Ultimate Guide on How to Pack Everything You Own For a Move


Worrying about how to pack everything for your impending move? 

If you have moving anxiety, (and perhaps a teensy bit of procrastination), calm your nerves and use these top packing tips that won’t leave you:

  • Stressed out
  • Dealing with broken/missing items
  • Forced to make (and pay for) multiple round-trips

We’re dishing on everything we’ve learned in over 30 years of packing & moving millions of Texas households.

Here’s how to pack everything you own and have a no-sweat move—no matter where you live or how many items you own!

Table of Contents

NOT SURE HOW TO START PACKING? TRY OUR POP METHOD!

For most people, figuring out when and how to start packing is the biggest hurdle. 

Following what we call the P.O.P method will help you conquer the packing process without getting overwhelmed!

Here's how it works:

1. Prioritize

The first step in the P.O.P process is to prioritize what you have to pack and when. 

Do certain items have to be delivered to your second destination or a storage unit? 

Are some pieces heavier or more delicate than others? 

Does something have more intricate parts to disassemble?

Will you need it urgently at your new place (like dishes, towels, or bedsheets)? 

Specialty items (looking at you, Peloton) may need to be dismantled or uninstalled by an experienced representative. This may or may not be someone from the manufacturing company. 

Since these types of pieces will take more time and attention, it’s a good idea to rank them in one of two ways: 

  • Number each item in order of importance
  • Or, add a note indicating either HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW priority.

Use these tips to create a prioritized home inventory list before you pack:

  1. Do a 5-to-10-minute brainstorm session and list everything you need to pack that’s extra heavy, delicate, valuable, or complicated. 
  2. Then, go room by room and list the rest of your belongings. These remaining items will typically be easier and faster to disassemble and pack.  
  3. Add a HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW priority note for each item.
  4. Now you’ll know where to start and which pieces will take more or less time to pack!

Note: If you expect to hire professional packers or need help packing anything that’s high-priority, add this in your notes. This serves as a reminder to notify your movers before your move day arrives so you both know what to expect.

2. Organize

Packing without first getting organized is a stressful disaster waiting to happen. Here’s how to make a plan to organize before packing:

  • Determine what supplies you’ll need. Make sure they’re good quality and that you have enough. (TIP: if you’re using old boxes, make sure they’re sturdy before packing them!)
  • Know when and where to get the supplies. Do some research on where to get affordable packing supplies all in one stop. You don’t want to wait on this, especially if you’re moving during a busy season!
  • Gather everything you need to move into your new place. And we mean everything (e.g., a working payment card, keys, paperwork, elevator/equipment reservations, apartment or storage hours, etc.). Getting well-prepared means that a moving company won’t have to charge you to hold items overnight. (While this is 100% legal, it’s very awkward and frustrating for everyone involved).
  • Contact your movers early about any specialty items. Some pieces movers can’t disassemble at all, or without you signing a waiver.  Other items—like Peloton bikes—may need a specialist to uninstall or dismantle them, so do this early.

3. Prepare

This is where things get down to business… You know, the part where you actually pack

Take a look at your home inventory list. Now it’s simply a matter of executing on parts 1 and 2 of the POP Method—Prioritize and Organize—that you’ve already done!

  • Start disassembling and wrapping your highest-priority items.
  • To stay organized, put similar items with each other based on the room (e.g. all dishes in the same box).
  • Mark the sides and top of each box. Include its contents, whether it’s fragile, and which side is up. Labeling helps immensely when you need to figure out which boxes to load without crushing something. (Example: “Kitchen Dishes | FRAGILE | This Side Up” or “Bedroom Canvas Prints | This Side Up”).
  • Continue down the list until you’ve wrapped and packed everything.
  • Clothing can be packed on hangers if they’re in wardrobe boxes/covers, or folded and boxed or packed in suitcases.
  • For anything you need help with, make a note and save it for move day.

WHICH PACKING SUPPLIES DO YOU REALLY NEED?

If you’re moving in a hurry or trying to stick to a budget, there’s little time to waste on finding the right packing supplies for your move.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what supplies you absolutely need for proper packing, as well as the optional nice-to-haves.

