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Our Experimental System for Simplifying Moving (I have no idea whether this will work or not!)

Looking to simplify the moving process? Try this alternative method of moving that works for many people!

We’re trying a new method for moving this time around (see some of my previous methods here). Instead of moving everything over in one weekend, we’re slowly moving things over to our new house over the course of the next 3 1/2 weeks.

Our plan is to not pack any boxes — but to just slowly move things over to the new place in little loads a few times per week. We’ll organize and set up everything as we go. Then, we’ll move all of the furniture/large items one day near the end of February.

We’re starting with storage items and things we only use every few months or can easily live without for a month (books, some of our kids’ stuff, some clothes, etc.).

After that, then we’ll move on to items we can survive for a week or two without — like some of the kitchen items (we plan to use paper plates and just do Crockpot/Instant Pot meals the last week or so), most all of the books, most of the clothes, bedding, misc. items, etc.

We’ve never moved slowly like this before, but my hope is that it means we’re able to pretty well live our normal lives without having to take a big chunk of time off to pack or unpack and that almost everything will be set up and ready to go the day we move in.


One of the perks of this method is that we can also easily declutter things as we go along!! I decluttered part of my dresser/closet area over the weekend and it feels so nice to have it cleaned out! I’ve been needing to do this for quite some time — as evidenced by the photos! 🙂

We moved this first load over last night. Yes, I started with some of the essentials — like toilet paper and soap + my dressier clothes + some office stuff we need but only occasionally use.

I’ll keep you posted on how this moving method works and whether we end up feeling like it’s a smart idea or whether it’s a dud idea!

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Sane While Moving

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  • Ashley P says:

    That’s how we moved into our current house! Over the course of a month, we loaded up the car twice a week with stuff we weren’t using and just started getting things placed (the boys extra toys, our boxes of DVDs and books, Christmas decorations and spare linens, that kind of thing). The night before the final day, we brought over the rest of the stuff from the kitchen and all the clothes except what we planned to wear the next day.

    This way all the movers had to load up was the furniture and the large boxes in the shed that didn’t fit in the car. It only took us a few hours with the movers and saved us a ton of money cuz they charge by the hour. And we didn’t have to dig through dozens of boxes for days afterward trying to figure out where everything is!

  • Tracy says:

    We’ve done this! It works well. One thing I forgot was food at the new place. When you grab groceries put some over there too. For some reason I always overlook food when we move and we eat pizza for days!

  • Cynthia says:

    Really interested to see how this method works out! We will be in a similar moving situation in a few months and are debating doing something similar. What is your plan for moving beds, appliances etc?

    • We’re going to rent a truck and move those all on one day. It shouldn’t take long — especially since we are getting some new furniture for the new house, so we don’t have that many large items to move.

  • MaryBeth says:

    Our last move our kids were 4,10, and 13. We moved the “don’t need it right now stuff” like you are doing. The week of the “big” move, we picked out clothes for a few days for each child. After school, we packed all of my daughters things except her bed in my minivan, then drove to the new house and unloaded it all into her room. We repeated this with the boys’ things, then ours. It was easy, because no one had to ask “Where does this go?”
    I also loaded the kitchen and bathroom drawers into my vehicle, unloaded into the new drawers, then returned them to the old house.
    Enjoy your new home!

  • Amanda says:

    We did this method and it works pretty well. It is nice to organize as you go!

  • Heather Schlichter says:

    We used a similar process for our last move and it worked well. One thing we were also able to do which was helpful was paint the inside of the closets and clean and paper all cupboards and drawers before we moved anything in. Be sure to plan out a few complete outfits to wear those last few days so you don’t go to get dressed and realize all your clothes are at the new place! Also have a designated safe place (Like a Xerox box) where things you need to keep with you are kept no matter which location you’re at (purse, keys for both places, etc.) This is helpful in the chaos that can be part of moving! Congratulations on your new home!

  • Lisa says:

    My family just moved like this over the month of January with the final day on 1/31. We moved across the street so literally took one box of things at a time, unpacked the one box…and brought it to refill for the next trip. It was very easy & not overwhelming at all. Nice not to live in stacks of boxes where you can’t find anything you need.

    • How fun that you just moved across the street!

      • Lisa says:

        Fun…no, not at all. My 70 year old father died very unexpectedly on October 3rd. My landlord called two days later & said he was selling the house we had been renting for the past 4 years. My poor mother, who has never lived alone could not cope with me moving away. My mother-in-law, who lost her husband in 2013, was already living with my husband and me. So, my mom begged us all (me, my husband, and my 83 year old mother-in-law) to move in to her home. Not a simple adjustment for any of us, but I could not leave my mom in such a vulnerable circumstance. This is certainly one of the most stressful times in my life. My husband and I have sacrificed our preferences for the welfare of our mothers, and it is by no means easy to do. While we were stopped at a red light, we were also hit by a reckless motorcyclist three weeks ago. My mother-in-law was injured and our car was severely damaged. The motorcyclist sped recklessly through our small town (he will be ok, by the way, although he fractured his spine ?) Four days ago, our very close friend was rushed to the ER with complications from pneumonia, and doctors found a tumor in her that is potentially life-threatening. We will find a way to grow from this experience, no doubt. Patience and self-control being foremost of this growth. We are so thankful to have such amazing friends and support around our family.

