Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How much does it cost to rent a storage unit?

Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, you may be quite envious of the Room of Requirement in the Hogwarts castle – “a room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it; sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker’s needs”. If only you had access to such an adaptable extra room when downsizing, moving into temporary housing, renovating your home, or on any other occasion when you need to get some of your possessions out of the way but want to keep them for later use!

Since there is no chance of having such a magic room in your home though, you need to find another solution for storing away your excess items. A self-storage unit may be your best bet – you get a safe and easily accessible storage space where to keep your stuff until you can take it back.

This seemingly perfect solution, however, comes at a cost – you need to pay a monthly fee for your storage unit and the prices can add up to thousands of dollars a year. So, when looking to expand your storage space, you need to consider the storage unit cost first.

How much does a storage unit cost, indeed? The prices vary according to size and location, but you can get an idea of how much you’re going to pay for storage when you know exactly what type of storage unit you need and what factors determine the cost of a storage unit.

Factors that influence storage unit costs
Storage rental costs depend on a variety of factors, including the location of the storage facility, the available extra features, the size of the unit, and the length of the rental period:

Size of the storage unit
Size is the main determinant of storage unit rental costs – naturally, the larger the unit, the higher the monthly cost will be.

Storage facilities usually offer storage units in various sizes to accommodate different storage needs. The smallest ones cost about $30 – $50 per month, while larger units can be $300 a month.

So, when looking for a self-storage unit, you have to know how much space you need first. Sort through your excess household items, asses their value, and decide which of them are really worth keeping (the more stuff you decide to put into storage, the more space you’re going to need and the more you’re going to pay). Sell, donate or give away everything you won’t be able to use in the foreseeable future (the value of any items placed in storage depreciates with time) and keep only items of great sentimental value you don’t want to part with and items of great practical value you’re going to use sometime soon. Measure and weigh the items you intend to put into storage to find out how much storage space you need. Look for a storage unit slightly larger than what you believe is necessary (you may not be able to optimize the storage space well enough or you may need to add some more items in the near future).

Location of the storage facility
Just as real estate costs, storage units’ costs vary from place to place. Self-storage in large metropolitan areas is much more expensive than in small towns due to the higher demand. Cheaper cities offer cheaper storage options because of the lower costs of living in the region. Downtown storage facilities tend to have higher rates than similar facilities located in the suburbs or outside the city because of the higher desirability of the area.

A small storage unit in Portland, OR, for example, costs about $110 per month, while a unit of the same size in Memphis, TN, is about $50 a month.

You will most certainly want your self-storage unit to be in the city where you live in, but you can save some money by choosing a facility located in the suburbs (unless you need frequent access to it).

Climate control
Climate control is an extra feature that has a tremendous impact on the storage rental cost. A climate-controlled storage unit is likely to cost about 15%-25% more than a non-climate-controlled unit.

So, when choosing a storage unit, do not opt for one with climate control unless you really need it – otherwise, you will be paying for storage amenities you don’t actually use.

Whether you need climate control or not will depend on the type of items you intend to put into storage and the climate in your area. If you live in a place with extreme weather conditions or if you intend to store expensive electronic equipment, artwork, musical instruments, delicate items with high sentimental value, antique or leather furniture, or any other items that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, you definitely need a climate-controlled unit.

High-end security features – video cameras and surveillance systems, strong fences and guarded gates, secure locks, fire alarms, etc. – will ensure the safety of your items while they’re in storage. The more secure the facility, however, the more you will pay.

The type of storage facility (outdoor or indoor), its age and overall condition, the level of customer service, the type of self-storage access, and the available extra amenities (loading docks, wheeled moving equipment, illumination, etc.) also affect the storage unit prices, so you need to know exactly what you need when looking for storage options in your area.

Storage period
Last but not least, the cost of a storage unit depends on the length of time you rent it for.

Most self-storage facilities offer month-to-month services which allow customers to store their items temporarily without making a long term commitment. While this is the most convenient option possible, it is also the most expensive one. Smaller rental time results in a higher monthly storage unit cost – renting a storage cell for three months, for example, is going to cost much more per month than it would cost when renting the same unit for an year.

To save on storage costs, you’re advised to rent a unit for at least six months at a time (or for as long as you’re sure you’ll need it). Going for a long-term rental is a shrewd financial decision as you’ll not only pay lower monthly fees, but may even get the first month for free.

