Prepping for Box City

Talking about house


We’re about to become denizens of Box City.

Spencer and I began packing on Monday night . . . and by “began,” I mean we emptied two bookcases of DVDs into six cardboard boxes before we both declared ourselves tired and overwhelmed, then sank onto the couch to fret over just how stressful this move is going to be.

Six. Boxes. In.

When I moved out of my parents’ house last fall, I literally carted all of my worldly possessions over gradually in trash bags, duffels and those recyclable totes you get from the grocery store. It took weeks to eventually get all my stuff into our apartment, capped off by one tear-filled final drive to Spencer’s with my backseat full of childhood memorabilia.

That sucked.

Though moving was tough, I had a ready-made home to join — and had already felt like a member of the household, even if I wasn’t there full-time. All I had to bring were my clothes, shoes and accessories, plus my personal library (heavy) and various other things I’d collected over the course of, oh, 28 years. But that move was more emotionally tough than physically taxing.

This one? It’s going to be both.

The other night I literally stood staring at my paperbacks and hardcovers and boxes of photos and stationery and journals with tears in my eyes, wondering how in the merciful good gracious I was going to organize these things and schlep them to a new place — again. Along with all our furniture, all of Spencer’s things, the overflowing workshop of tools, our kitchen gadgets, the contents of our fridge and pantry . . . I mean, everything. Everything in sight.

It was too overwhelming to even consider . . . except I have to.

I kind of powered down, like a robot. A super stressed-out one.

I realize this is all very boo-hoo, you’re buying a house. But I’m sure many of you have stood in my steps and looked with horror mingling with excitement at the prospect of changing residences, so I’m hoping you’ll take pity on my weary soul.

And maybe you’ll help me.

I realize I’m in Maryland and you’re in, I don’t know, Indiana or Texas or California or maybe even England, so it’s probably not feasible that you’ll grab an end of the couch to help load our U-Haul. And that’s okay. Honestly? I feel super awkward asking for help, and I wouldn’t want to beg for your assistance in exchange for beer and/or pizza. I mean, I’m going to — at least on a local level — because we don’t have a choice . . . there is no earthly way we can move some of our furniture ourselves.

But how you could lend a hand? Give me your moving tips. Is there anything to make the transition easier? We’re a week from settlement and about a month from actually living in our new house full-time, so we have time to gather up our belongings and keep them organized . . . and I want to be as organized as possible.

But are moving and organization an oxymoron?

Am I being hopelessly naive to think this will be anything other than difficult?

Do you have any packing tips and/or tricks you’ve used to make things less ghastly?

Even if you don’t have any advice, I’ll take moral support. I’m starting to get really nervous.

I’m all ears.

If I wasn’t going into massive home debt, I’d even offer you some pizza.


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59 thoughts on “Prepping for Box City

  1. There are actually pods you can rent. They drip it off, you fill it… Fits EVERYTHING… They transport it like a house on the back of a semitruck kind of thing… And then you unpack it. Pretty neat actually

    Sent from my iPhone

    • I’ve seen those — very cool! Will have to keep that in mind for future moves. Although I hope we won’t have another of these anytime soon! 🙂 Thanks!

  2. We’ve moved 4 times already and every time it’s a pain. It never gets easier. In fact every time you move, you realize how the number of boxes have increased.

    The only suggestion I can give you is – start packing in the morning and don’t stop until evening. Dragging it only makes it more difficult. Also label all the boxes so that you don’t have trouble finding them. Also keep one box aside for things that you will need immediately so you don’t have to search all the boxes for that one small thing. I’m sure you probably already know these things but just in case 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Thanks so much for the helpful tips! Your point about having a box for immediate needs is a very good one, and not something I’d considered. I figured we’d have our toothbrushes, pajamas, etc. separate, of course, but I need to think about work clothes and the like. Thanks again!

