Since I’m in the process of doing this myself, I thought I would share some tips and tricks that have made my experience less terrible than it could have been. Please share your experiences and advice, below!
Take Your Time!
Get started a little bit further ahead than you think you need to. Because I can promise you this: You. Will. Run. Out. Of. Time. You’ll get caught up looking at things that you forgot you had, reading letters you’ve saved, old projects from middle school… And it’s great to look back at old memories because warm fuzzies. But make sure you give yourself plenty of extra time. My suggestion is to get started about a month or so in advance.
Seriously. Get yourself a biiiig fat Sharpie. Trust me – your future self will thank you.
Make sure you have enough containers/boxes to transport all your stuff!
My family are huge proponents of those big plastic Rubbermaid bins. Laundry? Rubbermaid. Christmas decorations? Rubbermaid. Winter boots? Rubbermaid. Collection of Lord of the Rings memorabilia? Rubbermaid. But you’ll also need smaller, more easy to carry boxes, if you’ve got a lot of books, like I do. My Mum got me some really awesome ones from Canadian Tire! Easy to put together, and they come in a couple of different sizes. Also – handles.
Throw it out. This is something I’m still working on for myself. That letter from that person you used to date that’s now married and maybe has an offspring or two? Shred it gurl. Take it out. Look at it. Reminisce about the times you had together. And then kill it with fire. I mean the shredder. Not only will this help you cut down on the amount of junk you have to pack, but it will also be cleansing for your mind and heart. Get rid of the stuff! Being pragmatic is hard, but it’s essential for you to be able to feel like you’re moving forward.
If you get tired or overwhelmed, Take a Break!
This is probably the most important one. You’ll burn yourself out if you try to just “push through”. Take care of yourself during the process, so that you feel better about the change.
Ask for Help!
If someone offers you a helping hand, put them to work! This will help you get more done, more quickly, and I find that it really helps even to just have someone around to keep you company. Some people have acts of service as their chief love language, and it really makes them feel good to show you love in that way.
Write Lists of Tasks/Goals.
Even get yourself some stickers, so that when you finish something on your list you can cross it off. I promise – a visual and physical means of showing you finished something will make you feel real good. And it will help you to feel more motivated to get stuff done!
Try not to buy too many things ahead of time.
This is something that is especially hard for me. I like stuff. The more stuff you have ahead of time, the more stuff you have to physically move. You also may end up with too much stuff for your new space.
Try to do a little bit everyday, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
You’ll feel way better if you chip away at it, small bits at a time. Biting off more than you can chew is a surefire way to get overwhelmed, and that’s not a fun time for anyone.
Enjoy the Process!
Try to have fun. Remember that this is a growing and moving on experience. As CS Lewis said, “There are far better things ahead, than any we leave behind.” So blast your favourite tunes, or put on a movie you love, and git’er done.