Favorite Moving Tips and Tricks

I cannot even believe the amount of times I have moved. If you count all the moves in and out of the sorority house, it has literally been over a dozen moves. While moving is never fun, there is something exciting about new beginnings. I dread the packing, but the redecorating and reorganizing? Sign me up!

Over the years I have gathered a few tricks that have made it easier. I share them below in hopes that it might make your next move simpler!

1.Buy the Uhaul moving supplies.

It wasn’t until about three years ago that I learned that when you book a Uhaul truck, they actually have a popup that asks you if you need moving supplies. You can even enter how big of a space you have (one bedroom apartment, two bedroom house, etc.) and they will provide a list of recommended amounts of supplies. While I don’t take all of their advice, there are a few things that I buy without fail. I always take their recommendation on amount of boxes, because they are not only quality, durable boxes I know won’t break on me, but they buy back any unused ones!

Second, they have a dish saver box that brings me so much comfort. It has built in dividers and foam pouches designed for the shape of the dishes that protect them very well. Why bother wrapping in newspaper when you could wrap them in something created just to help them not break? Lastly, let’s be honest: Uhaul trucks are gross. I always buy the mattress bag for both my mattress and my box spring. I am so grateful that Uhaul does this and I’m all about paying for this convenience. They ship the supplies for free, and it has never cost me more than $50.

2. Wrap breakables in paper towels.

This might sound super silly, but I hate wrapping stuff in newspaper. I much prefer wrapping in paper towels. This purpose is two-fold. First, I end up doing a lot of cleaning when moving. The cabinets all need a wipe down, the counters usually have dust, the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned to my level of sanitation, and the list just goes on. If you use paper towels to wrap your fragile belongings, you have a stock ready to help you with cleaning already ready! Second, whenever I wrap dishes, coffee mugs, platters, whatever, in newspaper, I feel like they get dirty! I can’t stand it in movies when you see people unwrap cups and then promptly put them in the cabinet for use! Paper towels, on the other hand, are clean as a whistle and you don’t have to rewash anything!

3. Skip the pizza and beer. Go for the crock pot.

The old cliche is that you can get your friends to help you move if you offer pizza and beer. It wasn’t until my last move that I discovered something better: the crock pot. Rather than order food, the morning of the move, throw the crock pot on. This way every time a friend is carrying in a heavy couch and wishing they hadn’t offered to help they will be greeted with the delightful smell of their lunch cooking, and they will be reaffirmed in their purpose. We moved right before lunch last time, so I threw together my grandmother’s super simple BBQ Pulled Pork recipe. Throw two pounds of pork tenderloin, one bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, a can of coca cola, and salt and pepper into the crock pot for 6 hours on low. Shred with two forks when ready, and then put back in the pot to absorb all of the sauce. Serve on soft, stick-to-your teeth buns with coleslaw. So. Easy. Every time the door opened the smell of BBQ wafted through the air and I honestly think it made the whole thing go faster. Is there any greater motivator than food?

4. Don’t take it with you, replace it.

Moving is the perfect opportunity to replace things. Frankly, I am actually guilty of putting off replacing things because I know I am moving soon. There are just certain things that you don’t want to pack! What are they? Your toilet brush, your shower curtain liner, and your kitchen sponge. You can literally replace all three for $10. And who wants to pack a used toilet brush anyway?

5. Start early and unpack ASAP.

Every time I move I am so mad at myself when my alarm goes off early. However, when everything is unpacked by dinner time, I am glad I did it. James and I have established a well calibrated system whereby about halfway through the move I stop helping carry stuff in and start putting stuff away. For example, last time one of the first few items that we brought in were the headboard, foot-board, and bed frame. I stayed back and put the bed together while he went down for another load or two. By the time he got back with the mattress, I had the bed frame all read to go to set the mattress right on.

6. Pack your hanging clothes in grocery bags, and your books in suitcases.

These are my two favorite tips the internet has taught me. When it comes to hanging clothes, tall grocery bags are the best trick out there. Open the bag wide, and, while your clothes are still hanging, fill the grocery bag with about 20 items worth of clothing. Wrap the handles around the hangers and tie tight to keep them together. These can easily be laid in the backseat of a car, and then when you get to the new place, hang back up in the new closet and just cut the bags off. For books, why bother testing the limits of your back? Always pack these in rolling suitcases, and you can fill them with as many as necessary without worrying about weight.

What other tips did I miss?




10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse Review

Two weeks ago we were spending some time with our cousin Amanda when she mentioned her love of The 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. I have done a cleanse or two before, but never something this hardcore. 10 days? That is a significant commitment. I had been eating all the food lately, though, and I do always love a good challenge for both my mind and my body. Why not? I thought. I even convinced my dear husband to do it with me. Fortunately, his boss, whom he admires greatly, is a big fan of juicing so it didn’t take much pressure. Below is my comprehensive review. The good, the bad, the green. Continue reading “10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse Review”

A Review of Trader Joes’ Pumpkin Products

I have made no secret on here that I absolutely adore all things pumpkin. However, what I haven’t shared yet is how much I love Trader Joes. I find the place soothing. I love the constant rotation of new products, I appreciate that they have a limited enough inventory that their employees actually know how to help you, and I really love how well they treat their employees.

But my favorite part? Trader Joes goes all out for holidays. My friend (and photographer) Erin graciously agreed to go with me to Trader Joes to stock up on all the new pumpkin goodies. Why not try them all, you know? Continue reading “A Review of Trader Joes’ Pumpkin Products”

What’s In My Bag

One of my favorite segments of weekly publications like US Weekly and People is when they do a “What’s In My Bag” segment with a celebrity. It’s always fun to take a look! It makes me feel like I am in on a secret, because everybody knows how personal your purse is! Further, I love finding commonalities.

For fun, I thought I would take a real look inside the bag of a real person: me!

Continue reading “What’s In My Bag”

Pledging Pi Beta Phi

Today marks nine years since the day I moved into my dorm room as a freshman at UC Davis. I still remember the excitement of the day, the careful planning that had gone into it, the simultaneous anticipation and nausea that came from the idea of starting what felt like a brand new life all on my own. As I think back on that first week, I have glimpses of my dorm, the first friends that I made, getting lost going nowhere. But what really sticks out from that week is sorority recruitment. Continue reading “Pledging Pi Beta Phi”

Fall Wish List – Activities

As previously mentioned in my piece Falling for Autumn – A Defense, fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. I have gotten so into in the past that my family has actively made a rule that I am not allowed to buy anything fall related until after Labor Day because I will go nuts. Because fall officially begins on Friday, though, I feel I am justified in going all out at this point.

Normally, my obsession with fall means:

  1. Fall scented soap in both the kitchen and bathroom (I blame TJ Maxx for this one, really)
  2. Fall scented candles/wax melts all over the house
  3. Fall colored flowers in a vase on the table
  4. Pumpkin breads/muffins/cookies 24/7
  5. Spending 15+ extra minutes in Target weekly so I can look at the seasonal goodies
  6. Asking James every Wednesday if we can spend the following Saturday doing “fall stuff”

This year, because I have a blog, I am putting together a formal fall wish-list of activities that I would do if Saturday wasn’t always dedicated to Penn State. Continue reading “Fall Wish List – Activities”

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A couple of years ago I found this recipe on Pinterest. I made it one night, fully expecting it to be a Pinterest fail, only to realize that it was actually the greatest Pinterest recipe of all time. It is so good, in fact, that whenever my sister, the world traveler, comes to visit she requests that we make it together instead of going out to eat. Continue reading “Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps”