.
Hire a cleaning company to come in and clean weekly - this will take the stress off of you - get the stove cleaned as well - as people WILL look inside it.

When you put your home on the market - keep the toys picked up. People seem to NEED to have the rooms shown to them - so if you say you have 4 bedrooms - show them 4 bedrooms. Google a home stager in your area - you might get more than you expect - if the home shows right and is priced right - it will sell fast. We have had homes - even in this economy that were staged right and priced right and sold within 48 hours of listing.

keep your kitchen counters clutter free. You want the space to appear as big as possible.

I would have a garage sale and get rid of anything and everything you haven't touched in the last 6 months. People will be opening your closets, linens, etc. make sure they are neat and organized. If you have prescribed medications - put them in a toiletry bag and take them with you when your house is being shown.

people say to take the personal pictures down - if you are selling - this isn't your home anymore. You are basically just occupying it! :) I know - but really it does help if you disconnect emotionally from your home. You don't need to go buy new artwork - there are things you can do to create artwork in the frames you already have....wrapping paper, material, there are many things that can be used to create art.

As to moving? The military brat in me was never allowed to keep much sentimental stuff. Now? After being in one place for 16 years - i'm kinda scared to move!!!

* You can buy boxes from UHAUL or get them from Michael's for free.
* Have a journal or Ipad that has word so you can document things.
* sharpie pens - LOTS of them - like a dozen!! You'd be surprised at how much you write!!!
* tape. I buy mine at Office Depot for my ebay supplies.
* Don't forget an envelope for all of your moving expenses so you can write it off on your taxes next year!! :)
* bubble wrap
* packing blankets (for mirrors, artwork, etc.)

In this day and age of thieves - mark your boxes with numbers - and have a main inventory list that you has the box numbers and what is it. When I was younger - we didn't have to worry about this. Put really - people will see "stereo equipment" and pick up the boxes when no one is looking!! :(

Pack up all the stuff you are taking with you that you don't need on a daily basis - like winter coats, Halloween, Christmas items - put them in the attic or rent a storage unit.

I saved the kitchen for last - bowls, plates, pots and pans...things that I used on a daily basis...the things I typically don't use every day - chafing dishes, crock pot - would get wrapped up and boxed.

Pictures, etc.? taken down, cleaned and bubble wrapped.

hope this helps and hasn't overwhelmed you.

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