Must-Have Supplies for Packing

How else are you going to dismantle your furniture?

P.S. It’s best to have a case for your tools so you don’t have to put them in a moving box. 

Good boxes will have handle slots; make sure these are sturdy enough for any heavier items!

 

Bubble wrap and packing paper are crucial for padding your fragile items and filling in spaces to keep them stable.

A good suitcase or non-plastic bag is necessary for storing your essentials (as in, whatever you’ll need immediately in your new home—like toilet paper, toothbrush, medicine, snacks, towels, clothes, etc.)

You’ll definitely need this handy to open packed boxes or zip ties as you unpack.

Optional Packing Supplies

You’ll be using lots of tape and will need to apply it without struggling to peel off the end.

This is good for wrapping appliances or tables that could get scuffed or have smooth surfaces that are difficult to grip.

These are perfect for wrapping around electronics and other heavy but delicate items.

This helps you efficiently move heavy, packed boxes alone or stacked—and in fewer trips.

This wheeled & square-shaped sister tool of the classic dolly is excellent for easily lifting heavy, dense objects to wrap or load them.

Help protect your items with an extra cushion.

These boxes are great for anyone who wants to keep their clothes on hangers while packing.

You’ll really need this for securing larger items inside of a truck. So, unless you’re renting a moving truck on your own, you can skip these.

Nobody wants a dirty mattress, and it’s easier to bag it in a ready-made cover than trying to wrap it with something flimsy.

Sure, you can always use towels or packing paper, but glass/dish packs are a much-sturdier option if you have expensive wine glasses, antique china, or if you really love your dishes.

Why write on your boxes when you can use labels? Labels are terrific for clearly marking fragile items or categorizing contents by room.

While it’s not necessary, chipboard works wonders for reinforcing the tops and bottoms of boxes so your contents arrive at their destination in one piece.

Where To Get Free & Low-Cost Packing Supplies & Moving Boxes

You can find packing supplies that won’t break—or break the bank—at certain stores, like:

  • Your moving company. Tell your movers what you need, and they’ll bring it along!
  • Liquor stores, Bars, or Wineries
  • Furniture stores
  • Dollar stores

Why You Shouldn’t Use Grocery Store Boxes to Pack Furniture

Not only could the boxes have mold or mites, but previously-spilled food or certain allergens could get on your personal belongings and into your new space. You certainly don’t want to deal with bugs or a sticky, stinky, mess on your furniture…

Grocery store boxes are intended only for food. And, since food usually weighs less than standard household objects, grocery boxes are made lighter for one-time use.

They’re also too weak for heavier items and don’t hold up well for packing into a moving truck full of furniture.

The tops aren’t reinforced either.

That means the bottoms could easily fall out or the tops could be crushed with even slight pressure, damaging whatever you pack inside.

So, do yourself a favor and get real moving boxes instead of grocery store boxes!

Tips to Pack Efficiently & Avoid Move Day Headaches

Want to move quickly and be as efficient as possible? Use these tips on how to pack to avoid move-day headaches:

  • Clean and put away dishes and laundry. You definitely don’t want to forget to pack these. 
  • Get a lot more moving boxes than you probably think you’ll need. It never hurts to have more, but not having enough can put you in a last-minute bind.
  • Declutter, donate, & discard whatever you don’t need or haven’t used in at least a year. The less you have to pack, the better.
  • Avoid overloading boxes. If you can’t easily lift it, it’s too heavy. 
  • Seal and label all your packed boxes before movers arrive 
  • Do one last walkthrough to make sure no packed boxes are hidden away in closets or behind doors.  

FAQs: How to Pack Certain Items for Moving

Below is a breakdown of everything you wanted to know about how to prep and pack certain items for moving.

How Do I Pack My Garage & Lawn Equipment?

Garages are notorious for clutter, so try to clean out and discard as much as you can while packing this area.

Your garage is also where your heaviest and sharpest items usually are. 

That’s why having sturdy, high-quality supplies—like reinforced boxes or chipboard, moving blankets, tarps, and packing tape—is essential to pack your lawn and garage equipment the right way.

