3 best ways to stay sane when you’re moving

by singlemomseeking on April 22, 2011

Moving is like a familiar tune — but not necessarily one that I enjoy listening to again. My parents got divorced when I was three, and their custody agreement went as follows: four nights with Mom, and three nights with Dad. My sister and I went back and forth between their homes every other night. Yes, you read that right: every other night.

Going back and forth was all I remember… This was also before the time when divorcing couples realized that kids needed to feel “at home” at both Mom’s and Dad’s. So, we didn’t keep much stuff at Dad’s house — instead, we packed a bag for the nights we were with Dad.

Maybe it won’t come as a surprise when you hear that ever since I left home at age 18, I’ve moved to a different home every year or two. This weekend, however, when I officially blend homes with my husband, I hope to settle in and stay for a very long time. In the meantime, there’s more packing to do. So, how do you remain organized and motivated when you’re moving?

1. Purge. Believe me, I know how tough it is to say goodbye to your belongings. But paying for a storage locker can be a big trap, both emotionally and financially. If you’re still holding onto things from your past relationship, it’s time to purge. There are many ways to start: have a garage sale, sell your stuff on Craig’s List, give it away, bring it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

2. Remember that you’ve been here before — you can do it again. If you’re an adult, most likely you already know what it means to sort, purge, and pack. You’ve experienced moving before — successfully. The most challenging move I’ve made so far was cross-country with my toddler, just the two of us. Remembering this gives me the confidence that I can do it again.

2. Ask for help. Your mom friends might not jump up and down when you ask them to lift heavy boxes — but they can keep you company when you’re packing. Doing it all solo can be a lonely business. Ask a girlfriend to come over and sit with you while you go through drawers.

Tell me: When was the last time YOU moved?

How did you stay calm, sane — and organized?


Congrats to the winner of Gwen’s book, If It Walks Like a Duck, And Other Truth My Mother Told meStacy!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

shim AKA NappyKitchen June 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm

@Robybeth: I wished I’d made an inventory of the contents in the boxes. It would have made things SO much easier.

@Rachel: I still have several boxes with ‘stuff that belongs no place’. I did not purge very well. Sometimes its difficult to let go of things that you are emotionally attached to.

— shim aka nappykitchen


T May 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I don’t know how I missed this post. You’re all settled now, yes? I hope you’re building a room for me too because I’ll be visiting again at some point, you know! 😉

Love to all of you. xxoo


MissLaLa April 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I will be moving out of state in a few months. I absolutely agree with the purging of the unwanted and unneeded as the best way to lighten the load when it comes to moving. A family member who has used professional movers gave an interesting tip about labeling boxes. She said to never put what is in the box ON the box if using movers. She suggested numbering the boxes and keeping an inventory list using the numbers assigned to the boxes. That way you know what’s in the boxes, but the movers don’t. What a great idea!


Crazy Computer Dad April 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I am trying to remember what I did last year when I combined households with SGG. #1 Purge was definitely the first thing and a must do. We had several yard sales, dropped stuff at thrift stores, and sold stuff on Craigslist. I am used to moving, growing up as a navy brat, and about every two years I start to get the itch to move again. I don’t usually ask for a lot of help…give me a hand truck and a little time and I can literally move mountains!


Memoirs of a Single Dad April 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Couldn’t agree more with #1 ‘Purge’. I’m not a hoarder but man, I can’t believe how much stuff I have in my house. The Salvation Army has become my best friend as of late – 3 trips and counting. The best part? They send the truck here!


Robybeth April 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Oh, your advice is golden, especially number (1). I moved last month to help my grandmother, and I will be blending my home with my fiancée in July, and I wouldn’t have made it without purging and organizing years and years of useless memorabilia. Due to the two separate addresses many things are now in storage at his home. Here is what helped me:
a. Organize your boxes. I didn’t just put “KITCHEN” on a box. I made an inventory of what was inside and then taped a duplicate copy on the box. If I need something, I know where to find it.

2. Allow children to pack there and rooms and decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw. Eases their minds as they deal with the helplessness of leaving the familiar.

3. Wine, music, and bubble baths. No explanation there.



GLSD April 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Being a Marine Wife we moved every 3 yrs. I loved it. The purging is the best. If we didn’t use it / need it for the past year = PURGE

In 97 we moved to San Diego and that’s where we call HOME.

Wishing you, M. and hubby the best as you unite under one roof.


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