Moving doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to organize and have time to plan. No matter how much packing you have to do, you can reduce your anxiety about the whole process with the five steps below.

1) Decide What to Take

Are you moving into a smaller house? Is your move taking you across the country? While you may want to transfer with your bed, you may not be keen on taking every book, towel or bookshelf across the country. However, if you double up on packing and use towels and sheets to protect your favorite breakables, you can save on bubble wrap and pack more of what you want to keep. If you’re not taking it, you need to decide what to do with it.

2) Trash, Donate, or Sell?

If you’re selling things before you move, make sure that you’ll have the time to find a buyer. This process can be frustrating and stressful as your moving date approaches, so don’t count on this money as part of your moving budget. Save yourself time to donate if things don’t sell.

Downsizing is a good idea when planning a move. Consider selling or donating items you won’t need anymore.

3) Simplified Sorting

In each room, set up three receptacles:

  • a black trash bag for items you mean to discard
  • a white trash bag for items you intend to donate
  • a box for items you intend to take

Anything you plan to sell should be set to the side so you can photograph it for best effect before you list it on the Facebook market, Craigslist, Poshmark, or a similar site. Open each drawer and cupboard and start sorting. Make sure not to overfill the bags, and every time you need to go somewhere, either take one to the dumpster or your local thrift store.

4) Luggage as a Moving Tool

Make sure that everyone in the house has a suitcase or duffel bag that they can use as a personal moving kit. Keep a couple of changes of clothes, a towel and toiletries, bed sheets, a favorite toy for a child, and their pillow. No matter what else happens on moving day, you can shower, change clothes, and make your bed for a proper rest at the end of the day.

Keep an essentials bag with you at all times just in case the move doesn’t go as planned.

5) When to Hire Someone

For those who need to sort as they pack, hiring movers won’t work. However, you can use other help that will make your move much more manageable. For example, take your dog to a friend or family member for a couple of days while you move around the big furniture or clean. Hire a babysitter to take your kids somewhere fun while you get things packed up. Order takeout so you can pack up the kitchen.

Final Thoughts

Moving can be exciting if you are only taking the things you love into your new space. It is why the sorting and discarding process is so critical. If you can spend at least an hour a day on this in the month leading up to your move, you may find that your new space is a joy to live in for you and your family.

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