Tips For Moving Solo

Moving is difficult enough. But having to do it alone? Not fun. It’s stressful just thinking about it, right?

It can cost thousands to hire movers, especially if you live in anything bigger than a one-bedroom apartment. Some people rent a U-Haul and ask friends or family to lend a hand in exchange for some cold drinks. And we’re grateful for our loved ones who donate their time and energy.

However, this isn’t always possible. Maybe you need to move on a weekday but can’t find someone to help. Or you could be moving to a new city where you don’t know anybody at all.

These tips will get you ready to organize your move so you can enjoy your new place – even if you don’t have a sidekick.

Make a checklist

Come up with a packing strategy early. Create a checklist and start packing room by room. You can organize the content of your boxes by item type (ex. pots and pans) or location (ex. the entire contents of a bookshelf or drawer – let’s not pretend we’re all perfect here).

Here’s a starting point for taking inventory of a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment:


  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Cutlery
  • Small appliances
  • Mugs
  • Glasses/Cups
  • Bowls
  • Large plates
  • Small plates
  • Baking sheets/dishes
  • BBQ tools
  • Soft items (dish towels, oven mitts)
  • Bar contents (bottles, accessories)


  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Socks/underwear
  • Jackets/coats
  • Shoes
  • Formal/business wear
  • Hats
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Accessories (jewelry, belts, etc.)
  • Other stored items (side table drawers, shelves, etc.)


  • Toiletries
  • Hair care products
  • Skin products
  • Storage bins and accessories

Living Room

  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Decorative items (statues, bookends, vases)
  • Plants


  • Sports equipment
  • Games
  • Costumes
  • Wall art/mirrors
  • Musical instruments
  • Figurines/collectibles

Don’t forget to leave out any essentials like daily toiletries and a few kitchen items to keep you going before you move. Start disassembling less used furniture a few weeks in advance, and take apart your final pieces 24-48 hours before moving day.

Tips for packing alone

When you’re moving alone, you might be worried about how you’ll transport fragile or awkward-shaped items. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Pack heavy items (like books) in smaller boxes.
  • If you’ll be stacking boxes, completely fill each one so they don’t collapse under the weight of others.
  • Wrap mirrors and pictures in bubble wrap or use mirror boxes.
  • Disassemble as much as possible in advance. Place screws and bolts in plastic bags and tape them to the items.
  • Protect mattresses and furniture with pads and covers. You can rent these from a storage company like Advanced Self Storage or from a moving company.
  • Use a dolly (something you can also borrow or rent) so you can move long or awkward items.

Rent a storage unit to avoid rushing

The toughest thing about moving alone is having to get it all done in one day. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need to?

One way to avoid the rush is to rent a storage unit so you can move at your own pace. If you don’t want to spend the first few weeks in your new digs drowning in unpacked boxes – or you want to paint or renovate before settling in – self storage could be a perfect temporary home for your stuff.

If you go the storage unit route, here are some tips to maximize space: 

  • Store couches and loveseats vertically.
  • Never store mirror boxes and TV boxes horizontally.
  • Disassemble tables and shelves and store items on their sides.
  • If you’re in a bigger unit, leave a clear aisle for easy access to everything.
  • Be sure to clean and dry fridges and barbecues before storing.

If you want to know more about how a storage unit could give you freedom to move at your own pace, get in touch with us!