What’s more, paying up front will most probably earn you an ample discount as well. So, consider paying in six month increments, if applicable in your case.

You need to take into account all of the above to get an accurate idea of your self-storage costs. Then, you can look for different ways to get good deals on storage units.

Average storage unit cost
So, all things considered, what does a storage unit cost? How much is a storage unit per month? It depends on your particular needs (size of storage unit, additional amenities, rental time) and the area you live in, but storage unit prices per month run like these:

5’X5’ (25 square feet) storage cells typically cost between $35 and $85 per month. They are about as big as a large closet;
5’X10’ (50 square feet) cells tend to cost about $55-$125 per month. They can fit the contents of a small room;
10’X10’ (100 square feet) units cost about $100-$180 per month. They are about half the size of a standard garage;
10’X15’ (150 square feet) storage units usually cost between $120 and $200 per month. They can accommodate the contents of two full rooms;
10’X20’ (200 square feet), units can cost anywhere between $150 and $300 per month. They can fit the furnishings of a 2-or 3-bedroom home.
To find out what size storage unit will best suit your needs, you’re advised to make a complete inventory of the items you intend to place in storage. The inventory sheet will come very handy when purchasing insurance for your stored items as well.

Whether you need to put your belongings into short-term or long-term storage, whether you need storage-in-transit while moving house or a safe place where to keep your belongings during a renovation project or a temporary relocation, make sure you explore all the storage options in your area and choose a safe, convenient, and affordable storage unit for your excess household items. It will be just like having the Room of Requirement at your disposal.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® moving tips for military members:

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we are all about giving back to our community and helping to move people forward in life. This is especially true with our veterans, and we make sure to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this county and allow us to do we what we do each day.
This is especially true when it comes to providing moving services for active military members, and we try to deliver the absolute best moving services possible for those about to serve, currently serving, or those who may be finishing up their time in the military. While many of the basic aspects of the moving process translate to a military move, there are some minor details that must be taken into consideration to ensure the move goes smoothly.
Thankfully, the “Movers Who Care®” at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK have put together some important moving tips for military members so when it comes time to make your next step, you have all the resources and planning taken care of.
Pack with efficiency
Packing can sometimes be the difference between a successful move and a disaster, and taking the time to pack properly will take a ton of stress off your shoulders and keep the entire process moving along as you relocate to your new home.
Start by labeling all of your boxes so there is no confusion as to where any of your belongings are. Try to organize boxes by keeping items of the highest importance together so that when you get to your new spot, you are able to access them quickly. Be sure to check with the military base you are moving to on their restrictions or guidelines of what is and isn’t allowed on the premises so you aren’t forced to part with something unexpectedly.
Stay organized
For many active military members, moving can become an all too frequent process, and you can find yourself jumping from city to city based on your assignments.
This creates an even greater significance on staying organized with your belongings, as you’ll want to keep yourself on track and not get lost in clutter from place to place. Determine what items are useful at your next place and what items are no longer needed, and toss the unwanted stuff.
Pay attention to pricing options
When it comes to moving as a member of the military, you are given the option of buying or renting your own place, but the pricing options can vary.
Your housing is paid for to an extent, but what allowance you receive depends if you live on or off the base. If you decide to live on the base, they will usually take your entire allowance and allow you to live there without requiring payment for rent or bills If you choose to live off-base, anything you pay for that goes over your allowance comes out of pocket.
Find out what type of housing option works best for you financially, and make the necessary arrangements.
Give yourself extra time
In order for movers to get on a military base, their moving trucks are going to be thoroughly examined by security, and this will often add in extra time. It’s important to plan with this in mind, especially when being charge by the hour for your moving services.
Talk with your moving company and find out what their rates are to ensure there are no surprises come moving time.
Be prepared if you’re going international
This goes without saying, but if your military move involves relocating to a new country, there’s quite a bit of extra planning that wouldn’t normally come with a local home move.
Some things to keep in mind as you relocate to a new country:
-Longer time frames for delivering and receiving your items
-Language barriers
-Relocating your vehicle
Along with this, there are plenty of other factors that come into play, so it’s important to be up-to-date with the regulations of your new country, and with your new military base.
At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, we put a heavy emphasis on helping and giving back to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. From our Movers for Military campaign in the fall to employing numerous veterans, we feel it’s our duty to make sure these brave men and women are taken care of.
If you’re looking to complete an upcoming military move, give us a call! We’d love to help get you on your way and show you why we are known as the “Movers Who Care®”.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Moving Day Tips: How to Pack for a Move:

