Smart Tips for People Who Move Frequently

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I've lived in my current home for 8 years and I lived in my home before that for 3 years. I don't like moving and have never had a reason to move frequently - that is, until now. In the next two years, my family will be moving at least twice, and possibly three times. In preparation, I've been thinking through ways to make these frequent moves less stressful. I've come up with a few ideas, and would really appreciate tips from those of you who have been here before.

I don't move for another few weeks, but here's what I’ve thought through so far.

  • Reduce. This one is a bit obvious, but it's also easier said than done. We regularly go through our home and donate or recycle items we don’t need, so I'm surprised by how many things we're still sorting through. The fact is, there are things that we've held on to for years "just in case," as well as things like books and dishes that seem to have multiplied over the past 8 years. I don't want to throw stuff in a box, move it three times, and realize I don't need anything in it, so I've become ruthless about getting rid of stuff.
  • Don’t Unpack What You Don’t Need: We've packed a few boxes that will go right into storage and won’t be unpacked again this year. It's stuff I'll want when we settle down eventually – like my grandmother’s teacups – but that I don’t really need to unpack this year.
  • Organize: You need to be organized before any move, but I've felt pressure to be even more organized given that I'll do this again in a year. This time next Spring, I want to move quickly and efficiently, without weeks of sorting and organizing again. I keep trying to think of shortcuts that will help us in a year, from shredding old paperwork to labeling everything as specifically as possible. In addition to moving, we'll be renting out our current home, which has led to an entirely separate list of things to do. We've created a master to-do list on Google docs to keep track of everything. We can each see what's been finished, what still needs to be done, and the dates for appointments on our current home (window washing, etc).
  • Storage Space: We ended up renting a house with a basement, but if we hadn’t, we probably would have considered a storage space for furniture and boxes we don't need over the next year.

Please add your best tips below!

(Image credits: Laure Joliet)