Having just moved my family and all of our belongings into a new home just across town here in Raleigh, I learned a few new moving tips and life hacks that I’d like to share with you all! I learned the type of things that no one talks about with their girlfriends over a glass of wine or with family during the holidays… but that are totally need-to-know improvements. Things like “where to buy boxes on the cheap” and “how to make better use of bubble wrap.” So, I’m not holding out on you like your friends who have recently moved have—I’m sharing my top 10 “to-dos” to make your next move easier right here!
1. Hire Movers
If you can afford it, it is definitely worth the expense to let the pros do all the heavy lifting—literally! Most movers have a minimum price of $600 for moving, but most of our clients fall within the $2,200-$3,800 range for local moves. Meanwhile, the average price for out-of-state moves ranges greatly depending on how things are being shipped from one home to another; feedback from our clients range from about $5-8 thousand. If you choose to have your home packed, it is typically double the cost for the labor but we find it worth it to save your back and save the headache of renting, hauling, and everything in between! However, note that movers won’t move certain things such as lawnmowers and propane tanks, so be prepared to move those yourself.
Important: Be sure to hire movers as far in advance as possible, especially during the busy season, as they can be booked out 4-6 weeks.
2. Understand How Movers Quote the Job
I requested quotes from three different moving companies prior to our most recent move, but what I found interesting is that I could only find one company that would quote the full move on a fixed-cost basis. This was important to me as my last move almost cost double than I was budgeting for because it took the crew more time than they were expecting! I would love to save you from having to endure that same sticker shock that I received.
With all of our random hobbies, we have a lot of “stuff” (outdoor and sporting equipment, etc.) and two movers quoted us 10-12 hours, which I thought was odd as my last move took that long with less square footage and we didn’t have as much furniture. (Trust your gut and be smart when you are choosing who you want to work with when it’s all said and done.) This move took 17 hours, which if I would have gone the hourly route… well, it would have cost even more!
3. Consider a Pod
If you aren’t moving directly from one place to another, check out portable pods. This is a great option if you are building a new home or dealing with extensive renovations and it is certainly more convenient than making many trips to and from a self-storage location. We recommend Zippy Shell.
Recruit Used Boxes from Friends
Before going out and buying new boxes, see if your friends have any extras from a previous move that you can use! Depending on your time and stress level, boxes from friends are always good… or in my case, clients, too! You’d be amazed how many people have extras in their home or stored in their garage that they just can’t wait to part with and online sites like Facebook, Craiglist, and Nextdoor are often littered with offers of free or low-cost boxes from folks in your area who have just wrapped up their own move.
Compare Buying vs. Renting Options
Most moving companies charge to use their wardrobes. For us, that made the most sense at $10 per piece to rent. To purchase wardrobe boxes, they were closer to $12 per piece, but then the idea of getting rid of them or worrying about selling them didn’t appeal to us… so we passed on that option. Plus, with the movers… they came to us already put together! 😉 If you don’t have movers and are packing up your entire house by yourself, you’re likely to get tired towards the end, so not having to assemble wardrobe boxes is key!
U-Haul Locations Are Great For Quick Needs!
The best place I found around Raleigh for finding boxes is U-Haul facilities—they have giant stores. Here is the one I went to in Garner, just south of Downtown Raleigh. There is also a location off South Saunders Street and Highway 401 that is easy to get to. They were by far the most reasonable for paper and all types of boxes. I found using medium-sized boxes were far more manageable than the large ones!
Bonus Tip: Buy more paper than you think you need—we went through over 2,000 sheets!
Or Order Online and In Bulk
When I didn’t have time to run over to the nearest U-Haul location, Uline.com was always a good option, too. If you can make the time to plan ahead to do a bulk order on their website, be sure to prioritize that step to save on the shipping. (This is the same retailer that we ordered the bubble wrap from below—win, win!)
5. Buy a Big Thing of Perforated Bubble Wrap
And when I say “big thing” I mean like 300 feet! I used every single bit of it. I’ve always packed all of our art in boxes but I was trying to save some time since this was a local move. I ended up bubble wrapping all of the art (think of it like wrapping a gift), then we stacked each piece neatly in our SUV. It worked perfectly!
Tip: You can also use your linens and towels to pack larger, breakable things!
6. Pack Important and Urgent Items Separately
More than likely when you’re selling your home, you’ll have a night or two that you’ll need to plan for if you are doing what we call a piggyback closing (closing on one house in order to close on the next). Pack an overnight bag with valuables, important medications, and other things that you’ll need quickly in your new home if you plan to stay the night at a hotel or a local friend or family member’s house. We packed a few things that we would need in the kitchen immediately during and at the end of our moving day, as well, to make our lives easier.
7. Managing Artwork
Another great time saver I used this time around was taping all the nails and hanging apparatuses to a piece of construction paper and labeling each with the corresponding piece of art. It made it super easy to hang things at the new house because I wasn’t spending any extra time or getting frustrated searching for what I needed to hang each item with—everything was ready to go.
8. Label, Label, Label!
The more descriptive you are with your labeling, the better! Label everything according to what room it needs to go in in your home, maybe even adding a note that it went on a specific, shelf, cabinet, or dresser. It may seem annoying and tedious to do, but it makes the unpacking process so much quicker and easier!
9. Hire Professional Cleaners
Leave your home in its most mint condition by hiring professional cleaners—the new homeowners will love you for it! Even if you did some cleaning yourself, professionals will make it all the more pristine. Consider hiring cleaners for your new home too, if you have the time to wait for an extensive deep-cleaning service. You deserve a fresh home too! Some of our favorite local cleaning services are Merry Maids and Two Maids & A Mop.
10. Plan to Visit Your Favorite Restaurants
Speaking of the kitchen, you’ll be eating a few meals out so be prepared to do that. Consider it a great excuse to take a break from the hustle of moving and what seems like endless unpacking to relax and let someone else do all the work… even if it’s just for an hour.