Clear things out. If you haven't used it, get rid of it by creating a "charity" and a "recycle" box to help in sorting.
Always prepare a "load-last" carton that contains items you want access to right away, like a coffeepot, filter and coffee grounds; paper plates, cups, and napkins; paper towels, telephone, flashlight, basic tools and anything else you may not want to hunt for on moving day. Place difficult-to-locate items such as hardware and the remote control in a plastic sandwich bag. Add a label and put it in your "load-last" carton.
Get the children involved. Have them decorate signs with their names on them to hang outside their bedrooms at the new house. Not only does it help get them involved in the moving process, it will also help movers identify where the boxes should be placed.
Be sure to clearly label each box on both the top and sides, clearly indicating the contents and the room in which it belongs. Use a dark-colored marking pen that is easy to read.
Protect your mattresses and furniture by covering them with old sheets. Fitted sheets work especially well.
Place a clean set of sheets and bedding in a dresser drawer in each bedroom. That way, when your furniture arrives at your new home, you can get fresh bedding without having to find the carton in which it was packed.
Wrap breakables in colored wrapping paper or tissue paper before you place them in the moving box. The brightly colored paper will draw attention to the item and prevent them from being accidentally thrown out with the packing paper.
Use blankets, pillows, towels and other linens to fill empty space in boxes when packing fragile items.
Prune houseplants about two weeks before the move. You may want to consult a florist or plant book for instructions. One week before the move, place them in a black plastic bag along with bug/pest strips, conventional flea collars or bug powder. Close the bag and place in cool area overnight to kill any pests on the plant or in soil. The day before the move, place plants in cardboard containers. Hold them in place with dampened newspaper or packing paper. Use paper to cushion leaves, and place a final layer of wet paper on top to keep them moist. Punch air holes in the top before loading into your car or moving truck.
If you are moving out of state you'll want to check with the local U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants from one state to another.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Millennials and Gen Xers, currently the two largest generations of homebuyers, are less interested in accumulating stuff – and storing it “just in case”— than their Baby Boomer counterparts. Today’s homebuyers hate clutter. They want their things accessible but out of sight in efficient storage spaces – not six boxes deep and difficult to find in a dark attic.
survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders found that storage space was one of the top two main themes on new homebuyers’ wish lists – but they aren’t asking for more sheds and larger attics. When it comes to keeping clutter at bay, homebuyers want storage spaces that provide an organized, accessible place for everything.
Here are some of the top storage features that today’s buyers are looking for in a home.
  1. Mudroom -For families with children and pets, one of the biggest collections of clutter and disorganization tends to begin right at the front door. This is where backpacks, shoes, coats, sports equipment, and muddy boots accumulate. A mudroom is a preemptive solution to all of that clutter – it provides transitional space between the outdoors and the inside of a home, as well as a place to store these items out of sight.
  2. Walk-in pantry-Home cooking is increasingly popular among the largest generations of homebuyers. A survey conducted by Peapod and ORC International found that 72 percent cooked at home at least four nights a week last year, and over 1/3 plan to cook more often this year. It makes sense that homebuyers are concerned with having a place to store their supplies. A walk-in pantry is a convenient way to stash everything from small appliances to staple ingredients, cleaning supplies, and recycling bins.
  3. Closet space-The difference between a cluttered home and a tidy home often comes down to the closets. When houses lack closet space, guest rooms can quickly become dumping grounds for items that have no designated place but don’t belong behind the holiday decorations in a shed or the deepest recesses of the attic. Homebuyers want closet space – especially closets that are located in places that make sense, such as linen closets in bathrooms, walk-in closets in the master bedroom, and a hallway closet near the front door.
  4. Garage storage-The NAHB survey found that garage storage was among homebuyers’ most desired features. Eighty-six percent of homebuyers listed it as highly desirable, while nearly a third considered it a must-have item. Some homebuyers are even looking for three-car garages – not to store a third vehicle, but for additional storage space. The appeal of garage space over outdoor storage, such as sheds and outbuildings, is that garages are easier to access. Garage storage that is accessible and organized is most useful; shelving, cabinets, and closets make storing and finding things simple.
  5. Laundry room-An overwhelming majority (92 percent) of surveyed homebuyers across all age groups said that a laundry room was a high-priority home feature. A laundry room is the most efficient place to store clean and dirty laundry, an ironing station, and items that need to be line-dried or dry-cleaned. A separate space for laundry – and all things related – keeps it out of peoples’ living spaces.
Phil Karp is a 25-year real estate industry veteran and head of Brokerage Services at Owners.com, where you can buy or sell a home while saving money in the process. Phil loves offering homeowners advice to showcase the best features in their home, including storage. He lives in the Greater Atlanta area where he chases his passion for auto racing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gentle Giant to Host “Green Moving Month” in November:

