How to Organize for a Move

Packing, cleaning, and more.  Need some help deciding how to get ready for a move?  There are some things to do when moving out of a house that will make the process smoother.

how to organize for a move

We are currently in the process of moving.  That means we are in the middle of doing all the things you need to do for a move.  I thought it made perfect sense to share how to organize for a move since that’s what’s going on here.

I don’t mean to brag, but we are REALLY good at moving.

Okay, I’ll be straight up honest.  We had to go through some crappy moves (ie: we weren’t organized or prepared.)  But we’ve moved quite a few times in our life and you know what they say – practice makes perfect.

I realized I didn’t want to be that friend who all my friends didn’t like anymore because when they came to help me to move I wasn’t ready, was still packing, and had hours and hours and hours of work ahead of us.

I’m not kidding when I say we are really good at moving.  A few moves ago it took an HOUR to load up the moving truck.  I’m not kidding – ONE HOUR.

I feel like our last move took longer than that because we had more stuff, but it still wasn’t a crazy length of time.

So, I feel pretty amateur at a lot of things, but when it comes to moving, I kind of feel like an expert.  Probably one of the few things I feel I am an expert on.

So, today I’m going to talk about three key things:

  • How to get ready for a move beforehand
  • How to be prepared and implement a smooth moving day
  • How to organize after the move

So, let’s start with how to prepare for moving day.


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1. Start purging.

Moving is a great time to downsize your stuff.  Most of us have more stuff than we ever need.  It’s time to get rid of some things which will in turn make your move much quicker and easier.  Donate to the thrift store, do some dump runs, and sell some items.  If you know you will be moving well in advance I recommend starting this process months before.  

2. Track down boxes.

You are going to need boxes – and lots of them.  You can find extra boxes at places like the grocery store or the liquor store.  Also, ask around or put it on Facebook that you are looking for boxes.  Often people have some lying around.  You can also buy moving boxes which some people like, however, I’ve never had an issue tracking down enough boxes without buying them.

3. Stock up on packing tape.

You’ll need to tape up ALL those boxes, so make sure you buy some packing tape.

4. Keep all your fliers and newspapers.

You are going to need stuff to wrap your breakables like your kitchen dishes.  You might need a good month or more of fliers.  Start keeping all the fliers that come into your home.

5. Pack EVERYTHING beforehand, and I MEAN EVERYTHING.

The night before you move you should be able to walk through your house and not find a single thing out of a box.  Not even a plate  (it’s a perfect time to buy paper plates.) This may be one of the most important things you need to do in my opinion, and I’m going to tell you why.

If you’ve moved various people in your life I bet you have a horror story of how they were still packing WHILE you were moving.  Don’t be that friend.  Trust me.  PACK EVERYTHING.  Your friends will thank you.

If you find yourself slowing down from exhaustion near the end, just throw it all in a box.  No sorting.  No organizing.  If you have a few boxes that look like a junk drawer, that’s okay.  In the end it will be just fine.

6. Label your boxes.

Okay, I know I said I am a really good mover, but I fail in one major department that will have everyone shaking their heads at me.  I don’t label my boxes.  I know it sounds crazy but it works for me.  

But, if you want to make it easier on yourself, label your boxes.  That way people will put the boxes in whatever room they should go in, limiting the need to carry boxes back and forth all over the house.

7. Pack a separate bag of things you might need.

Sometimes when moving you don’t get straight to your new house or there might be a time of transition.  Make sure to pack a separate bag of things you may need during this time.  The last thing you want to do is start breaking into boxes the night before you move because you realized you needed stuff you packed.

8. Clean as much as you can beforehand.

The totally fun (okay, not fun at all) job with moving is cleaning all the things.  There are some things you can’t clean until you get all the stuff out of the house like the floors, but you can scrub all the cupboards, toilets, tubs, windows, the inside of the fridge, etc.  It doesn’t have to be spotless when you leave but you want to leave it reasonably clean for the new owners. 

9. Move what you can to a room near the door.

This is a super great tip that will make your moving day a lot quicker.  If you are physically able, move your boxes and smaller furniture to a room closest to a door that will be used to move stuff in and out.  This is the biggest reason our moves are quite fast.  I spend the weeks leading up to the move piling all the boxes I can in one central room closer to the exit.  That way when people come all they have to do is come to the one room and grab a box, and head back to the truck.

10. Disassemble furniture. 

Take apart any furniture that needs to be disassembled before you move.  You can even do this with bedframes as it’s okay to sleep on the floor on a mattress for one night.

11. Redirect your mail.

You can start changing your address for some of your documents, but to make sure you don’t miss any super important mail you will want to redirect your mail from your old address to your new address.  Ask your local post office how to go about doing this.




1. Start early.

Moving often takes longer than you think it will and everyone is happier of they aren’t still moving your stuff at 10 o’clock at night.  Start the process nice and early.

2. Order pizza for people helping you move.

If you have friends helping you move, be sure to feed them.  They’ll love you for it. 🙂  Ordering pizza is a quick option.  I’ve also made chili in the slow cooker and fed a crew that way.  It’s a kind thing to do to make sure those helping you are well-fed.

3. Meet your movers and give them info on what you want.

If you don’t have friends helping you move but you have hired movers instead, meet them and walk around the house to show them anything fragile you have or share with them any specific moving instructions you have for them.

4. Take photos and videos.

To avoid any problems between you and the new buyers or renters or landlord, take photos of the state of the house, and videos of the appliances working.  This way if they come back at you and say it doesn’t work you have proof that when you left the home they functioned just fine.

5. Check the inside of any appliances you are leaving behind.

One time I left a load of laundry in the dryer of a rental we moved out of.  True story.  Before you leave check the washer, dryer, inside of the fridge, oven, and in the drawer below the oven.

6. Do a once over of EVERY SINGLE ROOM.

Once everything is in the truck be sure to check every room, closet, nook, and cranny in the place you are leaving to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.  

7. Sweep and mop the floors.

The last thing you will want to do before you leave is to sweep and mop all the floors (or vacuum if there’s carpet.)


1. Unpack necessities first.

Right after you move you will be tired.  Be sure to pace yourself and don’t try to unpack everything at once.  Just unpack the necessities first like dishes, toiletries, and maybe some toys for the kids to keep them entertained, and then take some time to rest.

2. Put up a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector the day you move in.

If your new home doesn’t have it, make sure to put up a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector right away.  These are things you don’t want to wait for.  Do this the very first day you move into your new place.

3. Update your address on important cards and documents.

We talked earlier about redirecting your mail, but eventually that will stop and you will need to update your address on things like your licenses, credit cards, government documents, and more.

4. Set up any services you may need.

If it’s not already set up, be sure to get your utilities and internet hooked up at your new place.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be without Netflix longer than I have to. 🙂


Ever wonder why moving is so stressful?  Well, firstly, it’s a huge change in your life, whether you are moving down the street or to another country.  You are still leaving the home you have lived in for awhile and starting new somewhere else.  You may ask yourself, why is moving so hard? But if you do some things to make it easier on yourself it will take the stress out of it. Just remember to:

  • Start packing slowly as soon as you are able
  • Have others help you
  • Do a little at a time if too much are overwhelming
  • Remind yourself that moving day is usually just ONE day and before you know it it will be over and so will the stress.

Now that you know how to organize for moving day, it’s time to enjoy the new adventure!


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