Five tips for moving

I’ve learned a few tricks moving on my own along the way….

I hate moving with a passion. I like getting acquainted with a new place, but the baggage that comes with getting there (ha, ha, I’m so funny) sucks. I don’t like to rely on movers because they’re expensive, and I’ve gone through the damaged goods era with the people I’ve paid so much to to ensure my stuff makes it from A to B in one piece.

I’m actually making the full move to New Westminster this week, and there are some really useful ideas and tricks I’ve learned that made my move smoother than my previous ones.

Declutter. Now.

This is the best time to figure out what you need, and what you need to toss. About a month before my first round of moving (this time around, I’m moving in three rounds) I actually read two books: I Want to be Organized and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingSome of the stuff in there wasn’t new to me, but both made a point to focus on what you really, truly need. I started my move weeks in advance, and I took the opportunity to look at every single item I own, hold it, and ask myself if I really needed it. I got rid of about 65 per cent of my stuff: clothes I’d never worn, tarnished and damaged jewellery, things I’d forgotten I had. Make sure things go where they’re supposed to: if there’s still a second life for them, then toss them in a bag for donations. If they are damaged and don’t have a shot at a second life, in the trash they go!

Your city may be able to help you

Check to see what resources your city has. I didn’t actually know that my City removes large furniture or old mattresses – for free – until I checked! Just make sure you give them a call, follow their instructions, and Bob’s your uncle. I crunched the numbers and actually saved $200.00 by doing this. Plus, the City will be much happier helping you get rid of your stuff, versus having to dispatch clean up crews to an area where people dump their stuff. (PS: don’t be that person! It’s NOT COOL!)

Multipurpose packing

If you’re like me and hate dealing with cardboard boxes, see if your friends have totes you could borrow. I did – and it was the best decision I ever made because I had handles to carry and I also didn’t get nicked opening up cardboard boxes during my last move. (Make sure you’re lifting with your knees!) I also have a three pack of suitcases that are good to go, and toting those from the car to the new place (which is on the second floor of a building) will be no problem because they’ve got wheels. My favourite trick: packing little things into purses or bags. I have quite a few purses, and I’ve stuffed them with smaller items to not only hold their shape but also organize what’s where. For instance, I know that my socks and scarves are in my pink and beige purse, my jewellery is in my purple wristlet…and so on. It’s a way to sort your stuff while maintaining that colour prompt for organizational purposes.

If you do need cardboard boxes…

When I used to merchandise, we’d have so many darn boxes on order day, and I hated breaking them down. It meant me (being the smallest person at the store) jumping into the bin to squish the boxes down to get all the cardboard inside.

Stores often have massive orders, so if you’re able to make friends with the cashiers/merchandisers at your local grocery store or drug store, try and find out when their order days are. Sometimes if you come in ahead of time and foster those relationships, they’ll save boxes for you. I was much happier handing boxes off to customers versus putting myself in the way of a charlie horse when jumping into metal recycling bins. Trust me.

Also – you won’t pay a premium for cardboard boxes you’re going to end up breaking down and recycling anyways (and not getting any money back on).

Set a schedule

I was lucky enough to move my stuff in in shifts – and today is my last shift. If you’re going to be moving in shifts, have a schedule. Today the last part of my move has me taking only a couple of suitcases. By planning my move ahead, I’ve reduced the headache on the final day of the deed. And don’t forget to take breaks! If you need to rest, set a timer for 30 – 45 minutes (so you don’t get lazy) and have a bite to eat or something to drink. Sometimes I’m the worst person to move with because I get cranky. 90 per cent of that is because I have been going hard the whole time and not taking a time out. It’ll get done – just give yourself some time to breathe so you don’t end up stressing out more than you probably already are.

So, there you go! Hopefully these tips help.  Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Comment in the comments section below!

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