This November, Gentle Giant will be hosting a Green Moving Month to reduce environmental impact and save our customers money. Throughout the month, we will only be using and selling used moving boxes. Customers who would like to opt out may let their move consultant know, and new boxes will be provided instead.
Since our moving boxes are “built tough” and designed to withstand impact, our used boxes are of superb quality; we would not want to offer our customers anything less! Additionally, used boxes costs between 45 and 65 percent less than new boxes, which means the planet and your wallet will benefit from Green Moving Month.
Green Moving Month
Used Moving Boxes Help the Environment
If every customer were to participate in this program, we have the potential to reuse over 12,000 pounds of cardboard. This would save over 43,000 gallons of water, 20.5 cubic yards or landfill space, 6.2 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere and 105 mature trees.
When provided with used boxes, customers may notice writing or tape marks from a previous use. To prevent any confusion, we recommend crossing out any old labels and using a new color of marker to write new labels. Gentle Giant offers room label packs, which are $5 for a full house packet and $3 for a half packet.
For any questions about our Green Moving Month, please call us at 800-442-6863 and ask to speak with the Top Box department. We look forward to saving our customers money and doing good for the planet!

Monday, November 20, 2017


Packing up all your possessions prior to a home move is often a lengthy process and a logistical nightmare (especially if you have young children!). But do not fear, if you have allowed plenty of time to pack, it doesn’t have to be such a tedious job. Here are some of our best tips for packing that’ll help you get through it:


If they’ve been through a move before, they’ll know how stressful it can be so should be willing to help you pack, even if it is just menial tasks like sorting through your clothes. Warning: silly friends and bubble wrap may not be the best idea!


You may take a few days to properly unpack, so in the meantime you’re going to need essentials like mugs, plates, snacks and loo roll. Put all of these into one box and label it so you’ve got it at hand for when you move in.


It’s easy to overpack boxes – trying to stuff as much as possible into one box as you can. This not only makes it difficult for you/movers to pick up and move the boxes, but smaller, less stuffed ones can become crushed in the process.
4. COLOUR CODINGSimply coding different boxes corresponding to their individual rooms using coloured pens/tabs is simple but very effective when you are loading boxes onto vans and also for movers when they’re unpacking.


It’s useful to label the top, but also all sides of boxes too with short abbreviations, as you don’t know how the boxes will be stacked in the van and when they’re unloaded so this will save time and confusion.


Black bin liners might be good for dumping clothes in too, but make sure that your bags for rubbish aren’t the same as bags you’re using for things to keep. You don’t want to accidentally dump all your best coats into landfill!


If you leave plenty of time to pack, you’ll be able to take regular breaks which can be essential to keep your sanity!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Moving Day Checklist:

Keep a cool head with this list that does the thinking for you

To keep moving bedlam at a minimum, we’ve created this to-do list. Print out this page, and check off the tasks, item by item. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized the day before. Come moving day, you’ll be ready to supervise the whole affair, without worry or distraction.

Task One: Clearly Mark and Set Aside Items You Don’t Want Loaded

This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walkthrough. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn’t get packed and shipped with your household goods.

Task Two: Pack Special Items for the Kids

Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items, things that they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you all arrive at your new home. Point this box out to the driver so it’s one of the first to be unloaded.
Note: You may want to arrange for someone to take care of the kids (and pets) while the movers are packing and loading your items. Have the caregiver bring the kids back home prior to the truck leaving as it important for young children to understand where their belongings are going.

