Inspired by our recent move, here are my moving tips.
1. Don't pay for boxes. Call stores to set aside boxes for you. Not all stores will do so, you might have to call around, but it will be well worth it. Boxes are expensive. You can also try internet sites such as Craigslist - just use common sense when collecting them. If you do need to buy boxes, get them from U-Haul. In addition to U-Haul buying back any boxes you don't need, their boxes are also extra sturdy. Their dish boxes and dish-packing kits are excellent.
2. Use linens to pack fragile things. Not only will you have fewer boxes to move, but you will also help reduce the amount of paper and bubble wrap that you have to buy. Used newspaper is also a great (and free!) wrapping source. Keep older blankets out of boxes to use to cushion furniture during the move.
3. CLEARLY LABEL boxes. Just writing "kitchen" isn't a good label. A box labeled "kitchen - cookie cutters, rolling pin" is much clearer. And while we're on the subject:
4. Color-code your boxes. Assign each room in the new house a color, and place that color on your box. U-Haul sells color-coded moving tape, but I just buy a multi-pack of plastic tape. As an added help, put the corresponding color in the room of the new house. For example, I assigned BB's things blue. The boxes for his room had blue on them. If I had actually remembered the day of the move, I would have placed a sheet of blue construction paper on the door to his room. As it was, I found my construction paper with my packing tape after the movers left. And speaking of movers:
5. Ask friends and family to help you move (when possible). Don't forget to reward them for their trouble. Throw in a few pizzas, sodas and such to keep your movers going. It might also be a good idea to ask your moving team to bring bungee cords, rope, tarp, old blankets and hand trucks. Better to have too many than not enough!
6. Triage your boxes before you move. Once the moving team has left, it can be hard to know just where to begin. Even if the boxes are sorted by room. My best tip for avoiding a mental meltdown is to label the boxes of necessities "OPEN FIRST." In these boxes, have 1 set of bedding for each bed, mandatory toiletries, TOILET PAPER, and anything else that you might need soon. A good way to find your necessities is to look at what you left out to pack up the last minute. Don't forget to label these boxes on more than just one side!
These moving tips worked for me, and I hope they will for you too. Don't forget to check out We Are THAT Family each Wednesday for a variety of helpful tips!