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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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