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Moving Tips and Tricks

Category Moving
The challenge of moving a household can be streamlined with a good plan. This guide is about moving tips and tricks.


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May 19, 20087 found this helpful

When moving, the first piece of furniture you want to move into your new house are the beds. Place them in the designated bedrooms, put them together, and make them up. At the end of the day, all you want to think about is a shower, food, and a good night's rest. Other things can wait until the next day. This way you will not have to sleep on the floor or groan about having to make beds when you are so tired. This is very important if you are moving and have children.


By Linda S. from Arlington, TX

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March 27, 20090 found this helpful

Great tip on setting the beds up first! Wish we had done that on our recent move. Reading 'shower' in this tip reminded me that we did pack a suitcase with bathroom and medicine cabinet essentials including linens and sleepware. It was nice not to have to dig for those after a full day of moving!

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16 found this helpful
September 24, 2009

When ever I move, I never want to take my old outside trash cans with me. So when I am moving, I buy two or three new trash cans with wheels. Then when I am packing up all of my grocery items, I place the food items such as can goods, box goods, canister items, spices, etc. in the trash cans. Should a glass jar break, it is contained within the can. Plus, with the wheels on the trash can, you may put a great deal weight in them and still move the cans easily.


By Kimberly Anne from Lakeland, FL

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September 26, 20090 found this helpful

Clean trash cans are great for hauling most anything. Secure the lid with a bungee cord and you can haul it in the back of your truck and not worry about your stuff getting wet or blowing out.

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11 found this helpful
May 27, 2010

We are in the process of moving and I came up with this nifty idea. I put a strip of masking tape across each cabinet door and drawer in the kitchen (and bathrooms) as I empty and clean it to save time later. That way nothing can be put back in there and I won't have to double check it on last day of moving. I'm also doing this on doors to closets.

By darlenedawn from Brownsburg, IN

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

You're braver than I, if you won't go back and double-check each one! But at least you can do so in reasonable confidence that you won't get any nasty surprises, like half a carton's worth of things to find room for in some box from another room while the van is being loaded. lol

Here's my tip, after having movers stack my boxes five high, all with labels to the wall, and my everyday cookware on the bottom under the fine china and the boxes of books: I made labels on my computer, using 2"x2.5" labels, a set of five for each carton (they come in sheets of 5 rows, 3 labels per row), and put them on each side and on the top. I used simple labels in large print, like "LR 1" or "Bath 2," and kept a list on the computer of what was in each box - either detailed, in the case of critical items (computer components, crockpot), or general (gardening books, everyday dishes, canning equipment). As we started a box, I slapped the five stickers on it, and as we put things in, I updated the list. Saved a lot of hunting in the new place, except for things that were thrown in at the last minute, after the computer was packed.

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May 13, 20089 found this helpful

When moving, be careful not to use tape on your furniture to hold dresser or night stand drawers closed. The tape can easily damage the finish, especially in hot weather. Use a self clinging cellophane wrap.


2 found this helpful
February 6, 2015

When I move, I buy two large trash cans with wheels. I store all my food stuff in the new trash cans. The trash cans hold a great deal of weight and are easy to move with the wheels. If anything breaks, the cans are water proof.


March 17, 20092 found this helpful

I've been reading the moving advice here and have one more thought to it. When I moved, I bought 20 sheets of red, blue, green and yellow paper etc each, from at a copy center.


May 19, 20082 found this helpful

Remove filled drawers with clothing, sheets, or whatever. Load the empty dresser, night stand, etc. on the truck. Replace the drawers and turn the furniture to the inside of the truck, so the drawers will not come open while traveling.


April 4, 2007

If you are moving and you and/or your children use the public library, check to see all your fines are paid. The public libraries are strapped for $ and are sending people with overdue accounts to collections!


July 22, 20083 found this helpful

I have moved well over 20 times in my life and the following tip has saved me a lot of frustration and money. I pack 1 box of necessities needed immediately.


