Making Moving Manageable

I love alliteration.

For those of you who are new (welcome!), I moved this week! But I didn’t just move into a new apartment—I moved into my boyfriend’s apartment, which has been both exciting and scary.

Somehow the move also managed to be mostly stress-free. I had a few freak-outs in the very early stages—like two months before the move was even happening, when I thought everything should be done already—but the move itself went incredibly smoothly.

Here are my best tips for making your move run smooth (I also like rhyming)…

  1. Throw stuff out! Don’t be a pack rat. Weeks before you have to move, go through everything—your closet, your desk, underneath your bed, your kitchen, etc.—and make piles. Of course there are the things you use regularly and will want to KEEP. Then make a pile of things to DONATE, such as clothes or kitchen items that are good quality but that you no longer wear or need. So if you’re moving in with someone who has a brand new set of pots and pans, donate or sell yours. Avoid clutter early on! Lastly, make a pile of things to TRASH. This is the most fun pile. Ratty old socks and underwear, filthy towels, anything stained… Get rid of it. Look, now you have less crap to pack!
  2. Pack early and in stages. I went crazy because I felt like I should have everything packed months before I moved. But in reality, I only needed to have certain things packed. So eventually I divided and conquered. First I packed things I rarely use, like the items from the second drawer in my desk (thank you cards, Christmas ornaments, etc.). Next I packed up winter clothes, since I wouldn’t need those until after the move. Gradually things got packed and I never needed anything that was already packed because I was smart about it. High 5!
  3. Move gradually if you can. I enjoyed the luxury of being able to move over a period of time, since ABS was already living in his place. So every time I went to visit him, I’d bring something with me, whether it was an entire box of stuff or a few jackets. Of course not everyone will be able to do this, but find out if you can move early.
  4. When you do start moving, get everything out of the way. I asked ABS to clean as much as he could before I got there (eh, I tried…it kind of worked) and then once we started getting my stuff in we put it all in closets. That way it wasn’t in anyone’s way. So my pots and pans, my clothes, my bedding…it all got stacked in a thankfully empty closet. Then, when it was time to move the furniture in, we weren’t attempting to carry a couch over piles of boxes.
  5. Obviously hiring movers on the big day is convenient, but it can also get expensive. I didn’t have too much stuff left for moving day, so I rented a U-Haul van, which was incredibly easy and very reasonable. I ended up paying $60, which included the van for the day, a dolly, gas and insurance.
  6. Enlist strapping young men to help you. Think of your moving day like your wedding day: You don’t want anyone around or in your face who is going to stress you out. Moving is stressful enough. Don’t have your mom helping you if she’s going to insist on where to set everything up. Don’t ask your needy friend to help you carry things if she detests manual labor. And be sure to reward anyone who does help you with a nice dinner, bottle of wine, or something that he or she will actually appreciate (hugs can only get you so far).
  7. Don’t freak out about unpacking! Obviously, Type-A Me wanted everything totally unpacked and settled the day I moved. Realistically, though, I needed to pack myself. So I’ve unpacked one box or more every day. First the bed got set up. Then I unpacked everything that went into my dresser. After that the kitchen stuff had to come out. Next came hanging clothes up in the closet. I still have to find a place for my shoes and my “comfy clothes,” that aren’t worthy of closet-space.
  8. Have fun! Hopefully you’re moving for a good reason. I had to remind myself constantly that despite any stress I felt, it was going to be so worth it when it was all over, because I’d be roommates with ABS! We’ve been cohabitating for almost a week and I’ve loved every minute of it so far. (Well, except when we set off the smoke detector cooking dinner the first night…)

Those are my tips for now. Happy Packing!



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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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