I moved last week. It was bittersweet. I loved my house, my neighborhood, my friends. It’s where I pictured raising my kids with my ex-husband. But, sometimes dreams change and life moves on. I’m excited for the future with my fiancé, Matt, and our family that we are creating together. I’ve gotten some questions about my process for moving a larger family, so I’m sharing my moving tips to make your life easier.
Before you start pulling pictures off the walls, and taking apart your beds, you need a plan. What supplies do you need? What will you pack your stuff in? Who and what will move your furniture and belongings to your new home? I’m going to share each step of my process with you.
First, what supplies do you need for packing and moving? I’ll be honest with you. Moving is expensive. Even though I had a lot of help from family and friends, I still spent money on supplies and other things. In fact I think I spent about $600 at Home Depot on supplies alone.
Moving Supplies I Purchased:
This is the majority of what I got at Home Depot. I highly recommend the mattress covers and couch covers. If you have nice couches you want to keep clean, the couch covers are a necessity!
Don’t forget moving blankets! I have a ton of these left over from other moves I’ve done in the past, so I didn’t need to rent or buy any this time. But, if you don’t have any moving blankets, you’ll want to look into renting or buying some to protect your furniture. You can also use towels and smaller blankets in place of moving blankets, if needed. I always pack these last so I have them available to use as padding.
Moving Tips to Make Your Life Easier: What will you pack your stuff in?
Are you going to use boxes, totes, bags? For me, I used a combination of a few things. Here’s what I used for this move.
I was obsessed with these reusable totes that you can rent. I’d never used them before, but I loved them. The pros of using King Totes is that all of them are the same size, they are super sturdy and easy to carry/lift. They are also easily stackable and you don’t have to worry about them breaking because of the weight of being stacked. Cons would have to be the cost. They are pricey. But, if your budget allows for it, these are an amazing option! I’d recommend doing some Googling to see if this is an option where you live, if you are interested in this for your next move.
I didn’t get enough totes for all of my stuff (I have 4 kids and a large house), so I ended up buying some boxes at U-haul.
3- Original boxes
I saved my TV and computer boxes from when i purchased them, so I was able to easily put my tv’s in a safe place when I took them down off the walls. This made packing them so much easier.
4- Large Rolls of Plastic Wrap
If you haven’t moved a lot, you might not understand how amazing plastic wrap is when you’re dealing with lots of furniture. Trust me on this, you will not regret getting some plastic wrap. I know it’s not the most environmentally friendly mode of packing, but it will save your furniture in the moving truck and when you are loading/unloading as well.
What I used the plastic wrap on- Dressers, chairs, nightstands, etc.
Here’s how I did it. First, you want to empty the drawers. Then, I took a moving blanket or towel and laid it across the top and down the sides of the furniture. Finally, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap. This keeps the drawers in place and stops knicks and scratches that can happen from other furniture bumping up against them in the truck.
*Note- This is a 2 person job. Because Matt wasn’t able to help me pack everything in my house, I hired a babysitter to come over for a few days to help me plastic wrap furniture and pack my house.
Moving Tips to Make Your Life Easier: My Packing Timeline
1 week before moving:
I started with breaking down all of the beds and big furniture in the house. I asked some friends and family to come over to help with this because I needed more adults to manage the big pieces of furniture. This is definitely when it started to feel real. Not seeing the beds put together is a big reality check that you are moving. I’m so glad I got this step done first. My biggest tip for taking furniture apart– put all the hardware in a ziploc bag and tape it to the frame or somewhere on the furniture. Otherwise, you WILL lose it. You might think you won’t, but you will.
Taking care of the walls
After taking all of the furniture apart, it was time to remove the pictures from the walls and pack them. When it comes to paintings, canvases, and family pictures I always wrap them in a blanket or towel before wrapping them in plastic wrap or bubble wrap. This helps to fight any condensation that may happen due to weather conditions.
With the pictures down, it’s time to start spackling and filling all the holes left by the pictures. Then, I touched up the paint. My mom came to help with this and it was amazing to have her help.
When the pictures and furniture were taken care of, we went room by room and started filling boxes and emptying the rooms. This way it was a little more organized and I knew I wasn’t forgetting anything. I wish I had had the time to purge and organize more before packing, but I didn’t.
How I pack breakables:
For most breakables, I wrapped them in extra clothing and packed them in clothing bins. This will help to protect them from breaking in transit. Crossing my fingers everything makes it through the move in one piece!
My tip for packing nail polish and other small bottles- use Press’n’Seal Wrap! As you can see in the picture above, I left all of my nail polishes and small liquids in the organizers I used in my bathroom. Then, I put Press’n’Seal Wrap across the whole organizer, over all of the bottles. This will help them to not fall over, get broken, or leak. Finally, I placed them in a tote so they wouldn’t get crushed.
Because we weren’t going directly from one house to another, I packed all my vitamins, liquids, hair products, etc. separately. Anything that I was afraid would get damaged by heat or cold, I took to my parent’s house.
Loading Up & Moving Out-
When it came to figuring out what company to use to transport my belongings, I had a few different options I looked into. I knew I needed something that would allow me to pack the trailer and leave it packed for a few weeks while I sort out where I’m landing. Matt and I are trying to buy a home together, but with Covid happening, things are crazy and it’s been tricky. So, in the meantime my belongings needed to stay packed. I looked into renting a Pod, but they were really expensive. I ended up finding a local trucking company that worked really well for me.
How To Self-Move & Store Your Belongings:
-I ordered a 53ft. trailer from a local trucking company. (Everyone thought it was way too big when it was dropped off, but we filled it completely! Never underestimate how much stuff you have and what size truck you will need.)
-The trucking company charged $60 to drop the trailer off at my house. I had it for several days while we packed and loaded it. Then, they charged me $60 to pick it up and drive it to their storage yard. They back it up against several other full trailers for precautions and safety, along with locking it. I am paying a few hundred dollars a month to essentially store all of my belongings in the trailer while we find a place to live.
-When we are ready, it will be about the same cost for them to bring the trailer to our new home and drop it off. We will empty it, and they will pick it up. I don’t know if this is available in all areas. Again, Google will be your friend with this. I’d for sure check to see if something like this is available where you live!
Moving Tips to Make Your Life Easier: The schedule for our weekend move-out
The night before we moved, we had a last night movie night with all of the kids. We put a couple of mattresses on the floor and everyone slept in the same room. It was really fun for the whole family.
The next morning, we started bright and early packing the trailer. We were lucky to have lots of friends and family come to help load the truck. Around 8am the first round of help showed up and we were done with the house by noon. We had to play Tetris with some things to get everything to fit in the truck, but we got it all in there and were done by early afternoon. Don’t be too proud to ask for help when moving! You will need all the help you can get, believe me.
I’m so glad it’s done!
Now it’s just a waiting game to see how long our stuff has to stay in storage in the moving trailer! We are hopeful that we will have a home to call ours soon, but in the meantime, i’m glad my stuff is safe. I’m very much looking forward to my wedding next weekend. I can’t wait to start a new life with Matt by my side. I hope you’ve loved my moving tips to make your life easier!