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Master Moving Hacks: 15 Tips for Staying Sane

Master Moving Hacks: 15 Tips for Staying Sane

It’s said that moving is one of the top stressors in a person’s life. I must be getting good at managing stress because I’ve had eight moves in as many years. When you’ve moved that often–with a change of cities involved at times–you learn a lot about time-efficient moving hacks that also help you to keep your sanity.

Here’s your checklist of fifteen moving hacks to make the transition much easier:

1. Boxes: Skip Kinko’s–everyone else has cleaned them out.

Head to your local community college’s duplicating services division (in other words: “the place where faculty take all of their handouts to be photocopied”). They’ve got your boxes–those sturdy, ultra-stackable photocopy paper boxes that have lids and don’t require taping. Beyond that? Check Craigslist or ‘freecycle’ sites where other movers actually post to let people know that they have boxes for pick up.

2. Always pack up the kitchen first.

Books and clothes only seem as if they take up a lot of time and space. The kitchen is actually the most complicated room to pack, especially with all of those oddly shaped mixers and cooking spatulas and food processors.

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3. Don’t clean as you go.

It’s a complete waste of time–you’ll only get something dirty again. Hire someone to come in when the house is empty to give it a scrub down. It should cost around $100. It’s totally worth it not to have to clean the house after a sweaty day of moving boxes.

4. Rent a moving truck and a moving van.

The night before your big day, load up valuables in the smaller moving van–things like that antique vase, or that beautiful lamp–and make an early trip to drop them off in a safe corner of the new house. Do this so that you won’t spend the next day biting your lip because a friend is precariously balancing five things plus your beautiful glass vase, and you don’t want to nag her to be careful, but…well, she really should be more careful!

5. Get friends to help you move and give them incentives.

Treat them to pizza and beer. Make it such a fun experience that they’re willing to come back the 6th, 7th, and 8th time you move (now that’s loyalty).

6. Once everything is moved into the new house, unpack the bedroom first.

Sleep takes priority. After that? The kitchen (see #2–unpacking the kitchen will rid you of the most boxes).

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7. As you unpack, create a ‘donate’ pile.

Don’t waste time with planning a garage sale; this becomes yet another thing on the to-do list. Just donate it, release, and let go.

8. Do a good deed.

List your boxes on Craigslist or freecycle sites so that other movers can grab a bunch of boxes in one place and move their stuff, too.

9. Create routines.

Once you’re in your new place, take a walk in the neighborhood every evening. Stress is alleviated when you have routines, and a nightly walk is one routine that you can control amid the chaos of a house where you can’t remember which box had your underwear in it. Nightly walks are also a great way to meet new neighbors.

10. Tie up loose ends.

About six weeks after you move, send a greeting card to your old address saying hello to the new occupants and asking if they would–pretty please?–forward any mail that the postal service will inevitably neglect to forward. This will really, really come in handy during tax season, when your W-2s are sent to the old address, despite your forwarding order.

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11. Seek out the familiar.

If you were a regular yoga practitioner in your old neighborhood, seek out a new yoga class and make a point of going–regularly–to help ease the transition. Pull out a book you love and re-read it.

12. Seek out the unfamiliar.

If you always wanted to join a running group, but your old neighborhood didn’t have one and this new locale does, sign up and start going. Find a new coffee shop. Pick a random road, park the car, and walk down the street, taking everything in. Trying new experiences is a fun part of a move!

13. Cash in, if you can.

Is your move a tax-deduction? Save all of your receipts, because some moving expenses do qualify.

14. Throw a housewarming party as soon as you feasibly can.

It’s the only thing that will motivate you to get those last, little, niggling tasks done–like finally get the donations to Goodwill or finding the right bracket to hang that heavy picture.

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15. Trust.

Most importantly, when you’re so sick of the process that you never want to put together another piece of furniture from IKEA again, remember that after a few months in the new place everything will feel just as familiar there as things felt in your old place.

The Bottom Line on Moving

The unease and anxiety that come with moving is a temporary state–and if you choose for it to be more exciting than anxious, it might even feel like a fun adventure as you get to experience life without the same familiar comforts. Who are you, in this new place? This is what is waiting to be discovered.

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Master Moving Hacks: 15 Tips for Staying Sane

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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