Getting through a move in one piece + giveaway!

Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger and friend, Laurieann from Organize It Mom! Organize It Mom! is a great site that sells awesome products to help moms keep their sanity.  I had the pleasure of doing a review on some of those products awhile ago here.

Laurieann just went through a big move recently and has kindly agreed to share some of her awesome moving tips with my readers.


Agh. Sorry. I have an Aunt who seriously loves to move. She loves the de-cluttering, the boxing, the truck-renting, the upacking. She loves it all. She lives in one place for about three years and then starts to feel the moving itch. And she has five kids. She is insane.

I just moved and ugh. I just moved after 12 great years in a great place into my dream home. Hope I’m painting the 12-years-worth of non-moved junk picture for you.

So, here’s what I did and I know it was completely anal retentive of me but I am Organize It Mom! for a reason.

First, I started packing early. I’m pretty sure I was done with 75% of the packing when all of our books were in boxes. I heart books. Know what else I heart? Uniform sized boxes. Wait… picture me saying that the way Homer Simpson says, “Mmmm Doughnuts.” Uniform sized boxes. Oh yeah. I have a lot of books and even though I know some pretty strong fellas (husband included), I did not want to have anyone’s chiropractor bill on my conscience so books only went in the small boxes. It was so much better that way. The fellas who wanted to be tough could lift three while I could still bring in one at a time.

By the way, what is it with fellas wanting to be tough? The collective testosterone of my husband’s friends evoked a “Hey, no problem, we can move your piano. No need to pay movers.”

Anyway, then came the color-coding. You read that right. I color-coded every box. Laura’s all about containers. I’m all about colors. In the new house I had three floors to move into so we used stop-light color-coding: red for the top floor, yellow for the main floor, green for the basement. Then, each room was assigned a number (1 for the first room you encountered on your way in the main entrance, 2 for the second. You get the idea). So, each box had a color-coded, numbered label on it. Everything that wasn’t in a box got a label too: furniture, appliances, etc.

Every box made it into the right room un-opened. How great is that? I was unpacked and totally organized in record time – approximately three working days.

Maybe, just maybe it was overkill. Nah, it was organizing Nirvana.

If you are moving, I’ll totally loan you the color-coded labels idea. Husband thinks I should sell them. Uh, no. Who would buy such a thing? Well, okay… people just like me I guess. Couple of other tips I picked up in this whole process… get moving boxes from Craig’s List under free stuff. So cool! (Caution, you may not get uniform sized boxes that way.) Make friends with people with big muscles and bigger trucks and do favors for them just prior to moving – then supply pizza. Lots of pizza.



Thanks Laurieann!  In conjunction with today’s post about moving I’m discussing the book, The Essential Guide to Organizing and Moving, over on my review site AND I’m giving away a copy as well.  To enter just visit Org Junkie’s Product Reviews.

See you over there!


Related post:

Organizing a move

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Moving


16 Responses to Getting through a move in one piece + giveaway!

  1. 1
    Lady Ozma says

    Great post! We just moved into our 12 home in 14 years. I’m the master mover at this point.

    Five moves ago I decided to go plastic. At this point 98% of my moving boxes are reusable Rubbermade totes. They are the perfect size for moving. For books I prefer to use paper ream boxes.

    This move we made up a to scale floor plan and posted at hte front door. We had an enlarged floor plan on the door to each room so that our friends, AKA the movers, would know where to deliver stuff.

    So there’s some ideas for others when moving. :)

    Oh yeah, and purge on both sides of the move. :)

  2. 2
    Kimberly says

    I love this post… I’m moving in less than a month, and found it VERY useful! Thanks :o)

  3. 3
    Nicole says

    My husband and I have been married 4 1/2 years and have lived in 3 different houses so far – Life in the military! Great idea about color coding and numbering. I usually just lable “Master bed” “Master Bath” “living room” etc but color coding would make it much easier to see at a glance where things go!

  4. 4
    Sharon says

    Thanks for this post.
    We’re in the process of moving. I HATE the unpacking. I insist on lining the kitchen cupboards and linen closet w/ shelf paper, but that’s up to my dh because I stink at it. So I have to wait.

    I appreciate the tip on getting boxes off Craigslist. Hadn’t thought of that. Gordon’s is another good one, but you never know what you’ll get.

    I like the color system. I’ve been writing the room in caps on each box, that’s about it. So far it’s working, though.

    Congrats on getting your dream home! :) Have fun settling in.

