There’s no way around it – moving can be complicated. The joy of relocating into a space you like is fantastic, and leaving behind an area that served you well, for the time being, is cathartic, but the process is universally disliked. Sweat, mess, and moving heavy stuff? Ew.
Unless you have to move often, like for a job that takes you on the road or a series of unfortunate apartments, you probably haven’t been through the process that many times and are a little out of practice. In fact, you might even be dreading it. If that sounds right, don’t worry – it’s totally understandable.
Moving is a scary thing altogether, beyond the stress of transporting every single belonging and learning to be comfortable in a new space. The task comes with a lot of pressure, a lot of change, and a lot of cardboard to stay on top of. Lucky for you, we’ve made a list of advice to keep in mind for the next big move that will help you feel calm, cool, collected, and ready for the challenge. Don’t procrastinate.
As much as packing and preparation suck, it’s going to worsen if you’re pulling an all-nighter to get everything together. Last-minute packing leads to massive disorganization, as you toss things in wherever they’ll fit. It’s also a great way to break, ruin, and lose your stuff. Don’t punish yourself like that.
Instead, start packing well in advance – maybe even a month ahead. Pick a room where you use the least amount of items, and work your way through the house that way, packing at least a box a day. You’ll be left only with the essentials that you can hopefully fit into an overnight bag and quickly unload at your new spot.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to clear out your belongings. Clothing is a comfortable place to start – by identifying what you don’t wear anymore.
Apply that same approach to decorations. Do you still love it? Do you really want it in your new space?
The fridge is another great place to purge – eat your way through everything you have, instead of grocery shopping. The less you have, the less you’ll have to move.
Don’t Box Up Your Clothes.
Before you start putting all your clothes into suitcases or boxes, stop! Wait! You can move those dresser drawers with all of your clothes inside them. For hanging items, simply bunch the hangers together and wrap a plastic trash bag around the contents. When you arrive, you can set your clothes up quickly and easily without having to reorganize everything. Major time-saver.
Color Coding is Your Friend.
When shopping for packing tape or reusable bins, assign one color to each room of your new house—Green for the main bedroom, red for the kitchen, etc. When unloading, everything will be delivered to the place it belongs to. That’s way less sorting through boxes and shuffling things around – and way less labeling.
Pack Outside the Box.
You don’t need to use moving boxes for everything. There are plenty of moveable storage options in your home where you can sneak other things into for easy transport.
For example, suitcases are a great way to move heavy, fragile things. Pack a table lamp into your briefcase and insulate it with your linens. You can roll the bulky, fragile items while also protecting them from the bumps and drama of moving.
Food storage containers are great for moving spices and pantry items. They can still go into a box while doing some of the work themselves. Put your bowls inside your pots, while a kitchen towel or two to line it. Oven mitts? Perfect for holding your knives!
Measure Before You Move.
You might dearly love that sofa, but if it’s not going to fit your new living room, why go through the hassle of moving it? That cabinet is excellent, but its size might make it awkward for your new bathroom layout.
Save yourself the trouble and map your furniture out ahead of time, complete with measurements. If you can plan a thrift run or sell the stuff that isn’t going to work in your next home, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle later on.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Fill.
When you arrive at the new pad, there might be way more empty space that you’re used to. It’s bound to happen when the shape and layout changes. Even so, don’t bend to any urges; you don’t have to fill every space. Buy things that have use or fit your design – not just because the corner is empty. You’ll be glad you saved the money.
First Things First.
Once you’ve finished unloading and waved goodbye to the moving truck, you’ll be exhausted. Trust us – if there’s one non-negotiable space to unpack before bed, it’s the kitchen. Typically, our kitchen has the least amount of boxes to go through, but some of the most essential stuff. Primarily if you’ve already run through all the snacks you packed.
No Empty Boxes.
Each time you finish unpacking a box, resist the urge to toss into the corner for later. The boxes will pile up quickly, and the clutter will cause more stress than it’s worth.
Instead, each time you empty a box, collapse it and take it straight to the recycling. You’ll see the fruits of your labor as the room clears out, and that satisfaction might be enough to keep you going a few extra hours.