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- It's moving season, and we know the pain. Collectively our editors have moved almost 30 times in the last 5 years.
- We curated a list of items that have helped us in our moves.
- You'll find products that assist with both the actual process of moving and settling into your new home.
Moving can be stressful. We would know: between our editors, we've moved 28 times in the last five years. That's a lot of boxes.
I'm personally in the midst of a cross-country move, which I've never experienced before. It's required more planning, thought, and care than any other move I've done in the past, so I've been keenly aware of the products that really help and the ones that hinder.
Below you'll find 20 of the products that have made this move and previous ones a little less stressful, along with some recommendations from my product-loving and frequently moving coworkers. We hope they make your move a bit easier, too. Happy packing!
Here are 20 items that Insider Reviews editors swear by for a stress-free move
A rollable garment rack for all your clothes
Out the door, onto the truck, and through the new door, no packing needed. A cloth or nylon cover is a worthwhile addition if you want extra protection for your garments. —Owen Burke, senior reporter
A fresh shower curtain liner and hooks for move day
I can't tell you how many times I've gone to take a relaxing shower after a sweaty day of hauling boxes and realized that my new shower didn't have a curtain. Curtain liners seem to be the thing everyone tosses when they move and no one (thankfully) leaves behind for the new tenant, so I always make sure I buy a new liner and some hooks before moving day and pack them in with first day essentials. Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A picture hanging kit for getting photos out of boxes and onto walls quickly
Nothing makes me feel as settled as having art and pictures on the wall, which is why it's one of the first things I prioritize when unpacking. I haven't found anything that can't be hung with this kit of hangers. If you're renting, you may want to opt for Command hangers instead, but they haven't been as reliable for me. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A bunch of mini box cutters so you don't have to keep asking "have you seen the scissors?"
When you test products for a living, you open a lot of boxes. These tiny little box cutters are really all you need and they're dirt cheap at like $1 a piece. Dole one out to everyone in your family and get cranking on unpacking. I also like that they're small enough to store in a pocket or hang on a keychain. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A tool kit for all those nagging first week tasks
In my home, the tool kit sees the most use in the weeks leading up to and following a move: furniture is being disassembled and reassembled, art is being hung, electronics are being installed. You don't need a fancy or expensive tool kit, but you should have one with the core essentials: a hammer, a screwdriver with flat and Phillips-head bits, a set of Allen wrenches, a pair of pliers, and a tape measure. A cordless drill, drill bits, and a stud finder are also nice tools to have in your kit if you'll be hanging shelves or heavy fixtures. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A dolly cart (or two) for moving things around
Dolly carts make a world of a difference when moving, but they're also incredibly useful to have around the house or apartment. I have a couple of them and I use them to move furniture, boxes, and awkwardly shaped items that I can't get a good grip on to carry. You can get them with or without handles, and there are different advantages to each. The ones with handles are great for boxes, while the ones without handles are best for furniture. If space is a concern, the ones without handles are easier to store under the bed or in a closet. Just make sure if you opt for one without handles that you look for carpet-wrapped ends because it prevents things from slipping and sliding around. — Sally Kaplan, executive editor
Recyclable wrap for protecting delicate items
Bubble wrap is awesome for protecting items in transport, but it's not very environmentally friendly. I recently found this recyclable alternative that looks like a flat sheet of brown paper, but then twists to reveal a protective honeycomb pattern. I've tried a few different brands, but I like Scotch's Cushion Lock best because it's super easy to work with and feels very sturdy. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A pack of light bulbs in case the last owners took them all
To my surprise, lots of people decide to take the light bulbs when they leave an old apartment. I've walked into too many dim apartments to know now to always pack a big box of lightbulbs. Having them on hand saves you an annoying trip to the store on your first night. Even if you don't use them right away, they'll come in handy down the line. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
An easy-to-assemble shelf or baker's rack
