10 Tips for Tackling Your Solo Move

Triumphant woman among moving boxes.

Moving by yourself is a difficult, time-consuming process as it is, but the thought of moving solo sounds like an impossible feat. However, with a little bit of planning and forethought, you can make moving solo a breeze. With our tips, and even a storage unit from a StoreLine Self Storage location near you, we’ll show you how to move by yourself, what supplies you need to move, and what to do before moving into a new apartment, turning your solo move from overwhelming to manageable.

1. Cut Down the Clutter

The first step before any move should be decluttering your home. The fewer items you have to move, the better—especially if you plan on moving by yourself. If you have fewer things to pack, you will have fewer boxes to carry in and out of your home.

The easiest way to cut down clutter is to go through your entire house and donate items you don’t need to take to your new home. If you have enough time before your move, hold a garage sale to make a little money back on anything salvageable. The money you make back from your garage sale will come in handy for your impending move.

2. Plan Your Move Accordingly

Moving requires a lot of moving parts, so having a clear plan in mind will be crucial to successfully moving by yourself. You’ll need to consider how long you’ll need to move. Can you finish moving in a weekend, or do you need a little longer to move? This will help you determine if you need to take time off work. The most important part is to be realistic about how long it will take. You are only one person, after all.

In addition, you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather leading up to your move, along with traffic patterns the day of. Keep construction, holidays, and special events like Comic Cons or sporting events in mind as you travel to and through cities.

3. Book Your Rentals Early

Once you’ve determined the timeline of your move and your commute time between your old and new home, you’ll have to determine whether you’ll need a moving truck. If you have a small commuter car, it’s probably best to rent a moving truck, and the fewer trips you have to take, the easier and quicker your move will be. If you plan to rent a moving truck, you can rest assured there are plenty of moving truck companies at your disposal. Regardless, it’s important to reserve your truck early. Make sure you get the right-sized moving truck as well. This will help you cut down on trips back and forth as well.

Pro tip: Try to book a truck rental that has pickup and drop-off locations close to where you live and where you are moving.

You may also want to look into renting moving tools to make the move go smoother. Things like mattress slings, furniture sliders, dollies, and furniture straps can ease the struggles of solo moves.

4. Gather Packing Supplies

Now that your moving arrangements are taken care of, it’s time to gather the supplies needed to pack your belongings. To figure out exactly what supplies you need to move, take a look at what you have in your home. Will you need blankets to keep items from being scratched? Do you need a dolly or cart to move heavier items? Knowing what supplies you need to pack can be difficult, but boxes, tape, and blankets are a good start. If you have time, visit your local retailers and start gathering old boxes for your impending move.

5. Packing Carefully

Woman packing folded clothes in moving boxes.

To make sure that your boxes don’t break, it is important to not fill them beyond what they can hold or what you can carry. Bulging moving boxes can also cause the things inside to be damaged or wrinkled. Opt for more boxes when necessary. In addition to not overstuffing boxes, you’ll want to be mindful of not stacking heavier boxes on top of lighter ones. 

Don’t forget to clearly label your boxes on the top flap and sides so you know their contents without having to break them open. Clearly labeling your boxes also makes it easy to spot any boxes containing fragile items.

6. Break Down Everything You Can

Larger items pose a serious challenge when tackling a move alone. Whenever possible, disassemble larger pieces of furniture before attempting a solo move. Remove shelves from bookshelves and pull out drawers on dressers to make them easier to load and carry solo. Pulling out dresser drawers and shelves means you can worry less about taping things down. In addition, drawers are easy to load into your car and cut down on valuable boxes you can use for other belongings. Unsure how appliances like laundry machines or ovens come apart? Companies will come and unhook these items for you.

7. Keep Essentials Close

If you have a long-distance move ahead of you, you may end up staying in a hotel for a night or two on your journey. Even if it’s a short distance, you may find that it takes longer to get to your new place or to unload your vehicle. It’s important to have your necessities like toothbrushes and clothing within reach—preferably in a suitcase that’s easy to get to—in case you need to use them overnight.

8. Put Non-Essentials in the Back

When packing your moving vehicle, you want to approach it like a game of Tetris. Less important items, like out-of-season clothing or decorations, should be put into your moving vehicle first with the items you’ll need immediately toward the front of the moving door. This way, everything you need should be easier to access and get unloaded as soon as possible.

9. Unpack Just as Carefully

You will likely be tired when you reach your destination and may even be sore if you have to take a multiple-day move. Do not let your fatigue make your unpacking journey reckless. Your items are just as delicate and fragile as when you loaded them into your moving vehicle. Be equally careful when unpacking.

10. Hire or Enlist a Babysitter

If you have young children or pets, they can become another thing to manage while you move into a new home. It’s best to leave your little loved ones with someone you trust so you can complete your solo move with one less thing underfoot.

Bonus Tips for Moving by Yourself

Do you still feel like you don’t know what to do before moving into a new apartment or house? Here’s a quick list of additional tips to help with your move:

  • Start preparing well before your move.
  • Try to move out and move in on separate days.
  • Work as slowly as you can to limit the risk of injury.
  • Use as many tools as possible.
  • Move early in the day to make the most of your time.
  • Rent a storage unit to give yourself more time.

Make a Solo Move Easier With StoreLine Self Storage

The most important thing to remember about moving is that an exciting new adventure awaits you, so you should approach moving like it is too. Moving alone is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible or miserable. If you need a little extra time to complete your solo move, find a StoreLine location near you so you can maximize your time during your move and take on your move alone on your schedule. Good luck with your upcoming move!

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