Organizational Tips for First Time Movers

Moving can be quite exciting, but it can also be quite stressful – especially if you have never moved before. Not only do you have to pack up all of your belongings, you also have to figure out how you are going to transport them safely, as well as making sure that your new abode is ready for your arrival.

The key to a successful move is organization. If you don’t have a plan in place, your move will quickly become overwhelming. Instead of thinking, “I’ll just start packing it all up and things will work out,” set a plan in motion a few months – or at the very least, a few weeks – before you actually move. The better the plan, the more organized and less stressful your move will be.

Are you scratching your head and starting to feel a little bit panicked just reading the above? Take a deep breath, count to 10, and read on for some easy to follow tips that will make your first move a huge success.
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Write a List

When it comes to being organized, lists are your best friend. This is especially true when you preparing for a big move. A list allows you to keep track of everything that you need to do before moving day, and helps you stay on-track as the day draws near.

For the best results, create a list well in advance of your move--if possible, at least two months before. Determine what it is you need to accomplish and sit down with a calendar so you can determine when you need to finish it all. For example, write down when you want to have a specific room packed up, when you need to call your utility company to have your power turned off at your current place, and when things need to go to storage. Don’t forget to actually check each completed item off your list!

The Sooner the Better

The sooner you start the process of moving, the better. If you can start packing up things you don’t use often even six months in advance, you’ll be less frazzled when moving day draws near.


Packing is the perfect time to rid your closet of clothes that you don’t wear anymore and to donate those college textbooks that have been collecting dust. So, as you are boxing things up, create a donation or garbage pile and put in those items that haven’t seen the light of day in more than a year. The less you have to move, the less you have to organize.


Clearly label each box with the items they contain. For example, instead of just writing “Living Room” on a box that contains throw pillows and pictures, actually write down the names of the items on the outside of the box. This way, when it comes time to unpack, you know exactly where everything is and you won’t spend time digging through countless boxes.

Another helpful tip when packing up items is to use clear, acrylic containers. Because you’re able to see inside the boxes, it is easier to unpack and stay organized.

Announce Your Move

Make calls to credit card companies, utility companies, doctors, friends, and family members and anyone else that needs to know you’re moving. Give them your new address and phone number so that you can be reached once you are in your new digs.

Get Help

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Make sure you arrange for help of some kind. Contact a moving company or recruit the help of friends and family members. Make sure you arrange for help well in advance of your move so that your helpers know when they will be needed. Keep those helping in the loop-even if people do show up to help, it won’t truly matter if you don’t have a gameplan.

While moving for the first-time is challenging for anyone, it doesn’t need to cause hair-pulling levels of stress. By starting well in advance and keeping yourself on track along the way, you’ll be throwing away those cardboard boxes before you know it. Happy packing!


Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California. Having recently moved to a new place, she knows just how hard it can be to stay organized while packing! Follow her on Twitter for more helpful tips. 

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