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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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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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