Stress Less – Moving & Packing Tips

I’ve done a lot of packing over the years since college, moving from shoe box to big apartments all over New York City and then a big move to Los Angeles and between homes in LA with my husband.  There is nothing fun about packing and lugging boxes, but I have learned some worthwhile tips to make moving easier. I recently counted how many apartments and homes I’ve moved from since college and the tally was 13, that’s a lot of boxes, so I’ve definitely got some authority behind my advice.

moving tips

Moving Tips

The Day Before

Do all of the packing and labelling before moving day. Don’t leave packing for the last minute. When you rush, you end up forgetting something, you get stressed and you may learn you don’t have enough boxes. Making movers wait also adds onto the fees. Get it all done before the movers arrive and just leave a small suitcase or travel bag with a change of clothes and toiletries available for the final hours and to get you to your next destination.

You’ll Need Boxes

Ask about free boxes at the grocery store and online. When deliveries arrive at your supermarket, they usually arrive in boxes so why not ask the manager at your local market if you can nab some boxes to get you started or check on Craiglist’s free section for free boxes. And when you need more boxes get earth-friendly, reclaimed boxes that are affordable from Used Cardboard Boxes (My good friend runs this company and they’ve saved over a million trees) .

Code The Boxes

Color code your boxes for each room.  Most people know they should label their moving boxes with the contents, but unpacking is much easier if you color code and label your boxes according to room. If the movers know all the blue coded boxes are for the kitchen your move will be faster.

moving list

Hire a Babysitter

Hire a babysitter or a pet sitter. When you have a finite period of time to get packing done and don’t want interruptions then hire a babysitter to keep your young ones busy or drop them off at a friend’s for a play date. The same goes for your pets, they tend to get underfoot of movers. If they’re old enough to help then give them specific instructions on how to get organized and pack up their belongings.

Think Smart With Packing

Use packing materials you already have. Suitcases are handy for more than vacation and business trips. They’re ideal for transporting items that are heavy or oddly shaped. Towels are a good substitute for wrapping breakable items and save your newspapers after you read them since they work to wrap up all your kitchen ware.

Plan For Your First Night

Pack an overnight bag to use on the first night. Moving is exhausting. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll unpack everything the first night in your new place. Pack an overnight bag with your toiletries, a few outfits and pajamas for use on the first night so you can take a breather and unwind without rushing to find your essentials the first day or two.

Important Documents

Keep important documents and your pricey items with you. If you lost your laptop, iPad or passport during a move you’d freak out, right!? Keep the important and pricey items with you in a suitcase or box that moves with you and not with the hired movers.

Don’t Lose Anything

Small objects get lost in boxes. Sandwich bags are perfect for little pieces of electronics. Label the bags specifically for each item it pertains to. Tiny pieces tend to get lost in the shuffle so when you put them in little bags and label them it makes it easier when it’s time to put everything back together. For cords and wires, wrap a strip of masking tape around them and write on the tape what it connects with when you unpack.

Moving Helpers

Give specific tasks to any friends helping. Remember when you could ply your friends with beer and pizza for helping you move? That’s when nobody had any money and everybody helped each other. It’s nice when friends offer to help, but it can be slow going if you don’t give them specific jobs. So be sure you really think a friend will be helpful before you take them up on their offer. Sometimes keeping the move “in-house” to you and your husband or partner can be faster. But if you do have friends help, be sure to reward them, but save the alcoholic beverages until you’re done. Also, just food and drink isn’t enough for their help, be sure to send them home with a parting gift like a Starbucks gift card or mail them something later. Make sure you plan out their specific jobs before they come over, this way they will be able to help out in the most efficient way possible.

Floor Plan For New Place

Create a floor plan before you move. Try to plan out where the big items in your new place will go before moving day. Measure the rooms prior to your move or get the measurements sent to you and create a floor plan either drawing a simple diagram or do it online. This will make it easier to put things in the right place immediately upon arrival.

Style Expert Alison Deyette is TV Host, Los Angeles stylist, and magazine contributor known best for her dynamic personality and her sharp sense of style. She regularly shares her lifestyle tips for fashion and home on TV.


  1. April 5, 2016    

    I thought that your tips for preparing for the night before moving will be good for me to know. I’m moving next week, so I should create a plan for moving day now that I have most of my things packed. Having an overnight bag with my toiletries and other essentials seems like it will make the move a lot easier for me.

  2. May 15, 2016    

    I have moved many times – some of which I was super prepared and other times where I was packing in a hurry that very morning before the truck would be arriving. Let’s just say – organized is the ways to go. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  3. January 9, 2017    


    I’ve done big moves both with and without movers and helpers and it’s always easier when you have some help! I highly recommend anyone build a line item into their moving budget for professional movers. The peace of mind and less stress is worth every penny.


  4. Aysha Rameez Aysha Rameez
    January 16, 2017    

    Really Simple and Helpful Tips.
    Thanks for Sharing….!
    I have used many of your tips and was helpful.
    Thank you.

  5. June 16, 2017    

    I read this posting and its really awesome and useful tips for packing and moving. I really appreciate this post. Thanks for sharing these packing and moving tips on this site.

  6. August 31, 2017    

    Moving is usually stressful so I appreciate the tips you gave for making it an easier. For residential moving I think I’ll leave it to professionals next time around that should make things go much quicker. Thanks for the moving tips!

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