Here are some tips for packing items found in your garage:

  • Movers can’t transport fuel, like gasoline or propane tanks. Since it’s dangerous to transport that on your own, try draining or using up any fuel before you move, especially fuel in lawnmovers.
  • Double-bag any liquids or soil that could leak. Line a moving box with a contractor’s bag, then reinforce the top with chipboard so that nothing smashes it from above and causes more spillage.
  • Triple- or double-wrap any sharp, exposed edges with bubble wrap and/or stretch wrap.
  • Use zip ties or packing tape to bind long handles of rakes, brooms, and garden tools together, then cover the ends with garbage bags.
  • To keep cords organized, tie them together using a zip tie. You can also put them in a zipped bag or box with a label.
  • Keep tools in their toolbox. This is the best method for ensuring your tools are secure and won’t knock around against other items. Don’t have a toolbox? Wrap them individually with packing paper, fill empty spaces with padding, and reinforce the box with chipboard. Don’t overpack the box because it could be too difficult to carry and cause the bottom to fall out.

Can I Keep My Clothes Inside Drawers When Moving?

No, it’s not a good idea to move your clothes inside drawers instead of removing and packing them.
Whenever you can, remove your clothes from drawers as you pack.

Sure, it may seem inconvenient, but it’s not nearly as bad as hauling an unnecessarily heavy dresser… Or having to find/replace clothing that ripped or got stuck behind shifting drawers.

There are alternatives, however, like:

  • Using wardrobe boxes or bags to keep them on hangers.
  • Folding your clothes and packing them in moving boxes
  • Vacuum-sealing your clothes and stuffing them in suitcases.

Why you should empty your dresser drawers before moving:

  • Removing & packing items separately gives you a chance to declutter.
  • It relieves unnecessary weight.
  • Lighter furniture is less problematic to maneuver and load.
  • This makes your move easier and faster.
  • Reduces the chance of breaking or scratching furniture, floors, or walls.
  • It is much safer to transport without you or your movers getting an injury.
  • There’s zero chance of your items being damaged or ripped inside shifting drawers.

How Do I Pack Shoes for Moving?

You can pack shoes in one of the following ways:

  • Reuse their original shoeboxes (if you kept them)
  • Place them individually in cloth or plastic bags and pack in moving boxes
  • For boots, wrap and place them longways at the top or bottom of your boxes so they fit without being smushed or folded

Another plus to using wardrobe boxes: extra packing space for your shoes!

Shoes can also be packed in the bottom of wardrobe boxes to ensure they’re transported without damage. It’s also great for keeping all your clothing together and organized for your new closet.

Not sure how to wrap shoes for packing? Use the burrito method!

Supplies you’ll need: packing paper, tape, & large boxes.

  1. Take one shoe, fold it over once in packing paper
  2. Add the second shoe on top, & fold it over in packing paper once.
  3. Bring the sides in, continue rolling until there’s no more excess paper.
  4. Pack them flat and tightly in your box to avoid shifting.
packing shoes how to
How to pack shoes using the burrito method

How Do I Pack Lamps for Moving?

To pack lamps well, try dismantling them down to their smallest parts first. 

Wrap them tightly, then pad extra space within boxes to prevent damage. After all, you’ll need working lights in your new place, right?

Here are some enlightening tips on how to pack lamps for moving:

  • Disassemble lamps into smaller pieces. Keep the small parts together in a labeled zip bag. If they’re fragile pieces, wrap and cushion them with packing paper first
  • Pack light bulbs inside something hard. Wrap them—socks work great—and place into a sturdy plastic box (like a thick food storage container). Even if they somehow do get crushed, the thin glass won’t cut through and make a mess.
  • Top off the packed box with chipboard under the lid, before sealing. Fill in any extra spaces with foam inserts or lots of packing paper.  If you’re placing a delicate lamp body in a moving box, this will prevent it from being crushed from above.

How Do I Pack Jewelry & Valuables for Moving?

Legitimate moving companies will have policies in place to avoid potential theft or accusations of theft.

This means they’ll always ask you to move your own valuables

Such movers won’t even touch items that are expensive or that could easily be damaged/lost, so be prepared to pack these yourself. 

