We moved across the country and over 1700 miles from our home in Oklahoma City to Boston. In doing this, I learned to use a few inexpensive finds from the Dollar Store to facilitate our move because we had to learn to move on short notice. Here are 12 or more of our Dollar Store moving hacks to make moving a little bit easier, especially as a busy family. while some are great for packing, other hacks are perfect for once you get there and need something cheap and quick!
Moving hacks that you can buy at Dollar Tree
This post contains a list of things we did while moving across country ourselves. I have also provided a couple of partner links to products some have mentioned are hard to find; we may receive a commission.
Get bubble wrap and padded envelopes – You can easily grab not only the bubble wrap you might use, but you can also find some padded envelopes which are perfect for quick and easy storage of small picture frames and other small, breakable items. Plus, they pack easily and orderly and can go in a box like files.
Pick up their 2-gallon zip-lock bags – They are one of the only places I have found these and they’re incredibly handy! They come in a box of 5 bags and I used them to dump small pieces in and organize boxes a little better.
Especially when we got to the end and were labeling boxes as “random crap” … we could at least have that junk suparated into bags.
Did you know you can order from the Dollar Tree online? It can be shipped or picked up in store. Use my referral: Free Shipping to your Local Store.
Buy sharpies – Of course, moving requires sharpies, and yes, the Dollar Tree has them.
Don’t forget COLORFUL labels – I found packages of Polaroid labels that were both circular and basic labels. I even found some that were fluorescent colors. I slapped these on boxes to be able to quickly indicate if something was either fragile or heavy. And when you have a crew of friends and family helping, it helps catch their attention too.
Get cleaning supplies – The Dollar Tree actually has some of my favorite reusable cleaning supplies. I love their microfiber dusting wands. They also have pretty much everything you need in terms of cleaning either your old place or new one.
Use mattress protectors, sheet holders, and small bungees while packing – Mattress protectors can be used to wrap things with drawers like chests and then the protector can be taped. You can also use the bungee bands and mattress bands to help roll up blankets and secure boxes to shelves inside of your moving truck/pod.
Pick up paper plates, napkins, and silverware – Both for when you’re at the end of your move or for when you first get to your new location, you can easily get the plates and utensils you need. I know I had a box that was supposed to be unpacked first, but I couldn’t find it once we got there.
Did you also know you can use a styrofoam plate between each regular plate when packing them for easy packing protection?
Get some rolls of cling wrap – You can use cling wrap to wrap up those dishes you put styrofoam plates between to keep them from moving much. It can also be used to wrap screws for furniture, toys, etc to that item so they don’t get lost (put them in a baggie first preferably).
Grab any quick kitchen tools you can’t find – Somehow in moving our can opener was misplaced. And I didn’t find out until I was already in the middle of cooking chili and needed beans. And punching holes in it to dig out beans was no fun. So I just opted for a $1 opener as a quick fix.
Use magazine racks/holders to create sections in a box – Whether it’s papers, plates, or other, having segmented boxes is nice. We used bags as mentioned before, but the magazie holders helped provide a little more structure… almost like a box inside of a box.
Buy a clothes line – whether you’re using it for packing and securing boxes/roping off sections of your moving truck/pod or using it as an actual clothes line because you don’t have a dryer, it’s a great use of a dollar. It’s a plastic clothesline and braided with several stands so doesn’t snap easily.
Get a few lightbulbs – For us especially, we moved across country and tried to move with as little as possible. So once we got here and unloaded our stuff, we had lamps and no bulbs. However, I was able to get even the 3-way bulbs at the Dollar Tree.
Fill in the gaps with some quick substitute tools – This goes for leaving and unpacking. When packing up, it’s nice to know anything you leave behind isn’t anything you care about and we needed lots of tools when we finished filling up our POD… but the toolbox was already packed.
Moving to a new place means either trying to fit the furniture you already have or trying to buy new pieces. Either way, you need a tape measure and maybe some other tools. They are great substitutes when you can’t find your own.
Try my printable set – I used it myself and it cut down on so much stress when packing and unpacking plus saved a ton of money!
Grab a couple of organizational bins – I got some quick white tubs to organize our laundry room and I used some of the child-size laundry baskets while moving out of our old home to delineate “save”, “donate”, “trash”. And then once we were winding down our time there, I was throwing little things I found (like puzzles pieces) into them to then get packed into a box as “spare parts” or “found toy pieces”
Find the small tool box/tackle box/jewelry boxes for sorting – This is a great way to keep the things you find in junk drawers or randomly scattered in your house but aren’t such junk you should ditch them. Great for game pieces, small toys, pieces of jewelry missing the other half of the pair, etc..
Need more help moving?
Don’t forget our cheap printable packing bundle that includes printable labels you can tape to boxes plus tons of organizing pages and checklists!
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 5 children living on a farm in New England. She believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience and has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development. She is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!
Thanks, Kara! Thank you for sharing your amazingly helpful hacks. You give me the helping help I need for my next move in October to be stress free and with no casualties. I’m sure you help a lot of people every day and I will share this on fb to make them even more. People like you deserve as much extra credit as possible!
Best of luck for your move! It’s absolutely no fun. Everything from placing styrofoam plates between real ones to easily pack them to collecting small items and missing pieces into ice trays can all help it go easier!
Great ideas! Thanks!
I have a move coming up the end of the month! Haven’t even started packing yet! I have less than 3 weeks to get this 2 bedroom house packed and ready to go. I HATE disorder and not knowing where to find things once we get moved. I will be most of your tips to help with move. Thank you so much for your great ideas!! Guess I will start today with at going through old paperwork and mail that needs to into the trash!! Thank you again
Great ideas! Thanks dear!
I love the idea of packing styrofoam between plates. I always use newspaper and then have all that ink on me. Thank for all of your lovely ideas.
Great tips of things I need to set aside to use later that I might have thrown away. Great. Thank you. !!
Moving soon so anxiously looking at all tips. This is the best I’ve seen. Especially apreciated advice to have a tape measure handy. So obviously needed but I would have packed it away and regretted it. I have read a few tips on moving survival boxes but nobody mentioned a tape measure.
Thank you very useful advice.
I love the Dollar Store! You shared some great tips that I hadn’t thought of. We’ll be moving 1000 miles, so I’ve already downsized a lot of items knowing I can easily and cheaply replace at the $ Store.
Pure Genius!! I’m in absolute tears laughing at the “Random Crap” box labeling and punching holes in a can of beans + digging them out due to an AWOL can opener–I did the EXACT same things during my move last year!!!!! And it was a can of beans I punched holes in because I was super hungry & had no time for a grocery store run.
Wide colorful duct tape to mark each cord with different tape & don’t forget to cut a piece to mark corresponding area on back of tv, dvd player, game box or computer. A cord bundler, or buy straws and twist cut(see such in Pinterest under cord hacks). When moving is a great time to think about bundling cords (namely the TV and all that connects with it). Easier now because you don’t have to contend with any other furniture IF YOU SET UP TV AREA FIRST. You can pre plan to purchase a cord cover( Hinged Lid Cable Raceway – not Dollar Tree ) and attach to wall to hide cords. Zip ties can help keep cords bundled in organized fashion.
I am moving later this summer and as I am starting to pack next month I found some helpful hints here. Thank You!