I’ve spent my life moving around the world. Initially because of my dad’s work, then after the divorce to find care for my sister’s complex needs. On average, the longest we ever spent in one property was about one year. From early on, I learned that you have to travel light. You have to be ruthless when you’re packing. You also have to be prepared to roll-up your sleeves and expect to put in a lot of hard hours before you can collapse at the new property.
This most recent move was different though. Not only because I’m moving back in with my mother after living on my own for last 7 years. But also because this was the first move where I really had to think about my disability. I was incredibly aware through the whole process that I needed to pace myself, sit down at every opportunity and make sure I don’t overdo it (and end up horizontal for a week!) I am lucky that my 25 years of moving experience meant I knew exactly what to expect and could plan accordingly and save my spoons. Thanks to that, by the time the van was gone, I still had the energy to unpack a few boxes! So I thought I would share some of tips and tricks with you!
Cull Something Every Day
I am quite a sentimental person, so I find it quite difficult to get rid of anything with ‘meaning’. But when it comes time for me to move, I put on my sensible hat and try to be as pragmatic as possible. If I can’t use it, display it or store it away neatly, it has to go. That includes clothes that will fit me “in the future”, shoes that I haven’t worn in a year, and any impulse purchases that are sat gathering dust. I try to cull 5 or more items each day in the run up to the move, which normally leaves me at least a few boxes lighter ahead of the move!
Get Packing Early
You would be shocked at the amount of your stuff that you can live without for a month or two. I always try to start packing at least a month prior to moving. It means I can do a little at a time without having to steal many spoons from my day-to-day activities. I start with all non-essential items first; decorations, wall hangings, photo frames, out-of-season clothes and similar. Depending on how big your house is, try to pack a box or two each day that you have the energy.
Pack books & heavy items in suitcases
I’m a book hoarder. I have shelves and shelves that I just can’t seem to get rid of. It’s only when it comes time to move that it really becomes a tricky situation. Thankfully, I found this helpful trick years ago and haven’t looked back since! Whether you have family or friends moving you or professional movers, this helpful trick will save everyone’s backs and energy.
Be clever with your clothes
If you’re anything like me and have a *lot* of clothes, then packing them all can seem like quite a mission. But If you’re smart, they can become a very helpful tool in your packing arsenal. Try roll up your jewellery in clothes to stop them getting tangled. From saving bubble wrap and paper by using clothes to wrap your breakables, to placing (clean) bin bags around the hanging clothes to save boxes; there are lots of ways to think outside the box when packing your clothes!
Have Your Grab Bag
I have a pretty set routine in the morning and evening. When it comes to moving or travelling, I try desperately to keep to it as much as is possible. Enter my grab bag. I keep all my sleep routine essentials easily accessible in one bag. Facewash, bite guard, eye mask, pillow spray, laptop, makeup basics, face wipes, shampoo, a book, socks and clean knickers – everything that I need to feel like a human whilst I’m living out of boxes. At the end of a long moving day, knowing I have all my creature comforts to hand helps keep my anxiety in check and my sanity intact.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Whether you get a professional mover or you’re trying to rope in your friends, asking for help is an absolute necessity when moving home for anyone but particularly for those of us with a disability. When hiring movers, don’t be afraid to tell them you’re on a budget and ask for a discount. Often professional movers will be more than happy to work within your budget, so long as you can be flexible on the date or time of your move. And when asking you’re friends, I try to sweeten the deal with a takeaway at the new property after the move. In my experience, food is the way to everyone’s heart!
I hope these little tips help you with your next move. I would love to hear any tips and tricks for moving so make sure to comment below.