We’ll say it: moving isn’t fun.
Moving can be a hassle for so many reasons. Things always end up lost, and something always gets broken. You’re forced to realize just how much stuff you have, and how difficult moving a box (or 50) can be.
But it can be easier. By breaking down the moving process and highlighting your steps to success, you can simplify your move and stay (somewhat) organized in the midst of chaos.
Whether you’re moving into a studio apartment in the city or a family home in the suburbs, here is our best advice for how to make your move more efficient, and less likely to induce tears.
Our Best Moving Advice
No, don’t reconsider the moving documents you just signed. But commit yourself to getting rid of the things you don’t need before you pack up for your new abode. It might seem like a huge task to try and mount on top of moving, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re packing up fewer boxes, and not cramming unnecessary belongings into your new space.
How should you go about this? We suggest going breaking it down room by room. For example, pick an evening to commit to sifting through your kitchen to get rid of unused tools or surplus supplies.
Then, have a plan to get rid of them for good. Have a garage sale or donate your items, and pat yourself on the back for accomplishing a major task.
Get it in writing
The only way to orchestrate a move is with a plan.
Whether it’s a simple Word document, scribbled on the pages of a legal pad, or created with an online organization tool like Trello, have a place where you can dump all of the details and free yourself of having to remember tasks.
Things you’ll want to include in this moving-master plan might be:
- A checklist of smaller tasks that need to be done: canceling utilities, forwarding mail, formal change of address, and hiring movers.
- An inventory of the big stuff. Make sure all of the furniture you’re bringing will have a place in the next place. Once you’ve established that, map out a rough plan for where big furniture will go. Your moving helpers will be happy you did.
- Remember to designate a folder or binder for all important moving documents, such as mover contracts.
Have the right supplies
Everything is easier with the right tools, so spend the time and effort getting together the things that you’ll need at your disposal to pack and relocate your items.
From point A to point B
Are you going to need a moving truck on moving day? Are you borrowing a pickup from a friend? Be sure to have a secure way of transporting your boxes.
Stock up on boxes, whether from U Haul, Home Depot or Craigslist. Get a variety of sizes, so that small items don’t get jumbled around in the move or loose in boxes that are too large. No one wants to unpack a box of miscellaneous mishmash.
For your sanity, we think that a tape dispenser is the key to happy packing. Also, for your dentist’s sanity, please don’t rip tape with your teeth.
A nice, fat Sharpie will take you a long way when it comes to labeling boxes.
The more organized you feel about your packing, the easier it will be to reopen those boxes and unpack at your new place. Be liberal with your newspaper, or get bubble wrap. Label your boxes — the sides and the top, so you can see which one it is no matter how many surround it.
If you want to go the extra mile, keep a list of what’s in each box. This is especially helpful if your things will be in transit or storage long enough to forget the specifics of what’s where (for me, that’s simply the moment I seal the box).
Ask for help
Whether you’re hiring movers or getting a hand from friends, be prepared and have a plan to use everyone’s time wisely. Being fully packed upon arrival, knowing where to direct different boxes and furniture, and maintaining a schedule will all make everyone’s efforts more enjoyable.
Make yourself comfortable
The last thing you want to be doing as your moving day winds down is start looking through boxes for your toothbrush. Pack yourself a bag with all of the essentials that will make you comfortable as you unpack and begin living in your new space. Toiletries, clean clothes, pajamas and, let’s be real, a bottle of ibuprofen are your first steps to getting settled.
You’ll miscalculate the size of the closet, and maybe ding a wall or two in the process. Don’t get too bogged down by the details, which can be figured out later.
Celebrate small victories and little accomplishments, and know that attitude really is everything. Accept that moving, no matter how organized or small, is rarely (if ever) fun. You will swear you’re never moving again. But you will survive.
Acknowledge that it will be a difficult couple of weeks on a road where a few bumps are unavoidable. And know that once those weeks and work is over, you’ll have accomplished an amazing amount of work and have a new space to live in.
Are you getting ready to move? We’d love to know what works best for you — reach out to us in the comments or on social media!
Just dreaming? If you’re till working on selling your house, Read our Home Seller Guide.