There are special containers designed for transporting jewelry. You can invest in them, or you can get crafty and use any number of items you probably already have lying around:

  • Put smaller jewelry pieces into heavy, solid cups (the metal kind that would be near impossible to break). Then, top the cups with packing paper. Finally, secure them with tape.
  • Try wrapping individual pieces in plastic, then putting them into a sturdy, lined box or a sealed, waterproof bag.
  • Thread an open necklace through a paper straw, clasping the ends together to secure it and prevent tangles.
  • Use pill organizers or egg cartons stuffed generously with packing paper, then taped together to secure it. Jewelry packed in this way should go into a sturdy box so it’s not crushed.
  • Get a portable lockbox or lockable filing cabinet to transport important documents.

Note: No matter how you pack your valuables, it’s imperative that you put them in the locked trunk of your car.  If you can’t lock your trunk during move day, do not leave your vehicle unattended.

How Do I Pack Dishes & Glassware for Moving?

With all the wrapping involved, you may need more time to pack fragile items like dishes and glassware. 

However, if you’re using these items on a daily basis, you can wait until the night before or the morning of your move to pack them. 

Consider spending a little extra on dish or glass separators if you have particularly expensive or sentimental pieces.

Or simply follow the steps in the video below!

[VIDEO] How to Pack Wine Glasses for Moving

How Do I Prepare Appliances to Move?

At least 24 hours prior to your move, unplug and drain/defrost major appliances (i.e., laundry machines, refrigerators, freezers)

If you aren’t hiring movers, wrap items with thin blankets or stretch wrap to prevent scuffing or dents.

As far as your laundry dryer, it’s a good idea to clean the dryer vent while you’re preparing appliances to move. 

Cleaning it doesn’t take long, but letting debris build up is actually a fire hazard, so why not do it anyway?

Do I Have to Pack Plants for Moving?

Due to state regulations movers legally cannot transport live plants in the back of their trucks. 

You’ll have to pack and transport plants yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that movers won’t assist you.

To help you pack potted plants, movers will typically do one or both of the following:

  • Movers may help you wrap potted plants so that soil doesn’t spill out and tendrils aren’t damaged. 
  • Movers may offer to load your potted plants into your vehicle. 
  1. A hardy floor tarp for your backseat and floor
  2. 2 garbage bags per plant.
  3. Some zip ties
  1. Make sure there is no standing water in the basin of the pot that could spill out. The soil should be relatively dry.
  2. *If you have a wheel dolly (if not, skip to step 3): Lift the potted plant from the base onto the wheel dolly. 
  3. Place 1 garbage bag over the top of the plant, wrapping it lightly so it’s not damaged.
  4. Put another garbage bag around the base where the potted soil is located. Wrap the bottom tightly so the soil won’t fall out. 
  5. Use zip ties to secure both garbage bags at the base or narrowest part of the plant.

What Should I Not Pack for a  Move?

Imagine settling into your new place after a long, tiring day of moving.

Do you really want to rummage through boxes to find towels for a much-needed shower at the end of the day?!

What about your pillows and bedsheets?

Didn’t think so. 

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t pack up when moving:

  • Don’t box up anything that you’ll absolutely need immediately after your move or the next day. 
  • Make a grab bag or suitcase that’s easily accessible and full of your essentials for at least the next day. Pack things like toilet paper, medicines, glasses, children’s supplies, snacks, bed linens, towels, cosmetics/toiletries, clothing and underwear. 
  • Don’t pack them in a box. They’ll blend in with other boxes and be harder to find, and you’ll want to move quickly when preparing to rest.

Follow this advice, and you’ll be able to comfortably relax as soon as you arrive!

Will Movers Pack Things for Me?

The short answer is, YES! 

Movers will pack your belongings.

At 3 Men Movers, and with other companies, the professional team of packers may be distinct from the moving crew. For others or in certain locations, they may be one and the same. 

Either way, we highly recommend you call and notify your moving company first. There’s zero shame in needing a moving company to help you pack—but try not to spring it on your movers at the last minute or day of your move. 

If you have a home inventory sheet, discuss it with your moving company in advance. This will help you both determine what they can and cannot pack and move for you. 

