Connor and I have had our fair share of moving in the last two years, between moving to Pullman for my last year of school, moving back to Spokane after finishing school, moving to Colorado and living with our friends, and then moving into our very own first home. We also have a fair amount of upcoming moves ahead of us, too, such as moving in with family until we can move into our own place again. I must admit, I enjoy the process of moving. Not the stressful part of selling/buying a house , but more of the I’m feeling organized by labeling all of these boxes and getting rid of junk part. Anyway, I wanted to share a few tips that have made our moving process especially good this time around.
- Use large plastic storage containers for bathroom toiletries (shampoo, soap) and household cleaners (windex, bleach) in case anything decides to spill and/or explode. This one is especially important for us when moving to/from Colorado because of a huge change in altitude and pressure.
- Thanks to Pinterest, I found the idea to use Styrofoam plates in between each of your fragile plates. I think that is way better than getting your plates all newspaper-y gross, and I imagine it will save some time packing those boxes, too.
- I had a giant collection of magazines that for some reason started getting sent to me in my mailbox; ones that I would never read. Instead of paying for newspaper and bubble wrap, I used the magazines to pack fragile items, and it was a good way to re-use something that would otherwise be thrown out. Besides, who doesn’t want to pack their precious items with Miley Cyrus fashion spreads? (The person unpacking these items may be surprised by the risque photographs, but oh well).
- The last thing I want to do when moving is spend more money on moving supplies (already dropping over $1000 for a moving truck!), so I pretty much refuse to pay for cardboard boxes. Connor and I always make it an adventure to do some dumpster diving to pick up some perfectly good boxes. This time around, we had really good luck with places like Ross and Party City. In the past, it has been craft and liquor stores.
- This is a big one for those moves that you are going to be in a “temporary” place for kind of a long time—separate boxes by what you will need (Even just maybe need) from the boxes that have items that can be stored for long-term and you will never miss or need anything from. Keep this in mind while packing, too. Labeling boxes is not enough, they still always get lost in the piles! Keep the boxes separate in the moving truck, too, especially if some items will be dropped off in one location and the others in a different location. Believe me, we have had way too many experiences of unpacking an entire storage unit to find one box that we didn’t think we needed but then realized there was ONE item somewhere in there that we did need. This is why I say, set aside things that you maybe will want out. This move has been a bit easier to separate things then the last time we moved. In the past, we ended up staying somewhere longer than expected, and it caused us some grief with the storage unit (like not having a coat available when all of a sudden it was fall/winter). For us moving back to Washington, we know we won’t be having our own place for a while, so we are preparing for the long-term box-living.
- Donate, sell, give away, and garbage. Consider your move as a fresh start, I mean, it usually is, right? I’m a bit of a pack-rat though and this part can be hard for me, as I always base something on “well, I MIGHT like/use/want this again someday.” It’s a hard mentality to overcome. One thing that has helped me get through that thought this time is having a vision of what I want our next home to look and feel. Because of this, I have been able to part with more than I would have ever expected. Craigslist, Goodwill, and the trash can have been a good friend over the last few weeks. I’ve sold a ton of stuff that now felt worthless to me, donated the stuff I couldn’t sell, and threw away so much junk that I never even realized I had. Thankfully, we have had to pack a lot less boxes and hopefully saved some space on the moving truck for things we really love and need.
- Last of all, and most importantly, plan for an adventure along the way. Moving can be stressful, with all of those thoughts of the future and what’s to come. Take a moment to live in the present. If you are moving long-distance, try to plan for a little detour (“little” because we all know the gas-guzzling truck we will be driving), especially if you will be passing by something that you otherwise would not come back for. I am so looking forward to our big drive home beginning tomorrow. The roadtrip is always the thing that makes the surreal feel real and it is often times the mental transition you need to get from one place to the next.
Wish us safe travels back home!