Most people in the U.S. move several times throughout their life. College, marriage, and job hunting all pull people to new towns and new homes. In fact, every year around 35.1 million people in the U.S. move.
Some people, however, move a lot more frequently than others, sometimes relocating every year or several times a year. Whether you’re someone who likes adventure or someone who moves frequently for work, use these four tips to pack efficiently, move quickly, and stay sane.
- Purge Often
This may seem obvious, but having less stuff means having less stuff to move. A good rule of thumb is to discard any items that you haven’t used in a twelve-month period. Remember to go through and get rid of items while you’re staying somewhere, and not just while moving, so that you don’t give up and just throw it all in a box. Sorting through and donating unwanted items is also a good way to stay organized, so that you can more easily put essentials in logical boxes for quick packing and unpacking.
- Unpack as Quickly as Possible
Leslie Price, writer for Man Repeller and someone who moves often, recommends unpacking as soon as you move to a new place. In Price’s experience, waiting to unpack dooms you and your family to living among boxes and storage totes for months. You’ll be able to enjoy more of your belongings for a longer period of time, and you’ll be less likely to forget something and go buy an item that you already have, if you just buckle down and unpack.
That being said, if you have items you want to save for when you’re more settled, feel free to label them and store them properly. You can even rent a storage unit to keep boxes for later use out of your way in your current home.
- Consider Keeping Your Boxes
Finding boxes, bags, and storage bins can be a nightmare for frequent relocaters. If you know that everything fit nicely the last time you moved, TheBarefootNomad.com recommends saving your storage items the next time you move. You’ll already know where everything goes, especially if you label the boxes and totes. You’ll save money on new boxes, and you’ll know how many new things you accumulated at this home (and have an idea of how much to get rid of when you purge).
- Give Your Family a Break
Price from Man Repeller writes that asking friends and family for moving help during your early years is acceptable, but relying too much on connections in later years can put a strain on relationships, especially if you rarely return favors. Do yourself and your friends a break, and try to handle frequent moves yourself. You can also consider hiring a moving company.
Moving frequently can be exhausting. However, if you do it smart, packing up can be a quick and efficient affair, and the experience can even be freeing. Use these tips to protect your time, your stuff, and your relationships no matter where and when you roam.