As a student living in a city that has a huge shortage on student housing options I’ve done my fair share of moving. Most of these moves were from one very small room to a slightly bigger room somewhere else. The best thing about having a small room is that you tend to not have so much stuff to move. As a generally relaxed guy I usually moved on my own or with some help from friends and usually had a nice time. But I have helped my fair share of friends and family move over the years and for a lot of them moving tends to be a very stressful period. This always seems like a case of bad planning and having a wrong mindset to me. I have some tips and pointers for people who are moving themselves that helped me out over the years.
1: The first thing you pack is your go-bag.
Put the things in here that you are going to need during and right after the move. Think about spare sets of clothing, spare keys (for both the new and the old house, and the car), a towel and toiletries, spare credit card, laptop, etc. If you take anything out of the go-bag at any point, make sure it goes back in there.
2: When you start packing
Make sure everything is in the place it normally is. Is the little elephant statue usually on top of the living room cupboard? Then that is where it is now. You are going to put things that are usually together in boxes together. This will make unpacking a lot easier and if you do end up missing something you urgently need it will keep you from having to rummage through a whole lot of boxes to find it (why wasn’t it in the go-bag?).
3: Accept that things will break.
Unfortunate reality of moving yourself is that things will get bumped, scraped and dropped. If you want everything to get to your new place in pristine condition, hire a mover. Having a huge row with the friends that are giving up their time to help you does not magically glue the trunk back on the little elephant statue and only serves to make sure they won’t help you the next time you move house.
I’ve seen people buckle under the stress of moving house. Just accept that you will be camping in your own house for at least two days before it starts to feel like home. Taking apart furniture and putting it back together is a lengthy process. That thing you think you need and are willing to rummage through dozens of boxes for? You can do without it for two days. If you start to feel overwhelmed, get yourself out of the house for a few minutes and allow your mind to dwell on something else than moving for a while.
In the end the little elephant statue can be replaced (you never really liked it anyway) and after a week or two you’ll be right at home at your new place. Don’t forget to thank your helpers by having a beer in your box-filled new living room, and have a killer housewarming after you are settled in.
Jess Collins loves to travel and she liked uni so much that she went twice. Perhaps it isn’t a surprise that she has become a bit of an expert on stress free house moves and friends with most of the removal companies in Bristol!