  • Laura says:

    Sounds like a great idea! Very peaceful.

  • Missy says:

    We just did this. And while it’s nice to have most of our stuff in a “home”, it feels like we’ve been moving forever.
    I will say it eased the kids into the idea of a new house, and that was nice.

    • Kristi says:

      We’ve done both. Make sure you also have your important papers in a specially colored plastic file box or something else so you have it with you or can easily find it. Toilet paper and cell phone chargers in both places help too. Also, cups, paper towels, a few towels, and a few washcloths can come in very handy at the new house.

    • Lisa says:

      “Moving forever” is definitely a feeling we shared. Like, “Will this ever end?” It did, but I almost longed for the one big day of moving it all out & being done with it all.

      • Andrea says:

        Yeah. We’ve done both methods. The get er done approach is my preferred one! Granted, those have always been international moves where we had to pare down to almost nothing (no major furniture/appliances). The slow method I always seem to end up with a room filled with junk, and then it just gets transferred to the new place…and starts a new room/corner of junk.

        • We’re decluttering as we go, so we’re only moving over what we love and that sparks joy… the plan is that we won’t move anything over that we don’t absolutely love and need! 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      “Moving forever” is definitely a feeling we shared. Like, “Will this ever end?” It did, but I almost longed for the one big day of moving it all out & being done with it all.

    • Mel says:

      I feel the same way. “Moving forever”
      Er just git er done. :/

  • Debra says:

    My son is moving again. This is the exact way they are moving. Small loads in autos each afternoon and one day furniture. Done deal.

  • Bobbie Armstrong says:

    We moved slowly too….it worked for us for about halfway through the move when I got annoyed with having half of our stuff 15 minutes away, and just wanted it to be over. I ended up spending a Friday evening g after work moving all of it at once because I was so sick of it! I hope yours goes smoothly and works well for you!

  • Ruth says:

    I’ve moved 15 times in 20 years and this slower way is my favorite way of moving! You can prep, clean and paint as needed and it’s so much less chaotic! Good luck and enjoy your new home!

  • We moved like this one time –I really liked it. There were some cons, such as things seemed messy for weeks at both houses but in the end, I felt like I brought over less stuff that didn’t fit the new home. I was able to really give everything a good go through as I wasn’t as rushed and I had time to see what really fit and what didn’t. I did a Craigslist bonanza the last week (was before Facebook Marketplace) and sold off all the stuff I knew would not fit in the new home and then took what didn’t sell to the thrift store.

    • We’re organizing and setting things up at the new house as we bring it over so that both places are staying organized at the same time. I’m hoping we can keep that up! So far, it’s been SO good to motivate me to declutter because I do not want to move anything over that we don’t absolutely love and need!

  • Diana says:

    We moved like this too, during the last 2 months of my pregnancy. It was so nice to be able to work as I had energy, and not having to take those long days on my feet (although of course the very end was still long days). I thought we had taken most of our stuff, but I was surprised at how much was still in our old house when it came to the final pack! We moved our dressers with the drawers in them (wrapped in packing plastic) and stacked desk drawers in the trailer still full of stuff. (I think. I just know I didn’t pack them but I wasn’t in charge of the trailer either!) I think you’ll like it, and congrats on the new house!

  • Robin Y says:

    Hi, Crystal! You will love this way of transferring your things! We have done it twice this way. We are considering an out of state move, and I wish this was an option for us. Congrats on your new, paid for (woot! woot!) home! We plan to pay cash for our next home purchase.

  • Kelli says:

    we did the same thing and moved with those large blue IKEA bags. They worked great and we could move one closet and then fill it up and then take the bags back and move another closet. Easier to carry up the stairs than boxes and could hold much more.

  • We did the same thing!! We bought a fixer upper and after renovating we had a full month before our renter moved in. We moved little by little and it was SO not stressful. Every time we went to the new house to check on projects we brought another car load. By the time we needed to move our big furniture almost everything else was already moved in. It only took us a few hours and we were done!

  • linda says:

    I’ve moved over 15 X’s. The slow move seemed to be the worse because I was never done with it. Tips: moving clothes, place a blanket on bed and lay hangered clothes at an angle, flip blanket ends over hanger and bottom and then tie sides together, One bundle, easy to transport, and ready to hang.
    Also love to use handled laundry baskets for quick to move and reuse especially for large kitchen items like pots and pans or stacks of bathroom towels and sheets. Always did the paper plates at and unbreakable plastic at end in kitchen. Happy moving.

    • Thanks so much for the tips! So far, it seems like this system is working well, but I’m also the kind of person who prefers to work on things in small bite-sized pieces a little bit at a time.

  • April says:

    We are military, so this is our game. Ha! Actually, this is more like the reason I have TMJ right now. Stress! I am so with you with this method, that time we did an in-town move. This one is 4 states away, so back to boxes we go…

  • T says:

    We moved this way 10 years ago. Our new home was only 3 miles away. I packed and unpacked the same 12 boxes over 3 weeks. When it was all said and done, I thought the move was easy! We actually entertained guests the first weekend after we moved, as everything was in place.

  • Elizabeth Hogueison says:

    This is the best way to move! We’ve done this the last few times we’ve moved. I’ll gladly pay a little extra for the convience of moving slowly. It also gives me time to go through things & do some purging! If you are able, I highly recommend it.

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