18 Handy Hints That Will Make Moving a Breeze

Updated: Oct. 03, 2023

These super-smart yet simple handy hints will make moving so much easier. Whether you're toting heavy furniture, packing up fragile items or prepping for the big day, these tips will help to make the job stress-free!

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Secure Moving Bins 1

Zip Tie Hack to Secure Moving Bins

Moving is always a pain, but using plastic containers that don’t stay closed adds even more frustration. Zip-ties to the rescue! After putting on a container lid, drill a small hole through the lid and handles. Run a zip tie through the holes and you’re on the road.

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move heavy furniture yourself

Move Heavy Furniture Yourself

Want to move your living room but don’t have a pal around to help you carry heavy furniture? Before sliding large pieces across your wood floor, which can cause scratches, gouges and other damage, try this: Jack up one side of the furniture piece using a long 2×4 and a sturdy resting block. Then slip old socks onto the legs of the furniture. Lower the piece back down and repeat this step on the other side of the furniture piece. Remove the jack, and then push the furniture across the floor to its new spot. Not only will the socks help to protect your floor, they’ll also make sliding the furniture easier.

Check out these 38 clever and cheap handy hints that cost less than $5 to reproduce.

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move clothes on hangers

Move Clothes Masterfully

There’s no need to take your clothes off of hangers, fold them and stack them in boxes. Just grab a handful of your hanging clothes and wrap the tops of the hangers together using bendable electrical wire or a zip tie. Drape a garbage bag over the clothes, pulling the tops of the hangers through a hole in the bottom of the bag. Then cinch up the garbage bag handles and tie them together. Your clothes will stay organized and clean while moving them to your new place. To unpack, just remove the bag, untwist the wire and hang your clothes in the closet. Psst — this rental move out checklist might come in handy, too.

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frog tape container for furniture glides

Tape Containers for Furniture Glides

For interior painting jobs or for moving furniture around while moving, I have found the FrogTape brand of painter’s tape to be a good product for masking crisp, clean edges around trim, etc. The tape comes in an airtight plastic container with a lid, which keep the tape fresh. In a pinch, I’ve found that I can use the base portion of the container as a glide to help with moving furniture—handy if I’m working by myself or if I don’t have enough real furniture glides for the job. — Tim Brooks

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label groups of fasteners in foam

Store and Label Fasteners with Foam

When disassembling a piece of furniture that needs to be repaired or moved, thread the screws and nails into a piece of rigid foam. Group similar fasteners together or arrange them however it will be most helpful when piecing the furniture back together. You can also write on the foam with a pen or marker to label the fasteners or to make notes that will be helpful when reassembling the piece at a later time.

Moving heavy furniture is a big job. Use these simple techniques to move heavy, awkward items without wrecking your back, your house or the furniture.

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Remove Crayon Marks From Wall
Family Handyman

Remove Crayon Marks From Walls

Have your walls been redecorated with some original crayon masterpieces? Don’t lose your cool. Just grab a rag, dip it in some baking soda and lightly scrub the marks. They will come off with a minimal amount of effort and give your young Picasso a fresh, new canvas. Your walls will be as good as new just in time for your big move.

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wine box shoe storage container
Family Handyman

Wine Box Shoe Storage

Why pay for a fancy compartment-style shoe storage container when you can just pick one up for free at almost any store that sells wine? Designed to protect fragile glass bottles, a wine box is perfect for storing footwear because it comes equipped with cardboard dividers—a place for each shoe! In addition, the exterior cardboard is very sturdy, again to keep wine bottles from breaking, but also great for protecting your kicks in storage! You could get fancy, too, and paint or cover the exterior of the wine box with decorative wrapping paper if you plan to keep it in your closet or entryway.

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HH removing drywall screw with a putty knife

Putty Knife Screw Removal Hack

Drywall screws are readily reusable and won’t rust, making them exceptionally versatile. However, if you try to remove a drywall screw that has missed the stud, it’ll just spin and it won’t come out. So, to get the screw to back out, stick the edge of a putty knife under the screw’s head and apply some outward pressure as you back out the screw. Viola! It will come right out with not hassle, and before moving your walls will be nail and screw free!

Plus, check out these 10 wall patching tips and products that will help you speed up the job, avoid problems and end up with a flawless wall.

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HH Steam clean oven
Family Handyman

Steam for Everyday Spills

The advantages of traditional oven cleaners are power and speed. But for many of us, the disadvantages outweigh the good, specifically, the corrosive chemicals and caustic fumes that this type of oven cleaning can produce. A simple, more natural way to clean your oven is to place an oven-safe pot or bowl filled with water inside. Set your oven to 450 degrees for 20 to 60 minutes to loosen dirt and grease with the steam. Once your oven is cool, wipe off the condensation and the grease will come with it. If stubborn spots persist, scrub with a paste of baking soda and lemon or vinegar.