  3. My husband and I bought our first house and moved in this past August when I was 28 weeks pregnant and I felt the same way! I’m super anal when it comes to organization and he’s very not and I knew from past moves that I needed this one to go as smooth as possible and I’m happy to say it went great! Here’s some of my tips: invest in plastic storage boxes you can find them on sale or on craigslist for cheap and then resell them, it’s worth it! They fit and stack nicely while you are waiting to move and make stacking them in a uhaul much easier. I color coded each box according to which room the box was meant to be in the new house and labeled the top and side of each box (I just coloured papers and cut them up then wrote the room as well) this way the people helping you move won’t have to constantly ask which room to put the box in and you won’t end up with a huge stack of boxes in one room that you then have to open and move into rooms yourself. On top of color coding I also wrote out a detailed list of what was in each box because I knew I wasn’t going to be unpacking each box right away and needed to be sure what I needed now and what could wait. Final tip about moving clothes: buy extra large garbage bags and drape them over your hanging clothes then tie at the bottom- so much easier! Hope this helps!

    • So many great tips here, ALB — thank you! I like the idea of really utilizing the plastic storage bins, especially because you can easily see what’s inside. We have a bunch we’re using for random stuff right now . . . I’m thinking it would be good to box those things up and use them for moving. Hmm . . .

      Sounds like you really had your hands full, being pregnant and moving house — hats off to you! Thanks again!

  4. We moved 5 times before I was 18 and since then I have moved about 12 times. It can be totally overwhelming. A few tips:
    1. One room at a time, one small portion at a time within that room, while blocking out everything else that is around you (easier said than done but it works!), because once you see the progress you make on one small section you feel good and it gives you renewed energy to tackle your next small section. Before you know it, you’ve actually tackled the whole room.
    2. De-clutter as you go because there’s nothing worse than realising the other end that you’re unpacking stuff that you should have thrown out or donated. Have a throw-out box and once it’s full, empty it or donate the stuff so that it’s out of the house and already dealt with. Be ruthless.
    3. Pretend that you’re going on a camping trip in order not to pack things that you are going to need (i.e. a set of cutlery and crockery, enough clothes & toiletries, a couple of towels, a set of sheets, enough food for however many days etc.), and for important stuff like papers, official documents and folders, dedicate one box to those and keep it accessible so you know at any given moment that you can refer to it if you have to.
    4. And as mentioned by VioletCrush, label as you go!
    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Great tips, Claire — thank you! I love the idea of tackling one small section of a room at a time, then stepping back to see your progress on a global scale. I’m definitely going to do that. I’ve started a trash bag for donations, too, and am going to try to be ruthless about what stays versus what is going! 🙂

  5. HI FROM INDIANA.

    I have no tips. I too moved in random boxes and bags and anything I could put crap in.

    I suck at moving.

    • Yay, Indiana! And I’m glad to know I wasn’t alone in my trash-bag-random-box system, Sarah. It worked then . . . but less so now!

  6. Well that hits close to home–we’re moving this weekend! It’s never easy, but at least we’ve allowed ourselves lots of time after our move date to try again if anything goes wrong. Good luck to you two!

  7. Uncle Keith and I have moved from NY to Florida and to 6 different houses in Florida. Beginning now pack up anything you know you won’t NEED to touch until after you’ve settled into the new house. Starting with books already read and movies already viewed is perfect. Take the time to carefully label the box with the contents AND the room you want it placed into at the new house.
    Once you are in possession of the new house, and the fresh coat of paint has dried, have your helpers move all of those boxes and as much furniture as possible, as soon as possible.
    Next, think of all the Stuff you use every day and label empty boxes in advance. I put them against the wall of the emptiest room, usually a guest room, and place stuff in them as I use them for the last time before the “big” move ( the final loads to the new house). I labeled smaller boxes for the minutiae you always have lying around, such as one for pens, pencils, markers; and left them open in one area. Every time I ran across one in a drawer or on a counter, it was tossed into the box. Consider using plastic totes with lids for these thigs. Then in the new house you can organize them on a shelf and they don’t get unpacked..they are now organized for easy storage. Hope this helps! We just moved again ( hopefully for the last time until retirement) and these tips keep us sane and able to enjoy the experience of the new adventure! ~Love you guys!

