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Whether you finally bought a house in that neighborhood you’ve been eyeing, or you’re downsizing to a hip apartment, or moving back in with the parents (yes, we’ve all been there), a local move presents a few unique challenges and advantages. Check out our Dos and Don’ts to make your transition the smoothest possible.

tell a few key people about your move

You may not be moving far, but some people still need to know where to find you (and we're not talking about on Facebook).

Before you move, make sure to let the following know:
Stacked boxes
pack everything before moving day

Ever volunteered to help move a friend on your day off, and you show up to find that not a single box has been packed? Don't be that person. The day of the move should be used for just that: moving. Not packing. Not organizing. Those things should be completed the day before. Utilize an apartment moving checklist. Trust us, there are plenty of last-minute details that will require your attention. Be ready the night before.

White truck
rent a moving truck

Think you can pack your entire living room in the back of your Fiat? Think again. And, consider renting a moving truck. Trucks for local moves are typically very inexpensive and well worth the little bit of extra cash. It will save you time; time you'll definitely need for unpacking boxes.

Man with Boxes
consider hiring help

Often times, for a local move, hiring a full-blown moving company to pack, drive, and unpack, isn't necessary. You can save a lot of money by renting the truck and packing yourself. That said, if you're hesitant to move that 80" TV or the armoire from your upstairs bedroom (and you should be hesitant), hire a mover for an hourly rate. The mover can move your heavier or more fragile items from your home to your truck, and then into your new home, while you move the little things.

a "fragile" carload

Some things are plain-old tricky to pack. If you have mirrors, lamps, artwork or other awkward items, consider wrapping them in blankets and taking a separate carload. Think of the time and expense you'll save from driving around town looking for the perfect-sized crate. And don't forget to drive carefully!

Woman with Box
assume you'll have time to organize when you move in

No one likes opening a box to find last year's National Geographic, a toothbrush, your daughter's dance costume and a few cans of soup. In the rush to move out, don't forget that spending a little extra time organizing when you pack, will save you ample time (and stress) once you move in.

Trash can
be afraid to throw it out

Despite how attached you may be to your little league trophy or the dried bouquet from your first date, some items just can't (and shouldn't) make the move. Use the packing process as a time to clean out some of those things that have been lurking in the back of your closets for who knows how long. A good rule of thumb: if it isn't an heirloom and you haven't touched it or thought about in two years, say goodbye.

forget to label

Use a permanent marker to label each box or bag with the room where it should reside. If you're feeling really ambitious, jot down a few key items in each box. This is guaranteed to prevent major headaches upon move-in.

pack everything

One of the benefits of a local move, is that not everything has to be perfectly packed. Clothing on hangers can easily be laid across the backseat of a car. Consider using towels as padding for fragile items. Throw extra blankets in a new garbage bag. Put your crystal goblets in a Ziploc (just checking to see if you were still awake). Okay, so some things still need to be packed. But use your common sense and a little creativity on some of those bulky, hard-to-pack items.

throw out your back

Moves can be stressful. The last thing you need is an injury. So be smart about how you pack. Don't use your biggest box for your book collection; it may look smartly packed, but you're bound to break something lifting it. Also, be wise about how you lift. You've heard it before, don't bend at the waist. Squat, keeping your back straight, and lift (think of the benefit for those thighs). Consider renting a dolly for the bigger items or for moving multiple boxes at a time.