This steam-cleaning option doesn’t take as long as pyrolytic cleaning and doesn’t produce smoke, either. It’s a win-win!

Need to clean out the rest of your kitchen before moving out? Check out these 11 tips for speed cleaning your kitchen.

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permanent marker HH vegetable oil remover
Family Handyman

Permanent Marker Stain

Don’t worry, that permanent marker stain on your new laminate countertop won’t be there forever and you’ll certainly be able to remove it before moving! We have an easy stain remover hack for you. Dab some cooking oil onto a paper towel and then lay the paper towel over the stain that refuses to budge. Wait a few minutes while the oil works to dissolve the stubborn stain. Finally, remove the towel and rub away the stain in circular motions (with some force) with another paper towel dipped in oil.

When the stain is gone, wipe the area clean with soap and water.

Do you have more stains on your kitchen countertop? Check out this stain remover guide.

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hang ornaments on dowels inside bin

Dowel Storage Hack

Here’s a handy hint for not only keeping your holiday ornaments organized and stored safely when the season is over, but also to safely store and transport fragile items while moving. First, measure the length of your bin from one lip to the other. Then cut a wooden dowel into two or three pieces of that length.

String your ornaments onto the dowels and place the dowels on the lip inside the storage bin. The ornaments will hang on the dowels, keeping the strings and hooks free of tangles. For even more protection of your breakable ornaments, you could also add a few sheets of tissue paper or other padding to the bottom of the bin.

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foam pipe insulation to babyproof a table
Family Handyman

Prevent Scratches and Dents

The pressure created by the curve of the pipe insulation holds it in place without having to use the adhesive strip that comes on the insulation. This handy hint is perfect for moving because it will prevent scratches and nicks on the edges of your tables. It also makes a baby-proofing solution temporary, so it can be removed when a young one isn’t in your house. The adhesive strip does, however, allow you to stick the insulation to edges and corners if it has a tendency of slipping off or if the baby removes it. — Joe Zayac

Don’t stress out about the cost of moving with these 10 best ways to save money on a move.

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toilet paper roll small cord storage
Family Handyman

Organize Small Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls

In today’s high-tech homes, keeping track of small cords can be challenging. Almost every electronic device has a cord that goes with it: cameras, smartphones, computers and the list goes on. Rather than tossing them in various moving boxes, try this simple and inexpensive solution. Find a small box (a shoe box works perfectly) and fill it with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically. Then place a single cord in each toilet paper roll. — Will Leighton

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lighted screwdriver in cabinet

Lighted Screwdriver Hack

This moving handy hint will help when working in a dimly lit area such as under the sink or inside other cabinets or while packing up belongings in a closet. I keep a small penlight handy in my shop. When I need additional light to drive or take out a screw in a dark corner, I tape the penlight to my screwdriver. Flick on the light and the work area is illuminated! — Lane Olinghouse

This hack is especially handy for projects such as replacing a light fixture, which require you to cut the power when working.

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food containers for ornament storage

Use What You’ve Got

Hang on to empty egg cartons, drink carriers, plastic clamshell boxes from the bakery and other disposable grocery containers instead of throwing them away. They work great for storing fragile items while moving and for holiday ornaments. Egg cartons are especially useful for storing small ornaments, while drink carries work great for large ones.These repurposed food containers can be stacked neatly inside a larger storage bin, and they’ll protect your fragile items until you bring them out when done moving.

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grocery bag shoe covers

Grocery Bag Shoe Covers

When I’m moving or working outside and have messy work shoes, I will step into plastic grocery bags and tie the handle loops around my ankles to hold them on. This keeps me from dragging in mud and such when I need to come inside for just a minute or two. It also keeps me out of trouble with my wife! — Lance Wiist

Check out these 100 uncommon uses for common household items.

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hands-free light hack

Hands Free Light

This moving handy hint will help when working in a dimly lit area such as under cupboards or while packing up belongings in a closet.  Make a light stand by bending a 2-ft. section of 12- or 14-gauge electrical cable into a U shape. Duct-tape the light to the ends of the cable. The wire can be shaped into a hands-free supporting base for the flashlight or bent into a hook for hanging. — Paul and Haylee Lytle

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adding casters to pallet moving HH

Build a Pallet Dolly

While moving, I had a bunch of heavy items to move around, and I didn’t want to hurt my back. I remembered that I had a pallet lying around in the garage and decided to put it to good use. After adding some reinforcement blocking to the pallet, I installed a 4-in. caster at each corner. It worked perfectly for moving my heavier furniture items.

I’ve since kept my pallet dolly and use it frequently as my multipurpose heavy-stuff mover. — Keith Jones

Moving into your first home can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Get off to a good start with this list of must-dos from veteran homeowners.