Moving Tips: 5 Things to Save Your Sanity and Your Things

Buying a house, getting a new job, upgrading your living quarters – these are all usually wonderful and exciting things! So what’s the downfall? The actual moving process. It is long, difficult and usually quite expensive. There are a few things you can do, however, to make sure the process is as painless as possible.

Here is a list of 5 things to help you out that you will want to keep handy the next time you move. These tips will save your sanity, as well as your things.

1. Start early and give yourself enough time.

Moving always takes longer than you would expect. And you always have more stuff hidden away in your closet than you expect. There is also an illusion that happens when it looks like you are about done, but really still have quite a bit to do. Part of the remedy for this is to start a good 4-6 weeks before your actual moving day.

Start with the things that are out of season, like winter clothes, or gardening tools – whatever the case may be. Pack the things that obviously won’t be needed between now and then. Books/movies are another good place to start. When you start early, you can go slow and not worry about rushing things as you get closer to moving day.

You can also start early by saving up supplies and budgeting for the move. You don’t need to save boxes forever, but when it’s time to pack up, you will not regret having a corner in the basement for them.

2. Get organized!

One of the biggest things that will save come time to move and pack up is your ability to get (and stay) organized. Having a plan, and knowing exactly where things are and what is coming next will reduce stress like nothing else on this list.

Start out by creating or getting a list of all your “moving to-dos”. You can find many moving checklists online available for free. These will include things like address changes, new resident packets, tax breaks, etc – the stuff that easily falls through the cracks until the last minute.

Another way to get organized is to create categories for your move. You can pack everything in these categories into the same boxes, and know exactly what you are unpacking. Examples include “electronics”, “office”, “kitchen”, “clothing”, etc.

Also be sure to have the proper supplies ready for the move (mentioned also briefly in point number one). Have lots of tape handy, different size boxes (clothes are much lighter than books, for instance, and can therefore be in a bigger box generally), permanent markers to label things, and of course some quick and easy food to re-energize yourself!

3. Get rid of the clutter.

The more you move, the more things you will realize you can live without. Saved every single piece of homework your child has ever done? Consider cutting that in half. Have enough clothes to fill the truck? Give some to your local Goodwill. Do you have a small library in your home? Ditch the ones that collect the most dust.

Getting rid of your extras will save quite a bit of room. This is a category to take inventory of before you start packing. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, go ahead and give it away – it is doubtful you’ll miss it!

4. Have a few “open first” boxes/suitcases.

This often gets forgotten. Pretend like you’re going on a 3 or 4 day vacation and pack what you would for that. Clothes, phone chargers, laptops, toiletries, etc. You want to make sure you can live for those first few days that you don’t have things unpacked. These need to be put in the moving trucks/cars last so they are easily accessible once you get to your destination. They are also handy if you need to be in a hotel for a few nights on a long road trip, or whatever the case may be. For entertainment purposes you might also want to throw in a few a books, DVDs, and games, especially if you have kids.

5. Consider going professional.

This does not have to mean hiring a company to pack up and move everything for you. You can rent trucks and trailers yourself, you can go with a mobile self-storage option, or you can keep things in a storage unit and come back later. The expense often outweighs the headache of doing a move 100% on your own.