Moving Tips Galore!


Yes it is true, we moved!  Bitter/sweet, major event for us.

But we have some moving tips for ya!



Life has a funny way of surprising you. Justin and I had just decided to stay in Texas for another 5 years. We love our friends there and the house was just getting to be the best it could be!  But then we were offered an opportunity that would bring us closer to family.  So, we worked our little fannies off to get the house complete. It’s just a house right? But I am telling you, it was sad to pack up the house when it has never looked that good the whole time we lived there.

But family is very important to us and we felt that it was time to be closer to them, while our children are young. We loved living away from family without kids… but life and priorities change when you have kids, can I get an AMEN?

Anyway, this is our third major move as a couple and every time we have moved with ABF U-pack. We love this company!  We pack up, they drive it, we unload. It makes life so much easier! Since we have just been through it all, we wanted to share some moving tips with you!

Moving Tips

Our Moving Tips

1. Let ABF U-Pack drive your stuff. SO WORTH IT!  Then you can drive your family in the comfort of your own car. This is a lot less stressful than driving a heavy loaded, gas guzzling, moving van really slow for miles and miles. The additional bonus is that you can make a road trip out of your travels. Take your time, see some sites and make some memories.


2. Break down or disassemble furniture, as many pieces as you can. Every square foot counts (no matter who you are moving with) but that is one of the greatest features of U-Pack.   If you end up using 20 feet and not 28 feet you will only pay for 20 feet and save money. We all like to save money!

3.  Use that awesome stretch wrap for packing!  If you buy one packing supply besides tape, this is what you want!  We got our at Walmart and went through 3 rolls.  What ever you want to group together you can, using the plastic wrap without having to deal with the goop that tape leaves behind!  We used this a lot for the furniture we broke down.

4. Use lots of tie-down straps. 12 feet or longer. Every two feet on the walls of the trailer, there are slots that you can use for securing tie-downs to keep your things from shifting too much, during transit. I used about 12 throughout the whole trailer.

5. Buy furniture pads to protect your furniture from rubbing and scratches. We actually bought ours from U-pack when we moved from North Carolina (we also use blankets!).  We also use left over boxes to wrap furniture too!


6. Turn drawer hardware inside out.  If you have handles that stick out from dressers, buffets, these can scratch other pieces.  If you take them out, and re-screw them on inside out.  You won’t lose your hardware, but you also will protect your other pieces of furniture.

7. Use the drawers in furniture to protect your small fragile items. I wrapped up glass items with bubble wrap in the drawers of my buffet and sturdy furniture drawers.  Nothing broke!  YAY!

8. Never pack liquids in unmarked boxes!!   We learned this the hard way… okay well technically it was more of an accident BUT it was really sad. When we were moving from North Carolina, I packed a bunch of stuff early on. Only ONE of those boxes had any liquid. Of course that box was placed over my piano, and got crushed… and you can see what happened to the piano in that linked post. Not an exciting thing to find a damaged piano believe me, I know!

9. Pack the whole truck to the ceiling and fill every little gap. Remember the game Tetris. Well, you will be playing it in real life as you load the truck. Take your time do get things placed just right. We actually used our couch cushions and pillows, as gap fillers, throughout the packing. We took the covers off to protect the fabric or had them in large garbage sacks.  This tip sort of depends on who you move with.  If you move with someone else, just remember to keep the height of your stuff even throughout the trailer.

10. Drag out an extension cord to the end of the trailer so you can plug in a fan and some music while packing.  It makes life so much nicer, especially in the hot summer months. This will keep you cool and keep you in a better mood while packing the truck. When we were packing the trailer was 105 degrees inside HOT MUCH?

