Tips For A More Organized Move

Jun 10

They say a move is one of the most stressful experiences you’ll endure – and hopefully survive. Let me tell you from recent experience that this is oh so true. And lucky me, I get to pack us up again in just a few shorts weeks. woot! All joking aside, yes – it is possible to plan a more organized move. Promise!

Family and friends asked exactly how I survived the move from the old house to the current rental and came out the other end with a bright smile on my face. I’m about to share my big secret with all of you…

I started planning and organizing for the move months before the packers arrived. 

That’s it! Illusion revealed.

If you’re organized beforehand, move day(s) will be less stressful. Period. Will the move still stress you out a little bit? Yes. A move is tough on everyone – no matter how organized you are. There will inevitably be issues that pop up, but trust me when I say there will be significantly less of them if you have done your prep work in advance. If you begin the process a month or more before your move, the tips I’m sharing below won’t seem as burdensome.

However, if you want to have a few bottles of pinot on hand for the end of each move day, that may not hurt. Just sayin’. 😉

For me, the process began as soon as I found out we were moving. Truthfully, even before I listed our home for sale. These tips helped by also clearing out the clutter before the house showings. In the coming weeks I’ll be following these same tips again before we move across the country.

So, let’s get to the tips!


When it comes to moving, we’re all surprised at how much stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. The first step is to go through your belongings. Throw out, donate or sell what you don’t use or need so you have less to move. This also means only your loved, cherished belongings make the move with you to the new pad. This task may seem daunting, so try breaking it up by taking it one room or zone at a time. You can even spread it out over several days. You set the timeline and pace that works best for you. We all operate differently – go with what works!

This would also include any big furniture items you think may not fit in your new home. A few weeks ago I shared my home inventory sheet

Take an inventory of what you own and its measurements. That way you can easily walk through your new house to figure out what still works and what may need to be sold before the move. We’re selling a few things and this will ultimately save us money since the cost of a long distance move is based on weight and square footage.

This is a great time to consider having a garage sale, like the one I organized last summer…

If a garage sale isn’t in the cards, but you’d still like to sell some stuff, I’ve shared tips for selling items on e-bay and other outlets right here


When moving, you should expect the best but still plan for the worst. Since you don’t know what’s going to happen when your electronics move, back up your computer files and other electronics so you have peace of mind when moving those items.

If you’re unsure where to begin when it comes to backing up files, my girl Carley over at CarleyK offers amazing technology ideas. She has videos that are not only full of great info and products, but she’ll keep you in stitches. When it comes to moving, we need to keep this in perspective and laugh a little. Here’s a great video she shared on backing up. She has more videos on the topic, so check out her “back up plan” section.


When you’re trying to hook up the tv at the new house, it becomes a nightmare (quickly) when you’re left with a large wad of cables. To prevent this from happening, label your cords and cables so you know what item they belong to. I shared my easy and simple cord organization ideas here


Another idea is to take photos of the cables before you unscrew them. That way you know where everything goes once you unpack on the other end.


Gathering your important items can help immensely to ensure documents like birth certificates and social security cards don’t get lost, stolen or damaged during your move. If you have a fireproof, waterproof safe, that is the perfect way to secure your documents. If you don’t own a safe, consider leaving them in a safety deposit box at the bank or giving them to a trusted relative or friend to hold onto until you’ve settled.

If you gather all of these documents together it ensures their safety and also puts them in one place where they won’t disappear. Another great tip, gather up your current bills and store them somewhere accessible so you know where they are when you move. nothing like getting dinged with late fees.