Task Three: Get Rid of Trash and Flammable Items

Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last-minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with a neighbor to use their trash container for your last-minute debris.
Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver and crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck with trying to get rid of them on day of loading. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can’t transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Also remember to remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.

Task Four: Reserve a Parking Space for the Moving Truck

If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your house, the better your chances are of not incurring an additional charge.

Task Five: Clear Walkways

Make it safe and easy for your movers to get in and out of your house by removing all obstructions.
  • Move potted plants and planters from front porch, walkways and driveways.
  • Remove all door and floor mats.
  • Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip.
  • Remove low hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants.
  • Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process.
  • If you had the moving company pack for you, work with them to keep walkways clear for the driver and crew.

Task Six: Point Out Special Items

Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walkthrough. All your items will be handled professionally but take a moment to show them which ones need the most special care. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items, or your children’s toys.

Task Seven: Take Care of Your Driver and Crew Members

Consider the needs of your driver and crew members! It is not necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It is a nice gesture and will be warmly received.
  • Keep water and pop on hand for yourself and the crew. On hot summer days, provide Gatorade or some type of sports drink. These men and women work hard, handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help.
  • Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time.
  • Advise the driver and crew which restroom you want them to use.

Task Eight: Decide on Tipping

Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let him disperse the portion to the crew that they think is appropriate. You decide!

Task Nine: Before the Driver Leaves…

Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. If there is something that is confusing to you, ask your driver to explain it before you sign it.
Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide such as his cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last he/she will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home. Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence.
If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date and time, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try to remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time) understand that you can and may be delivered on any one of those days.
Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets, shelves, in the garage, attic, crawl space, storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any place else things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver has left, that something was left behind.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What are Some of the Different Types of Packing Materials?

While moving is an exciting part of a person’s life, it’s also a time that can be super stressful that’s filled with an ever-growing list of things to do and organize. From interviewing moving companies to getting the right amount of boxes to organizing your stuff for donation (and everything else in between!), there is so much to do before you actually move and start your life into your new city or town.
One aspect of moving that you’ll have to figure out pretty early on is the packing process. And if you’re doing all of the packing by yourself, you’ll need to make sure that you organize all of your items for the big move and stock up on a variety of packing materials to protect and secure your items. Read on to check out more about some of the different packing materials out there that can help you to efficiently get everything in order.

Different Types of Packing Materials

  1. Packing paper: Newspaper has been used as a way to pack everything from bowls to glass to kitchen items for years. While this is an inexpensive packing material, it isn’t always the best one anymore: the black newspaper ink can dye your plates, cups, etc, causing them to stain. Instead of using traditional newspaper, opt for dye-free packing paper that you securely wrap around your valuables and then seal together with some packing tape. For additional assurance, cover your wrapped item in a cotton dish cloth or towel that can protect your items from any banging that might occur during the moving process.
  2. Bubble wrap or rolls: Another classic packing material for moving, bubble wrap is great to protect valuables and fragile items such as glass, dishes, art, collectible items and more. Make sure that your bubble wrap or roll is flat, then place your item in the middle and wrap. Seal the package with some packing tape before you place the wrapped item in your boxes.
  3. Peanuts: For additional security and cushioning, you can fill your moving boxes with packing peanuts. They can serve as a barrier around your items that can be especially helpful during the moving process as your items get shuffled from your home to the van and finally to your new home. Anything can happen during this time where boxes might be thrown around or shaken. The downside of peanuts is the clean-up afterwards that might mean you’ll be finding peanuts way after you unpack your items.
  4. Moving blankets: Electronics and large furniture are a completely different animal when it comes to packaging during a move. While it would be ideal to have the box that your TV, video game console or DVD player came in, we know this isn’t always the reality. The best option for packing these items is to wrap them in large moving blankets that gently get placed onto the moving van. Blankets are also great for wrapping and coating tables, couches, desks, beds, a wardrobe or a dresser. They also make it a little easier to transport your items from your home to the moving van or truck, providing a layer of protection so that your items won’t get dented or stretched up.
  5. Packing foam: Foam is another great packing material that can protect breakable items such as ceramics or glass pieces. More lightweight than bubble wrap, you might need to wrap your valuables with foam a few times before you place them into your moving box. Add in additional towels or clothing for additional padding.
  6. Household items: While the above packing supplies are great to protect your items during the moving process, there are some items that you might actually have at home that can help you to protect your items without having to spend additional money. For clothes, you can opt to fill up your items in any unused suitcases or use your shirts or socks to fill any loose spaces in your boxes that can also serve as padding. You can also leave some clothing in your dresser and then tape the drawers.
  7. Boxes: And of course the Granddaddy of all packing materials, moving boxes! Whether you have a small apartment or a large house, you are going to need a considerable amount of moving boxes for moving in a variety of sizes. Ideally, you should focus on packing your books, kitchen items (with proper padding) and bathroom items in medium-sized boxes. Wardrobe boxes are great for clothes and larger boxes are great for packing kids’ toys, lamps, small electronics, and bulky items.
There are tons of options to help you to pack and organize your belongings for a move. A professional mover can assist with the packing process or you can purchase a variety of packing materials to do it yourself.
Good luck!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

