10 Tips for Moving Yourself Across Town

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While most of our 20+ moves were coordinated by the military and involved moving across state lines (and often international boundaries), I’ve moved myself across town several times all by myself. We moved more than 75% of our last move ourselves. I’ve picked up a bunch of tips and these are my favorite 10 tips for moving yourself across town.

open moving box near stack of boxes with bright orange labels

Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time or moving for the twentieth time, there are always new trick and tips to learn to make your move easier.  You’ll also find  these 105 Tips for a Successful Relocation helpful. 

Tips for Moving Yourself Across Town

shoes organized in wine box

Use recycled boxes. You can get boxes from your local wharehouse store, grocery store or big box store. Check Craigslist, Freecycle and local Facebook recycling groups to find moving boxes. Be sure to be picky about the boxes you accept. You don’t want to bring dirt or vermin into your new home.

stack of boxes and bags for moving

Use containers you already have. Use cloth shopping bags to pack nonbreakable items. Be creative and use clean buckets, trash cans and baskets to pack your items in. Use sturdy shopping bags (the type from a boutique) with handles to pack nonbreakable items. Use a towel, pillow or sweatshirt to lay over the top of the items and tuck in the sides of the bag to hold the items in the bag or container.

open trunk filled with moving boxes

Use smaller boxes, bags and containers. Smaller boxes and containers are easier for you and friends of all abilities to help carry. Smaller boxes and bags are also easier to pack into your car or truck. 

stack of white moving boxes with orange labels

Uses boxes and bags with handles. Boxes with handles are much easier to carry. 

Label boxes and containers.  Label items by content or room that they belong in. Labeling makes it easier for your friends to place boxes in the right spot in your new home. Labels also help you find just what you need those first few days in your new home.

Use items you already have as packing material.    Use towels, sheets, blankets and clothing to pack your items. You can also use plastic shopping bags and gift bags as packing material and to hold “dirty” items like shoes. No need to purchase packing material when you already have items you can use and have to move anyways.

Place hanging clothes on a sheet in your car. There’s no need to make extra work for yourself and pack your hanging clothes in boxes. Simply move your hanging clothes from your old closet to your new closet by laying a clean sheet in your car or truck and placing your clothing on top of it.

Use milk crates for heavy breakable items. Place dishes and other breakable items in a milk crate with padding. The milk crate is sturdy, has handles and is small enough that you can move it on your own. I found mine on Freecycle, but you can pick them up for just a few dollars. If you have to buy milk crates, purchase 3-4 and just reuse them on every trip you make to your new home.

Take a load every time you go to or by your new home. Starting with your trip to pick up the keys to your new home, take a load of belongings with you. Don’t leave everything to the end on your moving day. Moving every little bit will help make the big moving day easier.

Ask friends, family, coworkers and even a church youth group to help. Ask friends to help you move. Make a party of it and have pizza, treats and drinks for your helpers. Ask a local church youth group or scout troop for help. You’ll need to reimburse them, but it will be less expensive than hiring professional movers. Tip – don’t bring out the alcohol until all the moving is completed.

close up of open moving box with folded coats

What tips do you have to add to these 10 tips for moving yourself across town?

More moving ideas:

close up of labels on moving boxes
open kitchen cabinets near kitchen sink
shoes packed in wine boxes
close up of checklist near cleaning supplies in shower

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  1. Great to have a post on this because it really is a different scene than when the moving truck comes, packs it all, and you move far away. It is a different dynamic. I have done it multiple times and I totally agree with taking a load each time you go by! And moving the clothes on the hangers is definitely the way to go!

    1. Most of my moves have been with movers, so it’s good to hear that these tips have worked for you, too, Seana. I’m not sure which way I prefer to move. I just hope it’s a few more years before our next move.

  2. Thank you for sharing these tips! I was able to use quite a few of these when I moved last month, and it made the process so much easier.

    1. I’m glad they helped. Moving is always a big endeavor, but there are tips to make it go more smoothly.

  3. Wow, You share the really great and very easy idea. Boxes are really very useful for moving packing. Great info how to use boxes. I am very impressed this ideas. Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I appreciate it very much!

  4. Moving tips are use for moving work. When we shift to new places, we need Ideas to shift our belongings. I read your blog and i get the valuable point for moving. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

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