Top Ten Moving Tips from a Certified Professional Organizer

Home interior right after moving in.

Home interior right after moving in.










I’ve been helping people move and unpack now for twelve years and I frequently encounter the same questions and the same mistakes. So if I could only tell you ten pieces of advice, here they are in no particular order:

  1. Purge before packing. This is an obvious task but often people don’t make the time to go through drawers, closets, and cabinets. Your goal should be to get rid of at least 10-20%. Before you gasp, that’s very realistic and manageable.
  2. Hire the moving truck company to pack you. Packing services that are linked to or tied into the moving truck company will be the cheapest route. They will be the fastest and most cost effective.
  3. If at all possible do not move on the 30th or 1st of the month. That’s the most expensive time of the month to move. Save yourself some money by picking “off dates” and the off season (non- summer). Avoid holidays as well.
  4. Don’t expect to start unpacking the day the moving truck drops off your furniture and boxes. Companies like cable tv, security service, wifi set up or phone service will most likely be your top priority. Realistically, unpacking will start the next day. My company will only arrive after the moving truck leaves. That’s one of my strict policies.
  5. Although it doesn’t feel like the best use of you time, stand and watch to see where every box is being dropped off in the house. Save yourself a lot of back ache and time by making sure each box is going to the right room as it comes through the front door.
  6. Don’t clean before movers and organizers arrive. Clean afterwards. They will track in dirt, dust, cardboard and packaging material that will get your home all dirty again. My only exception to this would be inside of kitchen cabinets. If you’d want to wipe those down, then do so.
  7. Don’t buy cabinet shelf liner or drawer liner. It’s a huge waste of money and makes the dishes stick as you take them in and out. It also makes it harder to clean inside.
  8. Resist the urge to go shopping for setting up your new home before unpacking. First unpack and write a specific shopping list so you don’t make ten trips to the store.
  9. Always plan ahead. Once you know you are moving, don’t procrastinate with tasks and booking professionals to help. You will make it through the move more smoothly and with less stress if you plan ahead!
  10. Don’t wash all your dishes as you unpack them. Wash them as you pull them out to use with your family or for parties. It will take triple the amount of time to get settled if you insist on all kitchen dishes being washed.


Amber Kostelny

Amber’s Organizing, LLC

7401 W. Howard St

Chicago, IL 60631


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One Response to Top Ten Moving Tips from a Certified Professional Organizer

  1. Mike G

    Great post Amber! I’m a mover and I know that packing and organizing things before it actually gets moved is more than half the battle. I enjoyed your tips and think anyone moving can benefit!

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