Moving season is here. And while it may look a little bit different this year, the fact remains that every summer many of us have to endure the ordeal of packing up our earthly belongings and schlepping them to a new residence.
It’s never fun, even when you’re able to bribe your friends to help. But after a lot of experience moving furniture around, we do think it’s possible to make moving all your prized possessions and furniture a lot easier. Here’s what we do to simplify the moving process.
Organize Your Boxes & Start a Spreadsheet
This might sound self-evident, but keeping your boxes organized is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Try to keep ‘like with like’, and consider grouping your boxes by room as well.
If you’re super organized, a spreadsheet of boxes and their contents is the best possible way to make sure you can access what you need when you first arrive (and save the non-essentials for later). But even without that level of detail, we have a few tips and tricks.
Get Creative When Packing Odd-Shaped Items
Try to avoid leaving items loose — it never leads to good things. Instead, use creative packaging for your oddly shaped belongings. IKEA bags for soft items or pillows, wrapping paper around framed art to prevent scratches, trash bags over hangers, and banker boxes (they have handles!) for books.
Then label everything like your life depends on it: we prefer the “chef” method, which consists of masking tape and a sharpie. You can write a quick description of what’s in each box, and it’s easy to peel off for the next time you need to move.
Break Down Sofas, Tables & Other Large Furniture
With your smaller belongings contained, it’s time to tackle the dreaded large furniture. The fact is that furniture will always be heavy and unwieldy. If you own a Floyd piece, it’s designed to be “take-apart-able”, which helps for transport up stairs and around corners. But no matter where your furniture is from, you can probably make the moving easier on yourself.
For your sofas, remove all the cushions (and take off the arms & back if you are able). If it’s slipcovered, remove the slipcover to prevent marks and scuffs. Moving blankets are great for protecting upholstery, and they create a nice padding for more fragile wooden pieces. If you do wrap a piece with moving blankets, try using ratchet straps around the outside to keep the blankets in place and to function as a convenient handle.
Shrink Wrap & Strap Up Smaller Furniture
For smaller furniture components, a roll of shrink wrap is a great way to make sure nothing goes missing. You can wrap up a rug or a set of table legs to keep them from sliding around in transit. Keep all your screws + instructions in a plastic baggie and tape it to the piece it belongs with.
Mattresses can be transported easily if you use ratchet straps or bungee cords to create a taco shape — you’d be surprised how small you can wrap up a big, unwieldy mattress! If you’re desperate to move a big piece without help, place a moving blanket under the piece and then use the edge to drag it where you need it to go.
Keep Box Weight Top of Mind
No matter how many belongings you have, you can also make moving easier on yourself by thinking carefully about weight. Use your biggest boxes for light items (clothes, pillows, linens) because you’ll still be able to carry them without throwing out your back.
For books, dishes, or anything else heavy, use smaller boxes and keep the weight in mind as you pack. You might end up with more boxes, but you won’t have to wear yourself out with boxes that are too heavy to carry. And don’t forget to consider weight within your moving transportation (whether it’s your own vehicle or a rented one). Plan to move the heavier into your new space first, and leave the lighter items for last. You’ll thank yourself for that.
Don’t Forget Moving Accessories
Finally, make sure you have a toolkit of necessary items ready to go and easily accessible. That means having screwdrivers, allen wrenches, and anything else you might need to reassemble your tables, bed frames, living room shelving and other important pieces handy and well-marked. But don’t forget other useful items like paper towels, a broom, Clorox wipes, trash bags, a box cutter, and sliders for under your furniture.
We also think it’s important to have plenty of snacks & water to keep your energy up. Moving is hard enough without being dehydrated!
Here’s to a summer of low-stress moving. You can do it!