Moving is a part of life. We move to find a better place for our families; we move when our children leave the nest, and we move to improve our lives with a fresh start.

As you prepare for your next move, remember that each relocation comes with its own set of challenges. To help simplify the process no matter the circumstances, we’ve compiled a list of our top 20 moving and packing tips, along with links to more resources. These packing tips come after years of working with families and businesses in Chicago and the surrounding areas, so we’re pretty proud of them.

“We do more than lift and move furniture,” says Alliance Moving & Storage. “Our relocation specialists consult families and businesses on the best way to move their belongings and get settled into a new place. This requires delicate planning and custom moving services.”

Here, we share our top 20 moving and packing tips to help simplify and improve the experience for everyone involved.

Start ASAP

Once you know that you’re moving, you can start the planning process (with our help!) One of the biggest mistakes we see is last-minute planning. A week is simply not enough time for the moving process. Without enough time to prepare and schedule the truck and other services, many people experience a stressful move with many setbacks.

Use a Moving Timeline

The best place to start is with a moving timeline, or a list of things to do organized month by month. Our moving timeline begins 4-6 months prior to the move and includes all the tasks you’ll need to do for a successful move, such as when to set your budget, schedule your professional movers, and when to start packing boxes.

Let Go of Extra Baggage

While we’re on the topic of money, remember that estimates depend on the size of your move. If you have less things to move, you’ll save money in the long run. We recommend that families give away belongings they don’t want or need anymore. You can give things away to charity, sell them at a garage sale, or simply make a trip to the dump. We’ve seen people clear out entire garages, saving hundreds of dollars in moving costs.

Set a Budget

Moving should be planned with a budget in mind. When you know how much money you can spend on the process, you can then determine how much money you can spend on professional services, such as movers, truck rentals, and equipment. We recommend setting a budget, and then contacting various movers for a quote.

Determine Your Resources and Limitations

Once you’ve given away unwanted items and created a budget, it’s time to make an inventory of your resources and limitations. How many people can help you pack and move your belongings? Do you have a truck, or will you need to rent one? Do you have moving boxes, or will you need to purchase them? How much time do you have for the moving process? With your budget in mind, figure out how much money you can spend on professional services and which tasks you’ll need to do on your own.

Consider Professional Movers

Now that you’ve made an inventory of what you can and can’t do, it’s time to figure out if you should hire professional movers.

We recommend hiring professional movers for the following reasons:

  • You’re short on time
  • Can’t lift or move all the boxes
  • Need assistance driving the moving truck
  • You’re moving across the country
  • Need help lifting large appliances and furniture
  • Need disassembly and assembly services
  • You want to simplify the process

Consider Your Long-Distance Needs

Not all moves require moving services. But a long-distance move is certainly one that warrants professional help. If you are moving across the country, we recommend hiring a professional moving company to help you with the entire planning process. With the right moving company, you and your family can enjoy the trip to your new home without the pressure of driving the truck and moving.

Think about Furniture Disassembly and Assembly Services

One aspect of moving that often gets forgotten is furniture disassembly and assembly. But not all furniture can be moved without this process. If you have the budget, consider asking your moving company if they can handle this step for you.

Consider Storage Units

Remember when it was time to throw everything away? Well, we know some items still didn’t get thrown away. If you don’t want to take those items to your new place, we recommend renting a storage space to store your belongings. We offer a safe storage facility for customers with furniture or other items they want to store, whether they need a short- or long-term lease.

Book Your Movers and Extra Services Early

Once you’ve compared prices and settled on a moving company, it’s time to book them. Getting a head start on the booking process means you will have a better chance of getting the date and time you want. Last-minute booking can also result in higher prices. This includes booking your moving company, rental truck, dollies, and other services such as disassembly and assembly of furniture.

Buy Moving Boxes and Supplies

A successful move includes the right supplies. Purchase cardboard moving boxes and related supplies, including packaging tape, packaging paper, bubble wrap, scissors, labels, and markers for labeling.

Avoid Old Moving Boxes

While it’s okay to get used boxes, extremely old or worn out boxes are not a good option for moving. Often times, very old boxes can buckle under pressure or contaminate your belongings during the move.

Use Plastic Sandwich Bags for Small Parts

We love small baggies for small items you can’t just throw in a box. Use them to organize your nuts, bolts, and screws. We also like them for jewelry, small toys, utensils and tools.

Take Special Care for Certain Belongings

If you have an impressive shoe collection, the last thing you want is to find your favorite heels damaged during the move. Instead, learn the proper way to pack shoes and heels.

The same is true for your fragile heirlooms, special clothing, or picture frames. Whether you own an extra-large mirror or a giant flat screen TV, you can find a special box or moving hack for your special belongings. You can easily find specialty moving boxes for all your belongings, which will make moving easier for you and the movers.

Properly Assemble Your Moving Boxes

A day or two before you start packing, assemble your moving boxes with proper packaging tape and other supplies. You don’t want the boxes to open up during the moving process.

Learn the Right Way to Pack Moving Boxes

There are a few tricks to packing moving boxes, including using the right size box, not overstuffing, and not under packing. Learn how to do it properly so that your movers or family members can easily transport the boxes from your home to the moving truck.

Use Proper Moving Tools and Equipment

You’ll need to rent dollies and other equipment for heavier boxes, large furniture, and appliances. If you’re not hiring a moving company, you can rent this equipment from the same place you also rent the moving truck.

Confirm Reservations Prior to Moving Day

It’s easy to assume that reservations are set in stone. But we always recommend calling a week or two before moving day and making sure that all your reservations are set in place. This is also when you can adjust certain services or add new ones if things have changed.

Ask Local Movers About Your New Neighborhood

If you’re moving to a new area, chances are your movers know a lot about the neighborhood. Now is your chance to ask any questions you have about the schools, restaurants, parks, and places to visit in the area.

Get Cash to Tip your Movers

On moving day, don’t forget that movers are some of the working professionals that are tipped for their service. We thank you in advance!

Ready to move? We can help. We invite you to complete our online form and we’ll give you an estimate of your move today.