Anytime I've moved, I've found myself living out of boxes while I figure out how I want to organize everything or wait for new furniture to arrive. A simple shelf that can be assembled and disassembled with minimal effort makes things a lot easier. You can stack boxes on it rather than piling them on top of each other. After everything is unpacked, it's great for basement or garage storage too. — Lisa Sabatini, senior editor
A step ladder for those hard-to-reach places
My step ladder came in so handy when I was packing for my most recent move in March 2022. I used it constantly: to take down curtain rods, double-check I'd removed everything from the backs of high cabinets, and so forth. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief
Sticker labels that quickly tell you what goes where
I had previously used a Post-It system to label all our boxes according to their destination rooms, but then realized that these pre-made stickers exist. They're color-coded and have big, bold print so you can easily see what box goes where. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A mattress-sized bag for keeping your bed clean in the moving truck
When you move, you unearth an alarming amount of dust and dirt that has been lurking in the corners of your home. I did not want that dust and dirt coming with me when I moved, especially via my mattress. These mattress bags ensured that my mattress stayed dirt-free during my move and allowed us to be more flexible with how it was stored and packed in our moving van. — Francesca Rea, story production manager
Heavy duty storage bins that hold up to stacking
Cardboard boxes are disposable, but these bins last forever and can bear hundreds of pounds each. Chances are that you're going to have a few things you'll keep stored away in your new home. These bins can be repurposed time and again and will keep whatever you choose to store inside safely sealed from pests and mold. — Owen Burke, senior reporter
New bedding that makes your space feel special
Moving takes a lot of mental and physical energy, which is why I love to treat myself to some brand new bedding when I move. It's an easy way to change up the look of your space and usher in the new with a little luxury. I'll buy new sheets, pillows, or a duvet cover before I move so that I can have them during my first night in my new home. Crisp, clean sheets that have never been slept on are such a treat to look forward to after a long day of moving. I love Brooklinen's sheet bundles (especially since I can opt for no top sheet), but you can accomplish the same thing with an inexpensive sheet set from Target, too. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A cordless vacuum for removing remnants of the last tenants
I can't even begin to tell you how much we love our cordless Dyson vacuum. It's pricey, but one of the best home investments we made. This is the last thing we move out of our old home and the first thing we bring into our new home. The cordless design makes it super easy to do a quick sweep around the house before moving boxes in. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
Numbered stickers for creating a detailed box inventory
It's all well and good to scribble "kitchen/dishes" on a box, but once you get to your seventh dish box, it starts to become meaningless. If you add color-coordinated number stickers paired with a detailed spreadsheet, you'll have a comprehensive list of everything you own. That way, you won't have to worry about which dish box contains your favorite mug two weeks from now. — Jenny McGrath, senior reporter
Boxes…a lot of them
Packing is a pain, but U-Haul's online store is a godsend for people like me who want to have all of their packing supplies shipped to them quickly and easily. I have ordered everything I need from U-Haul for my last four moves. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief
I second U-Haul boxes. They're big and sturdy, and U-Haul will buy back any unused boxes, so there's no need to get an exact estimate on boxes while you're stocking up. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A candle to make your space feel new…or to remind you that you're home
Scent is intrinsically tied to memory and I love to use candles to "hack" my subconscious. Depending on how I'm feeling about my move, I'll either bring in a new candle scent to set the new chapter vibes, or light an old candle so the space feels a little bit more like "home." I really like Otherland's candles, but any candle will do the trick here. — Lauren Savoie, deputy editor
A fresh, welcoming doormat
Nearly every place I've moved to has come with a worn, filthy doormat. It can make a new place feel a little unwelcoming. The last time I moved, I bought a quality mat that I could put down right on moving day. It also kept the floors cleaner while carrying boxes and furniture inside. Some of my favorite places to shop for mats are Ballard Designs, Target, West Elm, and L.L.Bean. — Lisa Sabatini, senior editor
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