What Won’t Movers Pack?

While movers love to help, there are certain things movers can’t pack and transport due to state guidelines. In Texas, these items include:

  • Cash, jewelry 
  • Chemicals
  • Live Plants 
  • Living animals
  • Anything infested by insects or mold
  • Items soiled by human/animal bodily fluids
  • Live ammunition
  • Fuel or gases
  • Loaded, unsecured weapons
  • Very large equipment (our limit is often 600 lbs., but this is ultimately left to the crew leader’s discretion)

You should plan on transporting items like cash/valuables, live plants or pets in your own vehicle, so load up wisely!

How Do I Pack & Load a Moving Truck?

Packing a rented truck?  The most important thing you’ll need to keep in mind is to load the heaviest items on the bottom first.

Similar to packing your boxes, you’ll want to fill all available space when loading your moving truck, too. 

When you’re packing, try not to leave gaps between, around, or above your items (especially the fragile ones). 

Even if your things are well-wrapped, space gaps make items unstable and lead to shifting. Shifting leads to damages, and that’s the last thing you want to deal with when settling in your new space.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve made it this far, congrats! 

You’ve now learned everything you need to know to start packing for your move like a pro. 

Use these tips for planning and packing efficiently, and to ensure you’re packing specific items the right way. 

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The Ultimate, No-Panic Guide to Moving in 2 Weeks


Are you moving out of a house or apartment in 2 weeks and still not ready?

Sure, you’ve got a lot to do in a less-than-ideal amount of time—but it is doableAnd, yes, you can still move. 

Below we cover exactly how to move from anywhere—house or apartment. You’ll know exactly what to do in advance, each week, and the day of your move, plus a free checklist and tips to make the entire process much easier!

Top Things to Do 2 Weeks Ahead (No Matter Where You’re Moving)

“Two weeks will fly by fast, and spots fill up quickly.”

Erin. 3 Men Movers Market Manager, Austin

You probably thought you had more time. After all, two weeks can seem like enough. 

But, it really isn’t… Especially considering everything you have to do, like: 

  • Find a moving company
  • Donate or get rid of anything you don’t want to take with you
  • Packing everything you own (this includes getting the supplies, closing/taping and labeling boxes) 
  • Handle other move-related errands (like changing your address, vehicle, or voter registration, setting up new utilities, etc)
  • And finally, the actual move day

Not to mention unpacking and setting up your new place, or shopping around for anything you need to get settled.

Remember, you’re also competing with hundreds of other people who need to move due to expiring leases!

So, if you’ve done absolutely none of the above, take a deep breath, read on, and download the FREE two-week moving checklist below.

Download Your Free 2-Week Moving Checklist 

Whether you’re moving from a house or apartment, this free, 3-page guide will help you prepare in under two weeks.

Grab the freebie below!

checklist to move in 2 weeks

 

How to Prepare to Move in 2 Weeks:

In the third episode of our Master Your Move series, Erin, our Austin Market Manager, even gives her best advice for moving out in a time crunch

Here are Erin’s top tips on how to prepare for a moving company within two weeks—whether you live in an apartment or a house!

Erin highly recommends some key steps to prepare for moving company in just 2 weeks… no matter where you’re moving to or from:

1. Book a mover as fast as possible.

This is extremely important during peak moving seasons (like summer) when tons of people are moving. Not sure what to look for? We’ve got just the right questions to ask—especially if you want to move quickly—and how to find a legitimate company.  

2. Clearly label all boxes & items

Mark the contents and indicate anything fragile inside (especially glassware!)

3. Check on parking or truck access from the street.

Speak to your landlord or neighbors first to avoid any conflicts.

4. Schedule any necessary appointments as far in advance as possible

Think of anything that could be impacted by your move being longer or shorter than expected (e.g. reserving an elevator, hiring an electrician, locating cleaners or specialty disposal, finding contractors to disassemble/install certain items like playground or workout equipment).

You’ll also want to note the times so your movers can hustle prior to any contractor or vendor visits to your new home.

5. Prepare packing supplies.

Take stock of the easily damaged things you have to move. These could be TVs, mirrors, glasses, artwork, jewelry, or more. This will help you know the types and quantities of moving supplies you need to get prior to your move.

