Moving house or office doesn’t have to be a chore. Follow these helpful tips to make the entire process less painful

I know, I know. I promised last week that I would be back with tips on how to create your own Brandy Melville look. But while trying to write this column in the midst of getting ready to relocate our showroom and sticking discount tags on all the items in our moving sale, it hit me: Why not detour briefly and give you some key tips on moving?

Whether it’s our home, business or even leaving for college, moving is a tremendous chore that most of us will face more than once in our lifetime. This week I put in quick calls to moving companies that I use to find out some of their suggestions.


Be organized before the movers come! If you’re reusing boxes, there may already be writing on it. To do a better job of labeling, make sure you cross out all the old writing and write on both the top and sides of each box so that you can see the labeling even when boxes are stacked.


And try not to water potted plants for a couple of days before the move. Potted plants are already heavy and may be a little messy. Watering them will make them even heavier—and much messier!

— Johnny Franklin, owner, Johnny the Mover

Make sure that walkways and aisles are clear. Not having to maneuver around things will save movers time and cut down on your moving costs. It’s also safer, helps prevent your items from accidental damage and avoids movers picking up something you didn’t intend to move. And be sure the moving company you use has proper insurance.

The biggest mistake people make is not measuring properly. People often forget to measure the elevators, so sofas won’t fit. Doorways are important: Sometimes there isn’t enough of a turning radius. Or sometimes the new space is much smaller, so the old furniture won’t fit, and people realize too late they needed to swap out sofas.

— John Reid, owner, J & S Express LLC


Now I have a couple of quick tips of my own. First, use colored tape on your packing boxes. Choose a different color for each room: yellow for the kitchen, red for the living room, etc. Stick lengths of tape on both top and sides of each box so you can clearly see where it’s going in your new space. Then have those colors on the outside of each room so they know exactly where to drop them.

Second, wardrobe boxes can be very expensive when moving clothing. If your clothes won’t be sitting in storage or transit for a long time, get some bed sheets, leave your clothing on the hangers and lay them in a stack on a sheet. I call this my body bag move. You can pile up about 20 pairs of pants or 20 dresses in one sheet. Fold over the two sides and tie it up. When you get to your new house, just open the sheet and your clothes are ready for your new closets.


I hope these tips will help make your next move more painless. Wish me luck with mine: I’m moving because my lease at Cathy’s Marketplace on University is up, so I’ve decided to consolidate and move to our reStyle Hawaii location in Kakaako. It will undergo its own restyle and reopen in November with a fresh new look and concept.

We’ll be having a huge sale of furniture, home accents and boutique items, so be sure to visit us soon. That way, I’ll have less to move!

Cathy Lee is president and designer of Cathy Lee Style and Cathy’s Marketplace, a furniture and accessories showroom with design services at 1110 University Ave. She opened reStyle Hawaii, an affordable, style-conscious consignment warehouse with upholstering and repurposing services at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. Lee’s interior design work has been featured in local and national publications, on HGTV and in her DIY design workshops. Visit