Moving can be stressful, painful, and in general, not very fun. Or it can be relatively painless, quick, and at least somewhat fun. We have a few ways of making moving something that we don’t really dread.
We tend to live with less “things” than most people (when considering a grad student + a full time working engineer) and that really helps out. Not having to move around boxes of stuff that we haven’t used in years saves us time and energy. Last year when I moved from Washington to Ithaca I managed to pack 95% of my stuff into my 4Runner and drive it all out with me. That might be going a bit far for some people – but it sure makes moving easy! We don’t really have any set rules that we follow, but we generally try to do the following:
- If we haven’t worn clothes in a full year it’s probably time to donate them
- Same thing for possessions that don’t really hold any sentimental value – if they’ve been in a box we probably don’t need them
- Make use of Craigslist whenever possible to get a few bucks for items that still have value but aren’t being used
Of course, there are exceptions to this – we have a ton of books and agree that eventually we will have a house with its own library…something like this:
Now that is a home library! It may take a few years to get to that level…ok, back to moving!
Probably the best part about moving is having friends that can and will help. We try to involve as many people as possible for a few good reasons.
- The more people you have, the less time it will take
- The more people you have, the less each person will have to do
Obviously this makes sense if you are moving in state – it gets a bit more difficult if you are moving more than an hour or two. Calling on as many friends and relatives to help can really change the day from a boring, chore filled, heavy lifting mess to something more like hanging out. Sure, you are still moving, you are still taking doors off of hinges to fit furniture through, but you’re doing it with friends!
Having a many people to help really lessens the amount each person has to do as well. If you only call on one or two people, they end up doing quite a bit of work by the end of the day. Having 6,8, or 10 people come over makes things fly! We have fully packed up, loaded cars/trucks/vans, and been on the road in less than an hour before!
Of course, make sure you feed everyone afterwards – the time tested beer and pizza is usually a good one since cooking right after moving can be a bit tough.