Finally found a new place? All you have to do is pack your stuff, grab the secret stash of cash you hid and move out. People move in and out all the time, so it has to be simple, right?
Moving out can be more stressful than studying for finals. You have to organize your stuff, pack your hundreds of clothes (including shoes, socks, and pants) and clean the place, too. There’s the actual moving of the items from point A to point B, and unpacking all the crap that you have.
Having second thoughts? Don’t fret, this is how to help ease the stress of moving out.
Write a List
You actually need to prepare for this process. A list of everything you need to pack is essential to organizing your stuff. Don’t write out where every single sock needs to go, but group general items such as clothes, toiletries, bed items, etc. Estimate the amount of items per group, and dedicate an appropriate sized box for it. Use multiple boxes if you have tons of items for each group, and then label each box for the corresponding items on the list. When labeling each box, label the side, not the top. That way you can identify your boxes even if they are stacked up.
Unless you have the materials at home, make a trip to the store to get packing tape, scissors and permanent markers, the beginning and end of each semester has tons of sales and deals. Next, head to your local Goodwill and pick up as many free boxes as you think you’ll need. You can also use various household objects such as luggage, hampers, drawers or baskets to lessen the need for boxes.
Before the actual moving process, it’s a good idea to think of how you will actually transport your stuff. If you have money to spare, you can hire a moving company to help you through the process. Most services will even provide boxes for you to use.
If money is tight, ask around for a friend who’s daring enough to own a truck or a large van. After all, what are friends for?
It’s time to test your organizational skills. Whether it’s color coordinating, attaching certain labels to boxes or grouping things by category, let’s put that list you made to good use. It’s a good idea to label what room each box will go so you can unpack by room.
Now for the hard part: after planning and organizing, you need to pack your belongings in their corresponding locations. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind while packing:
- Wrap your fragile objects in clothing to save money on bubble wrap.
- Use socks and jackets for extra padding on glass objects, as well as dishes and picture frames.
- Put cotton balls in your cosmetics to keep them from breaking apart.
- Cover toiletries with Saran Wrap to avoid accidental leakage in your bags.
- When packing plates and picture frames, place them vertically to reduce the risk of breaking.
- Use Press’n Seal to keep your drawers or jewelry intact so they don’t come apart and damage other objects during transportation.
- Use sandwich bags to keep small parts, including cords or furniture parts, organized. Label them, and keep building parts together so it will be easy to identify which piece goes with what when you unpack.
- Take a quick photo of how your electronics are connected so you can know where all the wires go later.
- Need to easily pack your closet? Use disposable bags or vacuum seal any clothing that you won’t wear for a while. It saves valuable space. Donate anything you don’t want. Maybe give your friends first pick since they are probably the ones helping you through this process.
- Use old soap to fill in small nail holes in the walls.
After everything is packed, there should be an order in what to transport first. This will make your life easier, trust me.
- Make sure you actually have everything packed. You don’t want to feel stupid by forgetting anything.
- Get rid of all your perishable foods by eating them. This is not only an excuse to binge eat, it’s an excuse to have our friends over to help you. Try to have your last grocery run a week or two prior to the move as opposed to the week before so you are not forced to throw away precious food.
- Make sure you change your address. You don’t want your mail getting into the wrong hands.
- Make sure you have movers insurance; you’ll thank yourself later.
- If you have kids or pets, let them stay at a friend’s house so they are not in your way.
- Clean your place as you go. Dust, sweep and mop each room as it is emptied.
- Defrost your fridge.
- Fill holes in the wall and do general repairs so the place won’t look grungy for the new owners.
- Arrange for a charity organization to pick up unwanted items such as old mattresses and sofas at least a week before the move. If you feel like those items are too valuable, list them on eBay or craigslist at least a month in advance.
- Take photos of your old and new place. This is essential if you are renting, because it makes getting your deposit back easier, and you will also have proof in case landlords want to charge you for unnecessary maintenance or repair fees.
Take your time. This is a daunting process, but if you take your time and divide your work throughout the week, it can save you stress and hassle.