I realize when I wrote my blogs in advance, that I should have included a blog for the week I returned from Japan.
I failed to account for the jetlag.
In spite of this, let’s see if I can bring some DIY Adulting wisdom through the fog that is my 14-hour-time-change-up-at-two-in-the-morning-all-week addled brain.
Today is a big day. Best Friend: Partner in Crime is moving into her own condo. Her own, picked and paid for all by herself condo. Talk about peak adulting here.
So in honor of her big move, here are SEVEN tips for moving with some semblance of sanity.
Let’s just start there. “Moving like an adult” does not mean enjoying moving. It is inherently an evil process. But with a little adulting, you can help make the process much simpler and less stressful.
1. Start packing 3-6 months in advance
Except in rare cases, moving is NEVER a surprise. Even if you don’t know when you’ll be moving or where you’ll be moving, you most likely know exactly when your old lease ends and when you need to be out.
So once you know that gotta-be-out date, give yourself 3-6 months to pack.
2. Buy recycled boxes
In 2015, the EPA reported that in the United States 29 million tons of corrugated cardboard were generated annually. That’s the equivalent of 493 million trees, or 1.5 trees per person, per year.
That’s JUST the U.S.
There’s no reason to buy new boxes when you get can get used ones that are just as good. And they’re cheaper.
Just google “Recycled Moving Boxes” – it’s really that simple.
3. Start with things you rarely use
Here’s the strategy –
Slowly pack up your items, moving from least used to most used. Here’s an example of the order you might pack things in:
- Fancy kitchen supplies you use once a year
- Whatever is shoved in that upper shelf of your closet
- Off season clothes and shoes
- Accessories (do you need 8 different purses right now?)
- Technology you don’t use often (like that Blueray player)
- Clothes to get your through the next few weeks
- Enough dishes to get you through the next few weeks
- Desk supplies except for the bare minimum
One Week Before
- All desk supplies
- All kitchen supplies, you’re eating out for the next week
- All clothes but what you can fit into one suitcase
- Whatever is still left in your house!
- Your refrigerator
4) Toss as you go
Do not, I repeat do not, pack and move old, broken, unused, outdated, unneeded garbage into your new home.
The rule is,
- If you haven’t used it in the last year
- If it doesn’t have a mate (looking at you pile of random socks and topless tupperware)
- If it looks like something Oscar the Grouch would admire
It’s gotta go.
5) Don’t just throw away. Donate.
Hi. There are amazing organizations out there who will take your old stuff. Often times they will be able to recycle cloth, electronics and other items that are not resellable.
So in addition to your boxes, have some “donation” bags ready.
6) Put in no more than a few minutes a day until the week before you move
With 3-6 months to pack, you shouldn’t be putting in more than a few minutes a day into your packing.
But you also have to make a point to put in those few minutes.
- Place a packing box and a donation bag in a central location in your home
- Decide what’s going to go into the box (i.e. books, art, out of season clothes)
- Each time you find yourself walking past said items or you find yourself with a few random minutes, just grab one or two things.
- Determine if it is PACK or DONATE or THROW AWAY. Throw in appropriate receptacle.
- Continue doing this when you have a few random minutes until all said items are packed.
- Pick a new set of items to pack and repeat.
7) Celebrate your adulty-ness!
I have really, really exciting news for you. If you do this, if you just throw a few things in a box each day, you will be about 70% packed by the time your moving week comes.
Ok, yes, moving will still be hell.
But you will cut down on stress because you won’t have done it all in one week, cut down on costs because you won’t be moving things you don’t need and cut down on “random” boxes because you’ll have been more organized in your packing which will cut down on your unpacking hell.
Which is it’s own, separate level of hell.
You can ask Partner in Crime. She texted me yesterday and said “Packing slowly as I went along helped. I’m not stressed for once!”
Have you ever heard anything more beautiful?
Congrats Partner in Crime on your move!
And now, to all the rest of you, get out there and adult your move!