Before You Move: How To Prepare & Organize Everything


Want to minimize chaos when it comes to your upcoming move? Get organized before you start the process! From downsizing tips to techniques to keep moving boxes organized, keep reading to see how you can get organized in a meaningful way before you move. 

Moving to a new place is a big change, and it’s one that often creates a lot of stress as you navigate the process. Loading up all of your stuff into a van, trekking across town or across the country, and trying to figure out how to get oriented in a new environment is hard.

But that isn’t the only tricky part of moving.

The whole process of preparing for the move can be stressful, too – sometimes, even more stressful than the actual event. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize that stress and get organized before you move. By setting yourself up for a successful, smooth transition to your new home, you can make the experience way more manageable and stay organized when you move.

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Start Smarter

Before you move into your new home, start out on the right foot. Use the Essential Home Organization Toolkit to organize your home as you move into it.

Stock Up On Moving Supplies

The last thing you want to do is find yourself in the process of packing and learn that you don’t have enough boxes to store your stuff. 

By stocking up on much-needed moving supplies before you begin the process of packing, you’ll ensure the experience goes as smoothly as possible. 

Some moving supplies you may want to purchase include:

  • Boxes. Whether you’d prefer to invest in more long-term storage solutions like plastic totes or durable cardboard boxes that can be recycled once you reach your final destination, make sure you have plenty on hand. Err on the side of caution and buy a few extras – many sellers will let you return unused boxes for a refund.
  • Packing tape. Scotch tape isn’t going to seal those boxes up! Instead, durable packing tape will keep ‘em securely closed so your stuff isn’t lost in transit.
  • Bubble wrap and packing paper. You’ll want some extra protection when packing breakable items like dishware and decor. Bubble wrap and packing paper can help you create a buffer between items and give them a little cushion in case they’re jostled around.
  • Labels and permanent markers. One of the biggest keys to staying organized when you move is to make sure all of your boxes are clearly labeled. You can use color-coded markers or labels to indicate what belongs where, or simply write down what’s inside each box to avoid confusion when unpacking. 
  • Stretch wrap. Giant rolls of plastic wrap are a great way to protect larger pieces of furniture and ensure that things like your couch cushions and throw pillows stay where they belong when you’re moving .

Figure out the logistics.

The last thing you want to do is find yourself scrambling at the last minute to figure out how your move will actually happen. There are a few key things you need to figure out before moving day arrives, including:

Who do you need to notify? 

There are all kinds of people who need to be notified of your move, including:

  • The postal service. Set up mail forwarding to ensure you don’t miss any important letters or bills!
  • Your utilities companies. Water, power, trash service, internet, cable television – any service tied to your old address will need to be canceled and set up at your new location. 
  • Any services scheduled for your home. If you have a lawn service or a cleaning service, don’t forget to let them know you’re moving and cancel your contracts.
  • Your banking institution(s). You’ll want to let your bank know you’re moving and update your address with any credit cards or lending services you use. 
  • Your insurance. Not only will you need to update your home insurance, but you’ll need to update your car insurance, too. Depending on where you’re moving to, your rates may be impacted by your new location. 
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Will you hire movers?

Movers can make the process of packing and loading your stuff an absolute breeze – but they come at a cost. If a moving service fits within your budget, do some research to find well-reputed companies in your area and book your movers at least a few weeks in advance.

How will your stuff reach your new home?

If you’re using a moving service, many have access to moving trucks and will be happy to haul your stuff to your new home for a fee – and even unload it for you at your new residence. 

If you’re taking a more do-it-yourself approach, you’ll need to figure out how to make it happen yourself. Do you need to rent a U-Haul? Is a moving POD a better solution for you? Either way, you need to look into these options early so you have plenty of time to reserve them for your moving day. 

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Get Rid Of Unneeded Clutter: Downsizing Tips

The more stuff you declutter before your move, the less stuff you’ll have to deal with throughout the process and the easier it will be for you to stay organized. Consider leveraging these downsizing tips as you prepare for your move:

Dedicate a day or two to downsizing and decluttering.

Dealing with your clutter as you’re packing your moving boxes can get overwhelming and leave you frustrated and unorganized. By carving out time to go through your stuff and figure out what you no longer need – ideally, as far in advance before your move as possible – you’ll be able to make a plan to get rid of it all before the big day. 

Get the whole family involved!

After all, it’s their stuff, too! Challenge your children to look through their rooms and fill a box or bag with stuff that can be donated to those in need, or ask your spouse to spend some time in the garage to figure out what is truly needed and what’s simply collecting dust. 

Hold a yard sale to get rid of unwanted stuff.

A garage or yard sale can be a great way to part ways with things you no longer need and earn a few extra dollars to help fund your move! Promote your sale on social media (like Facebook Marketplace and buy/sell groups) or post good old-fashioned signs around your neighborhood and see how much stuff you can get rid of. 

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How To Keep Moving Boxes Organized 

When you’re preparing for a big move, don’t wait to start packing until the day the movers arrive. Packing in a hurry is a great way to create chaos and mess. Instead, take your time and start packing those boxes well in advance. While there’s bound to be some stuff you can’t pack away until the very end, you might be surprised to see just how much of your stuff you can live without for a few weeks as you gear up for moving day.

Once those boxes are packed, it’s critical to keep them organized. Here are a few ways you can make it happen:

Designate a space for packed boxes.

Don’t leave your packed moving boxes in the middle of the room or scattered around your home. Whether you stack them in a corner of your living room, line them up in the garage, or come up with some other solution, you’ll want to get those moving boxes out of your way once they’re packed. 

Use those labels!

The importance of labels can’t be understated. Once a box is packed and sealed, the only way you’re going to know what’s inside is if you clearly indicate it on the outside of the box. You can use color coded labels or stickers to show which room each box belongs in – blue for the kitchen, red for the living room, green for your master bedroom, and so on. Or, you can get a permanent marker and label your box – ideally, on multiple sides, so you don’t have to move a box around to see what’s in it. 

Jotting down a few items that are inside the box can also be really helpful. When you’re unpacking and need to find the silverware, it’s nice to be able to find it without opening every box labeled ‘kitchen’. 

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More Moving Organization tips

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