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56 Moving Hacks in San Diego

With a pending move consuming your thoughts, you are likely a bit stressed and overwhelmed. A shortcut or two would certainly be helpful, wouldn’t it? We’ve compiled 56 top moving hacks in San Diego to make your job easier. These tips will help you pack and unpack faster and smarter, while reducing how much work you have to do in the long run.

Moving and Getting Prepared

The wisest thing to do is start planning and packing earlier rather than later.

1. Logistics: DIY or pros?

You may start to feel panicked when you realize all the tasks that need to be done. This is when you will decide if you should handle the move yourself or if you will hire a professional mover with a truck. You don’t want to add to your stress and worry about logistics and loading all on your own, which is why it’s best to hire a mover. Get at least three quotes from three different movers to compare.

2.     Come up with a moving checklist

Now that you have hired movers or rented your own truck, it’s time to create a moving checklist to keep track of your tasks. This will help you from now till moving day. Add tasks as they come up and expand your moving checklist as needed. There’s lots to do, from transferring utilities to getting new healthcare providers to enrolling in new schools. If you’re moving with pets, you will have to get their records from the vet.

3.     Eat the perishables

Because your movers won’t transport perishable food, you should consume it or donate it before the big day. Get creative and look up some recipes to try. Donate dry goods to a local food bank, like the San Diego Food Bank.

Getting Rid of Stuff

Make things easier on yourself and organize your belongings. Make piles of what you will toss, recycle or donate to lessen the burden on yourself when moving all that stuff.

4.     Go room by room

Go through your closets and cabinets in each room and decide what needs to go. You may not be able to take all your furniture with you, so take inventory of what you have and what will actually fit in the new place.

5.     Purge your closet

If an article of clothing doesn’t fit, has gone out of style, or it hasn’t been worn in a year, donate it, throw it out or ask a friend if they want it.

6.     Arrange for donation pickups

When donating large items like furniture and rugs, schedule your pickup well ahead of time.

7.     Try short-term storage

During your purge, if you’re having a hard time getting rid of certain items, consider putting them in short-term storage till you know for sure.

8.     Hire a junk removal company

It’s time consuming to clean out garages, basements and attics. Hire a junk removal company instead. They do all the heavy lifting and get rid of it all, even donating items in good condition where applicable.

Saving Money

Moving isn’t cheap. Try these budget hacks to save cash.

9.     Get quotes from three movers

This way you know you’re getting the best price and most focused services.

10.  Consider all moving options 

Make price comparisons between hiring professional movers and renting your own truck. You will soon see what’s the most cost effective option.

11.  Get free packing supplies 

Free packing supplies such as boxes can be found by visiting the local liquor store, grocery store or big box store.

12.  Be flexible

If you can be flexible in when you move, try to avoid moving on weekends or the first/last days of the month, which are generally more expensive.

Packing For a Move

Packing is the most time consuming task of any move. Here’s how to save your sanity and your time.

13.  Set up a packing station

Gather all your supplies, then designate a little-used room or area where you can set everything up. You’ll need a table, garbage bags and packing supplies such as boxes, tape, scissors, paper, bubble wrap, markers, towels and blankets, plastic bags and stickers.

14.  Pack the supplies last

You will need some supplies such as tape and markers on moving day so wait to pack these till the end.

15.  Use linens, towels and soft items for packing

Wrap your breakables such as glasses, vases or perfume bottles in socks. For awkward shaped items, wrap them in linens and towels. Wrap knives and other sharp objects with dish towels and secure them with a rubber band.

16.  Use suitcases

Pack stuff in your suitcases since that’s what they’re meant for! You can easily wheel these suitcases so you can pack them pretty heavily with books, dishes, etc.

17.  Set up boxes as needed

Keep the area clear and manageable by only opening up boxes as you plan to fill them. Once you have filled a box, it should move to the packing station for labeling and taping.

18.  Color-code your boxes

Use different colored stickers for each box and assign one color for each room for easy identification.

19.  Write destination on boxes

Write the destination room on each box to aid movers and helpers in placing boxes where they need to go.

20.  Mark boxes “fragile”

This will let your movers know they should take extra care with certain boxes.

21.  Take pictures of contents

Snap pictures of the contents of your boxes to get a good idea of what’s in each.

22.  Pack a moving essentials bag 

Pack a duffle bag or suitcase with personal items needed on the first day or two upon arrival in the new house. These items can include important documents, medications, toiletries, prescriptions, chargers, and a few changes of clothes.

23.  Keep hardware in a plastic bag

When disassembling furniture, place small hardware in a baggie and label it, taping it to the furniture to which it belongs.

Living Room Packing Tips

24.  Create an inventory list of electronics

Make a list of all your expensive electronics, such as TVs and computers, then take photos of them. These photos will come in handy later if you have to file a claim.

25.  Gather product manuals and label all cords

Put all manuals in a safe, secure bag. Label all your cords, using original packaging to pack everything if you can.

