Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or your fifth, moving can be overwhelming or downright stressful. (Packing your entire life into several boxes and having to constantly step around them while they flood your living room isn’t exactly a calming thing.) So with peak moving season starting in April, it’s never too early to learn some life hacks to make sure your move goes without a hitch. These 7 tips for a seamless move will have you packing like a pro so that moving day doesn’t have to be doomsday.
1. Cut down and declutter before your move
Before anything moves into your new place with you, be sure to bring only belongings you truly want to keep. Use this time as an opportunity to deep clean your current apartment or house. For example, go through storage spaces and get rid of items you haven’t used in the last year (looking at you, junk drawer). Not surprisingly, the kitchen can often turn into a hoarding space, so you’ll want to clear out any broken, mismatched, surplus, or sparingly-used items. These can include expired foods, sauce packets, tools and utensils, plastic containers, and old cookbooks.
Moreover, check your home for old DVDs, books, magazines, and even kids’ toys that you can give away or throw out. Also, consider selling or donating clothes you haven’t worn in a long time or that simply don’t spark joy. You can even host a garage sale to downsize your moving load. You know what they say; one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Think of this decluttering process as stepping into the next chapter of your life; take with you things you believe will serve you in the next iteration of yourself and your space. Try not to hold onto things that belong in your previous chapter.
2. Start early and do a little bit each day
We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t want to stay up packing until 3AM the night before moving day. Get ahead of the game by packing a little bit each day leading up to your move. Start at least a month out, which will give you enough time to cut down on items and declutter as well as pack up boxes. If it helps you stay organized, you can do this by category. For example, spend three days on the living room and the next three days on the office. Similarly, you can pack your boxes based on item categories, such as “cleaning supplies” or “cat toys.” Whichever way you decide, make sure to label your boxes with their contents for easy identification once you move into your new place.
3. Take care with fragile items
We all have at least one decorative item we (literally or figuratively) place on a pedestal and treat with the utmost care. Whether it’s a special family heirloom or a modern art piece, these best practices will help you pack these items effectively to prevent damage.
To start, use the appropriate packing materials to cushion your items. These can include styrofoam, old newspapers, bubble wrap, or packing paper. Next, you’ll want to pack your fragile items snugly, but make sure to not squeeze them too tightly against other items or overfill the box. The last thing you’ll want is to risk breaking your precious items just to try to fit your things into fewer boxes.
Take Fracture glass prints, for example. We pride ourselves on having a durable product, but we know glass isn’t 100% foolproof. As you would when transporting other delicate items, ensure that your Fracture print is securely packed. You can do this by placing your print in a suitcase, wrapped around some cushioning or sandwiched between clothes. However you pack your items, make sure they are well protected and will shift around as little as possible.
4. Pack an essentials suitcase for your move
With your whole life packed up, you won’t be able to tear into all your boxes to find each individual item you need. To mitigate this, pack a small suitcase or tote bag for easy access to essentials like these:
- A change of clothes
- Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap
- Skin care products
- Easily transportable snacks like granola bars or a piece of fruit
- One roll of toilet paper and one roll of paper towels
5. Plan ahead when moving with pets
Moving is stressful enough, but transporting your fur babies on top of that adds another layer of overwhelm. To save yourself the worry, there are several things you can do before, during, and after your move to give your pets some semblance of normalcy.
If you have access to your new home before moving day, try this tip for cats, as they are very territorial: Bring some of your cat’s toys, scratchers, and blankets to your new place. By recognizing familiar items, your cats will feel more at ease in their new surroundings. Moreover, if you’re a cat owner, you know the saving grace that is the Feliway diffuser. This nifty product mimics the calming pheromones that cats produce to help them feel more comfortable and reduce stress. Plug a couple of these diffusers and into outlets in various areas of your home 24-48 hours before your move. (I’ve done this with my own cats, and it works like a charm!) Upon bringing your cat into your new home, give them a safe space, such as the bathroom, and keep them there until they’re eager and ready to explore the rest of the home.
Dogs, on the other hand, are less territorial and more routine-based. With this in mind, try to maintain your pup’s regular routine as much as possible leading up to moving day. This includes consistent walking, feeding, and play time. Also, provide your dog with plenty of toys and safe things to play with. Certified dog trainer Cathy Madson says that “mental exercise and enrichment is another important stress reducer for your pup and helps them practice appropriate behaviors instead of deciding to rip up your couch cushions because they’re anxious or bored.” As expected, you’ll be plenty busy on moving day. Plus, all the commotion and open doors may stress Fido out or even give him an opportunity to dash outside. Save yourself the hassle by finding a trusted friend or dog sitter to stay with your pup while you get everything situated.
6. Get a good night’s sleep before your move
Like I said before, staying up way past your bedtime the night before moving can really put a damper on your already overwhelmed mood. You’ll need all your energy on moving day, so instead, opt for a good night’s sleep. (Tip #2 is essential for making this happen). You’ll likely be stressed in the days leading up to your move, so why not have a relaxing night before? After all, if you’ve followed these steps, then you’ve done all that you can to make your move run smoothly.
So what could this night look like? It could be anything from a movie night with your partner, to a luxurious bath, to going out for dinner. There’s no one perfect thing to do; as long as you’re calm and can feel some of your anxiety melting away, you’re doing it right.
7. Get excited about your move!
Of course, there’s so much to do when it comes to moving, and it’s not necessarily everyone’s favorite activity ever. However, it’s important to remember that this is also a very exciting time! Maybe you’ve just purchased your very first home. Perhaps you and your S.O. have taken your relationship to the next level and are moving in together. You could also be looking for a fresh start after some hardship and have found the perfect place for a clean slate. Whatever your reason, focus on the excitement and promise of stepping into a new chapter. Happy moving and safe travels!