The following 10 tips were culled from everyday people who gave their best advice in chat rooms and Internet forums.
- Start early. By far the top advice offered. Packing takes longer and is more difficult than most think. By starting to pack early, perhaps doing a room a day, there will not be the frantic rush at the end. You will also be more organized. When you run out of time or are burned out by doing everything at the end, you will throw the unpacked stuff in a box, tape it up and send it on its way.
- Think thin. Go through your belongings and decide what you really need and want to keep. Get rid of anything that you haven’t used in a year or so, unless it has sentimental value. Movers charge by weight, so the lighter the load the more money you save. Plan to go through everything at least twice, with a week or more break between. You should find a lot to cull on your first pass. After getting used to the idea, do it again a couple weeks later.
- Label everything. Don't just label each box with the room in which it belongs. Write down the contents. You will be glad you did when you try finding the hair dryer or a specific kitchen utensil. Bonus hint: Don't overuse the "miscellaneous" label. Otherwise you'll get to your new home and have a dozen boxes of miscellaneous and almost no idea what's in them.
- One at a time. Stay organized and pack one room fully and then move on to the next. If you don't, you'll end up with boxes full of miscellaneous items from several rooms.
- Gang box. Put smaller items in small boxes and put small boxes into a bigger box. Small boxes are more easily lost or damaged.
- Take it with you. Any personal financial information and important papers should be taken with you or shipped to you by family or a friend after your move-in. Identity theft is one reason, but so is the difficulty in replacing important documents, recreating bank statements or losing passports.
- Value valuables. Most moving companies would rather you not ship your highly valuable items, such as jewelry, artwork and collections. Many times expanded moving insurance through the carrier or a third party will be needed. Read another tips on moving.com