Hack Your Way Through Moving Day

Whether it's just a couple blocks down the street or to the other side of the country, moving is a stressful, tedious ordeal that can leave you frustrated and cranky when you should be enjoying your new home. While some of the stresses of moving cannot be avoided, there are a lot of small hassles that can be taken care of by using simple, clever tricks. Read on to find out how you can hack your way through moving day to make the experience as stress free as possible.

1. Where to find boxes

Instead of diving in dumpsters, there are two surefire places to get good, sturdy boxes for your move. Go to your local big-box store or "supercenter" and ask about boxes at the customer service desk. These stores have a veritable warehouse of merchandise in the back that they are unboxing every day, meaning you can get various shapes and sizes that will meet your needs. Another great place to find moving boxes is the copy center of a local school or junior college -- they will have an abundance of strong boxes used for photocopy paper that usually even have removable lids, making them great for stacking.

2. Make a moving basket

Get a smaller basket or box to take from room to room; here you can keep all your moving supplies like scissors, tape, packing peanuts, markers, box cutters, bubble wrap, and so on, helping you avoid the stress of losing any of these small, but essential, moving tools.

3. What to do with the boxes

Now that you've got your moving boxes, take a box cutter, or other knife, and cut half-inch by four-inch slits in opposite sides near the top of each box to use as handles (it's important to do this before you've packed the boxes, as you might otherwise damage the contents of the box). Keep a different color of magic marker in each room in the house (or have them all in your supply basket), then mark the sides of each box that leaves the room with that color -- this will keep things color coordinated and make it easy to coordinate unloading at the new house (for example, all the green boxes go in the master bedroom and the pink ones go in the kitchen).

For heavy items like books, don't use a box at all -- pack them in your luggage instead. The sturdy handles and wheels will make these much easier to move and will save you a lot of back pain.

4. Clothes

Clothes don't need to require a lot of your time to pack. If you have the muscle, you can move whole dressers full of clothes without having to move them into another container -- just wrap them in plastic wrap to keep the drawers from falling out. Soft clothes can be used instead of bubble wrap to fold around and protect dishes and other fragile items. Hanging clothes can simply be packed together by placing a garbage bag around a cluster of them (if you use bags with drawstring handles, these can be used to easily carry the bundle of clothes). If you do have to pack clothes, rolling them instead of folding them will save you time and space.

5. Odds and ends

Take pictures of the backs of all your electronics for a quick reference on which cord plugs in where, then store the cords in an old paper towel tube and stick it with masking tape to the back of the electronic item. Store jewelry in empty egg cartons -- just be sure to tape them securely shut -- and put cotton balls in makeup compacts to keep the mirror from breaking. Pack all liquid containers, like cleaners and dish soap, in individual, seal-able plastic bags and move them in their own box to avoid leaking on clothes or other valuable items. 

Moving can be stressful, but you can reduce the stress by using these hacks and a good moving company, such as Absolute Moving & Storage Inc.