Don’t let an upcoming move cause you stress. We asked our team of professional movers and packers to share their best tips for simplifying the moving process and reducing stress.

Tip number one: Queue up a playlist with your favorite upbeat music to keep you motivated. Now that you’ve done that, let’s dive in!


Create a staging area

Pick a roomy spot in your home that’s out of the way to use as your staging area. This will be your go-to spot for:

  • Sorting through and organizing clutter
  • Wrapping and labeling items
  • Stacking and storing completed (packed) boxes
  • Your sell, donate, and toss piles

Although it’s impossible to limit packing activities to only one area, having one spot for the majority of activities will help limit chaos throughout the rest of your house.


Purge and donate — what brings joy to your life?

This is a great time to go through your belongings and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Look at this as an opportunity to downsize and get back to the basics! Plus, it will save you a ton of packing and unpacking and allow you to enjoy your new space without unnecessary clutter.

Our simple strategy for organizing this purge and donate process starts by creating 3 piles in your staging area: Sell, donate, and toss.

  • Sell: If you are up to the task, photograph these items and list them on sites like Craigslist or Ebay. Or, get them ready and plan a garage sale.
  • Donate: If you don’t want to take the time to sell your unused items, donation is a great alternative. You can drop your items off at your local Goodwill, or let your neighbors know about your items through NextDoor or Craigslist and have them stop by to pick them up.
  • Toss: Use large bags for light items and smaller bags for heavier items you want to toss. You may have to rent a dumpster or plan a trip to the dump for all the things you can’t sell or donate

By the way, we recommend starting this process as soon as you know about an upcoming move. This keeps you from going into panic mode and gives you plenty of time to sell your things for the right price or find a good home for the items you’d like to donate.


Work with a full-service moving company

Spare your friends that dreaded, “can you help me move next weekend?” text. Take the friendlier route and enlist the help of a local moving company.

Depending on how much you hate moving, you can even have the moving company handle the entire process — from wrapping, packing, and loading to transporting, unloading, and unpacking.

Whichever route you choose, the key is to work with a moving company you trust. A professional moving team will show up on time, work efficiently, and take excellent care of all your belongings.

Suss out potential moving companies and pick the best one by asking some important questions about their process, pricing, products, and people:

  • What services do you offer?
  • What moving equipment do you use?
  • How does your pricing work?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you use day laborers?
  • Can you provide references?


Tackle one room at a time

If you’ll be packing your items on your own, the best way to simplify the process is to pack one area of the house at a time.

Start with the room you use least and end with the kitchen. Here’s our recommended packing roadmap:

  • Garage or shed
  • Storage closets
  • Spare bedroom(s)
  • Spare bathroom
  • Office
  • Living areas
  • Your bedroom
  • Main bathroom
  • Kitchen

Using this plan allows you to start early and continue living in your home without much disruption. In fact, since you’re saving your kitchen items, bathroom, and bedroom for the end, you should have little problem going on with your day-to-day life even in the midst of a moving month (or week).

If you have a lot of stuff, it may also be helpful to simplify this process even further by dividing each room into into quarters, and tackling it section-by-section.


Leave clothes where they are

Finding your clothes and dealing with a tangle of hangers can be one of the more frustrating parts of moving. Manage this annoyance by keeping your clothes right where they’re at.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Clothing boxes — These are like a closet in a box, where you can simply transfer your clothes from one hanging bar to another.
  • Drawstring bag — Cover your clothes with a garbage bag, leaving the hook of the hanger visible and tying the drawstring tight around the rest of the hanger.
  • Dressers — For non-hanging clothes that live in dressers, leave them alone. When you pack up your dresser, you can remove the drawers and either pack them separately, or put the drawers back in the dresser once it’s situated safely in the truck.

Of course, you should always check with your moving company to see if they have special requirements for how things should be packed and stored. However, most moving companies will be happy to accommodate these time-saving tips.


Make an “important things I’ll need immediately” bag

One thing is for sure: after a long day of moving, there’s nothing worse than the realization that your toothbrush, pillow, and pajamas are hidden somewhere in the pile of unpacked boxes.

Save yourself from future frustration and exhaustion by setting aside a bag and a box or two specifically meant for your first few days in your new home. Here are a few things you should consider including:

  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Bed linens, pillow, and towel
  • Phone chargers
  • Water bottle
  • Unpacking materials (screwdrivers, scissors, trash bags, cleaning supplies)

Having these things set aside in advance will make it much so much easier to settle in during your first 24 hours.


Ready to simplify your move?

Whether you want to be as hands-free as possible during your move, or prefer a little more oversight, our professional movers are here to help make your life easier.

At ANC Movers, we’ve packed, moved, unloaded, and unpacked thousands of boxes and items in Portland and Vancouver. All our workers are fully licensed and carefully trained, and we’re known in the area for making moving as simple as possible.

Contact us today and let us know how we can help. We’re happy to provide a free moving quote and answer all your questions.