Moving Hacks for a Great Moving Day

Where did I pack this? What's in this box? How do I put this together? Where's the remote?

While moving can be an exciting opportunity, it can easily become overwhelming.

From color-coded storage bins to planning a packing supply center, Penske Truck Rental has a few moving hacks to help make things a little easier.


[Read more...] Show less
From Wedding Day to Moving Day
Your wedding day may be over, but it’s time to plan for another big daymoving day!
[Read more...] Show less
A Penske truck driving on the road

Before getting behind the wheel of your rental truck, use these tips from Penske Truck Rental to help get you from point A to point B without the worry.

[Read more...] Show less
Family unloads boxes from a recent move.

A first-time mover? Penske Truck Rental has you covered – from truck selection, destination arrival and everything in between.

[Read more...] Show less

Whether you are traveling across town or across the country, making the most of your time and resources is critical to a safe and economical move. And while relocating is an exciting time, the moving process can sometimes feel overwhelming.

To help streamline your move, Penske has put together a list of best practices and reminders to keep you on track. From packaging and moving tools to creating timelines, these moving hacks improve efficiency and protect the things that are important to you.

Discover useful ideas around organization and visibility that will help you before, during and after your move. Learn how to use common household goods to protect items during the move. Even if you feel like you have the moving routine down well, you're sure to learn a few things along the way, like do you know how to pack a tie or to make sure the television remote doesn't get lost?

For over 50 years, Penske has delivered confidence and we want you to be in confident in your next move. Make the most of your time with these Penske moving hacks and make sure your stuff leaves your old place and arrives at its new destination the way it is intended.

Moving Hacks Quick Guide

Need to access our 24 moving hacks at a glance? Check them out here:

1. Start with the closets.
Pack up any out-of-season clothes first.

2. Try the "30-minute" rule.
If your move isn't coming for a few weeks, spread out your workload by packing a few boxes for 30 minutes each day.

3. Consider overlapping move dates.
If you're not moving far, don't vacate your current residence until a week or two after you move into your new place to give yourself some breathing room.

4. Create a packing supply center.
Find one place to store the essentials: packing tape, permanent marker, scissors or utility knife and packing material.

5. Go room by room.
Marking boxes by room will help you (or your helpers) know exactly where each box goes once they arrive in your new home.

6. Create three piles.
Donate, recycle or trash. If you haven't used an item in a year, consider whether you really need to move it.

7. Use color coding.
Color code your boxes to easily identify your items. Label boxes on both the top and sides so they're easy to find.

8. Try clear plastic storage boxes.
They make it easy for you to know what's inside each one.

9. Separate bowls with coffee filters.
They provide a great cushion to prevent breakage.

10. Use Styrofoam plates between ceramic plates.
Make sure your serving sets arrive scratch-free.

11. Use hand towels as packing materials.
They're great to wrap around fragile items, cutlery and other small or sharp objects.

12. Bag up any small parts.
Removing table legs or taking apart bed frames? Put the hardware in a small plastic bag and tape it to the object.

13. Take a picture of the back of the TV before disconnecting any wires.
That way you'll know how to re-wire it in your new place.

14. Tape the TV remote to the back of the TV.
This will help ensure it won't get lost.

15. Hang jewelry on toilet paper rolls.
Keep necklaces, bracelets or anklets from tangling.

16. Take pictures of wall hangings.
Then you can hang them in the same positions in your new space.

17. Hang or roll your clothes.
It's a great way to save space. A garbage bag over hanging clothes makes for an easy pack-up job. Or consider purchasing wardrobe boxes from Penske to easily move and protect your clothing.

18. Don't fold your ties.
There are two ways to pack ties: on or off a tie rack. If you pack them off the rack, you should roll the ties, not fold them.

19. Use your dresser drawers.
You don't need to remove them unless they're overly heavy. You can use straps to keep them in place. If you remove full drawers, use plastic wrap to cover the contents.

20. Try a plastic wardrobe bar.
They fit in the back seat of your car, giving you more room in your moving truck.

21. Cover all liquids.
Use plastic wrap before putting the cap on.

22. Put the toaster in a plastic bag.
Keep those crumbs away from other items.

23. Pack a cooler.
That way you'll have cool drinks and snacks on moving day. Put the cooler in your car or on the floor of your moving truck.

