“We’re moving!” It is a spring thing; like spring cleaning only way more complicated. Does the word “MOVING” cause a large reaction inside of you similar to a violent volcano erupting in the Hawaiian Islands and spewing out lava? You barely have time to say, “Aloha?”

Moving can be overwhelming no matter how much warning you are given. Your to-do-list increases at a rapid pace while your time decreases even more rapidly. Time flies by and you are not having any fun. Your molehills of clutter seem to have multiplied into mountains of disorganization. You are convinced it must have happened while you were sleeping! Your closets, your cupboards and your life are overflowing with “stuff.” You are positive the unpacked boxes are staring you in the face, daring you to pack them. As you cross the days off the calendar to “M-DAY,” panic replaces procrastination, paralyzing you in your tracks. You say to yourself, “Moving Mania has begun!” Then you hear a voice answer back in agreement, “Absolutely!” You fear you are losing your sanity.

So what’s a woman to do to avoid “Moving Mania”? There isn’t a handbook in print, which guarantees a peaceful, practical, perfect move.  Perhaps this article will provide some practical tips on how to get the job done peacefully, before your moving van pulls into your driveway, so read on. Having a plan, keeping things simple, avoid sweating the small stuff, and trying to live a balanced life will get you to the finish line on time. Here are some ideas that have successfully got me to the finish line many a time.


  1. Pack a room a day once you have penciled in the moving date.
  2. Buy plastic storage bins instead of boxes. They are inexpensive, sturdy, stackable and reusable.
  3. Label the boxes or bins with a different color for each room. Have a master list.
  4. Pack 1-2 boxes of essentials & place in the car. (Soap, toiletries, towels, pillows & sheets.)
  5. Leave all clothes on hangers and everything in drawers. (Eleanor, my mom, thought of this one.)
  6. Dismantle beds, computer, and appliances days before the moving day.
  7. Hand carry important papers and picture in you vehicle, if at all possible.
  8. If you are moving yourself, barter service hours with friends, especially those with vans or trucks.
  9. Avoid being kidnapped by clutter. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  10. Avoid any last minute packing.
  11. Get a good night sleep before moving day.
  12. Establish a moving day policy, “Grouchy people work alone.” Show them a room where they can take a time out; whether they are an adult or a child.
  13. Avoid confusion by posting a typed to do list in each room.
  14. Station one man in the moving van who is strong, and possesses a focused and logical mind. A person with a high level of patience and a low level of anger. Everyone else carts boxes.
  15. Have a prior agreement, “Less talk, more action.”
  16. Keep questions to the minimal, and assign one person to answer questions.
  17. Unplug all electronics; it is time eater.
  18. Hire a maid to do the final clean up.
  19. Take pictures of every room in the house before you pack and after you pack.
  20. Paint the home after moving day (scuffed and scratched walls, trim, etc.)
  21. Wave goodbye and don’t look back.


  1. Cover all the floors with paper.
  2. Take before and after pictures of your new home.
  3. Put all boxes in the garage. Bring in one at a time. Or put all the boxes in the corner of each room that they belong in.
  4. Place all furniture where you want it, as you go along. Assign one person to make decisions.
  5. Open the box of essentials. Make beds & place soap, towels, etc., where they belong.
  6. Hook up all appliances.
  7. Set up the electronics last.
  8. Lead a “Cooking Strike” until the kitchen is unpacked. Agree to unpack the kitchen last.

“When in doubt, eat out!”

  1. Do not attempt to unpack in one day. Remind yourself, “Tomorrow is another day and Superwoman exists only in comic books or movies!”
  2. Wait a week to hang pictures.
  3. Assign each person a room to unpack. Whatever they do say, “Thank you!” You can always change it.
  4. Avoid micromanaging and you will avoid stress.
  5. Serve food, but keep it simple. Use paper products while you get the kitchen organized.
  6. Once everything is off the moving van and the day is done, lead a toast to a new beginning in your new, home sweet home.

Finally, here is a piece of wise advice from my son-in-law, Ryan, who is a Navy man: “Avoid serving any alcohol until you are completely moved in; that is, if you care about your furniture. Do not hook up the television until last, especially if it is football season and there is beer provided.”

[Tweet "For a smooth move, pack a large helping of patience & attitude of gratitude!"]

A smooth move is the goal, so bring a large helping of patience and an attitude of gratitude to your moving day. Keep your peace level high by keeping your expectations low. Remember everyone is tired.  Remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” Remember “everything looks better in the morning,” that is if you avoid a view of a garage full of unpacked boxes.

Moving is one of the best ways I know to avoid spring cleaning. If you are not moving this spring, here is a plan that will help you to feel like you have a brand new home without packing up your entire house. It is a perfect solution for women who have been kidnapped by clutter while they were sleeping:

Copyright 2016 Ellen Mongan
Photo copyright 2016 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.