11. When moving in the heat, drink lots of water and take breaks every couple of hours, to avoid heat exhaustion. A small cooler filled with drinks, at the end of the trailer is a great idea especially if you have helpers (or keep them in the fridge, just make sure everyone knows they are welcome to grab them as the want them)

12. Store with ABF. If you need an extra month you can keep your stuff on the trailer and only unpack once.  We didn’t do this when we moved from Utah to North Carolina.. We unloaded it into a storage unit and that was a 25 minute drive from our final home. That meant like 800 trips back and forth from storage when we finally got into our home. PAIN IN THE NECK!  When we moved to Texas, we stored it for a month. It saved our life!  Especially when the jerk person we bought the house from didn’t sign the contract for 13 days…. and were homeless, without a place to put our stuff!

13. BUY DONUTS or pizza or both and water/soda on the day of the move! If you want people to help you let them know where they are and offer them food and drinks through out the move!


Additional Moving tips from Remodelaholic readers


14.  When you get to the new house, first thing you should do is make your bed. It makes it instantly “homey” and you’ll be ready for bed when you are so tired you can’t move another thing!

15. Start packing WAY in advance, a box at a time, and label what’s in it and what room it goes in.

16. Purge as much as you can. Sell, donate or give extra items to your friends!

17. Bribe as many people as you can to help. (Food always works well) Like I said above DONUTS!

Additional packing tips from ABF can be found on their website.

Meet the Author: Cassity

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three Read More


  1. Michelle says

    Oh that must have been hard to leave your home!! It was looking so pretty! You put so much work into it. Where did you move to? I want to move down south somewhere… hubby doesn’t want to. Nothing holding us here in WI. He just doesn’t like the heat, at least the longer stints that the south has (but then, I don’t like the sub zero temps we get in the winter). I told him we need to find somewhere in between. :) I have moved MANY times in my life! Over 3 dozen for sure.

  2. says

    I’ve moved 20 times since college back and forth across the country and some that weren’t that far, but I still learned a few things from you. It never occurred to me to put the drawer pulls on the inside. I’ve never lived near family, but I’d move to be near them too. Good luck in your new home.

  3. Kelsey says

    This couldn’t come at a better time! We’re packing our truck TODAY to move from southern California to Denver Colorado!! We’re sooo excited. I’d also add that labor can be purchased pretty cheap from Craigslist to hire some more help if you don’t have enough family/friends to help. That’s what we’re doing and it is saving us soo much sanity!! We’re also hiring labor in Denver to help unload. All the perks of a full service move without the 6k dollar price tag!! :) I hope you love your new home!!

  4. Jason says

    This is something to consider. Make sure you have insurance. My nephew’s girlfriend’s family just had the moving truck catch on fire as they pulled into their new house and everything was destroyed.

    I am not sure on the details, but I don’t know if the homeowners policy covered any of it and I don’t know if the moving truck company offered any insurance.

  5. Marty says

    Omg, this is so perfect! We’re moving in 2 months to, well eventually Asheville, NC area, though in between central Eastern Idaho from Fairbanks, AK after 35 years! Last time I moved I could fit rvetythjng I owned in my Toyota Corolla!

    So for me it’s now, marking boxes for NC and for ID which complicates it even more! Plus 10 kitties to travel with. Unfortunately we don’t have ABF here, hopefully they will in ID for our NC move.

    Any suggestions on artwork? Framed art? Canvases? Are their special boxes for those items? Stained glass? That’s the stuff I worry about. I’m a quilter too, lots and lots of fabric, pack with some of that? It’s a little overwhelming actually! Not looking forward to it frankly.

    • says

      Marty, I might buy some cheap plywood and cut it to the size of the box that will fit your art. Then I would put that plywood on the outside of the box to protect the frames.

      When we moved, I had my art standing on it’s side in large boxes that I bought my other moving boxes in… The trick for me has always been to find the right box sizes and not place things on top of the art boxes, and making sure the boxes are not laying on their sides (the weight will crush the glass) Make sure the glass is facing the inside of the box… to keep it from getting hit and broken…

      Good Luck. (bubble wrap too! a worthwhile investment!!!)

      • Marty says

        Cassity, thank you for the art packing tips! Ive not gotten to the artwork yet, but knowing to pack on their dudes and glass towards unsafe of a box is a big help! Didn’t think of that! I hit a quote online from
        ABF which was oooh too much for us, I might have over calculated what we have. I’ll call the 800# and talk to someone, otherwise we’ll be using U-Haul as the truck even with gas through Canada to ID was 2x the ABF online quote. I’m just so thankful I’m following Remodelholics! Great ideas and help! Whoohoo!

    • Melissa says

      We have a beautiful stained glass picture of a sail boat on water and we move often my sugestion or stained glass and other artwork is foam board the cheap blue insulation board can be bought at home stores and cut to fit your art the wrap it with the rolls of moving plastic. I do this and then sandwhich them in my china hutch with no shelves (those are glass so I put cardboard between then and lay them in the bottm) then I put the art and pictures in and wrap the whole hutch with plastic wrap. Don’t make it heavier than 2 people can safely lift though.

      Make sure you look up the number for who delivers food to the new place too because unloading will makeover hungry as well. I usually keep a type bag with paper plates, plastiware, solo. Cups, paper towels, trash bags and a vinyl tablecloth. We have 4 kids and hubby always seems to bury our table so having a move in picnic is what we usually do.
      Keep your cleaning supplies close to the door of the truck. I always scrub out my trash cans and put my swiffer brooms and cleaning bucket back in it. Sometimes the new place needs cleaned before you start oh and toilet paper and plunger. It’s come in handy more than once!
      We put our yard toolsin the out door trash cans and keep them toward the back too along with an empty gas can just in case.
      If you have little ones that can not help move boxes set up a room for them to be in that you can gate off. Have a back pack of entertainment and necessities for them and a packn play if they are young enough. Baby monitor so you can hear them helps too.
      Curtain and rods should also be kept close at hand they are the first things I put up. Nothing like advertising to the new neighbors what all you have in those boxes when it takes you 2 days to find your curtians. I speak from experience.
      I have each of my kids pack a backpack of their favorite things, stuffed animal they sleep with a couple quiet toys to occupy them, so coloring books and washable crayons, tooth brush, pjs and a change of clothes so if nothing else I know where to find their essentials.

  6. Remodelaholic says

    Here’s a tip for after you arrive, especially if a moving company packed for you. Moving companies love to cardboard boxes. They use tons of paper in these boxes as filler, to protect what is inside. After our recent move, we had more boxes and paper than house, it seemed like. It was going to be a pain in the neck to haul it all to a recycling place or try to get the trash collector to pick it up. So, we had a brilliant idea to list the boxes and packing paper as a freebie on Craigslist. Within 30 minutes, everything was gone!

  7. Rebecca Hoban says

    We are moving two college boys to two different schools in NC about 450 miles apart. We used a UHaul truck and found college students in the college town on Craigslist! They were hunky sporty guys that could pick up the heavy stuff while we carted lighter stuff at the same time. So easy on our backs!

  8. Carolyn in Utah says

    Awesome, very creative tips! I used ABF freight back when I was in the exporting business– didn’t know they were in the moving biz also!

    I chased the mirage of “moving to Utah to be closer to family”… and it was just that– a mirage. My kids saw far more of their grandparents when we lived out of state and they came to our house to visit. The kids had their undivided attention, which never, ever happens here. Hopefully your family is better at get-togethers and everyday closeness than ours is!

    • says

      Actually, it has been like a daily marathon to keep up with family activities… I am hoping it will slow down a bit. But I am happy we made the change!

  9. Lina says

    We are finally moving out of military housing! Any tips on storing a deep freezer while we find a house? I know we aren’t suppose to shut it but what can we do? All of our household goods will me in military storage and I do not think it is climate controlled. We live in TX.

    • says

      Lina, I might tape a hand towel on the two front corners, just to keep it from sealing… That is what we did with our freezer, oh that, and make sure to wipe it out dry before you store it away! Good luck on the move!