If you’re packing alone, use supplies that will make packing easier: strong boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, blankets for wrapping, bubble wrap, leg casters, box dividers (or clean towels) for glasses and dishes, and plastic wrap or tarp for transporting live, potted plants.  

MASTER TIP: Use the boxes or cases that your devices came in to pack them up (e.g. TVs, jewelry, lamps, cookware). 

6. Call your moving company and check your appointment.

If movers haven’t already done a virtual or in-person walkthrough, take photos or video and send it to them yourself.

This is critical if you’re using the company’s packing services

MASTER TIP: Open all closets, cabinets, doors, and drawers so your movers can accurately gauge how much they’ll be packing and/or moving. Review your quote with them and ask about any additional fees not outlined that could be tacked on if they need to pack your items.

7. Get a good night’s rest 1-2 nights before moving.

Sleep deprivation adds up and can leave you less than alert.

Trust us, you don’t want to be grumpy, groggy, or forgetful on your move day!

8. Pack up the last things you’ll use in the morning.

Toiletries, cosmetics, medication/vitamins, snacks, dog food, kid’s supplies—think of everything you know you’ll need to use on move day that won’t go on the truck.

Keep them easily accessible in a grab bag to toss in your vehicle.

The same goes for live, potted plants. Movers can’t legally transport these in a moving truck, so make room in your vehicle while protecting your floors and upholstery.

MASTER TIP:  Wrap plants and tarp your floor so the soil doesn’t spill.

9. Have your payment ready.

When you first book and sign, all scheduled charges should be explained and documented upfront. You definitely don’t want your move day to arrive and you’re unable to pay. Legally, moving companies can retain your items on their trucks until you can pay as agreed in your contract. No one likes being in that situation, so make sure you have enough money to cover your move (you can always call the mover later if there’s an issue!)  MASTER TIP: If payment is a problem, save yourself and your moving company some awkwardness and cancel or reschedule for when you’re ready. 

10. Check labels & move boxes out of the way.

The best way to make your move faster? Clear a path for your movers to get to and from your apartment door/garage.

It also helps to have fragile boxes in a separate section from heavier items.

Finally, double-check that any descriptions on fragile or important boxes haven’t been mislabeled or misplaced.

MASTER TIP:  Make sure any fragile items are clearly marked on all sides of the box with an arrow facing upwards. 

11. Do one last sweep with movers before leaving.

The worst feeling is leaving something behind.

(It’s also a nightmare if you’re moving long-distance!)

Avoid this by doing one final sweep of your entire apartment or home when before you and the movers head to your new place.

 

How to Prepare to Move From an Apartment in 2 Weeks:

If you’re making the move from an apartment to a house, you’ll have some specific things to consider. Most likely, you’ll have more time constraints moving out than moving into a neighborhood.

According to Erin, here’s how to prep two weeks before moving out of your apartment

As soon as you know you’re moving out of an apartment:

  • Repair any & all damages. This is a big one because apartments will charge you for damages after you’ve moved out (even if they were already there). While you still live in your apartment, it’s 100% free to notify your leasing office about existing damages and have them repaired!
  • RSVP at your apartment complex. You might be required to reserve an elevator, parking spots, or do certain things before you move. The complex may also need to adhere to certain procedures or do things like install hangers in your reserved elevator for the movers. Talk to the leasing office in advance and give them ample details. 
  • Clean your apartment thoroughly. Tackle the biggest, dirtiest jobs first (do a bit every day). Lighter cleaning can wait until move day so you’re not overwhelmed or in the way. You could even get your deposit back if it’s clean enough! MASTER TIP: Schedule your move so you have an extra day to intensively clean your apartment after all the furniture is gone. 

5-7 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Start packing everything. Being overwhelmed is a major factor of stress during move day. Packing early eliminates that. Moving companies often offer packing and/or unpacking if you don’t want to do it all on your own. At 3 Men Movers, we not only offer both services, but our unpackers will organize everything so you’re prepared to start living.
  • Declutter & see what you can sell/give away. This is a great time not only to pack, but to go through any junk or things you no longer want that can be donated. Certain clothing consignments may be able to give you extra cash for your unwanted attire, or you can drop them off at nonprofit centers.  