24. Create a moving day toolkit.
Include a hammer, screwdriver, nails, screws, cleaning supplies—those things you'll need on Day 1. Pack it last and unload it first.

family moving day

The experts at Penske have a lot of experience when it comes to helping families move.

Moving your family can be expensive and stressful. Penske can help. We have rental moving trucks that are just right for moving a family, and a lot less expensive than hiring a moving company. We can also help relieve some of the stress of moving with tips on how to make your move easier for your kids and pets as well as planning, packing and driving your truck.

Choose the Right Truck

The right truck will make your move go that much more smoothly. Start by assessing how much you have to move. Remember, you may choose to donate, sell or throw out some items, so take that into consideration. Penske offers the following trucks, one of which will likely fit your needs:

  • 5-7 Rooms. Our 26-foot rental truck is big enough to fit the average five- to seven-room home, while still being small enough that you can drive it with ease.
  • 3-5 Rooms. If your family is a little smaller, our 22-foot rental truck may be perfect for you. This truck typically holds about three to five rooms' worth of belongings.
  • Smaller Moves. For smaller moves, Penske also offers vans, 12-foot trucks and 16-foot trucks.

Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially for kids. To help you prepare your children for a successful move, we've gathered these helpful tips.

Before Moving Day

mother and daughter
  1. Discuss the move. No matter the reason for your move, it's important to prepare your kids by talking about it. Kids will want and need different information depending on their age. For instance, acting out a story with toys may help a toddler, while a teenager may respond to the idea of the move being practice for adulthood.
  2. Plan for a new school. To avoid any glitches that could add to your child's stress, gather information the new school may need. This may include recent report cards or transcripts, birth certificate, and medical records.
  3. Start planning their new space. Take pictures of their new room and let them start planning where their bed will go and what their new room might look like. Get them excited for the future.
  4. Read books about moving. There are several children's books available that can help prepare kids for their upcoming move. Moving books for kids include The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day, by Stan and Jan Berenstain (for little kids), and Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe, by Susan Patron, (for older children).
  5. Make a memory book. Give your child a camera or a smartphone and let them take pictures of your house, friends, school and other favorite spots. Compile them all into a memory book that your child can take with them.
  6. Let them pack a “moving day" box. The day of the move is going to be busy and stressful. Let your kids pick out a few special items to carry with them during the drive. And remember to include the essentials. You don't want to get on the road only to realize your child's comfort toy is in a box in the back of the truck.
  7. Find some new friends. If your child is a member of a scouting or sports organization that has chapters around the country, you may be able to make connections before you move. Find the group that your child will be joining and contact them ahead of time. Maybe you can find some pen pals in your new town.

On Moving Day

Father and child
  1. Keep kids safe. Moving day is going to be busy and probably a bit confusing. Have a plan to keep your kids safe and out of the way while the truck is being loaded and unloaded. You may want to designate a special “kids zone."
  2. Keep sharp objects out of reach. Unpacking often involves scissors and other sharp objects. Be sure to keep these items out of reach of young children.
  3. Remember your child's travel bag. Make sure they have enough snacks, books and games for the trip.
  4. Let them unpack first. Help them build their new space and settle in while you get the rest of your new home in order.
  5. Stay upbeat. This is a big day. Don't let your stress rub off on your kids.

Tips for Moving with Pets

dog in crate

Pets are an important part of your family. Keeping them safe and comfortable during your move is essential. These tips can help make their move easier and safer.