11 Easy Moving And Packing Tips That Will Make Your Move Dead Simple:

Congrats on your new home! Now you just have to figure out how you’re going to pack and move everything without breaking the bank, your fragile lamp, or your back. Good thing we put together this list of 11 easy moving and packing tips that will make your move dead simple.
How do we know these tips will make your move dead simple?
We asked expert movers, packers, and professional organizers to share their best tips.
So sit back, grab a snack, and dive in!

1. Get rid of everything.

moving and packing tip: declutter garage storage shelves
Okay, maybe not everything, but the more unused and unnecessary items you eliminate from your home, the less stuff you’ll have to pack up, haul across town, unload, and organize.
Certified professional organizer Ellen Delap recommends clearing any clutter from your home as soon as you know you’ll be moving.
Be ruthless with your stuff. That coat you think is cute but haven’t worn in four months? Donate it.
The very first coffee maker you ever bought that flavors your morning brew with little pieces of rust? Trash it.
Doing a massive preliminary purge will have the single biggest impact on the efficiency and ease of your entire packing process.

2. Sort things by category.

easy moving and packing tip: sort books by category
Flickr/Jukka Zitting
Take a cue from Marie Kondo and organize your belongings by category, not by room (note that the category part only applies to the organization process, not the unpacking — that’s a whole separate ordeal).
Instead of spending a day cleaning out your entire bedroom, spend an afternoon sorting through every article of clothing you own.
Scour every coat closet, dirty clothes hamper, and laundry room until you’ve got all your clothes in one place. Then sort.
Do the same thing for books, shoes, important papers, and the like.
Free Bonus: Download our step-by-step KonMari Cheat Sheet so you can easily organize everything in your home just like Marie Kondo.

3. Schedule a free donation pickup.

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc
MakeSpace offers free Goodwill pickups for customers in NYC, Chicago, and DC
Save yourself a trip to your local Goodwill and schedule a MakeSpace pickup. In addition to picking up and storing practically anything (including furniture), we’ll also pick up your donation and drop it off to Goodwill — at no extra charge.
Pro Tip: If you’d like to donate to a different charity, check out our guide on where to donate your old clothes, books, furniture, toys, and more.
All you have to do is put your giveaway items in boxes and leave them on your doorstep.
The good men and women of Donation Town will then pick up your stuff and deliver it to a local charity of your choice.

4. Set aside stuff to sell.

pair of red lily shoes with bows on a white cloth
Flickr/Amy Ross
You probably have a few items you no longer want, but would love to get a little money for. If that’s the case, set these items aside and determine where you can sell them.
If it’s furniture, Craigslist or AptDeco might be your best bet. If it’s brand name clothing, you could try Poshmark or a local consignment store.
For specialty items like a gently used Coach purse or your collection of 90’s Beanie Babies, get on eBay.
Once you have everything sorted, set a date on your calendar to visit the nearest Buffalo Exchange or craft descriptions of the items you plan to sell online.