    • So many good tips, Aunt Judy — thank you! Especially love the idea of having a box for just that little random stuff you accumulate all over the house (definitely pens and Sharpies for me). I’d hate to find a random Sharpie in every box I open, so I’ll be instituting that one right away! Glad to hear you’re settled and hope you stay in your new home for quite a while. 🙂 Thanks again! xo

  8. How exciting for you! As I’m in Sweden and you’re across the pond, I can’t help at all even if you offered pizza, and I don’t have many tips, other than standard common sense stuff.

    Label the tops and sides of the boxes. Gather all the linens and use those for padding the fragile items. Always make sure toilet paper is one of the last things carried out and first carried in =). Particularly important if little ones are around. I keep blood sugar supplies (ie, snickers, crackers, etc) handy. Whenever I dismantle something, I put all the screws in a small bag for that item and tape it to the item. For example, if I disassemble the crib, I put all those shiny screws in one bag and tape that bag to the end of the crib. My husband has tried the ‘let’s just put all the screws in one big bag’ trick and it didn’t work, especially when the bag holding all the screws gets lost….

    Those are the biggest ones. I’ve always lived in apartments and have never moved a house, though. I wish you lots of luck!

    • Linens for fragile items . . . I’m a little embarrassed to say that hadn’t occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense! And you’re absolutely right about the toilet paper and other essentials, as well as having snacks on hand for low blood sugar attacks. I’m figuring I’ll take that stuff over as soon as we get the keys — can’t risk running out or not having any handy. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your trips!

  9. My friend gave me a tip for that : Write on the boxes what’s inside with a different color on each room. So when people who help you will put the boxes in your new home , they will put all the same colours together and it will be easy for you to find what you’re searching in all this boxes .

  10. I have never moved, so I can’t help. But everyone says what a massive upheaval it is.

    I think a piece of advice is to not get too overwhelmed and to remember to enjoy it as well. It’s an exciting adventure! 😀

    Good luck with it all 🙂

    • An adventure, indeed — and it will be very exciting! As long as I can keep the caffeine flowing, I have a hunch we’ll be okay. 🙂 Thanks!

  11. I just moved, in early April, from an apartment to a house. We too have sooo many books and dvds. I’m still unpacking. Like everyone else said – label, get rid of stuff you don’t need and keep the vitals separate and handy. We were able to move all our book/DVD boxes before we moved the rest of our stuff and that was super helpful. Good luck! It’s stressful but doable and so worth it.

    • Glad to know the unpacking is a gradual process . . . I’m so Type A that I want to do all the things and have everything done and ready in no time, and I know that’s completely illogical. Keeping the vitals separate will be key. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  12. This sounds so exciting! As I am in Europe I also can’t help 😉 But I am sure you will find enough people that will help you.
    I only can agree with the commenters before me: labeling is the best to do and do it as thoroughly as possible!
    Also the extra boxes for vitals is a good one as well as the tip with the screws! We always do it like that and I never had problems finding my screws back.
    I also always use my suitcases that I have for vacations to pack my clothes in. I don’t have that many of them and this works pretty well. Another tip that I have is that you can fill up boxes with heavy stuff like books with extremely light things like sheets or towels. You save space and the book boxes don’t get too heavy (believe me your helpers will thank you for that!).
    I hope you have a great move and don’t forget to also enjoy the experience!

    • Love the idea of doing a combination books/towels box — because you’re so right: the book boxes get out of control! I know from moving my books last time (and breaking several bags in the process) that it can be awful, and I’d like to avoid injuring anyone with my hardcovers. 🙂 Love your suitcase tip for clothes, too. Thank you!

