Secrets of How-To Enjoy Moving

moving

Enjoy moving? Did I just make a joke? You are saying (or maybe shouting) “There is nothing enjoyable about moving!” But it can be a more enjoyable experience than you think. With a little (or maybe a lot) of planning you can look at your move as something positive; a new beginning, moving up, or an adventure.

Starting early by planning the details of your move is crucial. During your move, there will be disruption in your routine, stress and things will happen beyond your control. But if you have a plan you have somewhere to start. A plan will decrease the stress and disruption and help you cope with unexpected happenings.

Here are 10 tips to make your move enjoyable.

Packing and Moving

  • Make an appointment with yourself to declutter. Don’t move what you don’t want. Review every nook and cranny, every drawer, closet and cabinet, and don’t forget the garage and basement. If you need help, professional organizers (like us!) can help you get through this arduous task. We can make it more fun.
  • Write out each step of your move on a calendar, including packing days, finalizing necessary payments and paperwork, etc. We help clients pack their homes to move often, so consider using us to ease your burden. Well worth the money!
  • Stock up on supplies. Packing materials will come in handy as you are reviewing your belongings. If you have time, pack as you review, so you’ll need packing boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, etc. Remember to label the boxes with the room of their destination. Unpacking will be so much easier if you don’t have to carry boxes to different rooms once you arrive in your new place.
  • Schedule movers as soon as you know your move date. We love to work with ABLE Moving and Storage. They are highly professional and get the job done!
  • Don’t forget the other family members. Remember your kids and pets are in on this move too and they probably don’t understand what is happening as well as you do. Set aside downtime with them to just chill in the middle of the chaos.
  • Be prepared for the final push. The final push starts a day or two before the movers show up. Pack a bag with all your essentials; clothes, electronics, toilet paper, critical paperwork and medication. Start eating simply or out, so everything can be packed clean and nothing is forgotten in the dishwasher. Do laundry. Get enough sleep. Easier said than done – I know.
  • Say goodbye to neighbors and collect or return anything that has been borrowed.

Unpacking and Organizing

  • Prepare your new home before movers arrive. If possible, labeling each room with the name you wrote on the boxes will help the movers work more quickly and make fewer destination mistakes. Decide where the big pieces of furniture will be located in each room. Note their placement with sticky notes “like tall dresser” on the wall, so the movers can place them without extra direction from you on moving day.
  • Create a home, don’t just unpack. Think about how you want to use your new space and find homes for your things that support your ideas.
  • Lastly, if you overwhelmed, reach out for help as soon as possible. Moving is a big deal, but it can be simplified and even enjoyable.

Need a little more inspiration?

Check out these links:

Why Moving is the Best Opportunity to Declutter Your Home from Spare Foot

Martha Stewart’s Moving Checklist

How to Organize Your Move from a Bowl Full of Lemons

10 Charts That Are Way Too Real For Anyone Who’s Moving This Year from BuzzFeed

Are You Ready to Move-N-Order? from Basic Organization

100+ Moving Tips and Tricks from UPLine

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

16 Comments

  1. Ronni Eisenberg on April 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

    The best thing I can say about moving, which is one of life‘s more challenging experiences, is that it’s a great time to get organized and declutter. Why move what you don’t need?
    I liked what you said about packing a bag with all your essentials. I do this and it really helps in the chaos of the move! It’s all the stuff you need the first night and for the first morning, plus important valuables.
    You have another super tip, putting Post-it’s on the walls for where furniture should be placed-so the movers don’t need your immediate attention. I love that!!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Anything to make a move more manageable Ronni. You are right, in that it is very stressful.

  2. Linda Samuels on April 12, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Moving is one of the top 10 most stressful things in life. The more you can do to prepare and build your moving team, the less stressful it will be. I don’t think you can eliminate all of the stress because moving comes to a bazillion decisions. And with making lots of decisions comes decision fatigue. But if you can be aware of it and remember to pace yourself, take breaks, start early enough (as you suggested,) and assemble your moving team, some of the craziness can be mitigated. Your tips are excellent. You hit the main points and make the process feel so doable.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks Linda. Even if you are not downsizing there are so many “moving” parts to moving. The more organized the better.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on April 12, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Moving is such a traumatic process. We have to revisit things we don’t see often. But, it can be an uplifting process as well. Taking time to revisit everything BEFORE packing it up is super important. Decide on how many boxes you want for a particular room, then limit yourself to that number of boxes and as you go through, get rid of unwanted stuff. Be patient with yourself will help you deal with the anxiety and guilt you may have when you want to get rid of stuff.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      I agree. I say “packing keeps you honest” meaning that you have to look at everything and make decisions on what to keep.

  4. Seana Turner on April 12, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Love that phrase, “Create a home, don’t just unpack.” This is why hiring an organizer on the back end is so valuable. Get it right from the beginning so you don’t form bad habits out of a desire to get out of the boxes. Also love the idea of really planning the dates backwards on your calendar. Writing it down helps make sure you are giving yourself enough time, as well as establishing milestones to meet!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Planning is key for any big project. Don’t you think?

  5. Janet Barclay on April 12, 2021 at 11:36 am

    I always see moving as a chance for a brand new start, and deciding what NOT to take is a very important part of that. I enjoy the process but it’s sure a lot of work!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 12, 2021 at 12:59 pm

      Yes, it is a lot of work. We pack and unpack people all the time, but doing it for myself is much harder. I haven’t moved in many years and hope not to for a long time.

  6. Julie Bestry on April 12, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    I hate moving (probably because I hate change) so much that I never move within a city. In college, I lived in the same (international) dorm for four years, two years in one (double) room and two years in the single RIGHT NEXT DOOR. I’ve lived in my current apartment 23 years, and anticipate that, at most, I only have one more move in me. Yes, I know how to make it seamless, but the prospect of it is still daunting. I have one tip for you to add: create a box of essentials for the first 24 hours you’re in your new home. You can order food, but it’s not so easy to order toilet paper or flashlight batteries or a shower curtain. (If you have a tub shower, you really don’t want to try to wash your hair that first morning in a curtain-less shower! Ask me how I know!)

    • Janet Schiesl on April 13, 2021 at 9:11 am

      Good suggestion Julie. We usually suggest an “open first” box for clients, which has those things like a shower curtain, etc.

  7. Diane N Quintana on April 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I’m moving next month and unfortunately the home I’m moving into won’t be ready when my buyer wants my home to be available. So, I’m moving twice (with my 2 dogs). Once into a temporary space and then a couple months later into my new home. I’ve moved a lot so I know what to do and what to expect – it’s still stressful! You give great tips to make it a little less onerous.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 13, 2021 at 9:13 am

      Diane, I’ve seen a lot of people going through this lately. Selling a home to take advantage of the great market. Then moving to a monthly apartment while they are looking (and competitively bidding) for a new home. It’s crazy because it’s so stressful, but I also understand why.

  8. Margarita Ibbott on April 14, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Create a home, don’t just unpack… no truer words were written. Making it feel like home is what makes the transition easier if it’s not a moved you welcomed. Great tips. Especially getting the family involved.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 15, 2021 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Margarita. I think unpacking quickly is the key to making your new house feel like a home.

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