Whether you’re moving to a new home on the other side of the country or just across the hall, it’s always tough to pack up your life into moving boxes. It's an inevitable part of life for most renters, who move every two years on average. Moving this often means you will need to turn packing into a science, which will make every time you relocate easier.

Securing and identifying your moving needs

When sourcing packing materials, make sure that you have the right sized boxes for your belongings. If you’re a person with smaller delicate items, make sure to buy bubble wrap and packing paper.

Moving is a process that can often create a large amount of waste. However, there are various ways to ensure that you’re moving as sustainably as possible. Being conscious of the tools and packing supplies that you’re using, as well as donating and recycling as many products as possible are all great steps.

  • Always keep heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter items up top.

  • Try to fill in any gaps or spaces in your packing boxes with smaller items, making sure to use up all of the space you can, even if that means stabilizing the top of your boxes with lightweight packing paper.

  • At the same time, take care not to overstuff boxes. The last thing you want in the moving process is for a box with your favorite set of dishes to fall apart on you.

  • Separate fragile items from heavier ones both when packing and when transporting in your moving truck.

Image of Packing tip No. 03 "Label everything as you go".

Labeling is key: label boxes for not only what is in the boxes but for what room in your new home you’d like the boxes to go to. When you unpack your new boxes and put kitchen supplies in your bedroom you’re setting yourself up for disaster.

Always build in extra time for your move. Unexpected things will happen, people will be late, cars will break down, cleaning your old home will take longer than expected. Give yourself time to move and breathe within your schedule. To each their own packing process.

Pacing your packing

Make a plan

Part of your moving plan should also include a checklist of all of the items that you're relocating. That way, if you need an item when you begin unpacking, you’ll have a general idea where it might be. A great deal of moving frustration can come from the helplessness we feel when we don’t know where our things are; having a plan can alleviate a great deal of that frustration.

Reduce and recycle

Why pack things that you’re not going to use in your new home? Reassessing your inventory of clothing, kitchen supplies, furniture – and starting with “low hanging fruit” such as take-out menus – can decrease the number of boxes you have to pack. Also, a garage sale can help offset any moving expenses, and donating any unsold items is an act of charity. At the very least, try to declutter your home pre-moving.

Double-check every corner of your home

Empty spaces can be deceiving. Make sure to check all of your drawers, cabinets, essentially any areas that are typically enclosed and/or not visible to the naked eye. You don’t want to settle into your new home, only to remember that you left your cherished china tucked away behind your former pantry.

Begin packing early

While it may not be the most convenient to live out of boxes, there are ways to slowly ease yourself into packing so that you still have your essentials readily accessible but you’re not pulling an all-nighter throwing things into boxes. Also, early packing makes it less tedious to label your bags and boxes to create a better flow for unpacking.

Create a week of “moving suitcases"

A moving suitcase will be handy for both long distance moves as well as short hauls to the new house, this will create a space for everything you need while you handle the world of boxes around you. This also helps to protect you from last minute purchases of toothpaste and deodorant when you’ve accidentally packed up yours. At the very least, try to pack a change of clothes for the day of the big move.

Graphic of Packing Tip No. 01 "Pack living essentials in a suitcase instead of boxes." "Laptop, phone and chargers. Pajamas. Important documents. Clean clothes. Toiletries."

Pack with the expectation of some jostling

Even if your chosen moving company seems responsible and professional, or you are moving a brief distance over a long period of time, don’t assume that all of your items will be moved gently.

Pack pragmatically

Be easy on yourself. Make sure to balance box sizes. When possible, save heavy items for small boxes, or at the very least, lift each box to make sure you are able to physically move it when the time comes.

Image Packing tip No. 02 "Think about weight while packing. Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top." "Pack heavier items like books in smaller boxes." "Pack heavier items on the bottom of medium-sized boxes." "Pack lighter items on the top and in bigger boxes."

Four tips to prepare and complete your move

Much of the moving process is simply out of our control. Dealing with a moving company, rental agreements, work conflicts, or construction – the list goes on. But there are a number of things that you can do to prepare yourself for the big move.

Book early

If you already know that you’re going to need movers and/or a moving truck to load your heavy items, don’t wait until the week of the move to book them, as that can often lead to the headache of dealing with conflicting schedules. When we book ahead it can relieve stress and create confidence in your moving plan.

Figure out the right moving company for you

If you decide to entirely forgo a DIY moving process, or just need some legitimate help, take the time to research and identify a moving company, comparing ratings online and their processes. Different companies provide different options and have different equipment. Professional movers can be both a great physical aid and wealth of preparatory information, as they can provide great tips on packing up furniture and dealing with breakables/fragile items.

Schedule the utilities at your new home ahead of your move-in date.

Unpacking is much easier with light. And make sure to cancel your previous services. In addition to utilities like electricity and internet, you may also need to transition your renters insurance policy from your old home to your new home. And if you don’t already have renters insurance, consider the investment. Renters insurance is typically quite affordable, and it protects you and your important items (e.g. laptops, jewelry, art) in case they are stolen or damaged in your rental property.

Refer to your lease to get back your security deposit.

Make sure that you have a copy of your previous lease so you’re aware of what condition the home needs to be in for your security deposit to be returned to you in full. Check out our guide to getting your security deposit back in full.

While it may never be a fun time, there are ways to make moving less difficult, allowing you more opportunity to truly enjoy getting to know your new home. Rhino is always here to help with your moving process, by offering products like security deposit insurance that can save you money during this process. Get a free quote today.

Larenz Brown

Larenz Brown is a copywriter at Rhino who wants to tell stories that empower people. He once engaged in a 365-day staredown with a security deposit and emerged victorious.