Before Moving Day

  1. Research emergency animal care centers or veterinary hospitals in the area you are moving to. Store their numbers in your cell phone so you have them when you arrive.
  2. Consult a vet if your pet suffers from anxiety or gets motion sickness. There are medications available to make the trip more enjoyable for your pet.
  3. Pack a travel bag for your pet. It should include food, water, treats, plastic bags and anything else that your pet may need for travel.
  4. Buy new ID tags with your destination address. Before you head out on the road with your pet, be sure to add a tag to their collar with your NEW address on it and the number of the cell phone you will be using during travel. You might also consider microchip technology that has the full information about your pet placed on a chip under his skin.
  5. Stock up. Make sure you have at least one week's worth of your pet's medications and food before the trip so you have some available at your new destination.
  6. Make sure your pet is up to date with vaccines. Some states require a health certificate if you are crossing their state line. Almost every state requires a current rabies vaccine. Before you travel, find out what kind of paperwork your pet will need and make sure to pack it in their travel bag.
  7. Research pet-friendly lodging. If you have to travel a long distance to your new home and run the chance of needing an overnight stay at a hotel/motel, plan ahead of time for a pet-friendly establishment.

On Moving Day

  1. Keep your pet secured while loading and unloading the truck. Doors will be opening/held open, which are prime opportunities for pets to escape. This is especially important when you get to your new home, as your pet will not be familiar with the area.
  2. Place your pet up front in the truck cab with you. Use a dog harness or crate your pet properly for the trip. Be sure your pet is securely leashed when not in the crate and pay attention to doors opening and closing. NEVER TRAVEL WITH YOUR PET IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK.
  3. Make sure collars are fastened securely. Double check that the new tags you purchased are attached to the collar.
  4. Don't leave your pet in the truck unattended, especially on a warm day. Vehicles can act like an oven even on a mild day, and a pet can become overheated quickly. In the event your pet does become overheated, take them into an air-conditioned area if possible and use cool water to rub them down.
  5. Remember your pet's travel bag. Make sure your pet has enough food and water during the trip. And don't forget their travel papers. Your vet can probably help you find out what health information you may need to have for each state through which you will be traveling.
  6. When you arrive at your new home, unpack your pet's belongings as soon as you get there. These items would include bedding, food and water bowls, and toys. This will help your pet adjust as quickly as possible.

Helpful Family Moving Tips

Couple and dog

To ensure moving day goes smoothly, it's best to start preparing early. Here are some resources to help you get started.

Here to Help

Whether you're moving your family across town or across the country, you can count on the experts at Penske Truck Rental.

Plan Your Move

Plan Your Move

One Month Before

Plan what is getting packed

Two Weeks Before

The Four P's: Papers, Post Office, Providers and People

  • Make copies of medical records, birth certificates, etc.
  • Change address with the post office, banks, credit cards and magazines.
  • Call service providers and utilities to schedule turn on date.
  • Secure moving-day help. Ask friends and family to save the date; reserve sitters; contact simplemovinglabor.com.

The Day Before

Last-minute tasks

  • Finish packing, taping and labeling boxes.
  • Prepare major appliances and electronics for the move.
  • Secure dresser drawers and appliance doors with rope and tape.
  • Assemble a moving-day kit, including directions, map, checkbook, credit cards, IDs, eyeglasses, sunglasses, prescription drugs, flashlight, water, snacks, games for kids, and old and new house keys.
  • Pick up your rental truck the day/evening before to save time on moving day.
  • Clean your house or apartment.

Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan Areas

Get the Inside Scoop on Your New City

Which roads bypass traffic jams? Where do the locals go to celebrate a big day? How's the winter driving in your new hometown? Learn more with our U.S. city guides to the following major metropolitan areas:

people with penske moving boxes

Congratulations on your new home! You have reserved your Penske rental truck and now it is time to start planning the do-it-yourself move. We have a few helpful tips to get you started:

[Read more...] Show less
penske truck wizard trucks

Let the Truck Wizard help you decide perhaps the No. 1 question regarding a Penske Truck Rental do-it-yourself move: What size truck will I need to move my stuff?

[Read more...] Show less
penske truck

It is more economical to make the move to your new home in true do-it-yourself fashion. These quick tips from Penske Truck Rental can help ensure that your move is smooth and easy.

[Read more...] Show less

Are you moving to college for the first time? Our Penske summer interns and moving experts share their tips on how to survive college move-in day.

[Read more...] Show less

Being a first-time home or apartment owner can be a challenge — you have a lot to check off when moving for the very first time.

[Read more...] Show less

Long after wedding vows have been exchanged, many newlywed couples face the first big decision of married life: how to turn his and hers into theirs.

[Read more...] Show less
Go to top