Bay Area’s 7 Moving Hacks That Are Almost Borderline Genius

Over 80% of Americans that move each year do so within their home state. With many deciding to try DIY, we’ve made a list of seven excellent moving hacks that will allow you to prepare the entire move with ease. Once you grasp all the essentials, it won’t take you long before you’re doing it like a true professional.

Although local relocations are somewhat easier overall, they still require a lot of careful planning. If you feel overwhelmed by the process, don’t be afraid to look for some moving companies in the Bay Area to assist you.

#1 A Good Relocation Checklist Is the Mother of All Moving Hacks

People are always looking for hacks to make moving easier, and there’s no better way to start preparing for the move than by creating a detailed relocation to-do list. Whether you plan to print a standardized form you found on the internet or write down one yourself, you should always focus on covering the essential tasks first, which include:

  • Planning a relocation budget,
  • Transferring utilities and changing the address,
  • Booking professional movers,
  • Getting supplies,
  • Organizing the packing process,
  • Preparing the essentials.
girl holding a checklist
Everything starts with a well-made checklist

#2 How Can I Move Cheaply? Relocating Out of Season Is the Key

Although the Golden State doesn’t experience winter in the true sense of the word, most Californians still prefer to move during the summer months. The reasoning behind this is actually very simple. From May to early September, the local real estate market gets flooded by new listings, allowing you to find lots of excellent properties even in one of the best places to live in the Bay Area. Many millennials and families also move during this time, as it coincides with the end of the college semester and school year.

However, the increased demand causes many Bay Area moving companies to raise their rates and fees, forcing you to spend a lot more than you initially planned in your relocation expenses checklist. If you can’t afford these updated prices, don’t worry. You can still save a lot of money by relocating out of season. While you may not find as many available listings, the demand for professional San Francisco movers will also be lower, allowing you to get the best companies for a fairly reasonable price.

Book a Professional Bay Area Moving Company on Time

Since you’re already considering getting professional assistance, you should start looking for local movers in the Bay Area right away. Most companies require advanced notice, so you’ll often have to book a mover about three months in advance. If you don’t find a San Francisco moving company at least a month away from your relocation, you’ll be left to pick from some of the most expensive professionals on the market.

movers carrying boxes
Hiring movers will undoubtedly simplify the entire relocation process

#3 Decluttering Is One of the First Things to Do When Preparing for a Move

Although it might be common sense, don’t underestimate the importance of decluttering before relocating. Not having to box up everything will undoubtedly save you some money on supplies, and decluttering before contacting one of the local movers may significantly decrease your initial quote, saving you even more. Besides, why go through the trouble of preparing something if it’s just going to keep sitting in your closet? You’ll be much better off by simply getting rid of anything you don’t use.

Sorting the Inventory Makes Decluttering Much Easier

Decluttering is no staycation in San Francisco, as you’ll have to go through your entire inventory just to figure out what to keep and what to give away. People with large storage might have trouble deciding what to do with particular objects, so inviting a friend to help out or hiring a professional organizer are both excellent ideas. Whatever you choose to do, the fastest way to declutter is to sort your belongings into one of the following categories:

  • Keep – While you’ll be tempted to place everything here, try to keep only the belongings you genuinely use regularly, or at least a couple of times a year.
  • Sell – Selling your unused items online or through a yard sale is a perfect way to not only save money on supplies but also earn some for the relocation. If there’s anything left by the time you have to move, throw a going-away party and see if any of your friends might want to take over some of these belongings.
  • Donate – Goodwill and many local charitable organizations accept all kinds of donations, from canned goods and food to toys, clothes, and electronics. Just be sure that everything you plan to donate is still usable.
  • Throw out – Anything unusable that’s been sitting around your home for what seems like forever should simply be recycled or thrown away. If you have explosives, corrosives, or any other item movers won’t move, dispose of them accordingly before relocating.
declutter list
Sorting your belongings will make decluttering a lot more straightforward

#4 Use Common Household Objects to Pack Your Belongings

Although common packing materials are not that expensive, the cost can pile up very quickly if you have a large house. Fortunately, numerous household objects can be used for packing fragile items, allowing you to save some money on supplies. For example, using towels, clothes, and linens to pack dishes will reduce the amount of paper and bubble wrap you need. You can even use socks to wrap glasses or old newspapers and shredded documents to pad your containers.

Do You Know That You Can Find Boxes and Other Packing Supplies for Free?