2-4 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Revisit your apartment office & recap your move day. Is there anything you forgot to tell the leasing office? Perhaps there’s something your movers told you that changes your plans a bit? Either way, let your office know. On the flip side, inform your leasing office how your move day will generally go and ensure all your reservations still stand, uninterrupted. Review parking options and the permitted loading areas, then relay this info to your moving company. (You don’t want movers wasting any time trying to determine where to park or load). 
  • Wrap up any major cleaning and repairs. Even if you’ve booked your move so that you have an extra day to clean your empty apartment, you should still have most of it done. Repairs should definitely be done at least a day before movers set foot in your apartment. 

The same day you’re moving out of an apartment:  

  • Communicate with your movers. While they should have all the important information before they arrive, it never hurts to check twice. Call the company when they open and ask if everything is on schedule
  • When movers arrive, show them everything. Like where certain things are, (e.g., stairs, parking and loading dock, elevators, etc.) Also, during peak seasons, some highly-requested crews may be busier than normal. If you’re not the first appointment of the day, this could push back your move start time a bit—especially if the previous job had more items than expected or if they weren’t totally prepared. 


Ho to Prepare to Move From a House in 2 Weeks:

If you’re moving from a house, you do have more flexibility as far as time and parking availability. But there are still some ways you can specifically prepare if you’re two weeks away from moving and not ready. 

As soon as you know you’re moving out of a house:

  • Start packing right away. You might have fewer time constraints than an apartment-dweller, but none of that matters if you’re not packed before move day. Start cleaning and clearing out old junk, too. You’ll likely have more unwanted stuff if you live in a house rather than an apartment. 
  • Talk to your neighbors. Communicate with your neighbors in advance so there will be a spot for your movers’ truck. You don’t want your movers to have to compete with other contractors or personal vehicles if your neighbors are using services or hosting gatherings on the same day. Your move will definitely take longer if crew members have to walk from down the street to move items out of your home.
  • Book your move at the appropriate time. While you don’t have to worry about handing over the keys to a leasing agent right away, you still should be considerate. So when you’re scheduling your move, keep in mind any conflicting information you uncovered while speaking with neighbors. 

7-10 days before moving from a house:  

  • Get repairs and contracting services done. If you’re renting, ask your landlord about repairs. 
  • Thoroughly label and number your boxes. As listed under the General tips, you should already have gotten moving boxes and supplies and started packing. Besides simply writing ‘fragile’ on your boxes, number them to match the rooms they will go into at the new place. (More on that below).

5-10 days before moving out of a house:

  • Schedule contractors to dismantle any special or expensive items. Certain furniture and equipment must be dismantled before moving (like grandfather clocks, light fixtures, Peloton bikes, gun safes that are bolted into the floor or need doors removed). 
  • Get the proper equipment, casing, boxes, wraps, etc. for any instruments, jewelry, ammunition).

1-2 days before your move from a house:

  • Communicate any obstacles getting to your home. When your moving company opens, give them a call to let them know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Is your street clear? Are your neighbors doing construction or expecting lots of cars on the street? Will there be any hills that movers have to traverse while hauling your stuff to the truck? What about low-hanging trees or cables?
  • Assist with a virtual walkthrough. Send your moving company photos of how much stuff you need to move. A simple cell phone photo of each room will do, but remember to snap your closets, cabinets, dressers with clothing, and outdoor furniture. Knowing how much and what you have to move will help the moving company send you the right crew and inform you of any fee changes. No one likes surprise charges after moving!
  • Check on any storage facility restrictions.  On move day, the clock will be ticking and most movers charge hourly. So waiting on any mishaps at a storage facility could end up being expensive. If you’re moving things into or out of storage, make sure a facility manager is there in case you have issues. It’s also vital to know whether the storage company restricts moves after a certain time
  • Do your laundry. This goes without saying, but no one wants to transport dirty clothing. Plus, you may be able to use clean linens to help you pack delicate items
  • Set up utilities in your new space. Set up or transfer your cable, internet, water, gas, and electricity before your move. In some areas of Texas, like DFW and Houston, you can choose your electricity provider and shop for the cheapest electricity rate.
  • Clean & disconnect appliances. Any appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators should be disconnected at least 24 hours in advance of your move. Some movers will assist you with this, but many others won’t (movers generally aren’t trained to do that kind of thing).  Moving companies will often ask you to waive liability so they aren’t responsible if anything goes wrong. If you need help with disconnecting and reconnecting a washer or dryer, ask your chosen moving company during booking.  
  • MASTER TIP: For dryers, make sure the vent is thoroughly cleaned before installing it in your new home. 

