We at Dot & Bo understand that the stress of a big move can sometimes feel like the weight of an entire house sitting on your shoulders. Luckily, there are ways to get through the moving process without losing your mind–or your stuff. All you’ll need is sharpie, a go-get-em attitude, and maybe a glass of wine or four. Let’s get packin’.
Before the Move:
- Thin out your possessions. As soon as you know for sure that you’re moving, start going through your stuff. Getting rid of things that you don’t really love will help to minimize packing and unpacking time. As a rule, if you haven’t looked at something–say that old bean bag chair you stuffed into your closet–let alone USED it in the last year, it’s probably safe to get rid of it.
- Scout out some free boxes.There’s no need to spend the big bucks on a big box. Instead, find out if your office will let you take some of their old, empty boxes home with you. Pro tip: if work’s not an option, convenience stores almost always have extra delivery boxes on hand. Ask nicely and you may get all the boxes you will ever need. Don’t forget the calming coconut water while you’re there!
- Label all of your boxes.Seriously, go crazy with the sharpie. And try to get as specific as possible. For example, Bedroom Box 1: Brass Bowl, World Clock, and Super Soft Blanket. (Ok, maybe you can leave out the adjectives…) This will make unpacking a million times easier – and of course, more organized.
- Keep your eye on the prize: redecorating.When you start feeling like you’re living in a Leaning Tower of Pisa made out of boxes, take a deep breath, step away from the sharpie, and go scroll through your favorite interior design blog. After all, moving may be a pain, but at the end of it you get to create a whole new home that’s exactly the way you want it to be. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Plan out your new space before you even begin the move.Go measure the rooms in your new house so you can begin plotting out which rooms will become your bedroom, your living room, and your wine-drinking, erm… dining room.
During the Move:
- Set aside your essentials. This means putting things like your toothbrush and PJs in an overnight bag so that you don’t have to dig through boxes on the first night in your new home. All the time you save looking for your stuff can instead be spent popping champagne and dancing around in your new digs.
- Let a moving company do the heavy lifting for you. This will save you a lot of time and will help to stave off the tears of frustration that come from trying to get your giant dresser down your front steps. Trust us on this one. But make sure to call ahead and schedule the movers for the day you want your things to arrive, otherwise you might be camping out in your big, beautiful house for a couple of nights. Also, check out this articleon how to avoid moving company scams.
- Take some deep breaths. During the day of the move, things might get a little overwhelming at times–you’re saying goodbye to your old place, and getting used to your new one all at once. It’s ok to feel a little emotional. Just step back, take a couple of breaths, and allow yourself a minute to think about all the good times you’ve had–and the amazing times yet to come. If you’re really feeling stressed, consider taking a break and going to a yoga class. Sometimes distancing yourself from the situation is all you need to find the energy to tackle it again.
- Make sure your contacts have your new address. We don’t just mean your friends; we mean any part of your network that you correspond with on a fairly regular basis. Contact the post office, bank, and even your work. Subscribe to a magazine? Give ‘em your new address. Ok, maybe you don’t have to let your in-laws know…if you don’t want to.
After the Move:
- Make an unpacking plan.Which rooms will you need to use first? (Hint: probably your bedroom and bathroom–Chinese takeout can fill in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until your kitchen is unpacked). To avoid certain chaos, put each labeled box in the room it belongs in so that you don’t accidentally unpack your cutlery in the guest bathroom.
- Do a little clean up.Give the house a once over so that your fresh start really is fresh. You may also find that your furniture has gotten a little dirty in the move so spot clean as you go.
- Arrange your big stuff before unpacking the little things.You know that great bed frame you had delivered? You’re going to want to put it together before you unpack your bedding. While your impulse may be to want to put all of your things away, it will be much harder to move items like your bookshelf if it already has a bunch of books on it.
- Pamper yourself when the move-in is over.When that final box has been unloaded and dumped in the recycling bin, it’s time to kick back and unwind. Hightail it for the spa, schedule a mani-pedi, or enjoy your new space by throwing on Netflix and camping out on the couch–just do something that will help you to relax. And don’t forget our invite.
- Have your friends over to celebrate the move.This is an exciting occasion after all. Prepare a light weekend brunch or host a casual after-work happy hour. And the house-warming bubbly your friends bring won’t hurt either. Cheers!
- Are you planning a big move, or have recently claimed victory over one? Share YOUR moving tips with us in the comments.Dot & Bo is a guided shopping service helping people to discover great style for their homes. Based in the heart of San Francisco’s Design District, the company helps people uncover creative ideas and unique items for their homes through curated furniture collections, personalized suggestions, and a daily guide to stylish living.