Moving is a road my wife, and I have traveled for many, many miles. I have practically made a career of it. Between the two of us, we have over 70 moves under our belts. We have learned (and been burned) over those many moves. Based on our experiences, here are some tips for your next relocation.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes

If you don't have some, get boxes asap. Ask family, friends, co-workers, or businesses that just throw them away. Free boxes have been harder to find lately. Sometimes you can find them on Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace. You can also buy them brand new at Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, etc.($1.29 to $3/$4 - depending on size and style). Heavy-duty boxes are only worth it if you are putting heavy items in them like books, heavy pans, etc. Otherwise, they're not worth it. Get dish crates if moving long distances.

Credit: millann Getty Images

Packing Supplies

Moving paper/bubble wrap/moving blankets are must-haves. And don't pack your blankets, sheets, or even pillows, they come in handy later. And get a packing tape dispenser, like those 3M ones.

LuckyBusiness

 

Truck Rental

Rent your truck asap. Make sure you have a "guaranteed truck" and not just a "reservation." We got burned on that with a famous company on one of our moves. They didn't have a truck for us. It was a nightmare. I had to call an acquaintance of mine, and thankfully he let us use his big, enclosed trailer. It was a regional move (a couple of hundred miles) so it wasn't a real long-distance, but it was a huge inconvenience. That was one of the worst moves we've ever had, and a valuable lesson was learned.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

 

Movers/Pods

If you can hire movers, great! Save your back. If you're moving for a job, negotiate moving expenses. There are also UPack and Pods. But with all of them, you might not get your stuff right away. Depending on how far you're moving, it can be 1 -2 weeks before it gets to your new location. Ask questions, and do a lot of research.

XiXinXing

Start Packing

The moment you know you're moving, start packing. Start with things you're not using like seasonal clothing, wall decor, personal items like photos, items you have on shelves, etc. Because before you know it, you're a week away -- and speeding packing is not a good thing.

KuznetsovDmitry

 

DOWNSIZE!

Look around. What are you hanging on to for no real reason? This is an excellent time to get rid of stuff you don't need. Books, clothes, whatever it may be, say goodbye. Have a garage sale, donate to a thrift store, or just give it to people. It makes packing more manageable, and you could save money on the truck size you need.

David Sacks Getty Stock/ ThinkStock

What Size Truck?

We've learned that when the moving truck says 2-3 rooms, it doesn't always mean that. It depends on how much actual stuff you have (see the previous Downsizing section). If you're unsure, go bigger. It's better to have to much room than not enough.

Purestock

 

Loading the Truck

Think of the truck like a game of Tetris. Of course, you want some of the bigger and heavier stuff loaded first, but you also don't want all the light, loose material in the back. The truck speeds up and slows down, and things move around. Use straps to secure bulky items and sections. Space it out well. We had one move where we didn't secure everything well enough, and let's just that we had a difficult time opening the door because of a bunch of items that were leaning on it.

Brand X Pictures - Getty Images
Enter your number to get our free mobile app