Updated: Nov 17
Before our recent move, I thought moving was fun.
Purging, packing, creating a new home in a new place. Such an adventure, right?!?!
I can hear you laughing. And rightfully so. I had no idea.
Maybe moving WAS fun. When I was 25. And all I owned was a bed. And all I was moving was myself. Across town.
But this time around, we moved our family of 4 from our home of 18 years into a house we had never seen in a brand new state.
And it. Was. Excruciating.
Moving is HARD! Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. It's basically the worst.
When you are in the thick of it, dealing with the details and the stress of all that could go wrong and, unfortunately, all that does go wrong, it is a total nightmare. Even for a professional home organizer.
So I am NOT here to offer a pain-free-easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy moving experience. Anyone who does make you such a proposition is a Nigerian prince peddling snake oil. Who also poops chains of daisies.
What I AM here to offer is a simple formula for a LESS painful move.
And here it is:
Ask. For. Help.
That's it! Ask for help like it's your job.
With what? With literally anything you can outsource. Preferably for free.
Moving Out: Things We Asked For Help With
1. Help with packing supplies. Here's the deal. You will need more boxes than you could ever imagine. Ask you friends. Ask your coworkers. Stalk free moving supplies on Facebook Marketplace. Or if your employer is reimbursing you for this aspect of your move: A. Create a folder in your email for digital receipts.
B. Make an album in your phone's photo app for pics of receipts.
C. Designate a good old-fashioned envelope specifically for paper receipts and for-
the-love give it a safe and consistent home so you don't lose it!
2. Help with taking things down/apart and physically packing. Because you will get tired, lose all objectivity, and start wandering around your house in circles.
Been there. SO dizzy.
Schedule friends to come over and help you for a couple of hours every day if you can. This is especially important during the last couple weeks leading up to your move. This was a total God-send for us! Having loving, objective friends working side-by-side with us, and let's face it, bossing us around when we needed it, put fresh wind in our sails. And in hindsight, it was 100% part of the process of saying goodbye to our people.
3. Help with cleaning your home. Once everything is out, you've got to do the move out clean. It is not optional, and it is a total drag. If it's in your budget or your employer will cover this as part of your moving expenses, by all means pay to have someone else do it. It has to be done and you will be so incredibly tired and over it at that point. Otherwise, gather some friends and neighbors, preferably ones who haven't already helped, and have your cleaning supplies at the ready. We had a handful of friends and neighbors join us, and it was such a sweet time of our kiddos getting in a final play-date while we scrubbed and mopped. Don't forget to leave room in your vehicle to pack up these last few items.
Moving In: Things We Asked For Help With
No surprises here. It's all the same things, generally in reverse order:
Help with move-in cleaning
Help with hanging up/assembling/unpacking
Help with getting rid of all the new/gently used packing supplies.
Now here is the tricky part.
Who do you ask?
Basically, ask anyone who you remotely know. Ask old friends. Ask fringe friends. Ask new coworkers. Ask the care team at your new church.
I know in the age of independent/self-sufficient thinking this seems strange. But here is the truth.
You need to start forging new friendships, and that is done through time spent together and in asking for help in moments of need.
It's gonna feel awkward to ask, but the worst they can say is No.
We were pleasantly surprised with how many wonderful folks said Yes!
And provide pizza. Because nothing says, “Thank you” like white flour, red sauce, and melted cheese.