Are you moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky?
Maybe you are packing up and gettin’ on the road again?
Do you like to move it (move it!)?
Whatever your reason for moving, it’s no secret that the process itself can be overwhelming. Often compared to the stress of changing careers or even getting married, moving uproots us from what is familiar and moves us into the unknown. Often these moves bring with them a new opportunity, but that doesn’t mean they are not prone to causing headaches.
Having recently moved from a comfortable long-term residence in my apartment (the first time I had lived alone) to a new, bigger house with my girlfriend and her dog, the woes of moving are still fresh in my head. In reflecting back, there were some things I did right, as well as some things I definitely could have done better in my efforts to navigate the move smoothly and headache-free.
Here are the biggest lessons I learned.
Get A Head Start
The ugly truth is that your move is probably going to take a lot more time and energy than you are expecting. Even moving out of a small studio without a ton of furniture, I found myself spending many more hours than I had initially budgeted. A first glance led me to believe I would have some furniture and a few boxes, nothing that couldn’t be packed up in a couple of hours and loaded into a Uhaul for a single trip. What I neglected to see was the unorganized mess of places like my junk drawer and bathroom vanity. There are likely several “spots” in your house that have collected things you don’t even remember having! Starting to pack these spaces up well in advance will save you the last second scramble later.
Find A Fresh Start
Not only should you start packing well in advance, but using that time as the opportunity to tidy up your life can be as time and headache saving as it is empowering. I don’t know exactly how many bags I brought to Goodwill for donation, but I do remember it was multiple carloads. All of that out of a studio apartment! The truth is that we all accumulate stuff, whether we realize it or not. Perhaps those things had some significance or meaning at the time, but I would be willing to bet that you could go without most of it. A good rule of thumb that I used was that if it cost less than 20 dollars and I forgot I had it and/or hadn’t used it in over a year, I got rid of it. A few months later and I couldn’t even tell you most of what I got rid of… it was that (un)important.
Start Cleaning Early
I fall somewhere on the spectrum between neat freak and average in terms of cleanliness. I’ve never been one to live in a pigsty and generally keep up with my cleaning chores. Because of this, I expected that my apartment would be relatively painless to put back into the kind of shape that allowed me to get my full security deposit back. Boy, was I wrong. Chores like wiping the baseboards and scrubbing the bathtub are in and of themselves not backbreakers, but lumped together they created many hours of additional cleaning that I didn’t see coming. In retrospect, had I started a lot of those projects sooner, I would have been a lot more efficient when it came time to moving out.
I plan to follow these moving tips diligently the next time I am moving someplace new. Moving is often the sign of better times and new opportunities ahead and, thus, it shouldn’t be dreaded! By planning and using it as an opportunity to better yourself, you can avoid moving headaches and, perhaps, even find some enjoyment in it.
Don’t forget to lift with your legs and not your back!