Ahh, the moment you’ve been waiting for: you have your own place! For the first time, you’ll be out on your own. You can go sleep as late as you want, watch movies in the living room at all hours of the day, and if you don’t feel like washing your dishes right away… Let them sit! There’s a lot of freedom coming your way.

We’re sure you’re very excited to take this big step out on your own, and we certainly don’t want to spoil it with practicalities but, there are a few. Packing and moving are, for many of us, the least fun part of shifting to a new place. It doesn’t have to be, though! Since this is your first move, now is a great time to set some good habits that will make the whole process much more smooth – now, and in future moves.

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Get a Head Start

There are probably plenty of things you’d rather be doing than sorting, packing, and prepping, and we certainly don’t blame you! Try to start early, though, and do your future a favor.

Rather than pushing yourself to do everything all at once, try taking it little by little. Chances are, you won’t want to take everything with you, so it helps to sort through your stuff and decide what you’ll take, what you’ll leave, and what you’ll get rid of. Give yourself time to go through this process, and you won’t have regrets about abandoning something simply because it didn’t fit into your last box. 

Set a short time each day to tackle the task of sorting out your things. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish with 30 minutes to an hour each day. Make separate piles: keep, sell, donate.

Find a Home for the Stuff You’re Not Keeping

Once you’ve sorted and begun packing, you will have some piles of stuff you don’t want, need, or won’t use. Start with throwing away or recycling everything broken, expired, or unusable by someone else. If you have electronics or medications, find the best way to dispose of these things safely.

If you have things to donate or gift, get moving on passing those on. Find a local donation center that could benefit from your items, and first be sure you know their policy about receiving. Some centers only accept donations on certain days or times, so it’s best to check before you load up the car.

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If you have things worth selling, you may be able to make some extra money. What’s better than treating yourself to a nice brunch on your first morning in your new neighborhood? Selling things can take time, so get them listed as soon as you can. Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, and other secondhand sites are great places to list your things for sale.

Get Your Supplies

To keep your move orderly and smooth, you’ll want to collect the right supplies. There are plenty of places to get free boxes, so start by checking at bookstores, liquor stores, supermarkets, and cafes to see if they have delivery boxes they’re able to give you. You’ll need to grab some tape to seal your boxes and a permanent marker to label them, so don’t forget those! Try to collect more supplies than you think you’ll need, just to be sure. It’s better to have too much than to get caught without.

Start Packing!

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The time has finally arrived: you can start getting all of your things into boxes and ready to move. Once the boxes start filling up, everything has a way of feeling that much more real. You’re so close to your own home.

Remember to pack the heavier items in smaller boxes to make them easier to move. Blankets, comforters, and pillows can go in trash bags to save your boxes. You can use newspapers, rags, and clothes to pad your delicate items. Whatever you do: don’t forget to label your boxes! This will make it easier to avoid digging through everything on the other side. Label your boxes on the sides and top, and save yourself some stress.

Categories: How-To, Moving Tips