If you have a lot of music or movies, this can end up consuming a ton of space in boxes. To save space in the moving truck, take them out of their cases and place them in a binder with sleeves. Or consider downsizing your discs in the format I did a few months ago. This has worked well!…
If you’ve transferred your music from CD’s to your computer, consider selling the cd’s. Simply getting rid of this excess clutter can be freeing! And save you tons of precious space.
When it comes to organizing/labeling your actual, packed boxes, there’s a variety of ways to do this. The best idea I have is to do what works best for you! If you ask 10 people you will end up with 10 ideas…and you’ll still be confused and unsure of a decision. Make it simple and do what works best for you and your preferences.
Some ideas?
This is what I did during our most recent move and it worked well. Even the movers commented on how easy it made their job. First, I labeled each room in our old house with a specific name. For example, here’s a few signs hung in the old house…



Did I get a little crazy in the labeling process? Sure did. But that’s me and I’m not ashamed to admit it! Take a look…

Basically, every item in the house that was going to be touched was labeled. More importantly, each and every room had a name. And that name is what we wrote on each of the boxes.

Then on the other end – the rental house – I labeled each space with the same names from the old house. This meant everyone was on the same page and knew where to drop boxes or big furniture pieces. Here’s the labeled rental house laundry room…

Trust me, seems like a mover would clearly know this is a laundry room, but you’d be surprised. Labeling everything this way meant I was asked far fewer questions too. And because I managed this move 100% on my own with the help of a sitter for the kids, fewer questions made me smile bigger.

But there are other ideas for labeling boxes as well. A simple idea is choosing a color for each space in your home and following the same process. That way if you’re re-using old boxes that have been written on before, you’re not crossing out anything or causing additional questions. Just place a sticker on each box and put the same color (maybe a large piece of colored paper) outside each doorway.


There are many things that aren’t easily transported, especially if this is a long-distance move. Perishable food items would be one of those! Like you would do before going on a long vacation, try not to buy as many fresh items that go to waste. Sure you can pass them on to family or friends, but if that isn’t an option, consider buying in a smaller size or on an as-needed basis starting a few weeks before your move.

This would include cleaning supplies or items full of chemicals or flammables. Moving companies won’t move those items for you. Again, buying in a smaller size means you’ll be playing it safe and not wasting as much.


We tend to forget the volume of outdoor items until you’ve finished the inside of the house. For me this holds true. The outdoor area was the last space I tackled with the movers – while instead it should have been the first space to deal with. I forgot how much stuff was spread around our property. This outdoor stuff tends to be on the heavy side too. If you have items outside, consider tackling them early on in the process. Even a few weeks before your move. Since these tend to be items you don’t need anyway for day to day life, why not handle it now?
One of the problems we run into during a move is not knowing where the essentials are – during the move out and move in process. This is an especially important tip if you’re moving with little ones. I’m talking things like diapers, wipes, hand soap, toilet paper, disposable plates and silverware, napkins, a shower curtain, blankets, pen and paper, some clothing and food. Consider keeping a few boxes stashed away that contain these items and put them in a place where they won’t get buried with the other boxes.
In my case, I loaded up all of the above (plus more) and left them in the back of my car. Items I included and needed were the kids backpacks, important schoolwork/homework needs, my family binder (with our family calendar), my ipad and phone chargers, granola bars and other non-perishable food items for me and the kids, and more…including my moving binder (with important phone numbers)…
Give yourself a few moments to think through what you absolutely need in your standard day – like a phone charger – and make a list. Then, when moving day gets closer, grab everything you’ve written down and store it away somewhere safe so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re organized in advance, I promise your move will be more tolerable. I’m definitely not the expert when it comes to moving. This will be my 4th big move so I certainly have some experience under my belt, but when it comes to the true expert tips I enjoy asking for ideas from a moving company. Moving is their thing and am sure they’ve seen it all. Maybe a little too much.

comments +

  1. Simply LKJ says:

    Great tips! We moved quite often when I was a child, and my mom had it down to a science. Each time it got easier.

  2. Crystal says:

    Great tips!! Thanks so much!! Pinning this!!

  3. Thank you for this. I've NEVER moved! I'm hoping to be moving out on my own in a few months and am beyond nervous. Thanks! 🙂

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