Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Moving Tips


You can take it from me, because I'm kind of a pro by now; tomorrow will be the 6th time I've moved in the last 8 years. I'm a pack rat, too, so these aren't going to be unrealistic tips for minimalists and men who have three drawers full of clothing and nothing else to pack.

My last move from Brooklyn, NY to the UK was by far the biggest deal of all moves I've ever made, and it was also my first time packing unassisted. All of those moves in my college days had the handy dandy help of family and friends, but in New York I didn't have those luxuries during the packing stage, and I also had a lot more to pack as a post-grad working, living human.

I've only been here for 8 months so far (Only! Lol.), but even I was surprised at how much stuff we already had - whether shipped over from the U.S., or purchased for our new flat. But I was still able to do the packing single-handedly, and here's how I kept it all together for a smooth move this time around:

1. LABEL THINGS. There's nothing worse than A) trying to unpack and not knowing which box you need, and B) unloading a moving truck/van/vehicle and not knowing which room to place boxes in. Just grab a Sharpie and label that shiz, yo. Just the word, "KITCHEN" is sufficient, or you can get super ridiculous and make inventory sheets for each box, with a corresponding numbering system. I know, I know, it makes me sound insane, but when moving abroad, you have to have an inventory for EVERY item in EVERY box you pack for customs purposes, so you'd better organize yourself from the get-go. And it's really handy when you're unpacking, too; "Oh, can you grab me the mandolin? It's in box #12." Also, the numerical inventory list system works great when you're putting things into storage, i.e., "I have to grab box # 2 because it contains the Christmas decorations."

2. PLAN AHEAD. If you know you're moving in the semi-near future, you can start packing NOW. There's no way you need to use everything you own, all the time. Extra sets of dishes, sheets, out-of-season clothing, and your DVD collection can all be boxed up (and labeled!) way in advance. It saves a lot of time and stress as the days count down to your move.

3. FILTER. Embracce this opportunity to downsize a little (or a lot). It's less that you have to pack, so look at it on the bright side! I got rid of TEN MASSIVE BAGS of clothing in my last move, and packing this time around, I still have a ton of clothing. It was hard to let go at first, but it's so liberating. Even if you have every September Issue of Vogue for the last 20 years... when was the last time you looked at any of them? Magazines are heavy. Do yourself a favor and recycle or donate to charity. You won't miss them. I promise.

4. MAKE A LIST for the morning of your move. There are some things you can't pack in advance (i.e. toiletries, refrigerated items, the cat) and you want to make sure that you can simply breeze down a checklist in the AM and be on your way. There's nothing worse than forgetting something behind. Trust me.

Have any more tips for moving? Leave them in the comments below!



2 comments :

  1. Awesome tips! I have been lucky enough to avoid any gigantic moves so far. I moved down the street from my mom so I just went and got my things at my leisure over the course of these past few years. Hahaha.

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  2. #3 is totally my favorite one- it's SO freeing to get rid of a bunch of stuff you don't really enjoy anymore. I did the same thing you did about this time last year and I seriously never think about what I donated. It kinda makes me want to downsize even more.

    Another of my favorite packing tips has to do with your closet: instead of taking all your clothes off of their hangers, you should just leave them on and then put the clothes in a garbage bag, with the hanger hooks peeking outside of the tied bag. That saved me *hours* while unpacking.

    xo marlen
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