10 Essential Tips for Moving in Israel

Summer is the time for popsicles. Suntan lotion. Beaches. It’s a time for vacation, fun in the sun, and long summer nights. Summer is also the time of year when most people move houses.

We asked a trusted mover, Eliezer Cohen of Cohen Brothers Movers, for some of his top tips on how to make your move as seamless as possible. So whether you’re moving out of a temporary home from your first months in Israel, or you’re moving from a rental to a house of your own, these tips will help you – and your possessions – make the move in one piece.

  1. Ask your movers to survey your apartment ahead of time.

Don’t just rely on a price estimate based on describing the contents of your apartment. Most movers will visit your apartment in advance and give you a more educated quote. This will help prevent misunderstandings and price-increases when the movers actually complete their job.

  1. Pack your essentials in a separate bag for which you are responsible.

When you first arrive at your new home, things will be a total balagan until you get more settled. Make a bag of the belongings you’ll need immediately, like your toothbrush and a change of clothes, and bring it with you instead of sending it with the movers.

This ensures that your basic needs will be taken care of, even if you can’t find everything else you’ve packed right away. Adding your valuables, such as your passport, wallet, and jewelry, to your bag will give you additional peace of mind.

  1. Wrap fragile items in cloths and linens.

Instead of bubble wrap or newspaper, consider wrapping your breakables with other soft items instead.  Dish towels or napkins you would be packing anyway can be a particularly good choice.

  1. Remember the tip and refreshments!

In Israel, like in the US, you are expected to tip the movers themselves in addition to the moving fee. You should make sure to factor this into budget, so you don’t get caught unaware on the day of the move. As well, it’s considerate to set aside some cold drinks and coffee for your movers – after all their hard work, they’ll be sure to appreciate it (and it just might inspire nicer service!).

  1. Mark boxes by room, not just by their contents.

By adding an extra note of where each box is supposed to end up, you and your movers will be able to get oriented as quickly as possible and will get you that much closer to unpacking everything in the right place. You can also try using colored tape to color code your categories, as a fun solution to keep things organized.

  1. Put a cotton ball in your powder makeups to prevent them from shattering en route.

This one is genius, and is a great tip for traveling in general.

  1. Stack plates on their sides to keep them from breaking.

Instead of putting breakable items bottom-down in the box, place them sideways so that only their edge is against the floor. This makes them more resistant to impact, and less likely to break.

  1. Prevent shampoo bottle catastrophes.

Unscrew the tops of your shampoo bottles. Place a plastic bag over the opening of the bottle and screw the top back on. Thank us later.

  1. Use toothpaste to fill in holes (really!).

If, like in many Israeli houses, you had to drill holes in the walls to hang pictures, you’ll probably be required by your landlord to fill in those holes when you move. Luckily, toothpaste serves as a useful substitute for plaster, and if the toothpaste is the right shade, it can even work as a standby for paint!

  1. Put up pictures as soon as possible.

Moving into a new home can be a difficult transition, even if you’re moving to a nicer house or a neighborhood you like more than your old one. Personalizing your space with a familiar touch –pictures, some personal chachkes, and maybe a potted plant or two – will help you feel at home before you even unpack the last box.

Moving can always be a stressful experience. But a little planning and ingenuity can go a long way to making your move – and life – that much easier!