Managing Moving Madness – 4 Tips to Stay Organized During a Move

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Moving succesfully starts with careful packing

Written by Miranda of Pocket Pause

I’ve read that moving, getting married and starting a new job are some of the biggest contributors to stress – and since I’ve been through them all, i can vouche for that statement.

I have moved so many times in the past few years that I’ve become somewhat of a pro – or at least have picked up a few tips that have helped me keep my sanity. If you’re about to take on a move, big or small, this post may help you get through it without bursting into tears and leaving your husband or wife. Please, continue reading and feel free to leave us a comment with YOUR moving tips!

1. Pack Correctly

The starting point in any move is packing, and there are right and wrong methods. Tips for packing correctly include:

  • Choose the right box: don’t put all your books in the biggest box you can find. It will be too heavy. Keep heavy items in small boxes, fragile items in sturdy boxes.
  • Pack it with padding: Wrap EVERY piece of china, every wine glass, every canning jar, etc. This may seem excessive but you’ll be awfully bummed when you show up in your new house with a box full of broken glass. Newspaper or craft paper make perfectly acceptable wrapping. Bubble wrap or foam are even better, especially around the sides of the boxes.
  • Pack like things together: Do NOT pack your shop solvents with your antique books. Pack by room, cupboard, and shelf. Pack things together that will ride easy together and that are destined for the same new storage space. This rule is most difficult to follow at the end of your packing spree. Do not be tempted to pack up all those last “odds and ends” from all over the house into one box just because they’re all that’s left. It will make unpacking a nightmare!
  • Label your boxes thoroughly: “Kitchen” or “bedroom” seem like fine labels, but consider adding a priority rating (1 will be needed immediately, 2 isn’t so crucial, 3 can really stay in storage until you’re quite settled in. Also, jot down a few of the special items within the box – this will make finding “that one thing i need right now” so much easier once you’re in your new home.

2. Start With a Clean Slate and Routine

If you were a bit lackadaisical with chores in your old home and hope to keep your new, clean home clean and new seeming- start off right! Keep a strict rule to avoid placing items that don’t belong onto counters and tabletops. Consider setting up a ‘set it here’ area for items waiting to have their place. New routines are much harder to keep if you start out by breaking them. You might have piles of boxes everywhere, but at least they’re tidy box piles. Whatever you want your new routine to be, start off by sticking to it and the habit will sink in more easily.

Piles of empty boxes on their way OUT

3. Keep To-Do Lists

If you weren’t much of a list maker before, become one. When your house is covered in boxes, pending repairs, and small to large scale projects, that to-do list will keep you sane. Make a long list for the big projects, and smaller bite sized daily lists. Work through them a little at a time and do some “small victory” dances every once in a while.

4. Have Patience

This one is all mental, and the key to surviving a move. Nothing is going to go as smoothly as you’d like.

Your moving van will not be ready on time. Your friend will not show up to help shlep boxes the day he promised. The washer will not disattach from the wall and you will end up breaking off the faucet, spraying water everywhere. Yes, all these things JUST happened to me! What got me through it? Patience and a little faith that “this too will pass.”

Be excited! You are moving into your new place! It’s awesome! There will be snafoos along the way, but be patient with yourself and your family. You are all tired and feeling a little out of place and experiencing one of life’s most stressful events. Exchange some hugs, offer a few backrubs and try to get some rest. This won’t be easy, but it doesn’t have to be miserable.

Read more about the Rommel's move to their new farm at

Read more about the Rommel’s move to their new farm at

Feel free to leave us a comment with YOUR moving tips!

3 Responses to "Managing Moving Madness – 4 Tips to Stay Organized During a Move"
  1. Leslie says:

    I’ve also moved numerous times and managed three moves for employers. My fav suggestions would be (1) especially if you have helpers, use coloured stickers to designate rooms–when you get to the new location, put a sticker on the door to indicate where boxes and furniture is to go. (2) Put as much info on the box about contents as possible; for instance Kitchen: bakeware, Kitchen: pantry, Kitchen: utensils (3) Make on Open First box clearly marked that has a few cups, toilet paper, paper towel/clothes, stuff kids might want immediately (potty seat?), and also on kids pack a backpack with stuff to keep then out from underfoot. (4) Boxes: uniform moving boxes make packing a truck more efficient in terms of space and loading/unloading–some companies rent plastic totes and pick up & deliver; smaller boxes are easier for everyone to lift so aim for lots of smaller 1.5 to 2 cu ft rather than giant ones. (5) For clothes from the closet, lay a bed sheet or moving blanket down and lay clothes on hangers in middle, then wrap blanket around and tape well.
    Hope these help :-)

  2. Kim says:

    The first time my mom helped me move, she made a special note outside the boxes that had things like trash bags, the can opener, the scissors. It was so helpful when I was unpacking that I’ve started doing the same. You never know when you might want to find your umbrella before you’re all done unpacking!

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