Home & Living

How to Make Moving Less Stressful


The warmer months mean it’s the season for one of life’s most bittersweet events: moving. After a few too many stressful experiences packing and moving, I wised up and figured out what it takes to plan and execute in a way that keeps the process stress free (well, as stress free as possible). Here’s what I suggest:

Create a Game Plan

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The key to most things going well is having a plan in place. So schedule when you will check certain items off the list. Any move I’ve made that was, well, awful, was attributed to the fact that I didn’t prepare because I felt like I didn’t have time. I’ll just get to it later, I thought. It all has to get done, and I will get it done… eventually. And by the end of the process, I was cursing myself.

There is nothing like packing up your entire life in a rush. Save yourself the trouble, stress, and tears, and get a game plan together. Determine when (timeline) and how everything will get done. The timeline should include most everything: purging, getting moving supplies, deciding when to pack what, scheduling the moving truck, transferring utilities, and changing your address.

Continually Purge

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The biggest moving nightmare is discovering unknown items—many that you don’t know what to do with. It’s frustrating to say the least! Do you pack it up and deal with it later? Do you deal with it now and waste time you could be packing? And while there’s not a right answer, the best solution is to do your best to prevent this problem.

We will all deal with this, but lessen the stress and deal with most of it before packing up to move. A couple of months before your move, begin combing through your things—even just a drawer or product category at a time. Sell, donate, or toss as much as you can. You’ll be thankful you did!

Boxes and Containers

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It seems like a waste of time and money to buy boxes and boxes to pack up your things, when you know that by next week those boxes will be littering your new living room. But it’s necessary evil of moving (sigh). Moving can seem like it takes a million boxes and a hundred rolls of bubble wrap.

So save some money by asking for boxes from your local grocery or liquor store. They’re usually more than happy to give away used boxes. Boxes from liquor stores prove especially helpful for packing breakable kitchen items because they have dividers for the bottles—perfect for packing smaller items. Collect boxes as you go so your house isn’t littered with them during the process of packing. Take advantage of Rubbermaid containers you already have. Keep in mind that not everything you pack will need a box. You can bag hanging clothes while they’re still on the hangers, just leave the hooks out!

Our editors love to utilize rentable plastic moving containers. They only take up space for as long as you need them, and they keep all your belongings safe! Do a quick google search to see if you have the service in your area.

Sorting and Packing

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Be sure to pack like items together. Take special care with breakable or fragile items. Don’t skimp on the bubble wrap and/or use crumpled newspaper—we don’t want to break precious items during the move!

Label all boxes clearly (yes, every single one), so that you know exactly what’s inside. This will make unpacking so much easier. And group your boxes together strategically by room, creating a separate group for things you’ll want to unpack right away (linens, kitchen utensils, etc.)

Make It Fun

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I’m a firm believer that you can make anything fun—or at least more fun. And moving, as stressful as it can be, still falls in that category. Make it an event. Order your favorite takeout. Pop a bottle of Champagne to remember your last days in a place you’ve called home. Turn up some music or have your latest Netflix addiction rolling in the background. If you live alone, rally the troops and buy dinner and drinks in exchange for some much needed help and moral support.

What will you do differently when you make your next move?