If you’ve been in the Hot Mess Momma Club FB Group lately, you know that we recently up & moved. We had no real intentions of moving, in 2021, but the opportunity presented itself and we decided to take it. We actually moved in early Fall but despite this “hot” housing market, didn’t end up selling (and actually closing) our house until the last day of December! I’ve had this blog post on my list of “to-write” since mid-September BUT with our house not being sold, I didn’t want to jinx it….though looking back, it was jinxed anyways but that is a story for another day. All that matters is we are moved, our old house is no longer ours, and our new house has officially been dubbed Chaos Estates.
When we decided to move, I scoured Pinterest for moving hacks. Honestly, the only “hack” I found to be useful was the ol garbage bag over your hanging clothes. While this hack is a good one, it wasn’t enough. I wanted to move seamlessly. I wanted to avoid the “what box is xyz in?”. I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose something valuable in the move. So, I put my thinking cap on and quickly came up with these “hacks”.
Alright, the first one isn’t a hack but it was my first time going this route and it is a game changer, no matter the cost. HIRE MOVERS. Not your friends that load up their pickup trucks in exchange for a case of beer. Hire professionals. We opted to have them just move our things, not do the packing (hello, not rich!) and it was great. It took them a little over half a day to move almost our entire 2300 sqft. They got those boxes up and down the stairs 100x faster than JHub and I would have. I was really apprehensive on the movers because I have heard horror stories but I did some research, asked for positive experiences from my FB friends, and made sure to hire a reputable local company. (Side note, if you have a Motivated Movers near you, use them!)
So the first challenge of moving is gathering up the boxes. You can go the route of paying for boxes from your local U-Haul store, check out the liquor store dumpsters, ask your Amazon loving friends for their boxes, or find someone who just moved & take their old boxes. There is a number of ways to get cardboard boxes. Here is my gripe, cardboard boxes suck. You end up with 25 different sizes so they don’t stack well. They have to be folded & taped together. Some have handles but most don’t. Some are sturdy but most are not. While they’re the moving go-to, cardboard boxes are not the best option. My idea: Sterilite Plastic Storage Totes -Ok, I know at first thought you’re thinking “Uhm, hell no, that is WAY to expensive!” and I get it because I initially thought so too. BUT sometimes convenience and ease comes with a price tag and that was a price I was willing to pay. Here is why I think storage totes are better for moving than traditional cardboard boxes: 1) They hold more. 2) Much sturdier. 3) Uniformed sizing for stacking 4) No time wasted fighting with a roll of packing tape. 5) Reusable. 6) Stuff can be stored in the garage/storage building/closets safely rather than depending on a flimsy piece of cardboard to keep out the critters and elements.
Sterilite and Rubbermaid come in so many different size & color combos. Here is what I did with the totes: I divided up each area of my house and bought totes in a different color for each area. That way the movers could easily identify where the totes belonged. No hunting for some writing on the top/back/bottom of the box to see what room, just look at the color and take it that direction. For example, upstairs/bedrooms were pink, kitchen was blue, and living areas were grey. I also used clear totes for “important” things so that I could easily see the things I needed (toiletries, plates, cleaning supplies, medicine, etc.). Once I had the totes organized by color, I did need a way to identify which specific room they belonged to. I found some cheap moving label stickers that I placed on the top of each box to identify which specific room they went to. I highly suggest ordering totes rather than picking them up in stores. Here is why: They will come in big cardboard boxes which double as great donation boxes. I ended up with 6 shipments of tubs and 6 huge boxes that I filled with Goodwill junk.
Another hack, Ziplock Big Bags. These bags come in several sizes from large to XXL. I found the XL to be the best size for us. They were PERFECT for moving odd shaped items such as toys, balls, garage junk, etc. I was impressed with how sturdy these bags are and they’re reusable. They are clear so you can see what is in the bag. The handles were durable and didn’t break even when the bag was stuffed to the max. They stand up straight making them easy to fill & store.
I also bought 2 sets of moving bags. These bags were the best choice for packing and moving towels, comforters, clothes from the dressers, etc. These bags hold SO MUCH STUFF. My entire dresser fit in 1 bag & I have A LOT of clothes. They didn’t stay open initially but as soon as they had a few items in them, they stayed open and allowed for easy filling. If you’re going to be storing your stuff for a longer period of time, I am not sure that these bags are the best for that (use tubs, they keep out the critters and elements better!) but if you’re going from house A to house B, these bags do a great job.
Those are my Pinterest-worthy moving hacks. Tubs, pre-printed labels, Ziplock Big Bags, & moving bags. I realize buying all those items are a small investment BUT piece of mind and ease is worth every red cent. Also, I initially tried to sell stuff that I knew I didn’t want to move, and that proved really stressful as I was trying to keep up with who bought what, who paid, who picked up,etc. so for the sake of stress-free, just give your stuff away. Towards the end, I just posted everything for free & first come first serve and it was a lot easier. I realize stuff is worth money but so is your stress level & sanity. Just bless someone with a good deal and move along….that was my motto.
If you have recently moved, what hacks did you find to be game changers? Leave your suggestions in the comments!