How to Make A Move Painfree

Moving can be tough. As most people know, I’ve moved several times. My move last month was unexpected but, to be honest, we found what we needed in a house. If we had known how the events of our previous house would play out, we probably would have kept looking last year.  My apologies for not giving an exact reason of moving.  We left on good terms with our landlords.  Unexpected but good conditions.

Life happens and sometimes you need to roll with the punches! We only moved 4 miles away from our previous house.

A lot of people have asked: how do you prepare for so many moves? 

tips for moving

The short answer is: Not accumulating a lot of junk.

But let’s look at the long answer.

Here is my personal step process for an easy and relatively stressless move.  Keep in mind this works for me but might not work for you!

Step 1: Clean out your current house.  Every move I use as an excuse to see what I’m not wearing or using. If I haven’t worn or used something since the last move, it gets donated. Someone else will use it more than I am! We have started cleaning and sorting about one month before leaving. We give away items we haven’t used in a year.

cleanest room ever...
From things….to no things…

Step 2: Take one room at a time. We conquer each room one day at a time. We have each room scheduled of when we are going to pack it. That way the move doesn’t get too overwhelming. We can also take our time figuring out what we need and don’t need. This process starts about two weeks before the actual move. Our previous house had eight rooms, and it took us about ten days. moving 3

  1. Important to note during Step 2: It’s important to make sure essential items stay away from the packed items. Personally, we have a lock box with our valuable items as well as passports, important documents, and extra car keys. You don’t want those to pack those.
  2. Also important to note is inventory everything. We label each box with the room it’s going. We also number the box and have a master list on the computer. The last thing you want it to get to your new destination and be trying to figure out which box went missing. moving box meme

Step 3: This is the part where you pack up everything and move from house to house…I have done a 4-mile move and I have done 3000-mile moves.  It’s about the same: Move all of your boxes from one house to the other.

Now to actually move...
Now to actually move…

Step 4: Unpack in the new house.  If you’ve labeled your boxes by room, this makes it a lot easier.  You can quickly drop off items in the appropriate room.

Pack all things in giant penske truck
In this case: Drive truck or vehicle to new house.

It’s safe to say after three weeks of living in our new house we are nearly unpacked.  After I had taken a nasty fall the weekend we moved, I lost some motivation to unpack.  When you have a giant piece of your flesh missing, you seem to be more lazy than normal (So I’ve heard).  It might have taken us a little bit longer to unpack, but no move, training cycle or anything is that perfect.

Questions for you:

What advice do you have for people moving? 

What are the shortest moves and longest moves you have done?

For me, the shortest was now, and the longest was when I was a child from the UK to the US (but maybe that doesn’t count since mom did most of that).


22 thoughts on “How to Make A Move Painfree”

  1. Great tips! I haven’t moved a lot, but my sister-in-law’s husband is in the Navy and they’ve moved all over the place. From PA to Virginia, San Diego, etc. She would definitely agree with your list because I’ve heard her say many of these things! Congrats on the new house!

  2. My new house is 0.5 miles from my previous condo. My previous condo was 0.25 miles from my previous, previous condo! Ha. I had been looking for the perfect house within this 1 mile radius and finally found it. I never want to move again! So much work. Good tips!

  3. Ugh I’m totally moving next weekend and dreading it – i love the idea of labeling boxes… probably should start packing soon 🙂 eesh.. Want to come help? haha

  4. I love moving hahaha. I have moved SO MANY TIMES. The shortest moves would be dorm to dorm in high school and college, or rehab to halfway house to sober house (three different towns), or within Boston, moving from Brighton to Back Bay to Allston for two months back to Brighton…. Longest moves would be Boston to Savannah, Savannah to Boston, Boston to Minnesota, Minnesota to Boston, Boston to Minnesota, Minnesota to San Diego, and then I did San Diego to West Hollywood, to Glendale, to South Pasadena.

    I like to know what my essentials are, my NEEDS so that if need be, I can load up my shit in the back of my car and get out of dodge. Maybe not the healthiest for my relationships, but GREAT for my soul hahaha

  5. Great tips! Moving can be so extremely stressful. The last time I moved was two years ago from an apartment into our current house and there was SO much stuff. Distance-wise, it was only about 4 miles, so it was definitely the shortest move I’ve ever done!

  6. Good tips on moving, my longest move is from Tucson Az to nj, took 3 days Texas took for ever to drive though.

    Shortest is from apartment to apartment..
    Hope you settle into your new home.

  7. I hate moving! So much work! I try not to accumulate a bunch of stuff and I periodically go through phases where I need to clean out EVERYTHING in my house! It keeps us from getting overloaded with useless stuff. I always label my boxes with where to put stuff! I also always unload the kitchen first because it’s the area with the most stuff and I use it so much! I tend to take awhile packing, but I unpack everything within 1-2 days. The longer it takes me, the less I want to do it!

  8. Great tips Hollie! We’ve been in our house since 2001 and your post makes me never want to move again…but also throw everything out! Hahaha!
    Congrats & Good luck in your new place!

  9. Good tips! I personally think moving once in a while is healthy, it prevents you from accumulating to much clutter.

    My longest move was three years ago, when I moved from Switzerland to Austin, Tx. I was only able to bring two suitcases full of stuff, everything else I had to buy again. A lot of my stuff is still in my ex-boyfriend’s parent’s basement.

    My shortest move was half a mile within the same neighborhood, moving to a smaller apartment. But independent of the distance, you still need to pack everything!

    1. Exactly, sometimes I feel the shorter moves are harder because there is less of a sense of “urgency” if that makes sense!

  10. I have moved every two years since college 10 years ago, but all within Central Jersey. This last time, I finally gave up and hired movers. It hit the pockets, but man turns out, I have a ton of crap! When we move the next time I think we may hire movers just for furniture and do the boxes all ourselves to save $$$. We nearly ended our relationship moving a pool table in, so I think that’s the motivator there 😉

  11. This was really timely for me, as I’m actually moving tomorrow. I’ve moved 15 times in the past 9 years (22 times, if I count rotations during my last year of school)! Typically I am very organized and efficient and start packing weeks in advance. This time, I’ve been putting so much time into working on my new house (in addition to my day job), that I’m basically throwing half of my things in the moving truck unpacked. Oops! My best moving tip is to pack up a bag or small suitcase of essentials (change of clothes, pajamas, work uniform, toiletries, computer, etc) so that I have easy access to things I might need soon when everything is still packed.

    1. Holy moly, that’s a ton! I seriously cannot even imagine. Best of luck in your move! (I guess it’s probably happened, so I hope it went well!)

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