How to move like a boss (with chronic illness.)

15 May

The apartment is a little crazy right now, with some things in boxes, and some things being sorted out for donations. While I’m in moving mode, I thought I’d share some tips to make moving cheaper and easier for you, especially if you have chronic health issues.

Start packing in advance. Rather than waiting until the day of, or even a couple of days before, your move, start packing things as far in advance as possible. Pack a little bit at a time, beginning with decorative things, or things you rarely use. Pack up your kitchen with the exception of a couple of plates, cups, and necessary utensils, that you can use for the next few weeks. (You may even realize that you don’t need all of those plates and cups, anyway.) Starting several weeks before you move means that there will be nothing to do but move boxes on the big day, and it means that if you have a flare or an especially bad pain day close to the move, you won’t have the stress of trying to get everything done while you feel awful.

Donate, donate, donate. You will find, as you start packing early, that there are some things you forgot you even had. As you pack, designate a few trash bags or boxes for donations to your local Goodwill, church, or mission. This year, our donations are going to a friend who’s organizing a yard sale fundraiser for her friend’s son who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. If you’re unable to take your donations to the charity of your choice, see if they’ll pick them up at your home, or if a friend or family member can take them for you. By donating, you’ll save yourself time and energy moving things you no longer need or want.

Our donations (so far!) Notice I only used a couple of boxes; the rest is in trash bags.

Our donations (so far!) Notice I only used a couple of boxes; the rest is in trash bags.

Sell, sell, sell. Moving can be expensive, even if you’re frugal. There are application fees, deposits, possible repair costs, and you may have to pay to set up internet or utilities. So, if you have some “big ticket” items you’ve decided you no longer need, sell them! Furniture, new clothing and shoes, electronics, and gently used tools are good examples of items that are sale-worthy. All it takes is a couple of good photos, a price, and Facebook or Craigslist. (Be sure to let people know if they’ll need to pick up whatever it is you’re selling.) I posted pictures and information about our chest of drawers on Facebook, and within an hour, it was sold! If you aren’t sure what to price something, take a look on Craigslist or Ebay for similar items. Put that money aside to be used specifically for moving expenses, and your wallet won’t suffer.

Organize as you go.  This is a life saver. While you’re sorting out your donation and sale items, you may as well organizing what you’re keeping, right? Making sure like items are together, putting them in organizational containers, and labeling them as you pack will save you a ton of time and frustration.

*If you find an item in your bedroom that should go with your bath items, resist the urge to go ahead and throw it in with your bedroom things! Make a pile to the side of items that don’t belong, and when you’re done in one room, take them with you to their rightful place. It may seem like you’re saving time by just tossing unlike items in the same box or bag, but you’ll be so glad that you didn’t when it comes time to unpack.

*Utilize space-saving containers, like plastic bins that can be slid under the bed, or rolling plastic drawers that can be easily moved, as you pack. It’s wonderful when your office, bath, kitchen, and/or garage items are already packed in their respective clear or color-coded storage containers. You can also use vacuum seal bags or Ziploc bags in various sizes to store out of season clothing, or small craft supplies to save room. The money you may spend on new, more durable storage containers will be offset by the money you won’t have to spend when you move again, or when you decide your space needs to be more organized. There’s less to pack and unpack, the containers are easy to identify, and quick to store. Hint: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar are gold mines when it comes to small and large storage containers. Think outside the box for small containers, too, like ones for organizing drawers, and check out the kitchen area, where plastic trays, bowls, and cups are just waiting to be used.

More Dollar Tree containers hold all of my craft supplies on wire shelving. Labeled, of course!

More Dollar Tree containers hold all of my craft supplies on wire shelving. Labeled, of course!


These are my embroidery supplies, in a container from Dollar Tree, and the floss is separated by color in Ziploc bags.

*Label everything. If it’s going in a box or bag, label with box with what’s inside, and which room it belongs to with a Sharpie. If you’ve organized your belongings in the aforementioned awesome storage containers, invest in a label maker to identify what’s inside. Use sticky notes or plain old paper and tape to mark to which rooms the containers go, and you can remove them easily as you go.



My handy label maker put to good use!

My handy label maker put to good use!

FREE is good. Use what you have. After you begin organizing your things in plastic containers and drawers, you may find that there’s not a whole lot left that needs to be packed in boxes. To avoid making an extra trip and spending more money, use things you have around your home to pack the rest. Use trash bags, plastic and reusable shopping bags to contain pillows and bedding. Use spare, clean blankets and towels to protect fragile items, like collectibles, plates and glasses, or even furniture. (You can also put an old blanket under a piece of furniture to easily slide it across the floor when moving.) If you need boxes, check’s “free” section, or utilize your Facebook page to see if anyone has spare boxes you can use. While you’re at the grocery store or dollar store, check to see if they have any boxes they’re throwing away. They’re usually more than happy to let you have them.

Plastic and reusable shopping bags to pack up the craft room, and an old bedding package to hold all of my fabric scraps in one place.

Plastic and reusable shopping bags to pack up the craft room, and an old bedding package to hold all of my fabric scraps in one place.

Make a list. If you easily get distracted or forget things, like I do, create a list. Need to turn in keys? Need to have the old place cleaned by a certain time? List things in order of importance, and you’ll be less likely to get stuck scrubbing the bathroom by yourself at 11:45 p.m.

Ask for help! Now is the time to decide if you want to hire movers, or enlist your family and friends. Sometimes it’s more than worth it to hire movers; look for a company that only charges you to move, so that you can do the packing yourself. That way, you don’t have to do any heavy lifting, but you’ll know where all of your things are once you’re settled into your new place. If your friends are helping, see if you can incorporate a truck or two in the mix. Larger vehicles = fewer trips, and that makes everyone happy. If no one you know drives a large vehicle, rental trucks are available through moving companies, but sometimes you’ll find a better deal at a hardware store, so don’t forget to check yours. Remember that more volunteers to move your stuff isn’t always better. Depending on the amount you’re moving, 4-6 people will make the time fly by, and there’ll be less confusion about where your furniture and boxes should go.

I know some of this may seem like common sense, or maybe even a little anal retentive, but it’s all helped us keep our sanity in the past, so I hope these tips help ease the pain of your next move!

Gentle hugs,



2 Responses to “How to move like a boss (with chronic illness.)”

  1. Amanda Ronco May 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I love this, Chels! Very practical and helpful tips. This is what we always strive for but rarely achieve, for one reason or another. This year will be different though! Especially since Caleb is 2…I may not have a chronic illness (gentle hugs :), but I do have a curious, energetic toddler! In other words it is imperative that we are organized.

    Another tip is something we used last time we moved: only use professional movers for the large/heavy items. It will cut the cost and ease the pain of moving those hefty pieces. This is best when you’re only moving a short distance, however. Happy moving!

    • Chelsea May 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      Hi Amanda! It’s hard to achieve everything on the list, but even if you get some of it done, it helps. 🙂 I think that’s a really good tip about the movers. It can definitely be worth it to hire movers. The only time I’ve witnessed a “bad move” was when my grandmother hired movers to pack and move. They just dumped things in large boxes, and lots of things were broken. Not that all movers do that, but ever since, I’ve always preferred to pack my own, haha! Love you guys!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: