Whether you’re handling your own move or hiring professional movers, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible to make sure your move goes smoothly.

Here are 10 useful tips to make your move easier.

1. Make a list

Write everything down! You’ll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record-keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents.

Try using these related resources to help plan:


2. Have plenty of supplies

Don’t make me say this twice– you’ll need LOTS of boxes–probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier! Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last-minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household goods. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any unused supplies after the truck is packed.

Try looking for businesses that give away free boxes to save on moving supply costs.


3. Utilize wardrobe boxes

These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they’ll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you’ll need. You can also use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift-wrap tubes.


4. Keep the boxes light

Don’t make your boxes too heavy to lift. Spread out heavier items like books into smaller boxes or mix them with lighter weight items like blankets. This will save you some major heavy lifting on move day!


5. Color coordinate

Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home. Put a matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.

Labeling all of your boxes properly will save you a headache on move-in day.


6. Consolidate cleaning supplies

If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.


7. Use your luggage

Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you’ll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas “Box #189″ might remain elusive for days.


8. Safeguard valued items

It’s a good idea to keep valuable possessions, such as silverware, collections, or antiques, with you. If you have a long move and no room in your car, bury the items in a box titled “Misc. from kitchen pantry”. Either way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork (receipts, appraisals, and photos) you might need to file a claim in case of loss.

Learn how to properly pack and protect your valuables when moving.


9. Keep important papers with you

Your list of “important” papers might include birth certificates, school records, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Don’t leave these with the mover. Keep them with you!


10. Personal boxes

Use brightly colored storage tote boxes, one for each person. Let each family member fill theirs with items they’ll want ‘right away’ in the new home — a set of sheets, a towel, a couple of extension cords, a phone, nightlights, address book, pens and paper, keys, Kleenex, and travel cosmetic case, and so on.


Work With Professional Movers

If you’re stressed about moving day, you can reach out to a full-service mover. At West Coast Moving & Storage, we offer white-glove services that will make moving a breeze from packing, to lifting heavy appliances, to unpacking your items in your new home. Reach out for your free moving quote today!