2. Use up your food. There's nothing more annoying than having to move boxes of canned food or bags of sugar and flour. Depending on how much food you keep in food storage/your pantry, start trying to use up as much food as you can in the 1-2 months before moving. This is usually when I'll plan meals around whatever random cans of food we have, or use up the miscellaneous food items we have in the cupboard
3. Reserve a moving truck and find "movers." Unless you're paying for professional movers, make sure you get that truck booked as soon as you have a moving date! (Most places require at least two weeks of notice and a moving truck is pretty essential to moving. The bigger the truck, the less likely it'll be available with short notice. We found out the hard way once. :)) Instead of hiring people to pack and unpack the truck, Ben and I are blessed to have great friends who are always willing to help - in return, we try to give as much notice as possible and like to have doughnuts and water bottles or pizza and soda to offer depending on what time of day the move is. Clean up is easy and stomachs are fed.
4. Clean the new house/apartment before moving into it if you're able to. There's nothing that breaks my little heart more than having all of my boxes and things brought into a dirty house. I just don't handle dirt well in general, but having to unpack things in a dirty space makes my skin crawl. Ben and I like to go over the day before to wipe down closets and shelves, doors and cabinets, walls and ceiling fans, and door handles. We also sweep the entire place and mop. Sure, the floors are going to get dirty the next day when 10 people are hauling boxes around the place, but it really helps. Also, moving all of the boxes into one (or two!) specific room(s) keeps your movers from walking all around the place getting the floor dirty or muddy. I also try to keep ahead of the guys and quickly sweep the spots where the furniture will be going right before they bring it in. (I'm a nutcase; it's fine.)
5. Use Styrofoam bowls. These are great for packing dishes to prevent scratches and chips. When packing bowls, simply place a styrofoam bowl between each dish. When packing plates, cut slits all around the sides of the styrofoam bowls to flatten them out and place between each plate. People say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but Styrofoam bowls, newspapers, and packing peanuts are mine!
6. Label boxes clearly with the room and 1-2 items. For example, when packing up my linen closet I'd write "linen closet" with "sheets & towels" below that. That way, when you're digging through piles of boxes, you can easily find clean towels when you want to take a shower after moving.
7. Wrap your furniture! I can't tell you how many pieces of furniture we've saved by wrapping it all with this stuff and this stuff. Tight corners can sure be hard on couches or large dressers, so making sure that those pesky corners are protected is well worth the time!
You've probably moved a million times more than I have...
What tips and tricks have you learned along the way?