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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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