Moving can be frustrating, chaotic, and time-consuming. Packing your life and traveling across the country in a short time period creates a set of challenges like nothing else. The reaction can be to simply rush to do everything at once as quickly as possible. However, if you take a few moments at the start to plan, your move can go from a stressful mess to a streamlined, cleansing process.
Trash Before You Pack
Everyone has more stuff that they realize. If you’ve lived in one place for more than a few months, chances are you’ve got boxes and drawers full of random mementos, broken electronics, and more. Before you start to put things in boxes, take an afternoon to scour every nook and cranny of your home and pile up everything you no longer want or need. Many of these items can be donated to a local charity, and the rest can be discarded, significantly reducing your packing volume.
Take it in Sections
Much like staring at a blank page before writing a paper, it can be difficult to figure out how to start packing. Feeling overwhelmed by the project is what often makes moving more stressful than necessary. The easiest way to solve this problem is to divide your packing into smaller, more manageable sections. Start with things you don’t need every day like books and pictures. As moving day approaches, transition into making each room its own section. By giving yourself a clearer, more obvious project you will feel a stronger sense of progress and accomplishment with each newly finished section.
Invest in Reusable Boxes
Cardboard boxes are flimsy and unwieldy. They don’t stack well and make it difficult to plan ahead with so many odd shapes and sizes. Instead of scouring local business for free boxes, invest in some reusable boxes. Plastic bins with locking lids will not only make your valuables more secure, they are designed to stack together and fit side by side allowing you to plan out your packing more clearly.
Be Willing to Direct
Recruiting your friends is simply part of the moving process for most people. While it is great to have people willing to help, a disorganized volunteer crew can cause as many problems as they solve. It is okay to lift fewer boxes than your volunteers in order to keep things organized and moving smoothly. Take charge and give clear directions. Encourage people to ask questions before they just grab a random box or piece of furniture.
Moving should be exciting, but instead often feels like a stressful chore. With some simple forethought and planning, you can bring back the excitement and transform your panic and frustration into productivity and joy.