  13. We’ve moved quite a bit but have always used movers so I don’t really have any tips. I love to move, though, and always think of it as a fresh start and the start of something new and exciting. Focus on what the future will bring and I think things will go smoothly for you.

    • Very good point, Kathy — it is a fresh start, and I’m trying to think of all we’re gaining instead of what we’re losing. Everything will be great in the end, I’m sure . . . but man, I’m going to breathe a serious sigh of relief when all this is done!

  14. Label the boxes well. It will make finding things SO much easier. Also, decide in advance which room it’s going to. Example: Living Room. CDS, radio, coffee table books.

    Good luck sugar.

  15. We recently moved and here are two tips I can honestly say saved us time: (1) Label the boxes with the room you want it to be dropped in. This takes care of the “drop it anywhere” problem. (2) Use a garbage bag to move your clothes. Here is a link to explain what I mean:

    Good luck to you!

  16. My husband and I moved into our house a few months ago and I am STILL moving stuff (mostly books) over from my parent’s house. My tip is just to get as much over there as soon as you can, and worry about organization after it’s there and you’re unpacking. My house was/is full of boxes and I organize as I go.

  17. Everyone appears to have covered the key concepts already – labels and purging your clutter.

    I’m going to expand on these points. And yes, I am a control freak…just a wee, tiny bit. 😉 (To many disasterous moves.)

    LABELS & SUCH:

    ● Use one FULL sheet of letter size paper for each label. Smaller ones are more easily ignored when the moving team is tired and pressed for time.

    ▶ Pre-printed template labels are easier to cope with when packing, moving and unpacking.

    ▶ Store bought ones can be surprising expensive so I suggest just downloading or making your own, with space left on them to write in a marker and/or tick boxes with a marker, then print or have a bunch printed up at an office supply store. (Way faster and cheaper than doing so on a home printer.) Here’s a couple links to give you ideas:

    http://blog.worldlabel.com/2010/moving-storage-labels-free-complete-template-kit.html#more-4378

    http://lifehacker.com/5605442/worldlabels-moving-kit-organizes-your-boxes-for-confusion-free-moving

    ● Securely tape labels to each side and top of each and every box.

    ● Clearly mark every single label with the room you would use the contents in. If it’s possible, have them taken to that room.

    ● Clearly mark any box that contains breakable contents as FRAGILE.

    ● Over estimate and *obtain* the amount and type of packing materials you need. Boxes, big fat markers, newspaper, bubble wrap, tape and a *tape gun* (or two).

    ● A clipboard, pen and tracking/cross reference/inventory lists are very handy. Again, this is something you can prepare ahead of time so as little on-the-spot thinking and writing is achieved.

    TRANSPORT:

    ● Wherever possible, pay someone to do the lifting and transport. Friends and family are great, but the truth is they are busy, tired and far more inclined to mishandle things. They know, at a basic instinctual level, that you are far more inclined to forgive broken and lost items. (And damaged walls and flooring.) Movers, even small outfits of a couple young guys and a truck, are going to be a lot more careful with your things. They also aren’t inclined to do a dump and run.

    IMMEDIATE ACCESS ITEMS:

    ● Keep several days worth of clothing and personal hygiene aside in boxes you will move with your own vehicle, *not* in whatever truck(s) your household is being moved in.

    ● As was pointed out earlier, don’t forget toilet paper! Also towels and cleaning supplies.

    ● Also have purchase some paper plates, cups, napkins and disposable cutlery. Keep them with your personal effects moving in your own vehicle.

    ● Throw a couple books, and maybe a deck of cards or other game. You’re are going to need downtime and these will help distract you from the chaos when you can’t move or sleep over the first several days or weeks.

    ● Keep any electronics you want immediate access to – phones & computers – *and* their accessories – chargers, cords and batteries – aside and move with your personal effects as per above.

