If you’re looking for ways to make your upcoming move as easy as possible, you can find a near-endless list of moving hacks online. And although there’s no shortage of recommendations for simplifying your move, not all of the hacks you’ll read about are worth implementing.

At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we’ve been helping Twin Cities residents with all of their moving needs for over 60 years. Since we’ve had decades to figure out what actually works, we thought we’d share a few of the most helpful tips and tricks we’ve learned.

Use the following moving hacks as you prepare for your upcoming relocation, and you might be surprised at just how much easier the process ends up being.

1. Schedule Free Donation Pick-Ups

Are you getting rid of stuff before you move? Save yourself some time and a trip to your local charity by scheduling donation pick-ups for free. Many charities, including the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity, can come to your home and haul away anything you need to donate. This service is especially useful for heavy, bulky items like furniture, appliances, and sporting goods.

2. Pack an Essentials Bag or an “Open-First” Box

You’re bound to be exhausted on your first night in your new home. After a full day of traveling, unpacking, and doing everything else that goes into a move, the last thing you need is to not have something you need on hand. Packing an essentials bag solves this issue entirely.

Your essentials bag should contain everything you’d normally take on a brief vacation. A few things you’ll want to stuff in there include:

  • Sheet set and blanket for your first sleep in your new house
  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shower curtain
  • Towels
  • Extra chargers
  • Pajamas and a change of daytime clothes
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Paper supplies, aka toilet paper and paper towels
  • Medications

Think about all the things you’d normally use in the course of the evening and in the course of your usual morning routine. Whatever you can think of, pack it. Otherwise, you’ll end up digging forever and making a huge mess just to find that one thing at the bottom of the 14th box you open up. 

3. Use the Trash-Bag-and-Hanger Trick

Want to keep your clothes clean during your move? Use this trick. It keeps your clothing organized in small bundles and prevents you from having to remove it from the hangers before transport. Here’s what you need to do:

  • While your clothes are still in the closet (before you pack), use a rubber band to secure about 15 hangers together.
  • Grab a trash bag and cut a smallish hole in the bottom.
  • Stick your hand through the hole and grab the hanger hooks you just banded together.
  • Flip the trash bag over top of all of the clothes, making sure the hanger hooks stick up through the hole.
  • Tie the bag at the opening, making sure all of the clothes are tucked inside.

Packing and transporting your clothes like this is an excellent way to keep them clean and organized. Of course, if you're hiring professional movers and packers, you won’t need to worry about packing your own clothes, but this hack is great for packing for vacations too!

4. Use Linens to Protect Breakable Items

If you’re hiring professional movers and packers, don’t worry about this one. But if you’re conducting a DIY move, this is for you. To save a little on your moving expenses, use the soft linens you have around the house to wrap your breakables and provide cushioning inside your moving boxes.

You can use towels, sweaters, blankets, and whatever else you have lying around. You’ll be packing your fragile items and linens at the same time, which will cut down on the number of boxes and protective packing materials you’ll need to purchase.

5. Label the Sides, Not the Tops, of Your Moving Boxes

If your first instinct is to write “kitchen” or “bathroom” on the top of your moving boxes, stop yourself before you do it. Instead, write your labels on the sides of your boxes so that when you stack multiple boxes on top of one another, you can still see what they contain.

If you’re opting for full packing services, your movers and packers will take care of this for you. It’s a great tip to keep in mind, though, in case you ever do your own packing in the future. 

6. Don’t Empty Your Dresser Drawers

If you have dresser drawers full of clothes, don’t make a bunch of unnecessary, extra work for yourself while you pack. Leave the clothing in the dresser drawers just the way it is and load those full drawers into the moving truck. When you get to your new house and move your empty dresser into your room, just slide the full drawers back where they go. Easy peasy.

7. Use Suitcases & Baskets to Pack

If you’re not hiring a moving company to handle your packing, purchasing a bunch of packing supplies can get pricey in a hurry. But you won’t need to purchase nearly as many boxes when you use the items you already have around your house.

If you have suitcases, laundry baskets, totes, or anything else that’s relatively large and empty, you can use those items as makeshift boxes. You’ll need to transport those things anyway, so why not fill them up to maximize space and save a little cash?

8. Use the Right Size Box for the Job

Chances are you’ll need to use at least a few moving boxes even if you implement the other packing tips in this list. And if you do end up needing to pack boxes, avoid overpacking them, and make sure you use the appropriate size box for whatever it is you’re packing. Here’s a little cheat sheet for you to refer back to:

  • Small boxes. Although it’s small, this size moving box is designed to hold 65 pounds of stuff. Since small boxes are quite compact, they’re ideal for holding small, dense, heavy items like books, canned food, tools, small appliances, knick-knacks, records, CDs, and the like.
  • Medium boxes. A medium-sized moving box has a max weight capacity of 65 pounds and is ideal for packing small to medium-sized objects like kitchenware, toys, and miscellaneous items.
  • Large boxes. These boxes are designed to hold lightweight, large items like towels, linens, clothing, pillows, comforters, and even lampshades. Avoid packing more than 65 pounds into a large moving box.  
  • Extra-large boxes. The largest boxes should hold the lightest stuff. You can safely pack pillows, comforters, blankets, towels, stuffed animals, linens, and clothing in this size box. It has a maximum weight limit of 65 pounds.

When you tape up your boxes, make sure you reinforce them by taping in an “H” pattern. Rather than just taping the center flaps together, tape the sides of the flaps as well. You can further reinforce the bottom of each box by taping an “X” pattern from corner to corner.

9. Hang on to Your Boxes

Do you plan to stay in your new home for several years? Or do you think you’ll move again in the near future? If you fall into the latter category, you may want to consider flattening and storing your moving boxes when you’re finished with them. That way, you can reuse them for your next move. No, this tip won’t necessarily make your upcoming move easier, but it will certainly make your subsequent relocation simpler and less costly.

10. Attach Screws, Bolts, and Cords to the Items They Belong To

Realizing you don’t have the screws, washers, bolts, cords, or connectors you need to assemble something after your move is the worst. Fortunately, avoiding this problem is super simple: Put those items in a small bag and tape it to the back of the item they belong to.

When you do this, you’ll know exactly where everything is as you unpack, so you’ll eliminate the possibility of not having what you need to reassemble your belongings. For more helpful packing info, check out our top tips for packing electronics too.

11. Prepare a Plan for Pets and Kids

If you have young children or four-legged friends, you’ll definitely want to keep them out of the way on move day. There’ll be quite a bit of traffic moving in and out of the house, and in the chaos of move day, it’s all too easy for little ones to get hurt. To protect everyone’s safety, consider arranging care for your kids and/or pets, either with a friend or relative or at a daycare center.

Alternatively, you can have your children and pets stay in an empty room and gate it off at the door. But if you take that route, be prepared for your move day to take longer than you may have anticipated. Taking yourself away from move-related tasks to tend to the little ones’ needs will inevitably slow down the moving process, so keep that in mind.

If you’ve never moved with animals before, check out our tips for moving with pets for more helpful info!

Get a Quote From Rochester Professional Movers Today

Ready to hire professional movers to make your upcoming relocation as low-stress as possible? Reach out to our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing today! Since 1958, we've provided a wide variety of moving services for residents throughout Rochester and the surrounding areas. From full packing services and climate-controlled storage solutions to appliance moving, custom crating, and more, whatever you need for your move, we've got you covered.

To learn more about how we can help with your upcoming relocation, feel free to call our Rochester office today at 507-288-3341 or request a fast quote online. Got any questions? Send us a message, and we'll be in touch!