How to Organize Your Move in Five Easy Steps

by Dusty Rhodes on Jun 23, 2015  in 
  • Storage

With all of the steps that go into the moving process, it helps to have a good plan that will help you to organize each part of your move. From starting with a good checklist to making sure that you have all of the appropriate equipment, moving involves several factors that all need to be addressed in order to have an organized move.

Here are some great tips that will help you to organize your move:

Step 1: Make a Checklist

One of the easiest ways to organize a move is knowing what you have and what you are moving. A great starting point is to make out a checklist. Your checklist should be split into detailed sections by room so that you know exactly what you have to pack and where those items will go.  Having a good idea of what you have and what you need to move will allow you to know what types of moving equipment and resources you need in order to complete your move. A checklist allows you to maintain a constant point of reference so that you can make sure you don’t forget to complete certain parts of your move.

Step 2: Clean as You Declutter

Clean as you declutter and pack. Renovating or moving houses is a great excuse to shed the unnecessary items you haven't used in years and forgot you even owned. If you give yourself enough time, you'll have a better chance of recouping your costs to offset moving expenses or interior decorating at your new location. You'll feel much lighter by the end of the decluttering process, and your new home will get the best start.

Add some paper plates and cups to your grocery list for good measure. You'll be able to get by without your dishes in the last few days before your move or throw a party to finish your perishable foods. Check out Move for Hunger to donate if you don't plan on packing your non-perishable pantry items.

Step 3: Get Selling and Give Away

Take Pictures

This advice is helpful when moving and spring cleaning: 'use it or lose it, love it or leave it.' If you love it but need to let go, take nostalgic pictures to hold on to the memories while freeing up physical space. Taking photos and labeling parts meticulously also makes a massive difference when you're disassembling and reassembling furniture. 

Schedule Organizing

First, you need to manage your expectations. This task is often not a one-day job, so keep your stress level low by scheduling time to declutter. Walk around your home and look for the heaviest items such as furniture, sports equipment, and books. Which of these is getting the boot? Once you take care of bulky items, you can go through closet after closet to separate objects into boxes you'll keep and boxes you'll discard. Sort methodically so you can find items you may need between now and the day of your move. You may want to enlist the services of a professional organizer—grouping similar items together will make their job easier and speed up the process. 

Get Selling

Arrange for an estate or yard sale, or sell your belongings on sites like Facebook's Marketplace, for example. You can have valuable items like antiques and jewelry appraised and sent to specific stores for consignment or auctioned off. Some of the furniture you want to get rid of may still work well with current design trends, but you'll run short of takers for objects deemed 'outdated' rather than vintage chic. 

Give Away

Make a donation pile and leave it on the sidewalk or send them to your favorite non-profit organizations. Various charities often outline what they're willing to accept on their websites, or you can give them a call to confirm. Retirement communities and local churches or religious institutions may have ideas for where to send your stuff. If you can't find any takers, recycle unwanted items as much as possible.

Step 4: Lock in Your Moving Resources and Help

Having the appropriate tools to complete your move is an important part of the moving process. In fact, there is nothing worse than arriving to the day of your move, only to find that you do not have all of the moving resources you need. Organize all of the tools you need into sections so that you can ensure that you have each item covered.


If you need to move out of your current residence but can't move into your new place immediately, consider putting your goods in a secure, temperature-controlled storage facility for safekeeping. At Smart Box, we provide 8 feet long by 7 feet tall by five feet wide portable storage units that can handle 3,000 lbs of weight and heavy items. We also offer storage space to hold on to these units for as long as convenient.


Make sure you secure a mode of transportation so that you know how your items will be transported. Enlist help so that you can organize times for everyone to arrive so that your move will not be delayed while you wait for moving assistance to arrive. Make sure that each person and resource you have to work with during your move is aware of your move date and when you will need all resources made available. From utilities to cable, locking in all of your resources will enable you to have an easier and more organized move.

Step 5: Prepare the Right Supplies in Advance

Moving often involves the assembly and reassembly of various pieces of furniture and electronics. By having the proper tools and equipment on hand prior to your move, you will benefit from an easier moving experience. Whether you are trying to decide what type of moving vehicle to rent to knowing how many moving boxes you will need, having the appropriate moving resources will help your move to go faster, smoother and more organized in the process.

In advance of your move, take the time to note items that will need to be taken apart such as beds, large tables and various electrical equipment. Have a tool box on hand so that you won’t run into the issue of having to stop and buy the supplies you need to continue your move.

Additionally, don't forget the supplies you'll need for a smooth and organized move. Make a list, order what you don't have, or head over to a big box store.

Packing Supplies

 Here are some of the basics you will need:

  • Packing boxes and containers

  • Packing tape

  • Sticky labels

  • A pair of scissors

  • Permanent markers

  • Newspaper

  • Trash bags

  • Cleaning supplies

Assemble Your Boxes

Use packing tape to secure the bottoms. When the boxes are full, you can seal the tops. You'll need markers and labels to know what your cardboard boxes contain and which rooms they will occupy. Write in big letters on various sides of the box so it's visible when stacked or grouped. Write bullet points for essential items you use daily, and you'll know where to find them when settling into your new pad. Clear plastic storage containers are handy, and removable sticky labels won't mar them permanently. Books should go into these smaller containers so you can carry them without throwing your back out.

Be Careful With Fragile Items

Use packing paper and balled-up newspaper sheets when wrapping your fragile items, such as ceramics or glass, or filling the spaces between loose items. Bubble wrap isn't as sustainable, but it's reliable too, and you can get some from people who've just moved if you ask around.

Have Extras on Hand 

Having extra resources for a move is often overlooked because of the detail and cost that usually goes into the primary items needed. Making simple additions to your moving process can help to keep your move organized and positive. Buy extra moving supplies. Even if you think you have enough, it is easier to be organized with all of the supplies you need than with a fraction of them.

Make allowances for mishaps. Chances are you may run into an issue that was not planned for your move, in which case, you acquire unexpected expenses. Create an emergency moving fund and include that into your moving budget. Only spend it if needed, and have the reassurance that it is available for you so that your move can stay on course and not be incomplete.

Reserve extra supplies. This is a great way to make sure that you have everything you need for your move, and it will help you to stay well stocked and organized during the moving process. 

Hopefully, all of these tips will help you as you organize your next move, and if you would like additional moving tips, visit our Moving page.

Dusty Rhodes