1 found this helpful
August 20, 2007

Having moved countless times and lived in 5-6 states, I've used this tips many times! I bought a new outdoor garbage can with lid and 2 wheels. When I moved, I put a contractor's garbage bag inside, filled the can with canned goods and boxed groceries.


ThriftyFun1 found this helpful
November 3, 2005

Load everything that you can into boxes. You can stack them on a dolly to move multiple boxes at a time and they allow you to easily pack a moving truck.


February 5, 20051 found this helpful

Make sure to pack some bathroom items and a few essential kitchen items in your car for use once you get to your new home.


October 7, 20081 found this helpful

When moving, don't forget to leave behind garage door, blind, and ceiling fan remotes. Also, leave any appliance manuals and warranties that may still be applicable. You could even leave the names and numbers of the utility companies that they may need to call.


August 21, 2008

Having just moved about 1 1/2 months ago, I can definitely testify that it is an exhausting process. One thing that helped us out a lot was to ask friends to help us with loading and unloading. We have one of the coolers with a water dispenser.


0 found this helpful
June 30, 2007

I would like to move to Asheville, North Carolina and I'm wondering if anyone has some helpful tips on how to get a job there before you move. It seems a little difficult to go on interviews from another state.


0 found this helpful
July 13, 2008

If you know that you are going to be moving again shortly, or if you expect to relocate frequently, you might appreciate this tip from my military wife former mother-in-law, Mary Jo.


0 found this helpful
July 14, 2008

This is an added tip on moving. Pack bedding in washer and dryer if you have them. Then they are handy to get to for making the bed the first night.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

1 found this helpful
March 1, 2010

I am making a permanent move to San Diego this August. I'm saving my pennies so that I have enough for the move and at least 3 months living expenses. I'm a single woman in my 50's so I'll be making the trip alone by car with my Golden Retriever.

I will be selling/getting rid of almost everything except the few items I can't part with. I plan on driving my Honda with a small sport trailer so I'll just have the space in my trunk and the small trailer. The dog will need the entire back seat (she needs to be able to walk from window to window, depending on the view).

I'm a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do right now. I've started to go through some of my things thinking I would declutter. However, I don't want to Freecycle, give away, or trash something I can get even a quarter for (it will all add up). So I need some suggestions about how to organize this stuff without just putting it right back where I got it from.

I could also use some help with thrifty travel ideas. Since it will be August, I don't want to stop at restaurants to eat, because I won't be able to leave the dog in the car. My thought is that I should take my small cooler and pack it with hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit, and power bars. Then I can stop at parks, picnic grounds, or rest areas where the dog and I can both get out, stretch and I can eat a bite. Then I was thinking I would stop at Denny's or Bob Evans and have breakfast for dinner since those meals are usually cheaper.

I plan on staying in Motel 6 all along the route. I'll plan the route and make the reservations ahead of time. I made notes of other suggestions having to do with what to have in the car (water, oil, WW fluid, Fix-A-Flat, Tylenol, etc.). I will have my cell phone and have a charger for the car.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Anything to make the move as stress free and thrifty as possible.

By LoriB from DC

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March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'd suggest a huge moving sale and have 25 cent, 50 cent, $1 tables etc. to make it easy on yourself. Have plastic shopping bags available to use for each shopper for each table. You will blow out your extra stuff plus make money. Have a few friends lined up to help. You may even have more than one sale as people love these sales! Good luck!

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March 3, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used to live in SD, so I know you will love it!

Selling on CL is tricky, as there are now spammers who ask you if you still have something and when you tell them yes. They have your address and email you with the wordage..."don't sell your precious things, click on my link for a great business opportunity blah blah blah".

I hate them but there is nothing you can do but put them in spam. Now, advertising your sale is great on CL and if you live in a complex, you can put flyers up in the laundry room, etc.

Put like things in boxes marking .25/.50 etc. Keep this in mind "is it cheaper to buy it when I get there or ship it now". I did that when I moved from Salem OR to Va, so you can figure that one out.

