Moving Tips For The Mobile Millennial

concentrated woman carrying stack of cardboard boxes for relocation

Moving is rarely something that the semi-sane twenty-something adult would choose to undertake. But some of us don’t have a choice, what with finishing school and emerging into a challenging job environment. But never fear, Literally, Darling is here to save the day with a fantastic comprehensive list of moving tips—complete with GIFs!

While you might not be moving in the middle of a very dismal March, May will be here before you know it. So hear me now—bookmark this post for when that moment comes and you feel like you’re about to go batshit crazy.

Make a list of anything and everything you want to achieve or remember during this whole process

Treasure the list. Sleep with the list. Color code the list. Highlight the list.

The list is your life. 

Get the boring stuff covered. 

When you’re about to move home, be that for an exciting new job or a change of scenery, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time thinking about how you’re going to decorate the place. This is especially true if you’ve spent years living in rented properties, where the landlord’s decorating style best belongs in the 18th century (Note: Lime green is never a good color for your walls). 

However, you also need to spend some time in the run-up to the move making important financial decisions. For example, you’ll need to get your hands on homeowners insurance. This can take a bit of time to research, so grab your laptop and a snack and start browsing. Remember, different companies will offer different packages – and you’ve got to take the time to look through each option and figure out which is the best choice for you – kind of like when you’re swiping on a dating app.

Homeowners’ insurance can protect you financially when something goes wrong. For example, they can provide you with financial support if your home is damaged by bad weather such as a nasty storm or flooding. Without this support, you’d have to pay for any repairs out of pocket – which can get expensive pretty quickly.

Boxing your life away


Buy as many boxes as you think you might need! U-Haul has a deal where you can buy loads of them and then return the unused ones (with a receipt). This is nice for those of us who tend to overpack boxes because we’re worried about running out of boxes. Say goodbye to the bottoms of your boxes busting out because your primary love involves books and shoes.

Just make sure that you don’t lose the receipt among all the moving chaos—tack it to the wall if you have to.

Pro tip: Buy the Tape Gun Dispenser. I promise you won’t regret it.

Go green

Obviously, please recycle your cardboard boxes. But, if you want to go one step further, some companies are now renting plastic crates that you can pack all your shiz in.

Here are some of the most common ones:

Scavenger hunt

In this day and age of online shopping, people sometimes have leftover boxes coming out of their ears! Ask your friends if they can save boxes for you. Or, as Unpakt and Apartment Therapy recommend—hit up bookstores, restaurants, grocery stores, and more for free boxes. And seriously, who doesn’t love free?

Pull out your label maker

At least label your boxes with the room they’re supposed to go in. If you’re really ambitious, then label the boxes as detailed as you possibly can to avoid confusion later on. Take it from someone who didn’t label things very well at one point and ended up with piles of clothes everywhere just because I couldn’t find my underwear.

Just don’t get high off of the Sharpie marker.

Get rid of as much as you possibly can

Take this moment, when you’re literally forced to go through all of your stuff, do some serious donating to Goodwill. Think—when was the last time you used that item or wore that piece of clothing? Has it been months or more than a year? Then yes, you need to get rid of it.

When you’re done with round one of cleaning out, take a look at what’s left and brutally cull the rest of the items that you’re on the fence about.

Hit up Craigslist.

Need to ditch it fast

If you have to move super-fast and you also have a tee-ninsy vehicle (like me) then Craigslist is going to be your BFF. I had to move in a week and a half, and had massive furniture to get rid of ASAP. I bought the furniture used, so I cut my losses and posted it on the “free” category and people swarmed into my email to claim it. Make sure you note in the posting if you need the future owners to pick up and transport the furniture (also, don’t get axe-murdered).


The first time I moved I went the traditional route: rented a Penske truck, finagled some friends into helping me, and then died moving the stuff out of the truck on my own at my new place.

Now I know better. Cheaper movers abound on Craigslist, and as long as you make sure they’re insured and not too sketchy looking then snag ‘em.

The two guys I found to move my shiz recently also brought the truck and it was all cheaper than that traditional route. Moving is expensive enough as it is—don’t spend more than you have to.

Bribe people with pizza, beer, hot wings, etc to entice them to move all your shiz for you.

‘Nuff said. Just don’t sell your soul to the crossroads demon.

Situate your utilities

Lists are your friends—and utilities need to make it somewhere near the top of your list. Here are a few of the top items you need to address:

  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Water
  • Heat
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Credit card address
  • Auto insurance
  • Student loans (and any other loans)

At least a week before you’re going to move, contact your soon-to-be new residence’s electricity, gas, and water. Sometimes it takes that long for them to activate everything and you don’t want to arrive and be huddled around a fire for a week.

Make sure to cancel everything before you leave so you don’t get charged extra for services you aren’t even using. Because that would totes suck.

Forward your mail

Thankfully, USPS now has a way for you to forward your mail via online. But, it’s only in effect for 2 months, so you need to make sure to contact your magazine subscriptions to change your address before that point.

Leave your new address for your old landlord or apartment complex.

In addition to doing this, make sure to schedule your final walk-through for your apartment so that you don’t get shanked by the apartment powers that be.

Put your smartphone camera to good use

Do you want to see your security deposit ever again? Then snap pics of your new pad when you just get there to avoid being charged for damages the previous owner left for you.

Buy a bottle of wine

Yes, you heard me—buy a bottle of wine and mark the box you put your wine glasses in. When you finally arrive at your new home, order some pizza, stare at your clothes that survived the moving cut, aggressively drink that wine, and kick back and relax. You made it alive to your new hobbit hole.

Unfortunately, the moving process is chock-full of unexpected hurdles—what tips do you have for the moving millennial? What’s your craziest moving story? Tell us @litdarling or in the comments below!

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