Moving 101: Four Tips to Survive the Process

By Erin Condren, organization expert for Liberty Mutual.

Deciding to move from one home to another can be daunting no matter the circumstances. My family recently renovated our home and due to the extensive construction process we had to find temporary housing. There were a lot of moving pieces: packing, managing contractor schedules, and the actual move out and then back in! Staying organized and calm was the key to sanity and being on track while I got my family through these changes.

In partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance, here are a few of the top tips I learned in the process.

1. The Ultimate Checklist

A moving to-do list with a red pencil.

I’ve always been a big believer in lists, but moving took it to the next level. Start any renovation or move by making a checklist. Include tasks like hiring movers, making arrangements with friends or family, purchasing boxes, reserving a storage unit, etc. To help you with your moving timeline, Liberty Mutual’s Master This website has done all of the work for you. This article lets you know what you should do when and how far in advance.

When it comes to packing, evaluate what works for you and your family and set weekly goals. Also, don’t get so carried away that essential items are packed too far in advance. It will get frustrating if you have to open a box every time you want a bowl of cereal!

2. Love It or Leave It?

While packing everything in your home can feel like a huge undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. Use this opportunity to declutter. Before putting everything into boxes, separate your belongings into three categories: keep, donate, and toss.

There are plenty of organizations that will accept gently used items. Many nonprofit organizations will accept clothing and kitchen items. A local hospital may take your old CDs and DVDs. Functional electronics and gently used books could be accepted by a library or local school and animal shelters may take your old towels and bedding. There is never a shortage of those in need!

3. Packing Hacks

A moving trucks with movers and boxes.

You’ve made your lists and checked them constantly. You’ve sorted through items and threw out or donated what you no longer need. Now, it’s time to pack everything up.

According to a Liberty Mutual Insurance study, the most commonly lost or misplaced items during moves are power cords (24%) followed by kitchen utensils (23%). A few of my favorite tips to keep your items organized so they're not lost include the following:

  • Put plastic wrap around your cutlery holder with the flatware inside. This consolidates the amount of things needing to be packed, and ensures you don’t lose a single fork.

  • Stack your ceramic plates between paper plates or dishtowels to create a barrier, as well as packing your glassware with socks inside the cups to provide cushion during the move!

The office and living room are filled with electronics, books, and other knickknacks that can easily get lost along the way.

  • Make your life easier by taking pictures of the backs of your electronics before disconnecting wires so that you know exactly how to reconnect everything when you get to your new destination.

  • Once you pull out wires, wrap them up and put them into empty toilet paper rolls and tape them to the unit they came from. This way, wires needed in the room won’t get lost or tangled among the (controlled) chaos of the move.

  • When packing up books and other heavy items, put them in a rolling suitcase. This will decrease the likelihood of a moving-related injury!

Putting everything into boxes is one thing, but organizing the boxes and loading them into the truck is another.

  • Make sure to have a uniform system in place, whether it’s labeling each box by room or marking each box with colored tape so that you know where all of your items should go.

  • Also, give some thought to the way you load the moving truck. If you need access to your kitchen right away, load those items into the truck last so that they are the first to be unloaded and unpacked.

4. Are You Insured?

Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about what to do if something is lost or stolen in the process! According to that same Liberty Mutual study mentioned above, 46% of renters do not have insurance. Moving is a great time to take stock of what you own and to make sure your personal property is protected. You’d be surprised how much value your possessions can add up to, so it’s important to make sure you’re covered!

For homeowners and renters, it’s important to know if you need additional insurance coverage for high-priced items such as antiques, collectibles, and jewelry. If these items mean a lot to you and your family, it’s worth checking in with your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered.

For more moving tips, visit Liberty Mutual’s go-to resource: