Get Organized to Get Packing

If offered a choice between moving and getting my eyebrows completely waxed off while being taunted mercilessly by a group of middle schoolers every day for a year, I’d have to think about it long and hard.

This is how much I hate moving. I’m just not a fan of physical labor, preferring to spend my spare time falling asleep watching Netflix under a fine coating of Cheetos dust.

Almost as bad as the pain inherent in trying to shimmy a 30-year-old foldout couch through a doorway is the sheer logistics of moving: Planning, packing, hiring movers or bribing friends. In other words: ORGANIZATION. Fortunately, for those of us organizationally challenged, there are some handy online resources, which you’ll see listed at the bottom of this post. In addition, because I was a horrible person in my past life, I myself have had to move more times than I can count. Here are the lessons I’ve learned that can apply to both a residential and corporate move

  1. Plan ahead. Create a schedule for packing, loading and unloading, unpacking and cleaning.  Put in for some paid time off at work so you can focus on your move.

2.  Budget! Figure out a budget for moving costs including truck rental, insurance, gas and movers — plan a contingency for unexpected but inevitable extra costs.

3. Heeeeeeey yooooooou guuuuuuuys! Did you remember to call the electric company and other utilities and tell them about the move? What about a change of address at the post office and a word with your internet service provider?

4. Dump the clutter before packing. “When in doubt, throw it out.” Whoever thought of this axiom should get a medal. Another good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t seen it, used it, or thought of it in a year, it’s probably not worth holding onto (family heirlooms and photo albums excluded. The best way to cut down on hassle while moving is to have less stuff to move. Start planning your trips to the Salvation Army and Goodwill Store. Someone is going to want your embarrassing Hummel figurine collection that you inherited years ago against your will. Depending on where you live, some charitable organizations will even come to your residence and pick up unwanted furniture you don’t feel like taking with you.

5. Boxes! Boxes everywhere! Large or small, most stores will be happy to donate to you their gently used cardboard boxes. Liquor stores, big box retail, corner stores — they’re pretty happy not to have to put the time and effort into recycling cardboard boxes themselves.

6. Invest in a tape gun. Also, invest in more tape than you think you’ll need. Sharpies, too, are indispensable. Label EVERYTHING.

7. Don’t be intimidated by the giant moving van. You don’t even have to know how to drive a stick. Just take it slow on the road but make sure you’re insured.

8. Know when to call in the pros. Movers and packers can be expensive, but often times worth it, especially if you have a lot of stuff, little time and no available friends. Plus, it’ll save you from having to invest in a back brace.


Resources for those on the move:

Lifehacker’s start-to-finish moving guide:

How to Move (With Pictures), from WikiHow:

BuzzFeed’s 33 Moving Tips That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Better Homes & Gardens’ 10 Biggest Moving Mistakes

John Swinconeck

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