I hate moving. I hate packing, cleaning, and calling everyone you know to make sure that everything gets switched over to the new place so that you get your mail on time and have electricity to cook your supper. Moving is never fun but there are ways you can have a successful and stressfree move without having all the added stress attached.

I have moved many times in my life, twice in the past five years. Not exactly ideal but a necessary thing to do. When we moved here to the apartment, I couldn’t have been happier. One because downsizing anything is always healthier than hanging on to crap you don’t need (I’ll talk more about that later on) and second, a fresh start is always exciting.

At least it is supposed to be.

Three months after moving the building underwent a massive change and we found ourselves under construction. New sundeck doors. New patios. New fencing. While the outer grounds received a massive facelift. But what was supposed to take four to five months ended up taking fifteen months of grueling construction, and things only got worse from there.

This past April, my son’s building had a fire. The entire building was evicted and we face the building may be a hundred feet apart. Now we are under construction again, only this time we’ve been dealing with criminal activity due to the burnt building and no security. Mice and rodents constantly on our balcony. And I was even pepper-sprayed two weekends ago after some teenagers attacked a man outside my patio.

Enough was enough!

So now we are moving again, and since I’m kind of an expert (moving a total of 18 times in 29 years) I’m here to tell you that moving doesn’t have to give you anxiety or be a stressful event. There are simple rules to follow, along with things you can do to help make your move successful and stress-free!

packing suitcase moving tips

#1. Packing

Have you ever packed a suitcase to go on vacation? You only bring what you need, right? Some sunscreen, change of clothes, a pair of shoes, hairbrush, and maybe even a hat and sweater. Use the same concept when packing your boxes to move.

If you aren’t using it, you’re losing it. That’s my motto. Less is more.

Pack your items using grade A sturdy boxes. Check grocery stores, fruit stands, and liquor stores on their delivery days to snatch up what you need. Despite common belief, using plastic totes with lids isn’t always best. You know the kind that stack on top of each other. They can crush easily, bending and breaking anything you have that is sacred inside.

Make sure not to overstuff your boxes. Pack only what you need to take with you. My motto has always been if you aren’t using it, you’re losing it. Why bring stuff you are only going to throw out later.

#2. Don’t Pack Your Breakables With Newspaper

Contrary to popular belief that it’s easier to pack your glasses and breakable dishes using the daily news. It’s not. The dyes used to print can get on to your dishes, forcing you to re-wash everything after you get to your new place. Who has time for that?

Instead, use what you have at home. Things like sheets, linens, bath and tea towels that are clean. You can even use pillowcases. These items are clean so that when you begin to unpack it’s as simple as unwrapping what you have and putting it where it belongs.

#3. Pack Only One Room At a Time

I live in a two-bedroom apartment and packing is still tough. I can’t imagine packing a whole house. Rule of thumb my mother always taught me was to go room by room when packing belongings. I always start in the main room and living space and I begin with all my home decor items. Nobody needs to see these until after I move. They are unimportant.

To have a successful and stress-free move, always leave your kitchen for last. You’ll be living out this box for the last week right up until you move. Speaking of the last week of moving… Opt to use paper plates, cups and silverware your last week. This will prevent you from having to do dishes every single day except for the pots and pans you are using to cook with.

#4. Clean As You Go When Moving

One of the worst parts of moving is the cleaning you have to do. I’m a renter, so cleaning my unit is important especially if I want to get any pet or damage deposit back. But who wants to clean everything the day after they move? I know I don’t. That’s why I clean as I go.

Room by room is how I clean. After packing up my living room leaving nothing but the furniture, I check my list to see what needs to be done. Things, like washing the windows and cleaning out the sundeck door tracks, are simple and easy to do, so that when moving day comes you are aren’t overwhelmed with a million tiny details you need to get finished.

#5. A Moving List Is Key

Speaking of checking a list. Having a moving list is a big key to achieve a successful and stress-free move. I make my list room by room, ticking off or crossing out everything I have finished. Doing this provides a sense of relief and accomplishment which goes a long way to lower your stress level and anxiety.

Write down everything you need to do from washing the stove to packing the closet. You will feel amazing as you watch your list dwindle before your eyes. When moving day comes you should have very little to do other than to sweep and mop or vacuum your floors.

So there you have it. Moving doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s supposed to be a new beginning. An adventure for you to enjoy. Not something to stress you out or make you worry. I hope these tips have helped you. I know they helped me.

What is your worst moving story ever? I want to know…

P.S. Making the most of your small apartment and 12 apps to help you organize your life

( Photos by Pexels / Just Jodi – Checklist created using Canva )

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