I decided to launch this mini series for a few reasons. One, in the past four years I’ve moved about four or five times, and countless times before that. Secondly, I’m in the middle of apartment searching and moving now. As in, within the next 30 days, I’ll be all packed up and headed to a new place.
And lastly, I hate moving. Like with a passion.
Packing and unpacking are the bane of my existence, but I’ve done it a few times and I have a few key systems and techniques that lessen the blow a bit each time. I’ll be using this mini series to document all that and, hopefully, make it easier for me and all of you the next time a move happens.
Even though I’m a few weeks out from the move, I’m only going a few minutes away, so it’s already been a much less stressful process. The most demanding part is packing and transporting.
The early phases of a move should really focus on simplifying and organizing so that there is less to do and fuss over later. The more you can eliminate now, the less you’ll have to worry about making space for later. Take the time to make note of items you have, like furniture or electronics that you wouldn’t mind parting with in your next home.
Start listing these items for sale to help fund your move, which can get pricey pretty quickly, or research local donation spots in your area. Some centers will even come and pick up larger items, which will be so helpful for cutting costs and removing large clutter that gets harder to deal with as you get closer to moving day.
Amazon has a great program where you can trade in certain items in exchange for a gift card. If yard sales and Craig’s List isn’t your thing, look into this instead.
Also, stop shopping. Right now! Buying a few new items may not seem like much when you first bring it home, but in the long run it just adds to the long list of things you’ll be stuck packing up. Save your self some time and grief by skipping the sales and focusing on going through the items that you already have.
And if you absolutely have to hit those crazy summer sales, try implementing a plus one, minus one rule. This basically means that for every item you purchase, you should also plan to sell, donate or toss something you currently own. I’ve given my younger sister at least three bags of clothes over the past few weeks, and I know she couldn’t be happier. Any new items I have picked up, as a result, are only things I truly love and need and don’t add extra bulk to my baggage.
The most important thing I’ve focused on during these early phases has been vigorously throwing away and strictly organizing everything that remains. I’ve been removing clutter on an almost weekly basis– it’s amazing the things we hold onto over time.
If it doesn’t have a set purpose, let it go. Seriously –the things we carry that we don’t have to is astonishing. I just graduated, and I have notes from classes and old text books that I certainly don’t need to hold on to.
Keep things like utilities that will need to be switched over settled, important documents and paperwork in one set place that can all be moved safely together. If you can create a digital system, like a Google spreadsheet instead, this will be great to eliminate paper clutter and possible losses.[one-half-first]
Here’s a quick rundown of my tips for the early phases of a move.
Next week, I’ll be talking apartment hunt, which has been the most exciting part of this process for me. New posts in the series will be coming every week for the next few weeks. [/one-half-first][one-half]+ Stop shopping to reduce what needs to be moved. If you must shop, stick to a plus one, minus one rule.
+ Throw away and remove clutter vigorously.
+ Sell things that don’t need to be moved to earn extra cash and cover expenses. Also, donate items that can be helpful to others or can’t be sold.
+ Keep important docs like bills and paperwork in one set place. [/one-half]
If you’re planning a moved or just moved, let me know how your experience has been!