I’ve moved dozens of times within 5 cities in 3 different countries on 2 continents. Before I had mastered how to organize everything efficiently, moving was always a real hassle. No matter of my vast nomadic experience I am always surprised that I have way more stuff than I thought!
Moving to a new place is like a journey when you let go of your past and start a new life. It encourages become minimalistic and more conscientious about what you actually want and need in your life, especially during this time where meeting a new person is often just one swipe right and buying a new thing is a click.
If spending wasted hours wondering should you throw away these tickets which remind you of your travels, should you keep that dress you used to liked 10 years ago (and other stuff you’re never going to use in the next decade), constantly driving back and forth to the new place because you didn’t prepare things properly, fearing of not being able to find anything for the next two months after moving in, sounds very familiar – my article is for you!
These are little tips and tricks for anyone NOT using a moving service:
1. Plan ahead
When selecting your helpers for moving, give them enough notice. Don’t procrastinate asking! People will appreciate it (and maybe even show up!) if you give them notice.
2. Stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart
If at all possible, try to stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart to avoid stress. It’s easier if you can go back to your old place and finish up moving / cleaning any leftover little stuff for a few more days after you move.
3. Books are heavy
Magazines are even heavier. Many SMALL boxes with 6-10 books are better than 1 big box with 60 books in it.
4. Quality matters
Do NOT buy/use cheap packing tape to seal your boxes, unless you enjoy having your pinkie toe smashed by a book that fell out the bottom of the box that was sealed with cheap packing tape. This is not the place to save money.
5. Label your boxes with a permanent marker
Some things you may want to write are: (a) Box #, (b) Where the Box is Going (ie. Bedroom, Office, etc.), (c) Contents (ie. Books, Cables, etc. ), (d) Special Handling Instructions (ie. FRAGILE, etc.)
6. Rent a truck
It’s better to rent a moving truck and make one or two trips than to try moving using your buddies pickup truck and making 68 trips. The gas savings alone will pay for the truck rental.
Loading a moving truck usually takes 3-4 times as long as unloading it. Keep that in mind when planning your day, lunch for your helpers, etc.
7. Have snacks for helpers
Have water available in the fridge for your thirsty helpers. People who are dying of thirst make very poor helpers.
8. Pack BEFORE moving day, not the moring of.
On moving day focus your energy on MOVING, not unpacking at the new place.
9. The fewer people that help you the better
If you do solicit help packing your stuff, the fewer people that help you the better. The more people that help out packing, the harder it will be to find something later on. For moving, the more helpers you have the better, but for packing you don’t want too much help or you’ll go insane trying to find things after the move.
10. Get an early start.
8-9am is a good time to start, not noon. It’s MUCH better to move the majority of your big things in one day.
11. Check it all
Here’s a quick mental reminder of moving related things that might jog your memory: You’ll need boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, fragile stickers, packing paper for dishes, and some blankets. You’ll need to call the utility companies (cable, telephone, hydro, etc.), house alarm, change your driver’s license address, and notify post office to forward your mail.
12. Don’t forget to have fun
Indeed, moving can be a hard physical and mental activity. But don’t forget that when you plan it right, it can be a lot of fun!