Monday, June 10, 2013

Moving 101

Let me tell you what has been on my mind lately--MOVING. It has been consuming my life. I have a moving checklist I review daily; when I'm not looking at the checklist, I am picturing the apartment in my mind, thinking of what else needs to be packed, and where those things will be unpacked in the new house. And, when I’m not thinking of those things, I’m probably yelling “LEAVE IT” to Miss Millicent because she is trying to chew a hole through one of our cardboard boxes.

We move in a little less than three weeks. For two of those weeks, I will be out of town for work. Naturally, I'm a little concerned about the massive amount of STUFF in our apartment that has yet to make its way into a box. Clearly, moving is a stressful process. Therefore, I thought I would put together a little list of moving tips to help alleviate the stress and hassle. At first, I had planned to pull together some expert resources from around the web, but then I thought to myself, “Katie. You have moved six times in the past four years. You ARE the expert.” Well, duh!

So here you are dear Reader, my seven tips for packing your life into a box.

1. Start a Cleanse
No, I’m not talking about buying some kale in bulk and spending $500 on a juicer—I’m talking about cleaning out the clutter in your life. Go through your closets, your drawers, your kitchen cabinets—if you haven’t worn or used something in a year, get rid of it. That bottle of lotion you bought in college and used once? Throw it in the trash. Found an old blouse in your closet that makes you avert your eyes and shudder with revulsion? Burn it. You will have less junk you have to deal with as you pack and unpack your things.

2. Make a Checklist
You might want to do this first, to get your mind organized. Moving brings with it a whole host of tedious but necessary tasks, such as setting up utilities, hiring movers, and ordering a custom calligraphy stamp for your new address. Writing it all down can help organize your thoughts, and it is oh so satisfying to mark something off your To-Do List.

3. Pack Early
Don’t be like my oldest brother and pack nothing but your clothes the night before a big move. You can start packing several months in advance; just pick out items you know you won't need to use, and get to work! I usually start with books and DVDs, then I move on to decorative items. After that, once we're about three weeks away from moving, I pack up excess items (sheets, towels, dishes), leaving just the exact amount that I need for the next few weeks. 

4. Label Your Boxes
Label your boxes according to what is in the box, and the room where it will be unpacked. Perhaps you have your own complicated system for the boxes you packed, but whoever is helping you move (be that professional movers or selfless friends) probably has no clue that the brown box with the slight indentation is full of trinkets that go in the guest room. This will save you some time, and you’ll be thankful you can easily find that cupcake tin you need for baking your feelings away.

5. Get Help
Don’t try to go at alone, because nobody likes a martyr (well, some martyrs are okay). Hire movers, and if you can’t afford movers do whatever it takes to get your friends or family to help. It shouldn't be too hard to enlist the help of your friends. Why? Because there’s always the promise of “I’ll totally help when you have to move.” (Whether or not you come through with that promise is totally up to you and your own sense of honor.) Or, you can take my route and pay them in baked goods or a home cooked meal. Sometimes, all a person wants is a decent brownie.

This is our helper. She sleeps a lot and tries to eat the boxes.

6. Make it a Party
Turn up your iTunes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and have at it. Sure, your boxes may get mislabeled the more wine you drink, but you sure will have fun! And, you can always reward yourself with ice cream when you are finished.

7. Don’t Panic
I have to agree with Douglas Adams’ timeless piece of advice. Moving is a big ‘ole pain in the buttocks, but it can be very easy to manage when you break it down into small steps. It will help you avoid a nervous breakdown, and the next time you have to move you will be a pro! (Except, not a really big pro, because I can’t have anyone knocking me down as the moving expert.)

I sure hope you find these helpful if you're moving. Do you have any tips to add? If it's an AMAHZING tip, let me know before we complete this move. If not, keep it to yourself.

Have a great Monday!

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