The decision to move is the easy part, relatively speaking. The emotional and physical labor required to pull of a move is another thing entirely, and the bigger the move, the bigger the complications. Relocating to an apartment across town is one thing, but relocating to an apartment two time zones away is another level of commitment, not to mention another level of stress. The average person moves 11.4 times in his or her lifetime, though, so we have all dealt with it before and chances are we will deal with it again before too long.
All humans accumulate stuff. Some are pack rats and some throw out old mementos without mercy, but we all have material items that help shape our identity in some form or fashion. It is easy to feel like we are swimming in a sea of manageable goods for a while, at least until the day we commit to moving and start imagining trying to pack all our things into a single moving van. First, try the time-tested method of creating three piles. Pile one should be things to keep, pile two should be things to throw away or donate, and pile three should be for stuff you’re undecided about. Try not to put too many items in pile three. Do what you can to commit one way or the other as soon as possible, because the sooner you make a choice, the sooner you can move on to the next item on the list. If you have known pack rat tendencies, bring along a cold-blooded friend who can remind you that no, you do not really need that ratty T-shirt from a concert a decade ago, especially since you didn’t even like the concert.
There’s a good chance you will still have a lot of things in the a “keep” pile when all is said in done. That is to be expected, but what do you do if you don’t want to haul everything to your new apartment? Look into cheap storage units where you can keep the stuff that you will not need immediately. You do not have to rent the storage unit forever, but it is good for keeping things like pieces of furniture that will not work in your new place, but might be usable in the not-too-distant future.
Arriving At The New Place
There are a variety of guidelines out there for figuring out how long a move should take. In general, err on the conservative side and plan for it to take longer than you think it should. That will ideally allow you to start earlier in the day and finish sooner instead of watching the clock and panicking because you have to drop off the keys to your apartment by 5 p.m.
Almost every move involves ditching some stuff and deciding to replace it once you get to your new place. It is often a practical way to save money as well as time, since that old, scuffed-up nightstand was going to need replacing sooner than later, and if you are moving, it might as well be sooner. If you do not mind gently used furniture and electronics, check out a local thrift store in your new neighborhood. Keep an eye out for resellers looking to unload items from liquidation auctions as well, since you can get surprisingly great deals on items that companies just want to be rid of for whatever reason. Sometimes liquidated merchandise has been refurbished, but in other cases they can be brand new. Moving is expensive enough without paying full retail price for the things you need, so it can really be worth it to wait for a bargain to come along.