10 Clever Moving & Packing Hacks

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There comes a point in every moving process when you start to think "maybe I should just call this off and stay here forever." Packing and moving will always be a big endeavor, but it doesn't have to be uncontrolled chaos. With these easy moving hacks, you'll survive the process with your breakables and your sanity intact.

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1. Choose a Weekday if Possible

Weekends are naturally a popular time to move, which also means the best movers may already be booked if you plan yours for a Saturday or Sunday. Plus, depending on where you live, weekend traffic may slow down your trip and/or complicate your ability to find parking for your truck. Schedule your move for a weekday if you can.

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2. Make Essentials Boxes

On your first night in your new place, you won't want to hunt through dozens of boxes to find pajamas and a spare phone charger. As you pack, dedicate a few boxes to first-day essentials. Fill these boxes with anything to which you'll want easy access before everything is unpacked; think things like medications, shower supplies, electronics, kids' favorite toys and quick snacks. Make sure they're packed last or transport these boxes in your car so you know where they are.

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3. Use Clothes/Towels as Padding

Why mess around with bubble wrap and newspaper when you're already packing the perfect cushioning material? Make the most of all your box space by wrapping breakables in towels, T-shirts, gym clothes and other kinds of wrinkle-resistant fabric. Your dishes and your wardrobe will all arrive at your new home in perfect condition.

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4. Cover Drawers With Plastic Wrap

A roll of plastic wrap can save you hours in packing and unpacking time. With any drawers that are moving with you – like your utensil organizer or the drawers of a desk or nightstand – leave everything inside the drawer in place. Wind a few layers of plastic wrap around the entire open drawer and place it in a box or move it as is. When you arrive at your new place, remove the plastic wrap and slide the still-organized drawer right into place.

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5. Organize Cables With Cardboard Tubes

Like Christmas lights, cables and cords have an unnerving ability to tangle in knots when you're not looking at them. Cardboard tubes are ideal for organizing your chargers and the cables for your electronics. Use empty paper towel tubes or cut empty wrapping paper tubes in half. Even toilet paper tubes can keep smaller cords organized.

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6. Save Sorting for Unpacking

It's tempting to do a big purge when you're first packing for a move. It seems practical to go through every drawer and box and throw away anything you no longer need. In fact, it'll probably save you time to just move everything and do a big sort when you arrive at your destination. You'll end up going through everything when you're unpacking and putting things away. Don't waste time going through everything you own twice.

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7. Photograph Every Box's Contents

No matter how organized and efficient you are, it's probably going to take days if not weeks or months to unpack every box. In the meantime, you're bound to forget where you packed your yoga mat or that box of important documents. As you finish packing each box, label the box with a number and snap a photo of what's inside. Later, finding something specific is as easy as looking back through your photos.

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8. Protect a Mattress With Old Sheets

When you lie down for your first night in your new place, the last thing you'll want to worry about is what your mattress might have picked up during the move. Protect your sleeping surface by layering two old fitted sheets on the mattress, one sheet covering each side of the mattress. The sheets will protect it from picking up any dirt or debris in the moving truck.

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9. Move Books in Suitcases

Have you tried lifting a cardboard box filled with books? All those pages really add up. Pack books in rolling suitcases instead of boxes. They'll be much easier for you to transport on wheels than in your arms.

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10. Prepare an Unpacking Kit

While you're frantically packing and preparing to move, don't forget about the imminent unpacking process. Prepare a kit with things that will make unpacking easier. One simple way to do this is to buy a new garbage can and fill it with garbage bags, cleaning products, scissors, tape, simple tools, bottles of water, a first-aid kit and other things you may need while unpacking. Empty the can in your new place, put in a new garbage bag and get to work.

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