The Moving Survival Guide: Packing

July 11, 2018

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Even if you’re on top of packing, transferring utilities, and setting up wifi, moving is a daunting ordeal. As moving season gets into full swing, we’ve put together a complete Moving Survival Guide (with help from our moving-savvy Taskers) to keep you from drowning in boxes or getting your couch stuck in the doorway. First up, perhaps the most dreaded part: packing. Read on for tips to stay organized and sane before the big move.

Need boxes? Get scrappy.

They may be a nuisance when they’re piled up after a big online shopping spree, but sturdy, clean boxes are like gold come moving time. Aside from asking friends and coworkers, try your local print shop, grocery store, library, or liquor store. Think outside the box, too. Toss pillows and comforters in heavy duty garbage bags or laundry baskets, and invest in plastic storage bins for items that will go straight into the attic or garage.

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Pack, sell, donate, or toss.

Declutter your belongings as soon as you know you’re moving. Sounds harsh, but we’ve all done the dance of pulling a jacket out of the closet, swearing we’ll wear it, and hanging it back — only to do it again a few months later. If you really, really see yourself using an item on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, pack it. Donate or sell what doesn’t make the “pack” pile (unless it’s of sentimental value), and toss items that are no longer functional. (Save yourself a few trips to Goodwill and schedule a Tasker to handle donation drop-off!)

Sort by category instead of room.

Packing entire rooms in one go can get overwhelming. If you’re one to focus on one task at a time, try organizing by category — all your clothes from your bedroom and storage closet, then books, then electronics, etc.

Label everything.

Nothing is more annoying than rummaging through dozens of boxes for that one thing you swore you packed. Don’t just label your boxes by room. Include a list of what’s in it, too. If you want to get really organized, number each box and create a master list on your phone or tablet that you can easily search when you need.

Photograph electronics. 

Unsure of what color cord goes where? Document your TV setup before unplugging so you don’t have to play a guessing game at your new place.


Measure furniture.

Don’t spend moving day trying to fit an oversize couch into a door frame. Taking note of your furniture dimensions well ahead of time not only helps you avoid getting stuck on moving day, it also gives you a sense of how to lay out your new space.

Pack an essentials kit.

You’ll want to have some easy-to-reach basics for your first few days in a new place. Pack a carry-on suitcase as if you’re going on vacation, with comfortable clothes, toiletries, soap, toilet paper, towels, phone and laptop chargers, and anything else you might need before you tackle the unpacking.

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While we take the stress out of moving day, finding the perfect place to call home can still be a challenge. For a seamless, personalized apartment search, check out our friends at Apartment List.

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