  10. Deborah says

    Those are some fantastic tips, and yes it is so hard to move once you finally feel like it’s home! Another great tip that i found helps me during a move is to use the GripSystem. This is a moving strap system and it has helped me tremendously. It has allowed me to move the objects safely and helped me use proper lifting techniques. Instead of lifting with my back it helped me lift with my legs and the back support it has helped so much! I wasn’t even sore the next day, which normally i am…lol… You can find them at Good luck with everything :)

  11. Amy says

    A few extra tips from a military spouse that has moved more than my fair share of times: 1. I put my silverware in galloon size bags divided up so packers don’t have to touch it and I don’t have to rewash it on the other end. 2. I do the same thing with bigger kitchen utensils and the XL bags from Zip-loc. 3. Color coat boxes with a mark on the outside next to the label. In the new house label the rooms with the matching color (ie. boy’s room is blue- all the blue boxes go in it). If you are not unloading/unpacking yourself you may find a garage box in your bathroom (or worse!).4. Empty ALL the garbages in the house and turn them upside down. The last thing you want packed up is trash. Trust me. 5. I use the same XL bags for kid’s toys (Legos, doll parts, cars, etc) so they are together on the other end. 6. If at all possible have an area (bedroom, closet) that is NO PACK zone for those items you don’t want packed. Make sure it is a defined area with a clear label. Often times we prepack our car with suitcases to avoid such problems. 7. We take all of our wall stuff down the night prior to packers coming. This way all the hooks are in one place and all the wall stuff is together. Makes packers happy knowing the “fragile” stuff is all in one area. 8. Check, check, and recheck after packers are done with a room. Often times if they can’t pack it they will just leave it there. 9. For those of us with kids- I have mine pack up some of their favorite toys to go along for the ride. We use small backpacks and let our kids have total control over what they want to pack in it. Sometimes it may be the silliest of toys but to them it means a lot. I have found that this helps them with the moving process. (My kids are 3 & 5.)Ugh, an essay I know but I hope this helps someone with their future move. Good luck!

    • Kathryn says

      Ziplocs rock!!! We just moved from SC to TX and I ziplocked so much stuff!! Most of my kitchen items, jewelry, bathroom items, kids toys…I found the 2 1/2 gallon ones at Walmart and went thru several boxes of them, along with gallon sized, quarts and the Big Bags. Nothing had to be rewashed. Also got some of the vacuum seal bags for closet items and quilts, etc. I saved all the bags, since I’m sure we’ll be moving again within a year or so. Because of so much purging, I used very few cardboard boxes and just used mainly Rubbermaid tubs, suitcases, backpacks, etc. that I already had.
      We down-sized from an over 2000 sq. ft. house to a single wide trailer (housing is super tight here in the area and you take what you can get). With careful packing, and much purging, we were able to get everything into a 16 ft. Penske truck. It was truly a jigsaw puzzle!! We took apart furniture as well…and I got rid of most of my glass items since they take so much space to pack–only kept family heirloom type stuff.
      Last tip—if you are moving yourself….I did quite a bit of research since I wanted the right sized truck for as little moola as possible. Penske trucks have more sq. footage in the box part than Uhaul or Budget. They are also newer and better maintained and cheaper. Call their customer service, mention you are getting quotes from several different companies, and they will hook you up with a great deal. We ended up several hundred dollars cheaper with all their discounts, plus a AAA discount. Around Dallas, our rear lights went out, and they discounted more for that when we returned the truck in Lubbock. They were great to work with every time I interacted with them, and we will use them again!!

  12. Sarah says

    I like the way you’ve organized your article with moving tips. The next time I have to move to a new place, definitely I would read your tips again :)

  13. says

    I’ve read the other comments and you’re right … there are a lot of great ideas. I’ll move to my new home after 2 months and if I figure out anything useful I’ll come back to share it with the other people who read this blog. Good luck to me and to all who will move soon!

