Let’s talk about moving. Not listing a house for sale… not buying a house… but the entire process of the move. It takes a lot of work – a lot of time – and a lot of energy. There’s something about the entire process that can completely wipe one out, both emotionally and physically. So, the question is, how do you get through it all without losing your mind? Not to worry, we’ve listed the top 10 ways to maintain (if not find!) your balance while doing so.
1. Plan it. Plan every single little detail. Assuming you’re on a deadline, this is crucial. Make a timeline, write notes on a calendar and execute accordingly. Start with one thing then move onto another. Don’t veer from your list, it won’t do you any good.
2. Make lists. Yep, plural. Make one for the things you need to get done, make one for the things you need to do in order to cross those off, make another for the things you need to do once they are done. For example: First, you need to set a date for a yard sale. Second, you need to have a date set for when you are finished going through your stuff and deciding what you are selling versus keeping. Third, what you need to do and when you are having the yard sale itself.
3. Don’t hand over your hard-earned money for cardboard boxes. Instead, look for free moving boxes at local grocers or recycling drop-off points. Chances are, you’ll be able to find plenty of cardboard boxes that have been tossed by neighbors. Other places to find free moving boxes include local Facebook groups, Craigslist, Nextdoor,, book stores, liquor stores and offices, just to name a few.
4. Sort, Pack, then Sort and Pack Some More. This seems to be a no-brainer. You should absolutely sort through every single thing you have and decide whether or not you need it in your new home. Is it something you haven’t used in the last year? Chances are, you don’t need it. Sure, you probably hold some type of attachment but is there a use for it in the next year in your new place. Time to say goodbye.
5. Organize. There’s a box for everything from dishes to toiletries to books and even knick-knacks. Sort it all, box it up and label. As you pack your moving trailer or truck, be sure to put the less important boxes in first so you pull the most important things out as soon as you begin to unpack. Things like food, clothes, toiletries and dishes are top of mind and should hold a priority over the rest.
6. Make a list of who you need to notify when you move. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up before you move to a new community. You should determine when and how you will accomplish these tasks in your moving checklist. When the time comes, either visit offices locally or be prepared to make some phone calls. By making this list in advance and setting the task for yourself in your calendar, you’re less likely to forget anyone. Think: utility companies, trash service, kids’ schools, physicians, etc.
7. Decide if you need to hire movers or not. Think you can do it on your own? Go get it! Don’t want to take on the task or don’t have a tribe to help you out? Then it’s time to interview moving companies. Yep, companies. Make a list of your top three or four and call for rates. Ask about their process, prices, insurance, loading and unloading and even unpacking.
8. Down to the nitty-gritty with personal essentials. It’s recommended that you keep all of your personal documents like your social security cards, birth certificates and insurance policies on your person during a move. You never know what will get lost in the shuffle and these are things you certainly don’t want to lose! Set aside a binder and fill it with all of your personal documents for quick, reliable and easy transport in your personal duffel or purse.
9. Moving with kids? Have snacks handy. The last thing you want to do is have to make lunch on moving day and let’s face it, you’ve already spent enough that an extra $60 on pizza just won’t cut it. Pack a cooler with sandwich items and a bag with easy snacks and drinks. You’ll thank us later.
10. Breathe. Moving is not a small task for anyone… make sure you take a few minutes to sit and relax. Drink some water, walk around the block and really step away from the work for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Think of it this way – a few months of hard work to get you into your dream home is nothing. Enjoy the journey, color-code your boxes and really, really embrace the experience. You’ve worked too hard to think of it any other way.