    CRITTERS:

    ● Pets should be the last ones moved and the first ones unpacked. So to speak. 🙂

    ● If you have pets, keep all of their neccessities – food, toys, bedding, dishes, kennels & cages – out of the main moving truck as per above.

    ● Have an a secure room room ready to go before moving day. Everyone except you and your husband – or someone they consider to be part of pack/herd/pride/flock, etc. – should avoid that room at all costs on moving day.

    ● Have bedding, food, water, toys and litter, already set up in that room the night before. Make sure to plan for accidents and marking behaviour. (Nothing says “new house” to a dog quite like taking a dump on the floor. Cats seem to prefer peeing. Both are more than happy to shred their new surroundings with claws and teeth.)

    ● Ensure the room is well ventilated and not too warm or cold.

    ● A bit of dirty laundry that smells like you is quite comforting.

    ● Some soft music might also help.

    ● I’m less familiar with moving birds or other kinds of animals, but the principle is the same. More so if you consider how easily they tend to freak out.

    So…are you sorry I clicked on this post yet? 😉

    Have fun… *evil grin*

  18. Moving tips: Marking the packed boxes with all important data is key.

    1. Number the boxes in the priority in which they should be opened in the new house. Ones get unpacked first – example – the silverware drawer. Threes can wait until you have time and energy (example – your DVDs).

    2. after you number the box, identify in what room the box should be put in your new house – example – Kitchen, basement, etc. – so you and Spencer don’t have to spends a lot of time moving boxes between rooms and floors, later.

    3. After you mark the room the box should go to in your new home, mark (in parenthesis) the contents of the box.

    4. Last, if the box is fragile, mark this in big letters.

    5. Keep like things together, packed together with all of the pieces as you currently have them stored in your condo. Example: pack the contents of your silverware drawer all in one box. That way, when you unpack on the other end, you just lift out all of the contents and put it in your silverware drawer in the new house. No looking through multiple boxes for pieces of things that should be stored together.

    6. If you do have to use more than one box, mark the boxes “1 of 2, or 3,” so that it is clear they need to be unpacked together.

    I have been in a lot of pain with my hands, despite the pills I am taking. To the extent that I can, I will be glad to help you. Remember, you can do this gradually, which most people don’t have the ability to do. Take advantage of this option.

    Love, Mom

    Sent from my iPhone

  19. 1. Label your boxes with what is in them. Don’t be like me and label them “Non-descript things and wine” which was literally a label I had on one of my boxes last time we moved.

    2. No matter how tired you are, don’t just throw random things into a bag. This is how I lost my electric toothbrush for a year. It was in a cat carrier. Don’t ask, because I don’t know.

    3. HIRE MOVERS. Seriously, it saved our sanity last time. $395 got us a 28 foot truck, 3 men, and no heavy lifting… and it was all done in 3 hours.

    4. If you like Excel, and I do, my friend suggested this. Each room gets a number, and with each sequential box you back, add a letter. (Example: Living room = 1; First living room box = 1A, second = 1B, etc). In Excel, list what you put in each box. This is time consuming, but if you’re really looking for that one spatula or your curling iron, you’ll easily be able to find it. Also, color coding. It helps.

    5. I moved books and heavy things in rolling suitcases. Easier to handle than heavy boxes!

    6. Take a trash bag, turn it upside-down, pop a hole through the bottom (now top) and slide it over a group of clothes on hangers. Boom, it’s ready to go back into your new closet, no re-hanging necessary.

    Good luck!!

  20. I could write you a dissertation on moving tips — I’ve moved like 10 time since I started college — although people have already covered a bunch of the ones I’d suggest.

    My best tip for moving with books is to pack them early and pack them strategically and pack them in small boxes. If you know, generally, which books will go on which shelves, try to pack them together so when you’re unpacking you can just fill shelves per box. I usually end up unpacking my books as one of the first things, even though they’re non-essential, because the full boxes take up so much space and I’ve lived in small houses/apartments. But if you are moving into a house and you can stick them all in an out-of-the-way place for a bit, then do that. But truly, packing like books with like books has been a lifesaver for me when I start the unpacking process.

    Other quick tips: keep a box with all of your moving supplies (sharpies, packing tape, scissors, packing materials) in one place so you can always find them; use soft things (towels, t-shirts) to pad your fragile items — you’ll have to do laundry, but it saves on bubble wrap; try to get rid of things as you’re packing; big garbage bags over hanging clothes are awesome; keep valuables and essential paperwork with you (like, in your car when you move between houses) so it doesn’t get misplaced; it’s tempting to just use free liquor store boxes, but I felt like it was worth it to invest in some good boxes from Home Depot — uniform size, sturdy, and easy to label.

    if you need any more help (or emotional support) I have been there and done that SO MANY TIMES and would love to chat 🙂

  21. I must admit, I am NOT jealous of all the boxes you’re about to be packing, then loading, unloading, then unpacking. Ugh! Moving is the worst! But it will be so worth it once you’re all moved in. Order lots of pizzas and drink lots of wine : )

  22. I despise moving, but I’ve done it a number of times. My best advice – unpack the kitchen first. A house seems livable once you can find something to eat and dishes to eat it on.

  23. My goodness look at the advice! Not sure I can add anything, but does it make you feel better if I told you the last time we moved I was 7 months pregnant and it was the dead heat of the Florida summer? No? Oh well I tried! We had about three weeks where we were in the old house and owned the new one, so I would move a van-load of LIGHT things (because I was pregnant) every morning before work. The other thing that I’ll say is that I did not sleep until shit was put away. Because I would go crazy otherwise. At this stage of my life, if I had three extra pennies to my name, I would PAY THE MAN to pack and move the stuff. Some things are worth going into debt over.

  24. My wife works more “normal” hours than I do, so I generally take on the bulk of moving. Best I can say is get rid of as much extraneous stuff as you can. All of those things you’ve had in the back of the closet that you might need someday? So not worth moving. Also, if there’s any way you can do it financially, splurge on movers. They can be surprisingly affordable if you just need them for loading and unloading and you don’t ask them to drive the truck. We’ve moved half a dozen times since I graduated about 4yrs ago and I’ve kicked myself every time for not just sucking it up and paying for some help. They can make short work of the heavy lifting and save you a lot of hassle.

  25. To echo several people, hire movers if possible. Especially important for heavy furniture and boxes of books. The move will go so much faster. And whatever day the bed is moved, make sure to have bed linens accessible and make the bed! You will be so glad it’s made later that night!

  26. Hi Megan,
    Been there, done that and you have my moral support in spades!
    Best advice I can offer? Set up the bathroom first, leave everything else in boxes scattered about. Second, set up the kitchen. Take a weekend off – go away. Come back refreshed. Every box thereafter will be a piece of cake, well sort of!

  27. Label, label, label!!!
    We moved almost 8 years ago, and had a “double move” because our house wasn’t finished being built in time and we had to live somewhere else for a few months while they finished (yeah, that was fun) … Best thing I can tell you: LABEL EVERYTHING. EVERY BOX. 🙂
    Then, when you’re moving, you can group things together — so all the KITCHENs go over at once, and stay near each other, same for Bedroom A and Bathroom 2, and so on and so forth. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a box into the room you think it belongs, to discover it’s not really that … Even worse when it’s half of one room and half of another, oy. 🙂
    Labeling also helps your prioritize the process … Kitchen & personal (clothes, bed linens, etc) are going to be needed a lot sooner than DVDs, books, decor, etc.
    Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once – you can do this in phases, which will greatly reduce the stress and “OHEMGEE THERE’S ALL THIS STUFF!”-feeling …
    Hang in there, the excitement will kick in and all the hard part will be worth it in the end. Promise 🙂

