While moving can be exciting, it’s often pretty stressful. For the past few weeks, I’ve been helping parents pack for an upcoming move, which included my own mini-move because a lot of things they’ve been holding on to for me had to find their way into my (tiny!) apartment. Because moving is such a mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing experience (and something most people have to go through at some point!), it seemed like a good time to reflect a little on how to make the most of it. Even if you’re not in the midst of moving, check out these tips so you can better prepare for a future move!
DONATE, DONATE, DONATE
While it’s incredibly tempting to throw all your stuff in boxes and worry about it later, the first essential step of moving is decluttering what you have and donating as much of it as you can. Most of us have lots of extra stuff that we don’t want, need, or use, and, while it’s time-consuming (and sometimes emotionally draining) to get rid of stuff, it’s such a great time to do it because then, when you arrive at your new place, you’ll only have what you truly need and want. Admittedly, I didn’t do the best job of this when I was bringing stuff from my parents’ house to my place, and now I’m regretting it because I have a lot of stuff to sort through. Avoid this by asking these questions while packing: Do I really want this? When was the last time I actually looked at / used this? Packing up all the things you no longer need and donating them to a local charity is such a great feeling and eases some of the stress of letting things go.
ROUND UP THE RIGHT SUPPLIES
Unless you’re a frequent mover, it might have been awhile since you last moved, and it can be easy to forget all of the packing supplies you might need. If you have a store that specializes in moving (like U-Haul), check out their supplies and ask their employees for advice on how to pack efficiently. They’re the experts and they’ll likely have all of the supplies you need to make the move as easy as possible. And make sure to get extra supplies if you can. It’s incredibly frustrating to be in a packing groove and realize you’ve run out of the small boxes you need. Most moving supply stores allow returns so it’s better to get more and return them rather than run out mid-pack.
PERUSE TIPS ON PINTEREST
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to moving. Everything from all of the addresses you’ll need to change to how to pack oddly-shaped items will come up while you’re in moving mode, and there’s almost no better resource for finding answers to moving questions than Pinterest. Not only are there tons of tips and tricks on there, but there are so many amazing checklists to help you plan out your move and advice you might never have considered that will help your move go even more smoothly (like this tip: take a photo of how all the cords are plugged into your TV so you know how to put it back together the same way!). Pinterest is my go-to for a lot of info and inspiration, but I’ve found it especially helpful for move-related tips.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It’s a fact: moving is stressful. And whenever you know you’re going to encounter a more-stressful-than-normal experience, it’s a good idea to give yourself a little extra love, care, and attention. If possible, amp up whatever self-love practices you have in your life and mark time on your schedule to do the activities that make you feel the most relaxed. During a busy time, like a move, dedicating extra time for self-love activities might not feel super productive, but, trust me, the hour or two you give yourself will help you feel less stressed and make whatever difficulties you encounter easier to conquer. And if you do encounter challenges, try a relaxing breathing technique — breathe in four seconds, hold it for seven, breathe out for eight — to help combat the emotions that arise during a stressful situation.
MAKE IT YOURS
Moving day is such a stress-filled day, but one of the best things you can do for your emotional state is to do something that makes the new place feel like home. Whether it’s hanging up a favorite photo, making up your bed, or arranging your favorite items on a shelf, try to do at least one little thing on your first day to make the place feel like yours. Living in a new spot is always a little unsettling at first, especially when boxes are stacked all around you, so doing even one small thing to make it feel like home can make a big difference in your mindset. It can also serve as a reminder that home isn’t about a specific place, but about how you feel when you’re in that place.
If you’re going through a move, I hope these tips inspire you to feel a little less stressed. It’s never an easy thing to do, particularly if you’ve been settled in one place for awhile and, like me, don’t love change, but the more you strive to keep calm, stay centered, and aim to be positive, the easier even the most challenging move will be.