Big move coming up? There’s an app for that. Quite a few, actually. Before you make plans to pack up and go, get familiar with the following resources to get organized, cut moving costs and—most importantly—save time.
Here’s the get-out-of-town tech resource rundown.
It’s branded the “ultimate organizer app” for good reason. Sortly is the mobile solution to messy moving—and it’s (mostly) free. This intuitive smartphone app offers users a way to keep a track of their belongings throughout the packing process. Add photos of important home inventory items, list the contents of each moving box and keep track of to-dos with a comprehensive moving checklist. Though it requires a 10-dollar upgrade, Sortly’s most impressive feature allows you to generate and print unique QR code labels, then link them to the folders and items you’ve already recorded in the app. This way, with one quick scan, you’ll know exactly what’s inside that mystery moving box. There’s also a handy search tool for locating specific items, which will save you from tearing through every unopened box in the house just to find your favorite coffee mug.
U-Haul Box Exchange
You’ve got stuff to pack. You need something to pack it all in. There are lots of places to find old boxes destined for the landfill, but before you go dumpster diving, check the U-Haul Box Exchange. This moderated message board allows movers from across the country to share information on where to find free moving materials by city, or to offer up boxes they no longer need. Plus, U-Haul keeps these messages up to date, so you won’t be weeding through posts from decades past. Since the site’s content is user-generated, there’s no guarantee that there’s an active thread for every city. But, hey, it’s better than grabbing some grease-spattered cardboard from your local burger joint.
Can’t quite cram your antique armoire into the moving truck? Or maybe that old futon would be a better addition to a college dorm room than your new house. Don’t kick ‘em to the curb quite yet. Check out Furnishly, a geo-based furniture exchange website that lets you list used pieces by city. Snap a picture, write a caption and post your piece to the site. When it’s approved by the Furnishly support team, it’ll be listed as a purchasable item. You know what they say: one mover’s saggy loveseat is another’s comfy couch? Something like that.
This free phone app uses your current location to report real-time fuel prices at nearby gas stations. It’ll even recommend stops with the cheapest prices. Gas Buddy is an especially useful companion if you’ll be filling up more than usual—whether you’re trekking across the country or towing a heavy cargo trailer. If your phone’s running low on storage space, simply have your shotgun rider browse the Gas Buddy mobile site while you’re on the road.
Bonus: Phone Camera App
Yes, really. Your smartphone’s default camera may not be as flashy as the other tech resources, but it’s the secret to a smooth move. Before you start untangling wires and unplugging your home’s large electronic devices, snap pictures of how they’re set up. Save these photos in a special album, and use each picture as a diagram when it comes time to reassemble your TV, gaming console or desktop computer. A couple quick snaps before your move will make for a much easier installation process in your new home.