Life Hacks

I’ve Moved Seven Times in Two Years: Tips to Make Moving Less Stressful

Moving is all about planning and patience.

In the last two years, I’ve moved seven times. No joke. Between moving to new on-campus apartments every year, changing to summer housing each May, and going abroad for a semester, I haven’t stayed in one place for too long. But while packing is always a pain, doing it so many times has made it a kind of ritual. Moving and packing is just part of the young adult experience, especially when you’re going to college or just starting your post-grad life. Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming means to your new home, but here are some tips to make it as painless as possible.

Don’t procrastinate packing.

I know it can be tempting to just put of all your packing to the night before your move, but don’t do it. Even though I’ve moved several times, packing always takes more time than I think it will. If you’ve lived in a place for a long time, you’ve definitely accumulated more items in the time you lived there that you will now have to move to your new place.

I recommend getting started about a week before you move. Start by packing items like books, knick-knacks or extra dish-ware that you won’t need for the week. Next, pack clothing that you know you won’t wear. You’ll thank yourself when your moving date approaches and you’ve already gotten a head start.

Make packing and planning your move fun.

Your time packing doesn’t have to be boring. While you pack, listen to fun music or a podcast. I’ve powered through full seasons of podcasts while packing up my rooms, and it makes the experience so much better. If you have a friend willing to hang out with you while you pack, even better. Try to make your time packing as enjoyable as it can be, no one should pack in silence.

Recruit your friends to help you move.

None of my moves would have been successful without help from my friends. Offer to buy your friends breakfast or lunch to help you move. It makes the experience so much easier. I would not recommend trying to move alone, with no help it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and get overwhelmed. Friends can help you physically carry boxes, but can mentally help you get through any stress that may arise during your move.


Stay organized.

Organization is key. You don’t want to move with overflowing bags or boxes busting open. Make one or several packing lists to keep yourself on track. I’m a major over-thinker, so I keep big boxes from packages I get and save them for moving. It’s been very helpful in the past. If you need more boxes but don’t want to spend money, look in the recycling section of your building. People leave full boxes there all the time, and it’ll keep you from having to cram your items or have them be loose during your move. I also recommend labeling your boxes so you know what’s in each box, and if there are fragile items in there. Labeling helps with your move, and also with unpacking once you finally get settled in your new place.

If you need more boxes but don’t want to spend money, look in the recycling section of your building.


While moving is a necessary evil, it can be manageable.

Moving is all about planning and patience. Do everything you can to make it easier on yourself. If you have clothes, kitchen items or furniture you don’t want to move, donate them to your local Goodwill. If a friend helps you move, offer to help them when they move down the line. If you look at moving in a new light, it can be really exciting. Sometimes your move won’t go as you planned, but you will get to your new place that you can then make into a home.


Also published on Medium.

Mariel Cariker is a recent graduate of Boston University, where she...