Moving is the worst. Actually, it’s not so much the actual moving that’s a pain in the neck (if you hire movers like I do), but all the packing leading up to it that makes things difficult. It always seems like there isn’t that much to do, until you start emptying out closets and realizing how much you had squirelled away in hidden corners that you forgot all about long ago. I’ll be moving at the end of the month, and have been dealing with sorting through four years of clutter I accumulated in my current apartment.
In college, we all got used to packing up and moving several times a year. Into the dorms, out of the dorms and back to our parent’s houses again, then repeat-in the frantic frequent moves, it was easy to just bring everything you brought the last time. Then when I moved after college, I simply hadn’t accumulated enough stuff to get rid of anything. The name of the game was getting more furniture, not emptying out. Now I am upgrading to a better location and a smaller space and am using it as an opportunity to ditch any belongings that I don’t really love, or never really use.
And the best way to get rid of stuff it to have others come and take it away for you. If you have an item that you don’t plan to take with you, don’t pay the movers just to take it to the curb, post it on Craig’s List as free, and get someone to come take it away. No matter how bad shape it’s in, there’s always someone who will want it if they don’t have to pay for it.
Instead of wasting time packing all your soft things (think all your clothes, extra sheets and towels) buy contractor grade garbage bags. I like the 3 ML ones. You can stuff them full, and they’re so thick they almost never rip. It also makes it easier to pack up your bedding really quickly that morning before the movers come.
Once you’ve arrived in your new location, I’ve found inviting over a couple of friends and fixing some cocktails makes the whole unpacking process a lot less painful. They can give you opinions on which furniture arrangement looks best, if that painting is really level, and keep you from dying of boredom when you re-hang every item of clothing in your closet. Just make sure you clearly label the box with your corkscrew and your cups.