Moving Madness

You Can Get There from Here

Dear Coach Juli,

I am planning to move and the thought of all that I need to do is so overwhelming that I am nearly paralyzed in moving forward. Can you give me some ideas on how to go about it? – Going Nowhere in a Hurry

Dear Going Nowhere,

Juli Shulem

Moving is said to be one of the biggest sources of stress for most people, so I am glad to provide some guidance. I have personally moved about a dozen times in my life, so I have it down to a science and have helped others move not just across town, but across the country. Here are some steps to make your relocation efficient and practically painless:

1. Strategize. Start by making a comprehensive list of all the tasks necessary to get you from where you are to where you will be. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to do the packing part a little at a time, versus staying up late at night after a long day of work to pack. Begin immediately once you know you are moving.

2. Gather in advance all the material and supplies you might need so you can make good use of your time. Boxes, wrapping peanuts, bubble-wrap, packing tape, and labels should all be in your place as your begin to pack. Start by packing the items you know you won’t be needing to use prior to the move: off-season items, memorabilia, linens, some kitchen/entertainment items, etc.

3. Take the time now, before moving, to get rid of things you no longer use or need. It makes no sense to pay to move a whole bunch of stuff you will end up tossing out when you arrive at your new place. Go room by room, and take time doing this as you begin to pack. Often, when faced with the job of having to wrap up and pack an item, the reality of how much you really need or want it becomes apparent. If you haven’t really used or enjoyed an item since the last move, perhaps passing it along to someone else makes more sense.

2. Before getting deep into the packing process, figure out what you plan to put into each new room. So instead of packing up items from what room they came from, pack based on what room they will go into. Deciding how your new place will be set up first will help you pack in a way that will make the unpacking process much more organized and speedy. I like to use the big round stickers that are pre-printed with “Office,” “Bathroom 1,” “Kitchen,” etc. They are inexpensive and make it easy to label each box as you go.

If you have some overlap time from the place you are leaving to the place you are going, start to bring things over yourself. Sometimes it’s easier to just throw things in the car and drive them over, versus packing and unpacking them.

When packing your moving truck, determine which order you will be putting things into your new place and place the first items coming into the new place as the last items on the truck, if this is an option.

Be sure to make a list of the utility companies you need to contact in order to be sure you have power and water when you move into your new place. Put a forwarding order on your mailing address.

Of course you can always hire a moving company to pack and move you from beginning to end, but you will be paying handsomely for that service. You have options, just begin promptly!

Submit questions to Coach Juli via email at and they will be answered anonymously in this column.

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