Ahh moving...the very word makes me cringe. I am one of those who likes to hold on to just about everything I own, "in case I need it someday." So when it comes time for me to move, I shudder at the thought of packing, lifting, shoving, pulling, pushing, cramming, and relocating all of my "oh so necessary" things. However, as monumental as moving is for me, it has taught me some very important lessons.
1. Holding on to boxes is not crazy.
I am notorious for keeping boxes that things like my crock pot, my TV, and my toaster came in. Most people throw them out and rightly so, they do take up room. But when it comes to moving, having those boxes (particularly the TV one) has been incredibly useful. Repacking in their original container makes them easily portable and protects them during the move. However, if you're not as much of a saver as I am, check out your local shoe stores for boxes. They generally receive shipment once a week and throw out the boxes the shoes come in so ask them to save you a few!
2. When it comes to changing your address, make a list.
The dreaded address change. You never realize just how much mail you get until you have to call EVERYONE to change your address. And you're bound to forget one or two, which leads to someone else getting your mail. I found that making a list of who will need your new address, several weeks before the move, ensures a better chance of making all the necessary changes. Also, enlisting a friend to help you cancel services, such as cable, can help alleviate your stress. You can call the cable company and add your friend to your account so they can speak on your behalf.
3. Pack a little at a time.
Packing last minute is never a good idea. I recently moved (recent like this past Monday) and spent the last couple of weeks slooowly boxing my stuff so it wasn't as overwhelming the weekend before the move. Start with the non-essentials and things you won't need for a couple weeks.
4. Enlist friends.
My friends really helped out with my most recent move and it would have been incredibly more stressful if I hadn't had their help. But make sure to be available when they need to move :)
5. Throw it out!
Although I have a tendancy to keep just about everything, I use moving as a time to throw things out. Weeding the closet, throwing away old papers can be very rewarding. Plus, less to move!
6. Label, label, label.
Mark your boxes. It will save a whole lot of "where did I pack that?" once you move in.
7. Unloading is easier with help.
Again, friends are helpful for this. Washing dishes that have been boxed, hanging up clothes, fluffing couch cushions...any little help is less than you have to do. Friends are great.
8. If you're new to the area, check out ValpoLife and PortageLife for cool things going around town.
9. Set aside money for ordering out.
I don't know about you but moving wears me out for a good week or five after and cooking is an added pain. Having some money on hand to order out for the first couple of nights makes one less thing to think about.
10. Sit back and relax.
Take a break from your moving and enjoy your new place!