Organized Moving Tips: Your Guide to Declutter, Stay Organized, and Save

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, relocating is stressful. With all the scheduling, packing, cleaning, and purging you have to do, it can be hard to stay organized. Fortunately, a few handy tips can help. Learn how to organize and pack for a move without going bananas.

Creating a Moving Binder

Woman using a smartphone to organize her move

A moving binder or notebook helps you keep it together during a move — literally. Use it to jot down important phone numbers, dates, and to-do lists, and keep all your receipts, contracts, documents, warranties, and other paperwork in one place. For optimum organization, don’t forget to print out a moving checklist, and take a tip from Susan Perry, professional move manager at Let’s Move LLC, “Start early and end happy.”

Getting Rid of Clutter

Yard sale table with an assortment of items

When considering the best way to organize a move, Perry offers another suggestion: downsizing. She recommends marking it on your calendar to ensure it gets done. Start by sorting through all of your belongings. To be thorough, use a room-by-room approach, and go through every cabinet, cupboard, and closet. Be ruthless, and ask yourself whether you need items or intend to use them in the future. Dispose of any broken objects, and hold a garage sale or donate the rest.

Tips for Packing and Unpacking

Planner with Flowers and a glass jar

Although many people think that packing is the most unpleasant part of moving, it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how to organize and pack for a move makes the process easy. Start by keeping all of your supplies — packing tape, scissors, and markers — in one handy box or basket. Pack room by room, and use colored stickers to specify where the boxes will go in your new home. With a permanent marker, write a general description of each box’s contents, such as “office supplies” or “kitchen utensils.”

About one week before moving, pack a “survival box” with everything you’ll need for the first night in your new home, and transport it in your own vehicle in case the movers don’t show up on schedule. Items might include a change of clothing, non-perishable food, a can opener, basic pots and pans, plastic plates and utensils, bottled water, towels, sheets, blankets, toilet paper, a pen and paper, and reading material.

When you arrive at your new home, consider prioritizing which boxes to empty first using the ABC method. Mark the highest priority boxes with the letter “A” and boxes containing items of lesser importance with the letters “B” and “C.” Set up your living room or den first so that family members have a place to relax when they need a break from unpacking and other jobs.

Ways to Save Money When Moving

Relocating is expensive, especially when moving long distance. Fortunately, a few money-saving tips help soften the blow to your bank account. Instead of buying moving boxes, check out ads for free boxes on websites like Freecycle and Craigslist, or ask for boxes at local grocery stores.

Is your new residence close by? Consider moving yourself instead of hiring a moving company. Transport all you can with your own vehicle, and rent a small moving truck for the big furniture. If you hire a moving company that bills by the hour, do all your own boxing and labeling, and have big items dismantled and ready to load. To save up to 30 percent off your bill, move during the off-season in the fall or winter if possible.

Save money by being smart with your termination dates for power, water, cable, and internet service. A few months prior to your move, call utility companies and ask if they will pro-rate your last bill. If companies require you to pay a full month at a time, determine whether the service is absolutely essential. For example, cable TV is a luxury you may choose to live without.

Arranging Furniture in Advance

Moving is frustrating enough without showing up to your new home with furniture that is too large for your space. To help with getting organized after a move, measure your furniture and the rooms in your new home in advance, and use handy websites like Plan Your Room to try out different floor plans virtually. Moving furniture in the virtual world means less work in the real word.

Are you relocating to a new residence? Make the most of your move with these tips, and check out CORT Furniture Rental for temporary furniture solutions, including beds, sofas, tables, chairs, and more.