Moving Tips

From start to finish moving has the potential to be one of the most stressful times in your life. Not only are you preparing for a complete lifestyle change, but you are also likely selling your home and trying to find a new place to live all at the same time! The to-do list is never-ending. Staying organized throughout the process can save you so many headaches, and to help you I’ve put together a list of moving tips that starts before you even pack the first box! 



Before the Move

  • Declutter!! Get rid of anything you don’t want or need for the next house.
  • If you haven’t used it, lose it!
  • Only take the things you want, need or love.
  • If possible, place things in the location where they will be at the next house. (For example, if your craft items will be in your guest bedroom at the next house, place all your craft items in that room so things are packed together.)



Packing Tips

  • Group things in Ziploc bags and label (paper clips, pens, etc.)
  • Wear a “moving apron” with box cutter, painters tape, sharpies. (It’s so easy to misplace them as you are packing!)
  • Put 2-3 sheets of crumpled packing paper down first in the box and then load items.
  • After filling the box, finish it off with enough packing paper to fill it to the very top and make the box sturdy. (You don’t want the top to collapse when they are stacked on top of each other.)
  • Put paper plates between plates.
  • Wrap 3-4 plates at a time and stand them up in the box.
  • Wrap one glass at a time.
  • Don’t skimp on packing paper!!!
  • Buy a box of plain packing paper instead of bubble wrap (Amazon or U-Haul). 
  • Buy moving boxes from Home Depot.
  • Don’t make boxes too heavy. Use small boxes for books and heavy objects like tools. Use medium boxes for kitchens and clothes. Use large boxes for bulky bedding or larger items like lamps.
  • If possible, transport things like wreaths and lamps directly in a car. They use up many boxes and packing paper.
  • Label in detail the sides of the boxes so you can find what you need on the other end.
  • Label the box for the space it is going to (not the space it came from). Ex: If items in a basement are going to the garage at the new house, label it as “Garage”.
  • Use Moving Label stickers or colored duct tape to identify with colors the location of each box. (Ex: Pink=Girls Bedroom, White=Kitchen) Then make signs with corresponding colored tape or stickers and place the signs on the outside of each room. When the movers come in the door you can direct them to the pink room down the hall.
  • Put Moving Label stickers on the top of the box and side corner of the box so the movers can see the room as they are carrying it.
  • Create an “Open First” bin with bedding, remotes, cleaning supplies, trash bags, etc., and anything else you need that first night.
  • Have each person pack a toothbrush with pajamas and 2-3 days of clothes, including their toothbrushes, favorite blankets, stuffed animals and toys, so you won’t be rushing around to find it that night.
  • Order Instacart to arrive on the day of the move in so you will have a stocked fridge.
  • *Note: moving companies will not transport any open liquids or anything flammable.
  • Don’t underestimate how many little things will be left at the end. Give yourself enough time to take additional loads of misc. items in your car or leave some boxes for all the random items left at the end.



Moving Day Tips

  • Hang up signs to match doubt tape or moving labels on boxes.
  • Wear apron with box cutter, painters tape, sharpies.
  • Lift with your knees! 🙂
  • If possible, have a cleaning crew do a thorough cleaning before you move in.
  • We recommend getting your air vents cleaned before moving in as well.
  • Plan in advance where each piece of furniture will go in the new house. Movers usually only place something once and then it’s set.
  • Always feed the moving crew lunch and offer drinks. Plan this ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling on the day of the move.
  • Station someone at the old house to oversee the loading of the trucks and someone at the new house to direct the movers as they come through the door.



Unpacking Tips

  • Use blue painters tape on the outside of drawers and cabinets to map out where things will go (especially in the kitchen!). This also helps everyone know where things are in a new house. Leave them up for a week or so.
  • Spread out packing paper or a large bedding sheet so countertops or tables don’t get damaged as you unpack items.
  • Flatten out the packing sheets.
  • Break down boxes and put them inside larger boxes.
  • Put packing paper inside larger boxes and black trash bags.
  • Advertise your moving boxes and packing paper on Facebook marketplace or craigslist. You can sell them or donate them.



Moving Resources (Annapolis)

If you are local to Annapolis, I have created a Resource Guide to help make your move as smooth as possible. In it you will find local resources for where to donate or consign items you’re not wanting to move with, dumpsters, storage, junk removal, estate sale help, movers, handyman services, and closet organizers, as well as a linked list of my favorite packing supplies. You can also find a list of my favorite moving supplies in my Amazon Storefront.



Moving is an overwhelming life transition and outsourcing (or just getting help) with the difficult tasks of decluttering, staging, packing and unpacking can make it so much easier to handle. Systems by Susie offers all of these services, as well as moving day coordination and organizing after the unpacking, of course! Please reach out to chat with me about how my team can make your upcoming move the smoothest of your life! 

Know a friend who’s moving to Annapolis? Share this list of moving tips with them and tell them to call me! 

Happy Organizing!




Each of my career choices-wedding coordinator, event planner, and teacher — gave me the creative freedom to organize everyone and everything. I have always thrived on to-do lists, planners, and systems! Now, I lead a team of organizers to help me on my mission. Read more…

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