5. Research professional moving companies.

a woman wearing a blue meathead movers long sleeve shirt is smiling and carrying a moving box
Flickr/Meathead Movers
Research is never fun. Yelp and Google will overwhelm you with the sheer volume of choices for household moving companies to hire, but don’t give in to the pressure and pick the first four-star rating you see.
A moving company can often make or break your entire moving experience, so it’s important to get it right. The more effort you put into finding a reputable company with excellent customer service ahead of time, the less hassle you’ll have on moving day.
Lift NYC recommends double-checking that the moving company you want to hire is licensed with the state you’re in.
“There are tens of thousands of people claiming to be a ‘moving company’ when in actuality it’s just some guy with a van trying to make some extra money,” says Mike Sulkowska of Lift NYC.
Make sure to read the company’s list of services, fine print, and refund or damage policies, too. For example, some companies don’t lift items that aren’t in boxes (so your stuffed-to-the-brim duffel bags won’t make the cut), while others ask for full payment several weeks early.
Find out the specifics so there are no unwelcome surprises come moving day.
Pro Tip: Use Unpakt to find trustworthy moving companies, compare prices, and book your move online in minutes.

6. Pick the right moving day.

a personal organizer, pink flowers in a glass vase with water, and a glass jar containing chalk are on top of a wooden desk
Kaboom Pics
Hire your movers at least a month out so you can plan accordingly. If you have a flexible schedule, play around with potential moving dates and try to find the cheapest time of month to make an appointment.
Moving companies are busiest on weekends, so if you can skip the Saturday chaos and schedule your move for a Tuesday, you might get a significant discount.

7. Map out the best way to get to your new home.

a woman wearing a white shirt with purple flowers is outside holding a map
Whether you’re moving to NYC, across the country, across state lines, or just to a neighboring town, you’re going to need an efficient travel route so you don’t waste your move-in day sitting in gridlock traffic or pulling over three different times to type an address into your GPS.
Figure out the easiest, most efficient way to get where you’re going. Look up potential highway construction schedules ahead of time. And take traffic, detours, and necessary stops into account when you’re making your plan.

8. Create a master moving to-do list

a pen on the inside of a things to do notebook is waiting for you to write your moving checklist
Flickr/Nikki Buitendijk
When you move homes, you inevitably end up having 600 different things to do and remember. Don’t let all these tasks and important reminders, no matter how seemingly obvious, slip your mind.
Write them down somewhere. Put them in the Notes app on your phone, in the to-do list app Wunderlist that professional organizer Anna Bauer recommends, or go old-school with a giant yellow legal pad.
No detail is too insignificant. You just remembered the name of the little bookstore in town that will accept your used novels? Write it down.
Not sure which novels to donate? Here’s how to decide what books to keep or get rid of.
You stuck that extra screw from the broken drawer next to the sink? Take note.
You have to return your cable box to your provider at least one day before you leave? Jot it down.

9. Put moving tasks on your calendar.

write moving day on diy dry erase calendar
Darling Doodles
Take your organization a step further and spend an evening mapping out everything you have to do. Get an oversized calendar and mark the empty white boxes with important daily tasks to prepare for your move.
Tuesday: Call moving company.
Wednesday: Sort through toiletries.
Thursday: Buy new sheets.
An added bonus to using the calendar method is that breaking up your tasks by day makes them seem more manageable. Also, don’t forget to add “celebrate with wine” somewhere in there to give you something to look forward to.

10. Get moving boxes from your local liquor store.

stacks of liquor store moving boxes
Flickr/Dan4th Nicholas
Pay a visit to your local liquor store (that’s where you can buy the aforementioned wine) to see if they recycle their used boxes. If so, ask if you can grab a handful so you’re saving a little paper in your moving journey.
Just make sure the boxes are very gently worn and that you only use them to hold lightweight items like linens and towels. You don’t want to deal with ripped boxes and broken valuables on the big day.

11. Check to see if you have original boxes for your electronics.

a sony flat screen tv stand with wheels is storing a sound system, speaker, playstation console, playstation controller, cable box, books, and papers
Flickr/William Hook
You might think your flat screen TV could withstand a 30-minute drive across town in a cardboard box, but alas, it’s a fragile piece of technology. The best way to transport your electronics is in the original boxes they arrived in when you purchased them.
Check to see if you stashed these boxes somewhere — attic? Garage? If you don’t have them, make a list of what you’ll need to buy or borrow to properly cushion your stuff.
Quilted blankets, bubble wrap, and sturdy tape all work well to protect TVs and similarly delicate items.
Free Bonus: We asked the best moving companies to share their top packing tips. Learn all of them here.