Do make sure your hotels accept dogs. I think your choice does.

As for food, I have traveled so much I am a culinary expert! I make baked chicken breasts dusted with lemon pepper spice from the dollar tree (before you bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes on each side). It keeps well, and you can eat and drive at the same time if you want to keep rolling. Keep napkins, plastic utensils and paper plates handy, and yes, a can opener is great, too!

I also have dips and cut up veggies. Fruits like cut up melons and berries, seedless grapes and such are also eat and drive "friendly".

I would keep a mini recorder if you have one, or at least a note book and good pen for notes along the way. I assume you will be stopping once in a while to give yourself and the pooch a rest? Good, don't forget photos!

If your car has a good sound system, take uplifting music and sing along!! Nothing better than a shower or a car to let loose!

Do take duck tape. Take some spark plugs, a fan belt and a soda can and two hose clamps and either snip it open on the top and bottom and down the side before you leave, or take the snips with you. Believe it or not, that fixed a hole in the muffler and lasted another 1200 miles!

Take a set of tools, and keep a penny, dime, nickle and quarter in with them. Make sure you have a pliers for them. They can be emergency screwdrivers for those places you can't get a long handled one in like an idler screw hose clamps, etc.

Make sure your battery has water if it is that kind, and distilled is best. Clean the terminals with some old tooth brushes and baking soda. Put coolant in your radiator according to the directions on the bottle. You might need a charge on the AC unit. The heat of August is no time to need it where the mechanic might charge you extra.

Check the tread on you tires. If you stick a dime in them, you should not see all of the pressure; anything less is not a good idea. I once had 4 used tires on my van, and traveled too long during the days heat and by the time I got home, had all four blow out on me. Give your car a 1/2 hour rest for every 4 hours you travel. Trust me on this one.

Take extra oil with you and steering, brake and transmission liquids, after you top them all before you leave. If you don't know much about car maintenance, google it or have someone you trust show you the basics and write them down. In fact, visit this site for a good downloadable bit of info.  amp;aql=&oq=

It's the address for all the sites you will need.

Do not carry cash! Put your money on your banks debit card. Keep your purse out of site. A belly bag is a wonderful thing for when you have to stop of a potty break, etc.

And, keep a spare car key in it or hooked to the loop. If you lock your keys in your car, you may stress the doggie and pay 80.00 for a pop a lock!

Take a mace can with you, on a key ring or such. If you have a dog with you, you are safer, but not totally safe. No one can be, but it's a good thing to always be prepared.

Once all the logistics are taken care of you can relax and enjoy the trip. Good Luck!


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April 6, 2013

I am about to move to a new house about 200 miles away. Besides the normal amount of household furniture, etc. I have five cats. I am virtually doing this alone (except for a furniture removalist). So I need to clean up the house, pack the cats, and get to the new home before the removalists to let them in. Whew! Anyone have ideas about the logistics of the whole enterprise (and no there is no one to help and I can't afford a cleaner).

By sharstri

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April 8, 20130 found this helpful
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I recently moved 300 plus miles to a different city. I started packing, cleaning and freecycling stuff several weeks before the move. I packed most of the dishes and things I wanted to move. I ate out of paper plates and even cardboard I'd accumulated. I gave away some food to a neighbor. The move itself was a nightmare; something I don't plan on ever doing again. (I'm 72). I hope you get some good advice on here about how to handle the cats because I'm at a loss on that one.

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May 5, 20130 found this helpful

Thank you for answering my enquiry about moving - I am now nicely settled in to my new home and yes we all survived - I had packed my five fussy felines into their individual carriers and was entertained by a cat chorus for the entire trip. Thanks again for the support - Kind Regards

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July 22, 2013

I was not happy to find upon agreeing to help a friend move that not only would I be helping to move but to pack the stuff. She had no boxes and she is totally unorganized. I was not happy. I guess I should have guessed that this would happen again since the last time I helped her I put in 25 hours of packing.
Should one expect to help pack? I would never expect anyone to help me pack my things.

