Moving is stressful for almost everyone. You never know just how much you stuff you have until you need to put it all in boxes, move it and then set it all back up in your new home. But here are five steps that can streamline the moving process:
- Start With an Inventory
Before you ever start packing, start making lists of the things that you use every day. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to stay out until the very end, and what can get packed up early. The things you use most frequently are “priority 1,” whereas the rest are “priority 2.”
- Take Advantage of Packing Conveniences
If you’re willing to make a modest investment, consider getting large plastic bins for packing. If you want to stick to cardboard boxes, you can buy special tape that labels which room each box is related to. You could also consider different colors of bins or tape for priority 1 and priority 2 items.
- Offload Into Self Storage Units
Even if you think you have space at home, rent a unit from a self storage facility (or two, depending on the size and how much you own). In the weeks leading up to the move, pack as much priority 2 as you can and regularly transfer boxes into storage.
This will prevent you from underestimating the amount of packing you have left to do — many a homeowner has thought everything that’s left will get thrown in the suitcases, only to panic on moving day when it turns out there’s another six hours’ worth of packing to do. It will also allow your life to feel more normal, since you won’t be constantly tripping over boxes.
- Load It Into the Truck
As you load your boxes from the storage unit into the moving truck, make sure you’ve distinguished between priority 1 and priority 2 packages.
- Divide Boxes Between Storage and Home
Once you’ve arrived in your new city, it might seem like a waste of time and money to rent another storage unit, but there are a few reasons why you should do so. First of all, taking all your priority 2 boxes to a storage unit will allow you to get settled in your new house without having to dig through all the boxes for the most important stuff. Moving feels chaotic enough, and having everything that’s in the house put away faster will make your new house feel like a home.
Second, renting a storage unit can put a reasonable timeline on your unpacking; if you just shove your boxes in your new basement, it’s likely they’ll never get unpacked. And lastly, having your things in self storage units gives you one last chance to assess whether you actually need everything you own, paring down your possessions and making your next move — and your life between now and then — even easier.
This method also works if you’re moving within the same city, and can be helpful if you’re renting (or the escrows line up such that you don’t have access to both houses at the same time). Instead of using two self storage locations, you’ll only need one, which makes your moving process even easier!
Would you be willing to rent self storage units in order to cut down on moving stress? Share your thoughts in the comments.