This past year, we moved from a rental house to our first home. It wasn’t far down the road, less than half a mile; in some ways, it sounds easier to move across the country! Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sorting all your belongings then packing them up. Preparing for a new place while leaving the current one. It’s exhausting on almost every level.
And so, the less stressful the experience can be, the better. Right?
When we moved into our current house, it was the first time I packed up an entire house to move. In previous moves, I had only packed up my belongings to relocate to a dorm or apartment whether an hour away or the other side of the world. Next time we move, I plan to learn from our experience and make it a little less stressful. And, I hope to do the same for you too.
Here’s my tips for a less stressful, hopefully even happy, move!
1. Stick to your guns
Unless you are moving into your dream house, I’m sure you’ve got a list of projects rolling around in your head. Some of those have to find a simple solution and move on. However, other ideas just won’t be put to rest until you get them done! We went through a few iterations and ideas for the bookshelves in the dining room. We tried to compromise and change the plan but ultimately we went with what we originally had in mind. And now I am so glad we did.
It’s not always a good idea to stray too far from your original vision. Sometimes you need to stick to your guns!
2. Buy as you need
Oh boy, did I learn a lesson with this one! I got a little rug happy and bought multiple rugs we ended up not being able to use in our house. For example, I bought a jute runner for the entry area. But I didn’t take into a count how much room the door would need to clear the floor. Well, the rug piled too high so that the front door couldn’t open with the rug in place.
Don’t make too many purchases before moving into the house, especially on final decorative decisions. You learn about your house as you live in it, and sometimes after living in it, needs and vision changes.
3. Take on the Minimum
Our goal was to have our house projects done before moving in. Our definition of move-in ready was for every major project and paint job to be finished before we brought even one box into the house! With a baby on the move and a busy work schedule, we needed it all to be finished. However, knowing the difference between a need and want will help eliminate some stress in the process. By the time the house projects were finished, our energy was pretty much depleted.
Consider your true needs and abilities, then commit to the projects that need to be done. Let the move in experience be more enjoyable than painful!
4. Only bring what you want to keep!
One of the best things we did was to get rid of unwanted and unneeded stuff before moving. A month before we moved, we had a yard sale. Since we were downsizing, we had furniture and decor we didn’t have room for. The layout of the new house also required different pieces of furniture for it to work. So, we sold stuff we didn’t have a place for in the new house to then buy things that did work for the new space. Our rental house looked quite broken apart and sparce there at the end, but it was worth it to not bring anything we didn’t want or need. Because even though we purged so much before moving, we still had things we later realized didn’t work and gave more away.
Don’t pack and transport stuff you know you will sell or donate or trash. Let moving be an opportunity to declutter and simplify. Make your furniture and decor work for you!
5. Label & Organize Boxes
This might seem like common sense. It sounds like it to me, yet I still struggled with follow through on this one! I labeled a lot of my boxes, but in the work of trying to efficiently move, the boxes mostly ended up stacked in the living room. It can be difficult to be organized about the move. Even if boxes don’t immediately land in the room they belong in, getting the mountain of boxes out of our living room and into their designated rooms made a world of difference for me. I felt like I was making progress!
If you can label all the boxes before moving then organize as you go, that will make it even less stressful.
What’s been your moving experience? Do you have any tips to add?