By Lena

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July 24, 20130 found this helpful

It depends on what your friend needs help with. It seems to me that since this happened before, you might have asked if it was just moving boxes or furniture, or if it was also packing. I have to say that when my relatives helped me move, I had an army of help and it was a blitz. They helped me pack, they moved the stuff, and they helped me unpack. I think, if you agree to help someone move, you help them with what they need help with.

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July 24, 20130 found this helpful

I just got home from two days of helping a friend pack, load the van, unload it into storage and drive her home from the van drop off. She wasn't even out of bed by the time I was there, when breakfast was suppose to be ready. It is very hot here right now, and we had to do the loading in the heat. She is going to be homeless as of the 5th for about 2.5-3.0 months till her housing gets the paperwork sorted out, so I am "so far" the only person who showed up when they said they would.

When I ask someone to help me move, the first thing I do is have the boxes packed, marked, and by the door. I have food and if I have any, money for the grandsons.

People who don't take good care of their helpers don't deserve them. I know that sounds harsh, but I am disabled, diabetic, have very little money for gas, and because I have time and am good at it, everyone expects me to "take over". Well, the poster is right. Find out what help is needed and offer what you have the stamina and time for.

This lady had months to prepare and now it's all a panic as she has till the 31st and you have no idea what she has stuffed in this apt. There is so much you have to walk down the halls sideways, and you can't even shut the bathroom door for all the beads, chimes, bells and over-the-door hooks on it.

So, a lack of planning on her part should not constitute an emergency on mine.

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March 1, 2012

I am moving to another state in the summer. How can I safely transport my plants?

By Joanne

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January 27, 20140 found this helpful

Use a box larger than the plant, line it with a plastic garbage bag (do not close at the top). Put plenty of paper towels soaked in water around the plant to keep from drying out. Close top of box and mark 'fragile' and watch the movers so the boxes are at the top and back of the truck, so they can be taken out first.

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January 27, 20140 found this helpful

Yes, you can put a Peoria in a pot and keep it in the house until ready to set out. I set one in a pot and the following year I still wasn't able to set it out. It bloomed just like it would have if I had set it in the ground. I don't know about a bleeding heart.

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0 found this helpful
October 28, 2009

I am preparing to move a stove for my daughter. It will take 2 1/2 hours. Is it OK to lay a stove on its back? I didn't know if is was like a refrigerator and they must be carried upright at all times.
Any professional movers out there? I would appreciate your advice. Thanks.

By Brenda from Baldwin, KS

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest you call a place that sells stoves, good luck.

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October 31, 20090 found this helpful

You can lay the stove down. A refrigerator has to remain upright because of the freon in it, but you don't have that problem with a stove.

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May 8, 2010

Cheapest way to ship items when moving?

By Beck from Seattle

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December 29, 2010

Well, I am off again to help my sister-in-law through Cancer and Chemo - the two "C" words I have grown to hate. Another thing I am not fond of is Cold in Chicago, but if I can survive 5 years in AK, I will be fine.

I had a wonderful idea that might help you all when you have to move from down a flight of stairs. I made a ramp out of two 2X6's and slid the boxes down the steps!

What would no doubt have taken me hours of aching knees, was done in just under 2 hours. I was amazed at how easy it was to put together and to use, I wish I had thought about it years ago! I hope this helps anyone who is stuck upstairs and needs help.

By Your Friend, Sandi/Poor But Proud from Sweet Home, OR

Using wood to slide boxes down stairs

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December 30, 20100 found this helpful

Brilliant idea. I'll have two post this when I get ready to move. Thank you,


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November 23, 2010

Shelf liner in the bottom of a plastic container.

When traveling or hauling things that tend to slip around, wrap them in a rubberized shelf liner. I have home jewelry parties and lay my pieces on cut pieces that just fit a plastic tub, lay another layer on until I fill the tub.

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