Moving: Dealing with Transitions

One of the biggest challenges with moving is being in transition. This is likely one reason why moving can be a stressful event for most of us. By its very nature, moving signifies transition. The hard part is surviving the chaos of the process. These are the prolonged moments when your stuff is half-packed, strewn around everywhere, or piled up awaiting to be boxed. Or thrown haphazardly and randomly into anything that will transport it from A to B. And then… the aftermath.

Equally challenging can be unpacking. It can be hard to find what you need, when you need it. This is another moment of truth when you discover if your packing methods and skills were a success. Also daunting is figuring out where to put everything in the new space.

Moving Strategies to Survive the Transition

I’ve moved a lot in my life. Here are some strategies I have found useful.

Start early!

I like to pack and unpack fast, usually in a 2-week period. It’s not always pretty, but I find it minimizes the overall stress of the transition period when things are in limbo. However, to prepare for the packing blitz, I start the preparations weeks in advance. This process involves going through every room, drawer, closet, cupboard, etc. to get rid of anything that isn’t coming with me and prepare it to go straight into a box. One of my peeves is transporting stuff that I don’t want, or need, to keep.

Budget for extra services

I always budget money into the move for movers, Frog Boxes, and more recently cleaners. If I can delegate some aspect of the move that saves me time and stress, it’s totally worth the money for me. For example, Frog Boxes are reusable plastic tubs with interlocking lids. I find it very fast and easy to grab a tub, fill it, and close it without the hassle of taping up cardboard boxes and breaking them down later. As an added bonus, Frog Boxes stack nicely and make the move easier.


Another great tip is to make sure you always know where your priority items are. For example, I always designate a backpack for all my devices and valuable items such as my computer, phone, keys, wallet, etc. And I pack a suitcase with enough clothes for a week. Read more here.

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