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There are many unpleasant tasks in life. Moving is one of them. In our 12 years of marriage, Dan and I have lived in four states, three apartments, and now two houses. Until now, all of our moves have been hundreds of miles.

This last weekend we moved less than a mile from the apartment we’ve lived in for the last 2+ years into the house we just bought. Because of the way things worked out, we got the keys to the house at 5pm last Saturday and turned in the apartment keys that same night.

It was a bit crazy. A whole bunch of friends came with their vehicles and trailers, and we had everything packed up from the apartment and unpacked in our house in 1.5 hours.

It’s still a bit crazy around here. There are many boxes left unpacked because we’re deep cleaning before putting things away. But we’re home. All of our stuff is here. We aren’t confusing the kids (and my 2 year old has been very confused) by going back and forth from one place to the other. When we can’t find something, we at least know it’s on this piece of property.

Given the choice, I probably would have moved much more slowly. But often we don’t have choices, and in this case I’m glad we didn’t.

If you’re looking to make a fast move, here are my tips.

1. Get Rid of Stuff

Moving is the perfect time to get rid of things you didn’t even know you had. Start this process early because a few days before moving, all your decision making abilities will be gone, and everything will just go in a box.

2. Get Rid of More Stuff

Seriously.

3. Utilize Suitcases

Pack items you’ll need in the first week or so in suitcases or canvas bags. No matter how well you label boxes, the ones you need will inevitably end up at the bottom of a large pile. We put several outfits, toiletries, stuffed animals, and the kid’s special toys in suitcases and backpacks. We put snacks and paper products in canvas bags. Pretty much everything else went in boxes.

4. Figure Out a Labeling System

I’ve given up on actually listing what’s in each box. Instead, I assigned each box a number based on the room it should go in. I put up signs at the new house with numbers on them so everyone would know where to put what boxes.

5. Pile Your Packed Possessions in One Room

We cleared out our dining room, cleaned it, and then put boxes in it as if it were our moving truck. It’s so much easier when everything is in one place. Plus it allowed us to clean the other rooms once they were empty.

6. Don’t Pack Up Your Drawers

There’s no need to pack up items in your dresser drawers. Simply take out the drawers on moving day, move the dresser into the vehicle, and put the drawers back in. Just be sure to cover up anything you don’t want the guys in your small group seeing…

7. Gather Your Friends, Respect Their Time, & Give Them Food

We are so grateful for all the help we had moving. Due to the generosity of our family and friends we were able to get by without getting a moving truck, and the move went super fast. We always try to have everything completely ready to go so when people arrive they don’t have to wait around or help us pack anything else into boxes. And pizza. Always pizza.

What are your tips for a fast move?