A Survival Guide To Moving

Anyone who has ever moved before can tell you that moving is hard enough to accomplish without all the little things that seem to go wrong at the worst moments. Luckily, there is hope. Below is a survival guide filled with tricks and tips to help even the greenest mover make a successful transition.

The “Pre-Move”

Many people seem to be under the impression that moving starts the day the mover trucks show up. However, if you start packing a couple of weeks (or even a month) beforehand when moving day rolls around, the stress of packing and moving is relatively small. One study documented that, on average, it takes a college student 4-5 hours to pack up an entire dorm room. This is a general guideline as most people intend to move their entire house, not just one room. Another good idea is to pack a suitcase. Include all the things needed for 3 to 5 days after the move. That way, you won’t have to be digging through boxes when you need a change of clothes.


Rule # 1-The number one rule when packing up your entire life is as follows: Clearly mark the box containing the toilet paper. However, it is a good idea to clearly mark all your boxes to save yourself time and confusion. Aim for two “open me first” boxes per room in the household. These boxes will hold all the things you will most likely need first in your new home.

Padding-A good space saver idea is to use all those fluffy towels and pillows to cushion delicate and fragile items such as china, DVD players, and even computers. Be careful to label these boxes as “Fragile” and always put them on top when stacking with the heavier boxes on the bottom.

Weight-Try to keep each box below 30 pounds whenever possible. Heavier boxes have a tendency to get dropped, rip, and generally hurting the people trying to move them.

Electronics-If you have a lot of complicated electronics in your house, try taking a picture of how they are hooked up before moving them. Then when the time comes to re-hook them up, you only have to look at the picture, and voila!

Labels-Never label your boxes with a pencil, use a thick black or dark-colored marker, and always label your boxes on top and bottom. If one gets turned upside down, you will still know what it is.

The Movers

Finding really great movers can be tough, but it is not impossible. If you choose to go with professional movers, don’t be afraid to look around and ask questions. Talk with friends who have used this company or that business. Research the companies that catch your interest and never trust one simply because it is the “easiest” or the cheapest. Feel free to scrutinize these companies by logging on to the Better Business Bureau and US Department of Public Transportation websites.


So, you have survived the moving process, and you and all you hold dear is now safely located at your new house. Take a deep breath and relax. Now get back up and start unpacking. Although your move is technical “over,” the unpacking process has just begun. Like with the packing process, you will need to have a plan before you begin.

Priorities First- Always concentrate on the “Open me first” boxes for the bathroom and kitchen. These are usually the items you will truly “need” first (i.e., toilet paper).

Timetable-Don’t take no for an answer. Set a specific number of boxes to be opened each day, and don’t stop until you have filled the quota.

Cleaning-Trash bags should be kept on hand at all times for any newspaper, packing tape, and general trash.

The End

Congratulations, you have now become a successful mover, hopefully with minimal casualties. Enjoy your new home and your new skills gained.