Moving to a new city as an adult is, in my opinion, one of the greatest trials of life. While those that have never moved far from home may find this statement a wee bit dramatic, those that have started completely fresh in a new town will know exactly what I mean. Starting completely from scratch feels nearly impossible. When I moved to Oklahoma for graduate school, my mom came out with me to help get my apartment set up. The first few days in my new city I had her by my side, so I didn’t notice how lonely it was. The second I got back from dropping her off at the airport and closed my front door behind me, I realized: I was completely alone.
I cannot even believe the amount of times I have moved. If you count all the moves in and out of the sorority house, it has literally been over a dozen moves. While moving is never fun, there is something exciting about new beginnings. I dread the packing, but the redecorating and reorganizing? Sign me up!
Over the years I have gathered a few tricks that have made it easier. I share them below in hopes that it might make your next move simpler!
1.Buy the Uhaul moving supplies.
It wasn’t until about three years ago that I learned that when you book a Uhaul truck, they actually have a popup that asks you if you need moving supplies. You can even enter how big of a space you have (one bedroom apartment, two bedroom house, etc.) and they will provide a list of recommended amounts of supplies. While I don’t take all of their advice, there are a few things that I buy without fail. I always take their recommendation on amount of boxes, because they are not only quality, durable boxes I know won’t break on me, but they buy back any unused ones!
Second, they have a dish saver box that brings me so much comfort. It has built in dividers and foam pouches designed for the shape of the dishes that protect them very well. Why bother wrapping in newspaper when you could wrap them in something created just to help them not break? Lastly, let’s be honest: Uhaul trucks are gross. I always buy the mattress bag for both my mattress and my box spring. I am so grateful that Uhaul does this and I’m all about paying for this convenience. They ship the supplies for free, and it has never cost me more than $50.
2. Wrap breakables in paper towels.
This might sound super silly, but I hate wrapping stuff in newspaper. I much prefer wrapping in paper towels. This purpose is two-fold. First, I end up doing a lot of cleaning when moving. The cabinets all need a wipe down, the counters usually have dust, the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned to my level of sanitation, and the list just goes on. If you use paper towels to wrap your fragile belongings, you have a stock ready to help you with cleaning already ready! Second, whenever I wrap dishes, coffee mugs, platters, whatever, in newspaper, I feel like they get dirty! I can’t stand it in movies when you see people unwrap cups and then promptly put them in the cabinet for use! Paper towels, on the other hand, are clean as a whistle and you don’t have to rewash anything!
3. Skip the pizza and beer. Go for the crock pot.
The old cliche is that you can get your friends to help you move if you offer pizza and beer. It wasn’t until my last move that I discovered something better: the crock pot. Rather than order food, the morning of the move, throw the crock pot on. This way every time a friend is carrying in a heavy couch and wishing they hadn’t offered to help they will be greeted with the delightful smell of their lunch cooking, and they will be reaffirmed in their purpose. We moved right before lunch last time, so I threw together my grandmother’s super simple BBQ Pulled Pork recipe. Throw two pounds of pork tenderloin, one bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, a can of coca cola, and salt and pepper into the crock pot for 6 hours on low. Shred with two forks when ready, and then put back in the pot to absorb all of the sauce. Serve on soft, stick-to-your teeth buns with coleslaw. So. Easy. Every time the door opened the smell of BBQ wafted through the air and I honestly think it made the whole thing go faster. Is there any greater motivator than food?
4. Don’t take it with you, replace it.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to replace things. Frankly, I am actually guilty of putting off replacing things because I know I am moving soon. There are just certain things that you don’t want to pack! What are they? Your toilet brush, your shower curtain liner, and your kitchen sponge. You can literally replace all three for $10. And who wants to pack a used toilet brush anyway?
5. Start early and unpack ASAP.
Every time I move I am so mad at myself when my alarm goes off early. However, when everything is unpacked by dinner time, I am glad I did it. James and I have established a well calibrated system whereby about halfway through the move I stop helping carry stuff in and start putting stuff away. For example, last time one of the first few items that we brought in were the headboard, foot-board, and bed frame. I stayed back and put the bed together while he went down for another load or two. By the time he got back with the mattress, I had the bed frame all read to go to set the mattress right on.
6. Pack your hanging clothes in grocery bags, and your books in suitcases.
These are my two favorite tips the internet has taught me. When it comes to hanging clothes, tall grocery bags are the best trick out there. Open the bag wide, and, while your clothes are still hanging, fill the grocery bag with about 20 items worth of clothing. Wrap the handles around the hangers and tie tight to keep them together. These can easily be laid in the backseat of a car, and then when you get to the new place, hang back up in the new closet and just cut the bags off. For books, why bother testing the limits of your back? Always pack these in rolling suitcases, and you can fill them with as many as necessary without worrying about weight.
What other tips did I miss?