A pile of moving home/packing boxes in an empty room. Photo by DNY59 via Canva.
Transatlantic Life

Things to Remember When Moving Home

Frequently cited as one of the most stressful things to do in life, moving home is likely to be one of those key moments we cannot avoid. Requiring lots of preparation, organization and time; it can feel overwhelming. 

It’s even more pressured if you’re having to move house quickly; which brings me to the reason I’m writing this article (it’s a little outside of my blogging niche but falls nicely into a ‘life lately’ style update). With our current rental lease due to end in May, my husband and I have been seeking out a new place to live. We could not have secured an apartment any more perfect than the one we’re moving into; the only issue to overcome is we were given two weeks to do it.

Foreground Text: Things to Remember When Moving Home; a blog post on Transatlantic Notes. Background Image: A pile of packing boxes and a bubble wrapped armchair in a sunshine lit household room; photo by DAPA Images via Canva.

Thinking our application would take some time to be approved, we weren’t overly concerned about the 14-day sign on/move in stipulation; however, we were confirmed as new tenants the very next day. We were not about to let this dream apartment slip through our fingers; therefore the lightening speed packing began — we’re currently only about a week away from our much needed fresh start

It’s been a number of years since we last moved house; the previous occasion was considerably easier because after my transatlantic hop from the UK to the USA (to reunite with my husband) we had so few belongings that we got everything in our car. Eight years or so later, we seem to have accumulated so much stuff that hides in every crevice of our current tiny dwelling; managing to get it packed away into boxes has been, well … challenging.   

While this is still an ongoing experience, I thought I’d share some things to remember when packing for a move

  • you’ll likely need more boxes than you think; buy 4-5 extra for last minute packing surprises
  • buy enough packing supplies such as: tape, paper, bubble wrap, marker pens, etc
  • seal up your boxes well so they don’t fall apart when lifted; use good quality packing tape
  • declutter as you go to make sure you don’t take extraneous items with you; remember to recycle, sell or donate what you no longer need
  • tackle one area at a time to sort through/pack up and don’t try to do too much in a day
  • it may take a bit longer but number each box and itemize the contents on a separate list; if you need to locate something specific before/after your move, it’s much more straightforward to check a notebook to discover what you’re looking for
  • aim for medium-sized boxes for most belongings as they’re less cumbersome to lift/move; large boxes are useful when packing soft/lightweight items
  • protect fragile items by wrapping them in your towels, blankets and linens
A pile of various moving boxes and unpacked belongings in a room in a house. Photo by fotostorm via Canva.
photo by fotostorm on Canva
  • pack heavier/bulkier items in suitcases (books, pots and pans, etc); their built-in wheels make transporting them a little easier
  • don’t forget to schedule an end of service for your utilities before you move out
  • it’s a good idea to do a change of address at the post office just before you move so that all correspondence makes it’s way to you
  • once you’ve moved, make sure you change your address on all your accounts, etc or anywhere else that needs to have a record of where you live
  • pre-book a moving truck (if you’re not using a moving company) at least a week before your move; ask what size would be appropriate for your needs
  • if moving items yourself, invest in some good work gloves to protect your hands and provide extra grip
  • pace yourself as best you can on the day of your move; it will likely take longer than you anticipate so factor in extra time to alleviate some of the need to rush

It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over. | F. Scott Fitzgerald

Moving will always be frustrating and exhausting; the tips included here should help moving day become a little less stressful. It’s worth remembering though that something will still go awry and get lost/left behind no matter how well organized you are. The most practical advice I can offer is to be as flexible and forgiving as you can during this time … Oh, and don’t forget your toothbrush!

How did your last move go? What guidance can you share to make the whole process as straightforward as possible?


Further Info:

The Foolproof Guide to Moving – This Old House

57 thoughts on “Things to Remember When Moving Home”

  1. I had to laugh at your first tip about having enough boxes. I’m notorious for vastly underestimating how many we’ll need! Fortunately, my wife ignores my input in this regard and gets more anyways haha

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  2. These are all very helpful tips. I like the idea of itemizing things to help find priority items quickly. Congratulations and Best Wishes in your new home!

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  3. These are really great tips on moving home. I moved so many times when I was living in the UK that I hope it doesn’t happen any time soon. It can be really draining. I hope all goes well and as smoothly as possible for you. You will be delighted when you can finally rest in the the new place xx

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  4. Moving is definitely not one of my favorite things. Luckily for me every time I ever moved I was pregnant and not allowed to do any packing & moving! I don’t plan on moving again lol. But by the off chance I do I am for sure keeping this post! There’s so many good tips and brought back so many memories of “how did I not get enough boxes?!”. Thank you for sharing

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  5. I hope everything goes according to plan and your new start will begin as smoothly as possible. I have moved places so often I cannot even count. Every time is stressful and my biggest advice is to ask for some help if you feel like you get exhausted. Sometimes people that are outside the moving process think more clearly and can provide solutions when we are ready to collapse.

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  6. Good luck with your move! I’ve moved three times in the past 12 years and it’s stressful to say the least. You never realize how much stuff you own until it’s packing time, but it’s also the ideal time to get rid of things you don’t like or are useless.

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  7. The last time I moved was from a house share in with my now husband. It was done in a couple of car loads back then. 20 years later, and I dread to think how horrendous a move would be in terms of finding everything and packing it up. Good luck with your move

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  8. Great post Molly! I do not envy you. I absolutely HATE moving. Wait, I take that back. There are a few things that I like. I like the fresh start and chance to put your mark on a new pace. And, I like decluttering the “STUFF” I have. If not for moving, I would have so much stuff still. There’s always an opportunity to get rid of more. Congratulations on the new place. I hope it brings happiness and wonderful memories.

    ~ Cassie

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  9. Good luck with your move, Molly and congratulations! I wish I had known these tips before moving out 3 years ago, these are very helpful ones! Thank you so much for sharing. xx Penny

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  10. Gosh, I hope I’m not moving any time soon. It’s not in the plans at all, but the thought of the work! You give great tips so this post is just what folks moving need.

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  11. It’s been over 12 years since we last moved house and I have no plans to do it again for a VERY long time! The funniest thing was the removal firm hugely underestimated how long it would take them to pack up our one bedroom flat, it took twice as long 🙂 Great tips, Molly, good luck with the move!

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  12. You’ve hit it right on the head! All great tips for moving. I’ve moved around way more than I prefer and I can wholeheartedly say, it can be so stressful. Congratulations on your move and good luck with the transition!

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  13. Congratulations on securing your dream apartment! That’s so exciting. These are such wonderful tips, especially the part about having extra boxes just in case, using good quality packing tape, and tackling one area at a time. Nothing’s worse than having boxes open up and things spilling out because of the tape. Thank you for sharing and congratulations once again! Hoping the rest of the move will be smooth and easy!

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  14. Moving will always be annoying and tiresome, as you correctly stated; nevertheless, the ideas provided here should make moving day a bit less stressful. It’s important to realize that no matter how well prepared you are, something will go wrong and be lost/left behind.

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  15. Moving was the biggest pain in the ass for us. We were ready but the company wasn’t. We ended up living at a friends house for a week, sleeping on the couch and living out of our car.

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  16. I underwent two moves in less than a year, this poat would have been so handy. It definitely takes longer than expected and requires some planning to smooth the process. Great tips here. Hope your move goes okay.

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  17. We will be moving from our temporary house to our new home in the next couple of weeks so I will using some of these tips! I personally find decluttering the most challenging :-/ Thanks for sharing.

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  18. These are all amazing tips and will come in handy soon for sure! Good luck with your move and hope that the apartment of your dreams will hold great memories for you! x

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