How to Survive a Move

I don’t need to tell you that moving isn’t great. Finding a new place to live, purging old things, packing, cleaning, finding people to help, and then of course the actual moving part. It’s time-consuming, emotionally and physically draining and can be pretty expensive. I’m not a professional mover, but I HAVE moved twice in the past 5 months, which basically makes me a professional mover. So, based on my level of expertise and professionalism, here are some tips I picked up along the way on how to survive a move (without going insane).

1. Rent a truck at least two weeks ahead of time

Depending on when you move, trucks can be hard to come by. People tend to need trucks on the 1st of the month. So, as soon as you know the date and time of your move, rent the truck. It’ll be one less thing to deal with later.

2. Before you rent a truck, make sure you know how to drive a truck

It looks easier than it is, you guys.

3. Rent a dolly

They offer them at most truck rental places. Renting a dolly is like renting 10 extra arms.

4. Don’t wait until the last-minute to pack

Even if it’s one box a day for a month. Whatever it takes. Just don’t save everything until the day before you move. You’ll create a high-stress situation for yourself and for whoever is helping you. I have anxiety just thinking about you waiting until the last-minute.

5. Don’t use packing peanuts—ever

They’re a disaster and the worst invention ever to be invented. You will spend more time cleaning them off of everywhere than you will unpacking.

6. Don’t rely on friends

No one likes to move, and no one likes to help friends move. Sometimes friends are super nice and are totally willing to help (keep those friends around forever). But sometimes friends are busy (or at least pretending to be busy), and that’s fine. Just because we have to suffer through a move, doesn’t mean our friends do too.

7. Hire movers

They can be on the expensive side, but there are cheaper ways of doing it. You can find moving companies on websites like Living Social and Groupon for a fraction of the average cost. Some of them supply a truck, but they will charge more. If you rent a U-Haul, they provide a list of moving companies that will send a couple of guys out to help at a decent price. It’s like the à la carte of moving.

8. Label all of your boxes

It’s annoying to do, but trust me—you’ll be happy you did. If boxes are labeled, you or whoever is helping you, will know where to put everything (I keep assuming someone will be helping you, because SOMEONE must want you to owe them a favor, right?). The last thing you will want to do at the end of a long moving day is move boxes from one room to the next. Label them by room and include the general contents (e.g. Bathroom: Toiletries).

9. If you can, take the small stuff over early and unpack

It will help you not sweat the small stuff. Literally. Less boxes means less sweat. But you know, the small stuff—the little things you aren’t really sure where to put. Figure it out early so you don’t have to figure it out when you’re overwhelmed with stuff.

10. If you don’t have to, don’t put everything in boxes

If you live close enough to your new place, and you have the time and ability to move stuff in early, don’t worry about cautiously wrapping and taping them up and labeling. Throw your clothes in the car still on the hangers. Put your kitchen ware in boxes and carefully bring them over. You don’t need to wrap everything. Just be careful and don’t get crazy.

11. Introduce your pets to your new home ahead of time

This one isn’t a necessity, and obviously you won’t always have the option to do this, but I found that bringing my dog over to my new house whenever I made trips over helped her get used to it. I even kept a bone for her at the new place, that way she would be excited to be there and not hate me forever.

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