  5. 5
    josie says

    I so agree with Organize It Mom, you can not be too organized when it comes to a move!! :-)

    We’ve moved so many times, I’ve lost count. Several moves over a thousand miles. San Francisco->Seattle->Boston. And tons of local moves.

    I love the color-coding idea. We just did numbers and it worked pretty well.

    One thing I found essential was to draw a floor plan of the new place and place all of the furniture. We found that some of our items wouldn’t fit. So, we were able to get rid of them *before* moving. Much better than paying to move them for nothing.
    As commenter #1 mentioned, you can then use the floor plan to tell the movers *exactly* where to place the furniture.

    Rubbermaid totes are great! Much sturdier than regular boxes. We made sure to use them for fragile items.

    We got boxes on Craigslist, too. Though I suggest you call ahead to make sure someone else hasn’t already claimed them (got burned by this one time). They go fast. Freecycle is great for this too.

    It’s essential to use packing blankets to wrap your furniture to prevent dings and scratches. The professional packing blankets are expensive. We went to Goodwill and picked up a ton of used blankets. When we were done, we donated them back to Goodwill.

    It also pays to have all the supplies, like bubble wrap, mattress bags, and bags for the couch cushions, etc. One of our trucks was damp on the inside and our stuff would have been ruined without them. Ebay is a good source for these things.

    Thanks for posting! Moving can be so stressful, it’s always great to learn more tricks! We plan to make one more cross-country move soon and then be settled for a good long time. It can’t come soon enough!

  6. 6
    Mercy says

    We’re moving in two weeks! AAAGH!! Somebody save me from these boxes they are haunting me in the middle of the night. ;o)

    In otherwords, good timing. Good suggestions from everyone.


  7. 7
    Laurieann says

    Fantastic ideas! Too bad I’m IN my dream home or I’d be all ready to move again with all of your great ideas!

    And thanks Laura for letting me guest post.

  8. 8
    LaTanya says

    This is perfect timing for this post!! We’re looking at houses and expect to move in the next 2-6 months. I’m already bringing home paper ream boxes from work. I plan to start boxing non-essentials in the next week.

    I love the idea of color-coding the boxes. This will really help the unpacking process. I’m also considering getting some sort of colored packing tape to use on the boxes that contain fragile items. Hopefully this with help prevent anything getting broken.

  9. 9
    Rona says

    We’re moving again..4 moves in 2 years! I would like to say that we’re experts but NOT!
    We have started packing things last week. The hubby thinks we should be done by next Monday. We better be because the movers will be there on Tuesday.

  10. 10
    Lara T. says

    I can’t agree more with this post. We have moved 6 times in 5.5 years. Our last move we just threw anything in a box that would fit! It took forever to unpack and find everything!! Every time we thought a room was finished we would find something else that belonged there and have to re-arrange (we only have a two bedroom apartment, just imagine the mess if it were a 3-4 bedroom home).

  11. 11
    Maria says

    AWESOME IDEAS!!! Where can I buy those lables???

  12. 12
    Bob says

    Wow, that color coded label idea is fantastic! Wish I’d thought of that for my move. I thought I was being highly clever by getting my moving supplies in a kit from, saving me the hassle of trying to get everything together. On the plus side, they were cheaper than new boxes, and even delivered it for free via UPS.

    I don’t know how your aunt does it. I am glad to be done with this move and hope I stay put for a long time. Of course, if I do have to move again, I’ll combine both of our ideas, putting your color coded labels on boxes from!

  13. 13
    Toni says

    You do need to sell the labels! I use some totes & some boxes. We are getting ready to move our 11th time in 7 yrs!!

  14. 14
    Tamy ~ 3 Sides of Cr says

    I did the EXACT same thing – even had the bedding & towels for the first night separate yet. And uniform boxes are a MUST!!!! I took the color coding to an additional level of also numbering for each room. As the movers approached each room they found a large colored sheet with a number on it. All the red #1’s ended up in Amber’s room, red #2’s ended up in our room, red #3’s in the guest room, etc… Even the furniture had a tag on it. It freed me from playing navigator all day!

  15. 15
    Jena (O.M.) says

    We’ve moved a lot also–(military family), and I’ve never thought about color-coding! Great idea. I agree with the ladies: purge on both ends of the move. The “moving in” garage sale is a good thing. Thanks.

  16. 16
    Jillian says

    Ahhh. My husband color-coded our move, and at first I thought her was nuts. But then, when he was off to work and I was left home with the kids to unpack, I was so grateful we’d done it. We also had a master info sheet, that had the basic contents of each numbered color-coded box, so we didn’t have to open them to figure out where stuff was.


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