10 Tips to Keep Your Sanity When Moving!


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Let’s face it, moving takes work, a lot of work!  I wish it was pretty like the picture above, but the reality is, it’s usually messy.  It takes a lot of energy, time, and resources especially when you do it yourself!  It’s usually an exhausting day, weekend, or longer depending on the location of your new home.  However, moving yourself can sometimes save you thousands of dollars!  Remember that when you are moving and repeat often, ” I am saving thousands of dollars by doing this myself…I am saving thousands of dollars by doing this myself…I am saving…” By the way, this is the mantra of every  crazy DIYER!

While I don’t admit to being an expert ( more in the camp of crazy DIYER), I have learned a few things from moving 10 times or so over the last 30 years.

Here are 10 of my tips that have kept us sane while moving ourselves.

Hopefully, they will help you the next time you have to pack up your roost and move to a different nest!



1. PURGE AND SORT: This is the pre-stage of moving. Purge: throw away, give away, or sell.  Why spend the time or energy moving things you don’t like or can’t use in your new home? Live with less. It’s freeing! Then begin sorting those items you intend on keeping.  See # 7.

2. START PACKING EARLY: You usually have at least two weeks to a month notice for a move. If you’re buying a home, then usually longer: 45-60 days and sometimes 90 days. Start packing all the items you don’t need during your waiting stage. You’ll be surprised at how little you can live with! This will make you rethink purging more items.

You should be about 80% packed one to two weeks before your move. The 20% or so remaining will be the items listed in # 4, # 5, # 8. DO NOT wait until the week you are moving to begin packing!

If renting a moving trailer or truck, reserve this early to assure availability on the dates needed.

3. KEEP AS MANY ITEMS IN ORIGINAL SPACES AS POSSIBLE: For example, if you can keep your belongings in a drawer, tightly shrink wrap the drawer with contents securely inside, and move it that way. This makes for super easy set up…unwrap and stick the drawer in the dresser or desk and Ta-DA, you’re done! 

4. MAKE ESSENTIALS BOXES: These will be the most needed items to survive. It will be the last thing you pack from your old home and the first thing you unpack  at your new home. I like to have at least 4 essentials boxes.

  •  Moving Day Box: box cutters, scissors, hammer, packing tape, markers, tape measure,  carpet/tile/hardwood sliders, first aid kit, sunscreen, {new keys, alarm/gate codes, paperwork, phone, moving contact information, utilities contact} etc…should all be kept together in one general, safe place such as a bag or purse.
  • Kitchen Box: All things needed to prepare simple meals in the days ahead (when everyone is tired of eating out!) Items such as: a pot, skillet, wooden spoon, mixing bowl, spatula, paper plates, cups, napkins, a few utensils, knife, dish/dishwasher soap, paper towels, etc…
  • Cleaning Box: All cleaners of choice, garbage bags, paper towels, rags, scrub brushes, squeegee, laundry soap, dust pan, etc.  Group together items that can not fit in this box, such as: indoor broom,  outdoor push broom, vacuum, mop, bucket….
  • Sleeping Box: pillows, sheets, blankets,  window paper shades (those stickable kind), candle and clicker/matches…’ll need that to relax after a hard day! 

* If you have children and/or pets, make sure you make an essentials box for each of them too.

5. PACK A WEEKEND BAG: Pack enough clothes and toiletries for at least three days ( depending on your length of travel). Don’t forget towels, blow dryer, tp, shampoo/conditioner/soap, toothbrush/toothpaste,  vitamins, and any medications you may take. This will make staying the first night in your new home much more restful.

6. KNOW WHEN TO HAVE HELP: This is always a hard one. Many of us find it difficult to ask for help, but  if you have friends and family that volunteer, take them up on it! Offer to buy lunch for all involved and make sure you have plenty of water and snacks (see # 8) to keep everyone energized. You may also want to hire a few guys to move the heavier items, such as furniture. If you have an extremely large and delicate item, such as a piano, I recommend hiring a professionally licensed company to move it. Now is NOT the time to DIY. They have all the right equipment and know how, and it’s worth it, especially if there are stairs involved!

7. GROUP PACK and MARK THINGS WELL: As much as possible, pack like items together…either per room, per person, or per item. Make sure you mark  the outside of all boxes of its contents.  Also included the room it will be moved into. This cuts down on all the chaos of people asking where things go as they move boxes.

If you are really organized, you can color code with markers according to particular rooms: Kitchen…red, Living Room…blue…

The main thing is you want to stay as organized as you can to make moving as easy and stress free as possible.

Post a simple layout of your new home by the front door so those coming in will know immediately where the boxes go.

8. CREATE A SNACK BOX: Moving burns a lot of calories. Pack a box or cooler with  high protein grab an go snack items like nuts, trail mixes, energy bars, cheese sticks, fruit, and plenty of water. Don’t forget hand gel, wipes, and paper towels.

9. DRESS COMFORTABLY Dress comfortably and practically in something you don’t mind being ripped or stained. Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen are a must in summer months.

10. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! It’s inevitable, when moving, that something gets scratched, broken, or lost. Keep perspective on the overall purpose of your move and what truly is important in life. Remember things can be re-purposed or replaced…people can’t.

Here Are Our 5 Must Haves When Moving:

  • Carpet Sliders
  • Tile/Hardwood Floor Sliders
  • Dolly
  • Moving Blankets
  • Shrink Wrap and Bubble Wrap (for furniture, drawers, etc..)

 😉  Technically that was six!

Happy Moving… When You Do it Yourself!


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