  28. Oh my – I know your pain! When my husband and I last moved 3 years ago, he claimed he didn’t know how to pack (LAME!) and I ended up packing up 99% of our stuff as he watched me. Now he’s not a lazy man, but I didn’t get this act of his at all. So stress was sky high! So don’t feel bad about being stressed!
    My biggest tip would be keep essentials separate. After all the packing, the last thing you want to do is immediately unpack. So have a few days clothes, toiletries (include tp, soap, etc.), bath towels, shower curtain (if needed), cleaning supplies, bedding and some dishware/utensils and anything else you will need those first couple of days readily accessible. And being overly descriptive when labeling your boxes.

  29. When I got married and moved out of my parents’ house, I did it much like you did: a little at a time, in whatever bag I could find available. Two years ago our apartment was destroyed in Hurricane Irene, so our furniture all got tossed in the dumpster and everything else was just sort of thrown into bags, boxes, and cars, and then shoved into my dad’s garage. Moving into this house, therefore, was somewhat easy because we had zero furniture and only lots of random stuff. I am DREADING the day we ever have to leave this house. I’ve already told my husband we are selling the furniture with the house because there is no way I will survive having to cart couches and beds and tables to another location. Oh, and we’ll be dishing out for professional movers.

    I just realized that’s not very helpful to you. My point is, I feel your pain! I don’t think there’s an easy way to do it. You just have to jump in, have a few breakdowns, and realize that things will get unpacked and put away in good time. There’s no need to rush!

  30. Make two boxes you open right away, one with all the essentials (paper towels, cleaning supplies, water bottles, a chart – I’ll get to this one – and some snacks). In the second, put all your things that make your home feel like home. I have a stuffed animal I’ve had since I was a kid – he was definitely in that bag. I had photos to stick on our fridge, some wine (we needed it), and my iPod.

    I am a bit OCD – I color code everything. When we moved, each room became a different color (blue = kitchen, red = bathroom) and when I packed each box, I wrote the details of the contents in the corresponding color. This made a HUGE difference between our first move and second. I kept this chart/inventory in my first box.

    It always makes me feel better to plan. Pack a box a day (or whatever timetable so you don’t have to pack everything within two days) so it isn’t so overwhelming.

    You’ve got this. Hope these help. 🙂

  31. I have been married for almost 7 years. In that time, we have lived in 5 different places, so I have packed up all of my worldly possessions a time or two.

    My best advice is to give yourself a lot of grace. Moving is hard and it’s emotionally taxing. When you get to your new place, see what works best for you whether that’s unpacking immediately or taking your time and leaving some of those boxes hanging around for a while.

  32. I’ve moved a LOT in the past five years (but all within the same building). And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the more organized you are, the less painful it is. Throwing things in garbage bags may feel easy in the moment, but never is a good idea down the road. My best advice is to throw out as much as possible! If you haven’t used it since you moved in together, then toss it!

  33. Good luck with the move!!! I am SO nervous to move out simply because of how emotional I know I will be, so the fact that you are now doing it twice in one year is crazy to me! Maybe when all is said and done, write a wrap-up post with your best moving tips from all these comments and what you actually end up doing? xox

  34. I’ve moved so many times in the last 5 years, I can’t even keep track! Here are some pointers that helped me:

    1. Label EVERYTHING. Only box similar items with similar items + write the room name on the outside of the box.
    2. Throw out what’s not needed / excessive / hasn’t been used/touched in 6+ months (outside of holiday things).
    3. Keep calm because it will all get done, and in the blink of an eye you’ll be relaxing in your new space.
    4. Set a goal… how many rooms do you want to conquer a day? How many boxes will you pack a day?
    5. Multitask – if you’re having a phone conversation, pack while you’re chatting! Watching TV or listening to an audio book? Pack, pack, pack!

    Hope this helps 🙂 You’ll get through it + it will all be worth the chaos soon!

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