  14. Jodi says

    Don’t have enough strong helpers? Go down to your local temp agency. You pay an hourly fee
    and they pay all the payroll stuff and workers comp if they get hurt. Just let them know what you will have them do and they will pick out the best person for the job.

  15. Susan says

    We always have a goodie box in our car. Inside there is toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, plastic utensils, sm, trash bags, ect. Also, when the kids were young, I ALWAYS carried their dr records with me!
    (You never know when someone will get sick during the move) We have moved over 20 times in 35 years!
    Best of luck to you in your new town.

  16. Kim says

    I’ve come from a long line of moving. My one set of parents were in the military and and the other kept moving a lot. So some of my tips… Write on the box not only where you want things to go in the new place but where it was in the old place. Often you can picture exactly where it was in the old house, but you may not be able to remember if you packed it in the boxes marked misc. You’ve probably got a couple of those. If you mark it junk drawer of kitchen…. And you know you always keep the pencils in there then you don’t have to try to figure out which box had pencils.

  17. Stephanie says

    As a child, we moved a lot, my dad was in the military. The military paid for someone to come in, pack all our stuff, and move it, and unload it, however, after a few bad moves, my mom quickly learned she needed to take a few things into her own hands. She always bought several rolls of brightly colored duct tape and would not allow ANY fragile/valuable items to be packed without her present to ensure the box was secured with the special duct tape. She also kept a close eye on how these were placed when being put on the moving truck. This probably saved a lot of valuable items along the way and every time I have moved between college and apartments, fragiles have always been put in boxes with red duct tape. No excuses.

  18. says

    Love this! We are moving for the 4th time in 2 1/2 years. Military life, oy. :)
    Hope I can talk Hubby into using ABF! Not looking forward to a 20+ hour drive with a 6 month old.

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  20. Jen says

    These are seriously some of the best packing tips I have seen! (found you via Pinterest) We are moving from Oregon to Florida and are going to go with ABF too, we have heard great things about them. I was wondering….did you have a 28 foot trailer and only paid for the 20 feet you used? If so, do they pack other peoples stuff in your truck?

    • says

      Jen, if you don’t use the whole trailer they will only charge you for the amount you use. They will rent out the rest for other things, but your things are separated with a divider wall. That is what happened to us the first time. The third time we rented the whole trailer, because we had more stuff.

  21. says

    These are excellent tips! We are expert movers and follow about half of this list, we are lucky that we always have help during our moves and that we have a FIL with a giant trailer we can use! Great tips!

  22. Emily says

    We got a few dozen donuts and set them on the porch with a jug of cold water. I hung a sign that said “We “DONUT” know what we would do without you! Thank you for your help!” Our moving help was glad for the treat and I was glad I could give them a small thank you. We really couldn’t do it without their help!

  23. says

    Being military we do this a lot~! Normally we have the movers the Army hires do it instead of a DITY (Do it Yourself). However — a few tips, Ziploc baggies are your friends! Ziploc anything small that goes together (office supplies), magnets, silverware, etc before it gets boxed up– trust me you can thank me later! 😀 and now Ziploc has all sizes of bags so you can keep lots of stuff together! Invest in paper goods, nobody wants to do dishes and pack at the same time! Only pack enough stuff to live on for a week or slightly more — chances are you’re NOT moving to a third world country and you CAN live without that item or pick one up at the nearest Walmart if you must have it later!

  24. Melanie says

    when we are moving (we’ve done around 8 in 14 years) we pack the dresser drawers with the things we’ll need for the first night: bedding, toilet paper, towels, shower curtain(s) & rings, paper towel, paper plates, plastic cups, plastic bowls, plastic utensils, a change of clothes…

  25. Devon says

    We recently moved and if you use a moving company make sure you are the 1st move of the day! They are on time and ready to go.

    And double check that the wardrobe box you put together in the closet will fit through the opening. Lesson learned there!

    I made sure the kitchen was the first room to be fully functional.

  26. says

    So happy to hear you’ve used U-Pack! I’ve just been looking into them for moving some furniture across the country.

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