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How to Move Without that Dread of Clutter and Heavy Lifting

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 12:20pm | by jennaleesmith1

Within the next six months my girlfriend and I have plans to move from our apartment to a small house.

I’m absolutely dreading it.

No, not because it’s “a big leap” in the relationship (I’m happy about that aspect) but because I know that we’re going to be moving everything from our third floor apartment (with no elevator). It was already rough moving everything in and within that time we definitely accumulated a lot more stuff.

But … this time I’m prepared.

I’ve moved enough times in my day that I’ve got a plan.

So if you’re like me and you’re about to make a big change in location I hope that these next few tips will help you avoid that dread of clutter (and heavy lifting):

1. Just get rid of it

I’m a firm believer of the toss, keep, and sell routine when it comes to decluttering.

This is basically:

·  Toss: Anything that’s completely lost its value gets donated (or dumped if it’s in  bad condition).

·  Keep: If it’s sentimental or is very practical then it stays around.

·  Sell:No longer want it but it’s still worth something? Sell it!

This routine should be done well before you’re making the move – even if it’s just one box at a time, once a week – so that there’s less to handle once it’s time for the big event.

2. Organize it … then organize it again

When it comes to organizing, you’re likely to throw things in a box and use a sharpie to mark everything. But when time gets pressed you kind of skip out on this, so you’re stuck trying to figure it out where everything goes once when you get it into the new place.

What I would recommend is using colored corrugated cardboard boxes. These are used primarily for shipping but are also great for getting organized for the big move. They help you stay color coordinated – like blue for kitchen, red for master bedroom, and green for bathroom.

When you’re throwing everything into the truck, organize it again so all like colors go with one another so you can make sure everything is in its right place when it gets there.

3. Actually pay your friends

I think you know what I’m talking about here because we’ve all been “the friend” at some point or another.

When a friend is moving they usually reach out to you and ask if you could help. We do our best to say that we're busy but if we do show up it’s a full day gone and a lot of back ache.

Flip this around.

If you’re getting friends to help with the move, consider actually paying them for their help.

Realize that you’re using up someone's day when they could be working or relaxing, so at least compensate their time as an extra way to say thanks.

4. Pay for help if friends bail out

I doubt you want to move everything by yourself because it quickly becomes a pain (physically and mentally) for everyone involved.

It’s worthwhile to pay for services if your friends ditch you. Just open a phone book, hop online and do a search, or ask one of your friends on Facebook. You're bound to find good recommendations.

To make matters easier you could still use the previous suggestion of the colored boxes to ensure the movers are keeping things well organized. You could also use the boxes to mark off what’s fragile so they don’t go around banging things up during the move (like yellow to be cautious).

5. Declutter, again, when you get there

Once things have safely made it to the new location I’d recommend that you hold off from unpacking and wait until the next day so that you can have some time to declutter your new place.

If you’ve used my suggestions until now you should have your new place full of boxes that are coordinated by the room and value. From here you can see where things are going so you can get a head start on setting up without going back and forth (which also means a whole lot less aches and pains).


I’m no expert when it comes to moving but I’ve done it enough times that I’m tired of it. I’ve hurt my back enough, I’ve been frustrated, and I’m still dreading those moves in the coming future. Hopefully you’ll take some of these tips and use them for your next move because I know I will.

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