5 Tips For A More Stress-Free Move

Moving is the worst. It is universally hated. Here are 5 tips to help you hate it less.

There's a reason moving is one of the top most stressful life events. It's expensive, it's physically demanding, and it causes so much clutter and upheaval. I have moved about 27 different times in my life -- no joke -- and have abhorred it each time. I've moved cities, states, and even across the country more than once. After having gone through the process so many times, however, I have finally learned some tricks that help lesson the stress of this universally-hated task. If you have a move on the horizon, I hope these tips help ease even a little of the stress of your moving day.

  1. Start packing at least 2 weeks ahead - This will obviously depend on the size of your house, but the point is to get a head start on the packing process so that you have the time to keep things organized. This strategy will help prevent things from getting lost and cut down on clutter. For my one bedroom apartment, for example, two weeks was the perfect amount of time. Instead of waiting until the last minute and throwing random items into whatever box (or trash bag) was available, my partner and I were able to pack in an orderly fashion, keeping all the boxes stacked neatly in one space.

  2. Purge - I know, what a horrible word. When it comes to moving, however, purging needs to become your bff. What do I mean? Go through your things as you pack and either trash or give away whatever you no longer need. Be honest with yourself. If you haven't used something in six months or more, do you really need it taking up space in a box or in your new house? No, you don't. I know it can be extremely difficult, especially if you're like my partner who prefers to keep literally everything, but even he will tell you, now, that it's worth it to clear out unneeded items.

  3. Pair like with like - This may seem like common sense, but when it comes to packing and staying sane, pairing like items in boxes and giving said box a clear label is everything. Have specific boxes for books, decor, dishes, etc, and try to box up as much as you can. The less odds-and-ends lying around, the less stress you'll have when trying to load the truck and clean. Then, once you unload in your new house, unpacking will be that much simpler. You can set up room by room without worrying about where things are in that damned sea of boxes.

  4. Keep an empty box set aside - While packing and preparing to move, you still have to be able to get ready, eat, work, etc. For all those items that inevitably have to sit on the counter until moving day, keep an empty box or two set aside into which you can pack them at the last minute. Knowing those things have a box they can go in will help cut down on stress as you survey what needs to be packed. For example, I have learned to keep an empty box in the bathroom leading up to moving day for the makeup and other toiletries I can't pack ahead of time. Doing so means I'll be much less likely to scramble for space later on when I'm trying to get the truck loaded.

  5. Meditate - Come moving day, wake up just five minutes earlier than normal to sit and meditate before the commotion begins. You can breathe in silence, focus on a mantra, or do a short guided meditation -- whatever works for you. Taking the time to center yourself will help you remain calmer throughout the high-energy day.


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