26.  Back up your computer hard drive

This is helpful if anything happens to your electronics while in transit.

27.  Take a picture of wiring

Who remembers where all those wires go? Take a photo of the wires behind your TV so you can get a good idea of how to plug them all in later.

28.  Use a moving blanket for your TV

When moving your TV, use the original box if you still have it. If not, use moving blankets to pad it, or wedge it between mattresses.

29.  Take light bulbs from lamps

Because they are breakable, remove light bulbs and wrap in bubble wrap.

30.  Disassemble furniture pieces

Take off fixtures or accessories from large items for smoother transport, such as removable legs, cushions, and pillows.

Moving Your Bedroom

31.  Leave your dresser drawers filled

Take your dresser drawers out for the move, but leave the contents inside.

32.  Leave clothes on hangers

Keep clothes on hangers, wrapping them in garbage bags or using a wardrobe box.

33.  Roll your clothes

Roll clothes rather than fold them to save on space and wrinkling.

34.  Use outdoor garbage bags

These are big and sturdy enough to contain your heavy towels, hanging clothes, linens, bedding, and stuffed animals.

35.  Place shoes in liquor store boxes

Boxes that have been designed to hold bottles are great for storing shoes in the dividers.

Moving the Kitchen

36.  Use pots for small items

Why waste costly boxes for small kitchen items such as gadgets and spices? Put those in large pots to save on space.

37.  Pack plates vertically

Pack plates vertically so they don’t crack or break. Just be sure to pack them with lots of padding.

38.  Place small appliances in laundry baskets

Put coffee makers and toasters in your laundry basket so you can easily grab them when in the new house.

39.  Stack pots and pans

Stack pots and pans in large or medium boxes, placing packing paper between them. Wrap glass lids and place in separate boxes.

40.  Pack glasses and stemware in divider boxes

Wrap each glass in bubble wrap and place in the dividers of liquor store boxes.

41.  Wrap utensil trays

The best way to transport flatware and utensils is just to wrap the whole tray in plastic wrap. Wrap knives and other sharp items in dish towels.

42.  Clean and defrost your fridge

Defrost and clean your fridge a couple of days prior to the move.

43.  Prep large appliances

Unplug your large appliances such as refrigerators, remove any hoses, and tape doors shut.

44.  Pack liquids together

Place plastic wrap over the tops of oils and sauces to prevent messy leaks. Place those bottles in plastic moving bins just in case.

Dining Room Packing Tips

45.  Disassemble lamps

Remove light bulbs and harps. Wrap the bases, bulbs and harps separately in a box with bubble wrap. For lampshades, wrap them in towels, tissue paper or pillowcases. Stack the shades in the box.

46.  Roll area rugs

Clean and roll all area rugs and secure with plastic wrap or zip ties.

47.  Fold curtains and drapes

Fold these drapes lengthwise and place in wardrobe boxes.

48.  Get the proper boxes for artwork

When moving statues, vases, mirrors or paintings, use mirror or picture boxes designed for large, flat items. For especially large or valuable items, ask your movers if they offer crating services.

Moving Tips For Bathrooms

49.  Pack necessities last

Items such as deodorant, toothbrushes, hair products and saline solution should be packed last so you can use them right up till the morning of the move.

50.  Keep a first aid kit on hand

Injuries can and do happen on moving day. Make sure you have a first aid kit that is easily accessible throughout the day for movers and helpers.

51.  Place plastic wrap around items that could spill

Use plastic wrap on shampoo bottles, cleaning supplies, soap and cosmetics to prevent spills in transit. You will thank yourself later when the spill is contained and doesn’t damage everything in the box.

52.  Pack small items in plastic bags

Small items such as cotton pads, makeup, hair ties and pins in labeled plastic baggies.

53.  Line boxes with towels or garbage bags

For toiletries, beauty products and appliances such as curling irons, line the boxes with garbage bags or towels to guard against leaks or breaks.

54.  Wrap fragile items with towels

Wrap fragile bathroom items in towels. You can also use towels to fill gaps in the boxes. Label as fragile.

55.  Pack unused towels in heavy boxes or garbage bags

Add towels of all sizes on top of heavy boxes, as they are relatively lightweight. You can also place them in garbage bags for transportation.

56.  Place jewelry in egg cartons

Using an egg carton, place jewelry in each cup to avoid tangling and misplacement of paired items such as earrings. Tape the cartons shut.

Contact Best Fit Movers

We hope you found these 56 moving and packing hacks to be helpful! If you are facing a San Diego move soon, call us at (858) 429-0103 to get a free quote. We are skilled in logistics as well as all the heavy lifting and packing so you can approach your upcoming move with peace of mind.


Author: Patrick Caramalac

Patrick Caramalac founded Best Fit Movers in 2017 when he saw a need in his community for professional local movers. The company operates from locations in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County, and specialize in residential and commercial moves, both local and long distance. With thousands of positive customer reviews, Best Fit Movers is one of the highest rated moving companies in California.





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