I’ve moved a total of four times in two years. Or something like that. Basically, I’ve had to pick up, pack up, and move all of my belongings four more times than I would ever want to in my lifetime. Moving is the biggest pain. Figuratively and literally. I most recently moved from the third floor of an apartment complex and I was feeling the pain after 78 flights of stairs (via FitBit)! From my experiences I am going to do my best to fill you in on some tips and tricks to make the moving process less difficult and less expensive.
- PLAN AHEAD
Without this step, you might as well just tell yourself now you’re going to be scrambling and frantic come moving time. I was in some bad spots for a couple of my moves. For one, my parents sold their house unexpectedly quickly in my last year of college and I had about two weeks to find a new place and move there post-finals. So in this instance, I had the cringe-worthy challenge of packing and moving without much time to plan ahead. In my most recent endeavor, however, I knew two to three months ahead of time where I was headed. I was moving to a new city and I allotted plenty of weekdays and weekends to packing up my apartment and taking as much as I could fit in my car at one time to my new home, thereby lessening the amount to move on actual moving day. (Also, don’t wait until the day of to try and pack up an entire room and then some. Make each trip home and away really count!) If you know that you are going to need extra help to move, or are going to rent a truck, or schedule cleaners, or whatever it may be, planning ahead will eliminate a ton of stress from day one.
- CONSOLIDATE/THROW AWAY
Oh boy, is this the most difficult part of the moving process for me. I’m a hoarder and a pack-rat and to me everything has some kind of sentiment making it worth keeping. But on more than one occasion, I’ve had to let go of more than a few things in order to fit into my new space, or to make my new space way less cluttered. It’s cathartic and bittersweet and when I’m done I feel so accomplished! Those tennis shoes you’ve had since high school? Toss ’em. The jeans you wore when you were ‘skinnier’ that you’re hoping to be able to fit back into soon? Donate ’em. The costume jewelry you’ve had since seventh grade? Can you see where I’m going with this? Even if you’re a champ at letting things go, consolidation when it comes to moving is still a game-changer. Try to use boxes that are pretty much the same size and not too big to carry. A lot of retailers will donate their conveniently-sized boxes happily instead of making all those trips to the dumpsters or recycling bins. Consolidating your belongings into similarly-sized boxes and labeling them by room makes them easier to pack, move, stack, and unpack.
- ENLIST THE HELP OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY
I will attest that having your friends and family help you move is awesomely cost-effective! I was fortunate enough to have a few guy friends and my boyfriend’s family spend several hours on a Sunday afternoon helping me load up and unpack a truck. Had I needed to hire movers, the trip and labor would have cost me about $800 that I didn’t have. I was never the best at Tetris (or carrying heavy boxes down three flights of stairs) but my helpers were patient and took the time to carefully move, pack, and stack boxes so I wouldn’t lose or break anything. With movers, they are not always so careful! Planning ahead and making sure the actual items to be moved have been consolidated makes for a way easier time for you AND those who you’ve enlisted to help you move!
Using the aforementioned steps I was able to make my actual moving day much less horrific than it could have been. It took up most of my Sunday and several trips before then, but nothing was lost or broken and everything stayed organized to my liking between take-down and set-back-up.
Here is another really helpful blog post I used to simplify my move.
If you’ve got any tips or tricks that made moving easier for you or saved you money, let me know in the comments!