The same day you’re moving out of your home:

  • Charge your cell phone. Before—or even during—your move, the moving company or crew may need to get in touch with you. Keep your cell phone on you and charged at all times so you and your movers don’t miss any important news.  Don’t forget to turn up your ringer volume!
  • Prepare everything you need to use that day. If there are things you know you’ll need (like snacks, medications, or your toothbrush) keep them separate in a backpack or tote bag.
  • Do a walkthrough before & after moving furniture. It seems repetitive, but we can’t stress this enough: open every closet, cabinet, and drawer before your movers start and after everything is moved out. Before you head off to your destination, don’t forget to do one final walkthrough with your movers to ensure nothing’s left behind. It’s also crucial to clear out any drawers with clothing or drawers before dressers get lifted and shifted on a dolly, so items and inner parts don’t rip or break. Make sure the movers do a final check of the truck after you move into the new space. 
  • Label the doors of each room to match your boxes.  Using a sticky note, copy the numbers you put on the boxes to denote where each box will go at your new place. This will prevent movers from constantly having to ask where you want every box placed, and will generally speed up your move.  

*Special Note on When to Pack a House: 

We typically recommend that you start packing a house one month in advance. But if you have a house to pack and haven’t done anything at all, start now

How much time you dedicate to packing and how much you have to pack are huge factors in how long your move takes. 

Will you spend 8 hours a day packing over the course of one or two weekends? 

Do you work such long hours that packing by yourself for 12 hours isn’t possible? 

If either of these scenarios describe your situation, we recommend either packing anywhere from 30 to 60 days in advance. Depending on how much time you’re able to dedicate to finding the supplies and packing everything yourself, you should consider hiring professional packers to ease the workload.

More on what to expect from packers, here

Wrapping Up

If you’re worried about having a last-minute move and have only two weeks to plan—relax

The best thing you can do now is to pack, find a mover, and follow this guide to moving from a house or apartment in 2 weeks

 

How To Pack An Apartment In One Day


If you’re looking at your schedule and panicking because you only have one day free to pack before your movers arrive we’re here to help by providing you with 5 easy tips to pack up your apartment in one day for those who need to move and are in a hurry!

Buy your supplies the night before

Make sure you purchase your packing supplies the night before you get started. This includes boxes, tape, markers, packing paper, and bubble wrap.

Splurge on wardrobe boxes

Wardrobe boxes are a life saver during a move! One thing that is really going to save on time is utilizing wardrobe boxes. You won’t have to take every item off of each hanger and rehang it when you get to your second location.

Get an early start

A huge factor in whether or not you are able to get all of your packing done is getting an early start. If you start at 11 am there’s a good chance that you’re still going to be packing into the night. If your move is the next day you don’t want to be drained because you were up packing until 4 am.

Tackle one room at a time

Packing room by room helps you keep things organized and it will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed throughout the process.

Label everything

Another huge time saver is going to be labeling your boxes. Labeling your boxes help you to stay organized, prevents you from stacking heavy boxes on top of fragile boxes.

Stack your belongings as you go

When you’re packing an apartment you can easily run out of space as your apartment begins to fill up with packed boxes. One trick is to stack your boxes as you pack them. Just be sure to pay attention to the labels on your boxes so that you don’t damage any fragile items.

In conclusion

Packing up your apartment in one day is definitely a chore but far from impossible. Be sure that as you go through the process you’re taking the time to wrap and protect your items to prevent damages during your move. To ensure that your movers can get right to work on move day check out our guide on what a fully packed home looks like.