I live in a very transient community. With the state university and military base both in my area, I make friends with people that are here only for a short amount of time. When I was in college and renting I moved 4 times in 4 years all within the same town. And I have to admit, the wisdom my military friends gain from their many moves could have served me well in college.
After chatting with a few military wives and looking back on my many moves, I compiled a list of tips for you.
Here are 10 tips for making moving simple:
1. Utilize storage rentals
If you are moving within the same town, then place as much stuff as you can in a storage unit as you can. Minimizing the amount of boxes you have to unpack when you arrive will cut down on the stress you feel. Plus, if you are moving into a home that is not open when you need it to be a storage unit can keep your belongings safe while you wait to move in.
2. Cut down on clutter
This is good for life in general, but if you know you have a move ahead of you, keep the clutter out of your life. The less junk you have to go through when you are preparing to pack, the less anxiety you will feel. Get to know Freecycle.org, local donation sites and your trash can. Don’t keep things you do not need.
3. Get the kids out of the house
Moving is really stressful on you, but watching their toys get packed up is also very stressful for children. Their whines and cries will only increase your frustration so try and find a friend or family member that can treat the kids to a day at the park or zoo while you pack.
When I was moving in college, I stopped labeling boxes because I just ran out of time. This was one shortcut I regret the most. Unpacking is so much easier when you know which order to unpack in.
If you organize your packing with most important to least important you can unpack easier. Everything is all about how easy it will be for you to move into your new home and finally relax in your new place. The organized list will cut down on “box peeking” time. It will also cut down on the “what the heck do I pack next” feeling you get when you prepare to move.
6. Use small boxes
A huge mistake I made in college was finding any and every empty box I could as long as it was free. I found huge boxes from stores. What I didn’t think of was huge box = heavy box. Smaller boxes are lighter and easier to carry up and down stairs.
Before you move, get rid of as much as you can. Have a moving sale, donate to friends or goodwill, visit consignment shops. Whatever you want to do, getting rid of stuff you don’t really need will make unpacking easier. There is nothing like that “clean plate” you get when you move!
8. Plan enough time to clean
This is especially important for renters. If you want to get your full deposit back you will need to make sure your home is completely spotless. Packing way in advance gives you enough time in your empty place to clean like Martha on speed.
9. Pack in suitcases
Think about it – you finally get to your new place and all you want to do is crash. If you have a few suitcases full of important clothes, toiletries and essentials you can just take some time off and unpack later. It is ok to live out of a suitcase while you let your body catch up to the work you went through.
Order pizza and have a picnic on the floor when you arrive! Congratulations, all your hard work paid off and you can enjoy your new home! Don’t wear yourself out unpacking before you take a moment to enjoy getting there.
I also found this helpful infographic online and thought you would enjoy it too. (Click to enlarge)