Stress-Free Moving Tips

posted by Andrea | 12/20/2010

We’re moving…TODAY!!!

And since I’ll be just a little busy, I have an amazing guest post from Leslie over at One Day Before Yesterday. Leslie is sharing her advice for stress-free, clutter-free, organized moving — how perfect!!

She actually sent me this post a couple of weeks ago so I had a chance to look over her list before I started packing, which was very helpful. So far, I’ve taken all of her advice — and I DO feel like thinks are as organized as they can be for moving the week of Christmas!

My husband and I have moved twice in our 20 some years of life and have been involved in more than our fair share of moves for friends and family. Not all of the moves have been very far- some were just a few miles away. However, whether you are moving across the street or across state lines, moving can be very stressful.

However, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, even the longest moves can be easy, stress free, and fun!

Here’s how…

1. Collect boxes and moving materials from work if possible.

When working in a corporate environment, chances are you have unlimited access to used moving materials. If your employer allows it, nab what boxes and packing materials you can. The expense of moving materials can add up quickly so it can help you save some dough.

And even if you don’t work in a corporate environment, try putting a “wanted ad” on Craigslist. You might be surprised who has extra boxes lying around.

2. Start packing things you won’t be using right away.

Pack up clothes, bake ware, tools, and other miscellaneous items you won’t need right away. Be sure to label the rooms/places they belong and what is in them on the box. Doing so will prevent you from opening boxes you aren’t prepared to put away later on.

3. Be sure to transfer utility accounts, change your address, and update your insurance.

When the purchase of your home is completed, you can change and update utilities, address, and insurance policies. Although you may change your address at the post office, be sure to change it with your employer’s human resources department. Documents pertaining to your health insurance, 401(k) and employee relations may not be updated immediately and you may miss out on important information- including your paycheck.

4. Pack last minute items as you would for a vacation.

Fill your suitcases as you would for a vacation. Keeping a few sets of clothing, pajamas and tooth brush readily available can help with the stress of a move. Be sure to pack the suit cases in an easy to access spot. Once you arrive at your new home, if you don’t get the washer and dryer hooked up right away or you can’t find the iron for your dress pants, you have a few days before you have to worry about clothes.

5. Have these 4 items readily available.

Toilet paper, coffee/coffee pot, pillows/bedding/towels, and first aid materials.

When my brother in law moved from New Jersey to Michigan, I brought toilet paper and coffee. He was relieved because he couldn’t remember where he packed up the toilet paper and arrived so late at night that the unpacking wouldn’t begin until the next day. Essentials people, essentials.

6. Be sure to have your keys in hand.

Make prior arrangements to ensure you have the keys to your new house in hand before you move, especially when moving across state lines. This may seem like common sense to most people but many times realtors forget to hand over keys or the new keys get packed away during the move. Be sure they are in your possession on moving day!

7. When you arrive at your new home, try to only live in rooms when needed.

Chances are there are some changes you want to make to your house when you move in, like paint color, pictures, cleaning, etc. When my husband and I moved into our current home, we lived in the spare bedrooms until we finished painting both the master bedroom and bathroom. This way we eliminated the need to move furniture twice.

8. Unpack what is needed first –everything else can probably wait.

Although it isn’t as environmentally friendly, if you can eat from paper plates for a few days until you can wipe down all of the kitchen cabinets, do so. Take the time to map out your kitchen, closets, etc. Although it may sound fun to move your belongings several times and reorganize, taking the time to do it right the first time will eliminate the stress later when you are settled in your home

9. Say yes to help!

If you aren’t too far from family and friends, say yes to help! Although we like to think we can do it all ourselves, taking on the help of someone else can be a relief in the moving process. Be sure to delegate. Your helpers can’t read your mind so set clear directions if you want something done a certain way.

10. Relax- the boxes will eventually get unpacked.

Because you itemized your boxes and you know what is in them, just remember your boxes will some day be unpacked. If it takes you until next summer to unpack all things summer related, that is alright! At least you know where it is! Enjoy your new house! It’s yours!

Leslie, is the writer behind the blog One Day Before Yesterday. She enjoys cooking and baking for her husband and family. Currently residing in Port Huron, Michigan, Leslie writes about her food adventures, recipes, and tips around the kitchen. You can follow her on facebook and at her blog.

Filed under: HomeMisc.

Leave a comment


  1. Jenna Hunter


    I like what you said about packing things that you won’t be using very often first like clothes and tools. My sister is planning on moving closer to her workplace next week. It would be really helpful for her to have a professional help her move.


  2. Hugh Tharp


    thanks so much for these tips! 6 is VERY helpful!


  3. LisaHu


    When we moved (across town in a big city) we had to put just about everything in storage and live in temporary housing for about 6 weeks. I didn’t want the contents of our boxes to be visable, even though the moving company was really reputable, so I marked the boxes with codes (really simple ones, k-1, k-2 for kitchen) and made a list of what was in each box for my own reference. It was good because when the boxes were moved in to the house I could say “All the K-boxes in the kitchen” but no one but me knew which box had the really expensive espresso maker in it.


    Andrea Reply:

    Wow…that’s such an AWESOME tip!! Sounds like you are super organized and on-top of things 🙂

    I’m hoping we don’t move again for a really long time, but if/when do, I will definitely implement your tips.



  4. moving help


    To make the move as stress free as possible, be prepared before the packers arrive. Make sure you have everything you need to use for the next few days separated so they won’t get packed. Nothing makes the packing day go worse than if the customer isn’t ready. It takes much longer than it should, and adds stress to everyone’s day.


  5. ohamanda


    Great tips! Happy move- can’t wait to hear all about it.


  6. Betsy (Eco-novice)


    Great list! #2 is great advice all the time. Since we’ve moved so often, I NEVER open a box that doesn’t need to be opened. That way it’s all ready for the next move when it comes.


  7. Tweets that mention Stress-Free Moving Tips « Simple Organized Living --


    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by gail simmons and Andrea Dekker. Andrea Dekker said: New Post: Stress-Free Moving Tips […]