Life Home Five cheapish things I wish I had bought before I moved
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Five cheapish things I wish I had bought before I moved

moving house
The stress of moving house can be made easier with the gear. Photo: Getty
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I’ve moved a lot, and while moving is terrible, the promise (and open space!) of a new home is wonderful. It’s a clean slate, a fresh start, a new list of restaurants that deliver and all waiting to be explored!

You know the basics: tape, boxes, Bubble Wrap. Moving supplies are easy as long as you don’t skimp on them (good, strong packing tape is worth every penny), and The Wirecutter, The New York Times’s product recommendation site, has tested packing supplies so you don’t have to.

But whether you’re moving across town or across the country, into your first apartment or your dream home, alone or with someone special (and we have special tips if you’re moving as a couple), there are a few things you should have at your disposal before — and after — moving day.

leatherman wave
The Leatherman Wave.

A good pocket multitool

Every time I move, I tell myself: “I’ll keep my tool kit where I can easily get to it!” And every move I forget.

It’s inevitably buried behind a wall of boxes right when I need to put together a bookshelf or assemble my latest Ikea impulse buy. The best thing you can do on moving day is slip a multitool into your pocket. In one portable package, you’ll have a screwdriver, Allen wrench, a knife, pliers, scissors and other useful tools at your disposal — perfect for opening boxes and assembling furniture. At the very least, it’ll hold you over until you dig out bigger, better tools.

The Wirecutter recommends the Leatherman New Wave, which is great, because I love that one, too.

Extra surge protectors

I’m a geek, so I love setting up my tech. Plugging it in and powering it all up makes me happy — but what doesn’t is running out of outlets. I never seem to pack enough surge protectors for my new home. I inevitably need another for the bedside table, or for my computer, or the cable modem and router. For my last move, I just ordered a few extras to be delivered to my new home the day after I moved in.

Grab this 10-outlet Tripp Lite. Oh, and stash this portable power strip in your bag or backpack in case you need extra plugs on moving day.

A well-stocked first aid kit

Moving day — and unpacking afterward — is tough on everyone. We’re distracted with setting up a new home, exploring a new neighborhood and wrangling a new commute, or even a new job. It’s also one of the most common times we injure ourselves. Cuts, bruises, sprains and pulled muscles: I’ve done it all. And the last time you want to dig through boxes for bandages, gauze or antibiotic ointment is when you or a loved one is hurt and in pain. Keep a first aid kit out and easily accessible on moving day and the days after.

If you don’t have one, The Wirecutter suggests the Sportsman Whitetail as part of a good, complete emergency kit.

A portable Bluetooth speaker

That last one was a little grim, so consider this: When you’re packing or unpacking, and all of your electronics are unplugged, you’ll appreciate some tunes to keep your energy up. Grab a portable Bluetooth speaker! It’s better than your phone’s speaker. Connect your phone and pump up the jams. Just don’t annoy your new neighbors on moving day, O.K.?

The Ultimate Ears Roll 2 is The Wirecutter’s pick. It’s loud, rugged and waterproof, and it has great battery life.

ue-roll-bluetooth-speaker
The UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker.

Rolls of stretch wrap

I know we talked about the best moving supplies already, but the last time I moved, I fell in love with stretch wrap — especially the kind on these little roller dispensers that you can get at any hardware store (or online).

I used it for everything. Moving an HDTV? Pad the sides with Bubble Wrap, then wrap the whole thing in stretch wrap. Curtain rods? Roll them up in stretch wrap. Framed art and posters? Bubble Wrap and … you guessed it, stretch wrap. Even after I moved, I used it to bundle and carry stacks of broken-down boxes, coat hangers, and anything else unwieldy.

It’s like super-thick Saran Wrap, but for stuff instead of food. It even sticks to itself!

– The New York Times

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