Moving sucks. Everyone can agree on that. Sorting through years worth of clutter, packing your possessions into boxes, praying that the newspapers you wrapped your grandma’s china with will prevent your family heirlooms from shattering in transit, not to mention coordinating a moving truck.
In a city like Chicago, where many people rely on public transportation, and few have a large car, moving can be is especially challenging, and expensive. Moving is always going to be stressful, but you can minimize the anxiety and the costs by following the steps below:
- Get rid of everything
Well, not everything. But moving can be the best excuse to getting rid of the clutter in your life. Take a hard look at your possessions and donate clothing, home goods and furniture that could be well loved in a new home. In Chicago, you can schedule The Epilepsy Foundation to pick up used clothing and household goods straight from your front door. Or rent a van and drive used furniture and homewares to Goodwill or another local charity.
Throw away the things that can’t be used by others. Sort through your papers; there is no point in hauling boxes upon boxes of old college notes and outdated bank statements for years. Not only will you have the satisfaction of living a more minimal life, fewer possessions means fewer boxes to move.
- Plan ahead
Don’t pay for moving supplies. Ask your local liquor store or bookshop for their discarded boxes. Double up your packing by wrapping fragile items in clothes and linens instead of buying bubble wrap. Socks make perfect protection for glasses and stemware. And don’t forget a dolly. Put out a social media blast and borrow one from a friend, your back will thank you on the big day.
Enlist a family member or babysitter to look after the pets and kids, a little investment on the get go will save you hours of frustration trying to keep little ones entertained and out of the way.
Pack your essentials separately. Keeping toiletries, towels, bedding, a few days worth of outfits, and the bare bones kitchen essentials in a well marked, easy to find box will help your first few days of unpacking go smoothly while you figure out where the rest of your stuff is.
- Gather the troops
And by troops, I mean friends. Moving is a lot faster, and a lot more enjoyable, with some company. Professional movers are expensive and a pain to coordinate, so tap into the infinite supply of free labor in your social circle. Bribe some friends with the promise of a free meal, power up an upbeat playlist, and get packing. Be sure to return the favor when it’s their turn to move apartments.
- Vans > U-Haul
You have more options than U-Haul. Trying to navigate a giant truck across town, not to mention trying to parallel-park it on your street, is nothing short of a nightmare—especially if you’re unfamiliar parking rules in the City of Chicago. Renting a large van can provide you with the space you need at a more manageable size. With vans coming in multiple sizes, you should be able to rent a van that fits your needs. Just be sure to measure the dimensions of your largest furniture before your book to prevent any moving day meltdowns.
- Stay Organized
Labeling your boxes is a no-brainer, but there are many ways to level up your moving day organization. Color code boxes by room, or number them and make an inventory list so you can be sure you didn’t forget anything. Take a picture of your electronic cable configurations, and label your wires so you can easily set up your TV and router in your new place. Draw a quick diagram of your new floor plan and text it to your trusty helpers so they can put the boxes in the right rooms.
With a positive attitude, a van rental, some prep work, and a good crew, moving can be relatively painless. Look into van rentals in Chicago to book a vehicle in advance and get started planning your move today.