5 DITY Tips to Make Moving Easier

Don't let your DITY move drive you crazy!

Don’t let your DITY move drive you crazy!

Guest blogger, Jo, is the creator and owner of blog, Jo, My Gosh! Read more about her at the end of this post.

Most people, when hearing that my husband and I had decided to try a DITY move for our first PCS, tried to persuade us to rethink our decision. After all, we had both just undertaken some huge life events—John had just come home from a year-long stint in Afghanistan, I had quit my job, and we had gotten married all in the span of a month. We both had moved all of our stuff together into an apartment that we would be in for just four months before our PCS. It didn’t make much sense to have a professional move since almost all of our stuff was still packed up and just need to be shuffled onto a truck. So, a DITY move it was!

We only broke a light bulb and an IKEA drawer and—believe it or not—had not a single fight during move. Still, there are many things I wish we would have done to make our move a little bit easier. Learn from my mistakes with these five tips! 

Rent Enough Dollies. I don’t know why, but we only rented one dolly for our move. That single decision made it hours longer than it should have been. Shell out the extra money and rent enough dollies for the job at hand.

Fill Your Cooler. Restocking a refrigerator and a freezer is expensive. Invest in a good cooler for your trip. Once you’ve eaten all of the perishables you can, fill your cooler with the leftovers. Don’t forget your salad dressings, ketchup, and those miscellaneous bottles of stuff that take up room in the refrigerator door. Throwing those out now may seem like the easy thing to do, but buying it all again adds up!

Make a Snack Bag. In the days leading up to, during, and following your move, you’ll probably eat out a lot (and it will most likely be more than you anticipate). Take the edge off of your budget and your hunger (and save your waistline) by packing a tote of snacks. They can even double as breakfast foods and save you another trip through the drive-through line.  Include:  hearty fruits (whole apples, oranges), individually packaged foods (100-calorie nut mixes, granola bars), munchies (crackers, popcorn chips), and spreads (Nutella, peanut butter).  If this is your breakfast bag, you might want to include some fruit juice boxes, packaged muffins, and Pop-Tarts. Don’t forget to throw in some plastic-ware and a roll of paper towels to clean up small spills.

Donate and Toss. You’ve heard it a million times, but purge before you move. Make a commitment to go through every closet, every drawer, and every plastic tote in the garage before you begin packing. When I began unpacking our boxes in our new home, I realized how much junk we had moved. We ended up donating almost ten full boxes of stuff after our move. I wish I would have given it the time to do it before— I could have saved time and our backs!

Color Code Your Stuff. Since during a DITY move, you’re doing the packing and moving and not a professional, invest in s ome Sharpies and colored Duck Tape or packing tape. Create a key for yourself using the colored tapes (blue for the master bedroom, yellow for the dining room, etc.) and, instead of writing the same label over and over again, just slap a strip of colored tape over the top of the box. Use red tape to denote important items inside the box (medicine refills, items needed immediately for work, the TV remote) and write the item on the tape. With just a quick glance, you’ll be able to make sure all of your boxes are where they’re supposed to be and locate any necessary items without having to open every box.

With a little planning and time, your DITY move can be a huge success. Good luck!

wedding headshotJo is the author of Jo, My Gosh!, a blog about her journey as a newlywed Navy wife. When she’s not working from home, she’s writing, reading, trying new recipes, or cross stitching.






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