If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, it may not come as news to you that I’m soon moving. What you probably don’t know that I’m moving from a village to a large city.
Living in a city is not unfamiliar for me, given I’ve lived most of my life in cities -in Hungary, in India and in Scotland. How did I end up in a small village of ~1,300 inhabitants? Let’s keep that as a topic for an upcoming post and focus on the move itself now.
It is not so much the urban lifestyle that I’m moving into what makes my next move a big one, rather that I’m not only changing houses but a place itself as well.
My move to the village was not too smooth, so to say, and now I’m determined to make this one a bliss! Or at least not such an awkward and uncomfortable experience… 😉
I guess we can all agree that the removal process is none’s favourite spare-time activity. All those things to sort, wrap, pack, all those boxes to keep track of, let alone all the hassle with the administrative tasks!
And it doesn’t even end here, with relocating your things from one place to another. The effect of a move lingers in the air for a good few weeks after, when you try to unpack, find the right places for your belongings,… well, let’s face it, even finding your belongings sometimes can prove to be tricky… and then comes the revelation that you forgot to update your address on Amazon and a parcel was delivered to your previous address! (Not that it happened to me, oh, no. 😀 )
Is it really necessary to make your move such a hassle? Is there no way to make it a somewhat not-so-unpleasant process where you know who does what when? (What’s with me with all these question words, I dunno! 😛 )
I believe there is a way.
And because this is going to be my 9th (yes, you read it right, ninth) move in the past 9-9.5 years, including several moves within the same city and to another country (and also to another continent), I can say it with certainty that a relocation/removal process can be a fairlypleasant and coordinated event in your lifewhen you are not running around as a chicken who lost her head.
‘How?!?’, you ask in disbelief.
It’s not that difficult, believe me, as you first think. You only need a handful of things:
a piece of paper / notebook / your planner OR
any app or calendar where you usually take notes in (if you have One Note on your PC, it’s a brilliant tool for such a project!)
pens or pencils (a few colours help but not necessary)
15 minutes (or 15 mins x as many as you feel the need for)
a little silence helps so if you have kids or pets, make sure you feed them beforehand 🙂
Take your first sheet, page, note and write BRAIN-DUMP on top. (Pat yourself on the shoulder, you reached an important milestone!)
Sip your coffee / tea / juice / water (leave the booze out of this process, you don’t want to complicate things 😀 ) and let your thoughts flow!
Write down every. single. thing that comes to your mind when you think about moving. Everything, from getting enough boxes to change your address at the bank and arrange for a broadband supplier at the new house, everything. Don’t bother if they come in a nonsense order.
Do not prioritise and do not put them in chronological order.
Just let it out on that piece of paper. It’s advisory to carry this paper with you always so you can add more to the dump if something comes up in your mind.
Once you are done with this, you can start organising these action points, put them on a timeline, categorise by place/method, whatever feels right to you.
If you like keeping it simple, just put them in chronological order and mark any that is completed.
If you are like me, here are a few tips.
Draw up a timeline – I did a weekly – and mark the important dates on it. Whether you do it ahead to see what you need to do or marking it after you completed a task, it gives you a visual aid to see your progress.
Organise your tasks by the place where you need to carry out them.
Do you need to be at home? (e.g. packing items, taking pics of what you want to donate/sell)
Do you need to go into an office? (e.g. updating your address at your bank, forwarding your mail at the post office)
Do you need to use a phone/internet? (e.g. calling suppliers, getting quotes for a removal company, a new supplier)
You can colour code and mark these on your timeline if you made one or simply keep a separate sheet of paper for the categories.
PRIORITY / SCHEDULE
Anything must be done prior to your actual move? (e.g. updating your address, arranging suppliers, providing documents to the letting agency/landlord)
What needs to be done on the day? (e.g. packing your last-minute items as toothbrush, deodorant, etc., having your basic supplies at hand, snacks and drinks ready to help you throughout the day, KEYS!)
Anything you need to do after you are in your new home? (e.g. updating the council, buying a bus pass, registering at the library/GP, etc.)
Again, if you are visual, colour coding is a great help! (OK, I colour code everything that can be colour coded under the sun. You don’t need to. Just ignore me.)
I like listening to something while doing large projects so I created a playlist with decluttering/minimalist videos and another one with Hungarian songs that could give you a much-needed boost and encouragement to keep you going with the sorting / packing part.
You can listen to the minimalist videos here:
And here is a playlist with 13+ songs:
How do you prepare for a move? What ideas/tips have you tried before?
When the DAY finally comes, you’re all packed and ready to go!
But to make your move really smooth, you shouldn’t forget about what I call “a basic supply kit“. That is all those things that you need immediately or pretty soon after you move in and before you have a chance to unpack.
Going through my stuff, trying to sort and declutter before packing them up for a move in less than three weeks. I’ve only packed 4 boxes (and two large bags of books) but I already feel it’s too much. How will I fit everything I want to keep into the 20 or 25 boxes I have? There is still so much to go, still so much.
In the meantime, to give myself a kick in the proverbial butt I’m listening to YouTube videos about decluttering, minimalism, simplifying life and such. I was listening to Lewis’ interview with Joshua when the feeling of suffocation, anxiety and hopelessness came over me.