how to move efficiently

How to Move Efficiently & Reclaim Your Sanity!

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Welcome! Today we are talking how to move efficiently.

(Insert collective groan here). 

I know, I know.  Moving is the worst.  Most of us start when we move to college, and then wander in and out of dorms, meander through internship housing, settle into new apartments, change roommates, etc. etc. etc. 

I feel your pain.  I moved 10 times in 10 years at one point. 

If you’re reading, I will assume that you’re doing one of two things:

(1) Moving out of one home and into another, or…

(2) Moving out of a room to renovate it from top to bottom.

Either way, GOOD FOR YOU!!  Change is good! 

This is so exciting.  I’m so excited!  Aren’t you excited? 

K, I’ll chill.


What Is the Best Strategy for Moving?

What is the best strategy for moving?

You need a system.

“But can’t I just schlep everything out and put it in a pile?” 

Well… yes, you could. 

And yes, the majority of your stuff would eventually get to its final destination. 

However, the point of this post is how to move efficiently.  Emphasis on “efficiently.”

Having a system for your move is crucial. A little bit of effort on the front end will make for an easier time on the unpacking end.

No more “Have you seen my….?” because you will have a spreadsheet ready to go with what each box contains and where to find it.

And, if you’re moving because of a house renovation, it will keep your nice stuff nice and your workspace free of clutter.

How to Move House Efficiently – Top Moving Tips

1. Pare Down

It’s likely you have more stuff than you need.  Whether you’re cleaning out your kitchen for a renovation or moving from LA to NYC, you’ll want to get rid of a few things before you trek out. 

Need a deep-dive on this? Check out How to clear house before an exciting life change.

For now, know the basics: gather like items, downsize duplicates, and be honest with yourself the last time you actually used it. 

For example, put all the spatulas together, admit that one is your least fave, then set it aside.

Same thing with clothes (I have at least 8 black dresses at any given moment.  It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m a New Yorker, so maybe it’s okay?  Anyways…).

Put the like items together, admit that there’s one that doesn’t truuuuly spark joy, look right, or fit, and put it away for the donation bin. 

The less stuff you have to move, the easier (and cheaper!) it will be to move it.  Be ruthless! 

how to move house
quick example: two floral dresses. One stays, one goes. Simple!

2. Pack Up

Bust out the bubble wrap, June, ‘cause we are going places! 

Assemble your boxes, wrap up your goodies, and pack it all to get outta dodge. 

I like to gather supplies like a few weeks’ worth of the local newspaper to wrap up breakables, or larger boxes from online orders to haul the big stuff.  Check your local grocery store or watering hole for sturdy boxes.

Yes, even if you’re just moving your kitchen contents from one room to another (when we did our Open Concept Galley Kitchen, we just moved everything to the basement), you still need to pack as if you’re loading a rental truck. 


First of all, your nice stuff will stay nice — plates won’t break, vases won’t smash, etc. 

Secondly, you’ll be much more organized when you reach your move is complete. 

How to pack a moving box?  Real Simple has some great advice in this article.

3. Order Counts!

It’s easier to pack up the “least used” stuff first, and the “most used” stuff last. 

For example, we use things like Christmas serving dishes and summer picnic baskets least often, so we pack them up first. 

This will also likely make them the last box that I unpack.  Perfect! 

On the contrary, my go-to frying pan and coffee pot will be among the last things to hit a box before a move. Thus, they will be the first unpacked upon arrival. 

You know what you use the most.  Pack accordingly! 

4. Label Everything

If you’re asking yourself, “how can I make moving less stressful?,” here’s a great system.

Label your boxes. 

Supplies needed: one giant permanent marker. 

Employ that fine penmanship from Sr. Claire’s 1st grade class and number each box on the top and sides. 

Then, use our free moving printable to keep track of what each corresponding box contains.  This spreadsheet helps you organize box number, contents, and room. It’s essential for moments such as, “which box has the coffee pot?” – you just open your sheet, search (or Command + F) “coffee pot,” and know which box to look for.

Need even MORE organization?

Go to our Etsy shop for your moving spreadsheet AND printable labels!

5. Create a Staging Area

A very important consideration during moving is to have a place to stage it all. 

If you’re moving your entire home, it’s very easy for the move to takeover just about every corner of your place.  Eventually this is inevitable, but try, at least at first, to designate one corner to all the packing supplies and boxes.

This will help you to go about your daily life while still prepping.

6. Define the Stuff’s Destination

In addition to the numbering system above, be sure to label each box with its final destination – i.e., kitchen, dining, basement, bedrooms, etc. Then, your movers will know where to put things without too much hands-on direction.

If you’re moving out of a room to renovate it, please consider storing your belongings WELL out of the way of your project.  (This is essential to renovate a house while living in it!). Depending on its scope, your project could become very, very dirty, and I highly doubt you’ll want your nice things getting dirty! 

Considerations on where to put the mess while you’re working away:

  • Your basement
  • Your attic
  • Your generous, patient family member’s basement or attic
  • Last resort: a storage space (please don’t do this to your finances, but if you really have to, then don’t let me stop ya!)

Final Thoughts on How to Move Efficiently

Follow these basic moving tips to clear out your house with ease, whether it’s for a full-on move or for an exciting new project. 

It’s truly easier to remodel a room that is empty, and truly easier to move when you have a plan in place. Decluttering, packing in logical order, and keeping organized with a system will help you curtail the stress! Don’t forget to grab our moving spreadsheet to keep you organized!

What are your best moving tips?

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