While many common household items can be handy, you should still get some conventional materials. Believe it or not, there’s more than one way you can get the necessary supplies free of charge. Besides checking in with your inner circle, see if a local store might have some of the materials you require. Liquor stores and supermarkets will certainly both have boxes, while the latter may even have some bubble wrap and paper. Finally, you can always look for some supplies online, with Freecycle and Craigslist being the websites with the most free listings. Keep in mind that the materials should be clean and relatively new. There’s no point in getting them if you’ll have to clean everything once you unpack.

stack of toilet paper
Toilet paper is an excellent affordable alternative to regular paper

#5 These Packing Hacks for Moving Make It Look Easy

Since packing is the most complex part of the entire move, having a plan in place is the only way you’ll keep the relocation stress at bay. Although it might take you some time to learn how to move efficiently, the following tips will allow you to cover most of the things as quickly as possible:

  • Start with the room or belongings you don’t need right away,
  • Place smaller items into hampers, pots, and sealable containers,
  • Pack books and other heavier objects into suitcases,
  • Wrap clothes in plastic or trash bags without taking them off the hangers,
  • Secure drawers and dressers without taking out the smaller items,
  • Pack plates vertically to avoid breakage during transport,
  • Bind cables with rubber bands and binder clips to keep them from tangling,
  • Take pictures of the cable arrangement on the back of the electronics,
  • Secure anything that might spill with plastic.

If you’re interested in seeing these tips in action, take a look at the video below.

Use These Moving Tips and Hacks to Label Every Single Box

Labeling makes unpacking very easy, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t label all the boxes. It’s a vital part of the entire process, as it will allow you to find a particular item without having to open each box. There are many labeling options available, from using a common sharpie to mark each container to a color-coded custom system or even a complete inventory list. Whatever option you choose, every container should at least be labeled with the room it was packed in or its general contents.

Setting Aside All the Essentials Makes the Relocation Day a Lot Easier

Preparing an overnight bag is one of the wisest tips out there, as it gives you access to all your essentials right away. You should set aside several key things you plan on using in the first day or two after the move-out. These include everything from basic toiletries to some of the commonly forgotten things to pack, like the keys or the phone charger. Besides personal essentials, you’ll also want to prepare a few boxes with apartment essentials, such as:

  • Bedding, blankets, and pillows,
  • Toilet paper, towels, and other bathroom necessities,
  • Dishes and kitchen utensils,
  • Sufficient food that can last you a day or two,
  • If relocating with a baby, you’ll require the formula, diapers, and baby powder,
  • Pet food and toys when relocating with a pet,
  • Board games, a radio, or any other entertainment device.

How Do You Pack to Move in a Hurry?

While nobody can doubt that a detailed plan makes everything a lot more straightforward, organizing rules are the first thing that goes out the window when relocating on a tight schedule. Although you should still declutter and get the required materials, you’ll have to cut a lot of corners, mostly when sorting out the inventory. If you can’t find a moving company in the Bay Area to assist you at this point, your friends are the next best thing. You should split the work, so everyone is responsible for a single room, or you can all pack everything as you go.

girl labeling boxes
Labeling doesn’t need to be fancy, just effective

#6 Unpack All the Boxes Fairly Quickly With These Next Few Tips

Properly labeled containers might help you find everything you need pretty quickly, but this could also significantly prolong the entire unpacking process. Since it’s not uncommon for people to leave their belongings lying around the house for weeks after they’ve moved in, check out some tips that might incentivize you to start unpacking almost immediately:

  • Set a deadline – Nothing will force you to tidy up your new place, like organizing a housewarming party.
  • Make the process fun – If the process becomes tedious, put on some music or invite some friends to help you out.
  • Unpack little by little – Focusing about fifteen minutes a few times each day makes the entire process much more manageable.
  • Remove empty containers – Once a box has been emptied, remove it from the premises, as this will give you a clear indicator of the progress you’re making.
group of friends talking
A simple deadline, like a housewarming party, will stimulate you to unpack right away

#7 Get Your Full Deposit Back by Leaving the Place in the Best Shape Possible

If you want to take advantage of all your San Francisco renters’ rights and get back the entire security deposit, you’ll have to leave the unit looking as good as new. Landlords are usually very thorough and will look for any signs of damage, so don’t give them an opportunity to reduce your refund. Fill any holes in the walls, clean the carpets, wash the curtains, clean the bathroom, unclog the drain, vacuum, and dust everything.

Don’t leave any of your belongings behind either, as the landlord will have to pay for removal services, which they will deduct from the deposit. If you’ve kept your home tidy up to this point, you likely won’t have to worry too much, but if you haven’t, you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company. A spotless apartment will leave a great impression on the landlord, and you can always use a good recommendation for your next San Francisco rental application.

Take a Picture of Every Room in the House

Once you’re done cleaning, remember to take a few pictures of the entire home. If the landlord claims that you’ve left a mess, you’ll have clear proof that the place was cleaned, ensuring you get the deposit back in its entirety. Taking pictures after relocating into the new home will ensure that you don’t have to pay for the previous tenant’s damages.

woman cleaning
You’ll have to get your hands dirty if you want to get your entire deposit back

How Can I Make Moving Easier? Just Hire Bay Area Movers to Assist You

That’s all the tips and hacks we have for you today, but these should be more than enough to prepare you for your next local relocation. Now that we’ve gone over everything let us tell you something about Golden Bay Relocation, one of the best movers in San Francisco. We’ve been operating in the region since 1992, covering both SF and numerous smaller Bay Area towns. Our team is at your full disposal whether you require some assistance with relocating a piano or you need some professional packing services. If you’re planning to move locally, know that you can always contact our representatives and ask for a free estimate.

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