“It’s easier to die than to move.” Wallace Stegner
Stegner had a flare for the melodramatic, but he succinctly describes how moving can feel. Whether it’s because you’re downsizing, going off to college, or your lease is up, the act of moving can be unfortunate, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s best to look at moving as an adventure, or it can stress us to extremity.
My last move happened within three months of moving into a new apartment. Those months were loud and sleepless, filled with door slamming and shrill arguments at all hours courtesy of the neighbors downstairs.
Then our neighbors decided to get a glue-dog. Definition: a dog purchased in hopes of reviving a wilting relationship. He/she would bark from 5am until after midnight. Between that and the bass blasting through the floor every night, vibrating our entire apartment, we decided it was time to ask, yet another time, for some neighborly consideration.
When management suggested we train the dog via an electronic contraption in our apartment because the owners of the dog refused to put it in theirs (no, you didn’t miss something- it was just that ridiculous), that was it.
All of this to say, our last move was quick. I compiled a list of minimalist moving tips for a less stressful move. There’s no reason why all moves can’t be this easy and efficient, so I’ve shared a few of those tips below.
- Sell, sack, or donate. This is an excellent opportunity to declutter. If you have valuable items that you don’t regularly use, then sell ‘em. If something is worn, broken, or just plain useless, sack (trash) it. Donate the unwanted, useful things. It’s satisfying to purge the unnecessary. Plus, it’ll lighten the load for moving day.
- Keep it organized. Tape well and color code boxes. This will make transporting and unpacking easier. Store screws and bolts together in labeled bags for any furniture or other pieces that you disassemble for transport.
- Use your own bags, containers, hampers, etc. instead of buying extra boxes. Wrap delicates in t-shirts and socks to cut the cost of packing materials.
- Pack a bag of the essentials; the valuables and necessities you want to keep close when you don’t feel like unpacking when you first arrive at the new place.
- Stay patient. Pause before you lash out at a mover, whether that is a friend or a stranger in a crop top, and realize, it’s not them, it’s you. You’re just pissed, understandably, that you packed all your worldly possessions into boxes only to relocate and unpack them all over again.
- Take solid pics of the old apartment when it’s clean and cleared out. Shady stuff can happen, protect yourself and your security deposit.
The fantastic truth: it ends! And you’ll have a fresh new place to create a home.