Give yourself twice as long as you think you need to pack
“I can pack up my kitchen in, like, an hour, two hours tops!” you tell yourself. No. This will not happen. This never happens. No one knows why packing takes so long -- it’s a weird mix of procrastination, nostalgic daydreaming, tedium, and running out of packing tape. Whatever schedule you figure out, double it, or still be in the middle of packing the first room when the truck arrives.
Learn to let go
You know those two boxes full of assorted crap you haven’t unpacked since the last move? Throw them out. Don’t even open them, just toss them right in the trash and save yourself the two hours of agonizing over whether you can really part with that mini screwdriver/flashlight combo someone gave you that might come in handy one day, like if you had to defuse a very small bomb in the dark, or something, you never know, right? If you didn’t open them in the last two years, you don’t need what’s inside. Make your move easier -- and your new place more spacious -- by using each move as an opportunity to clean house. Literally.
Don’t be a macho idiot
No, you cannot empty your entire bookshelf into one giant box and carry it down three flights of stairs. And if you do manage it, that’s going to be you done for the day -- maybe for the next month. Professional movers can do this because they have spines of iron and the stamina of a sexually adventurous racehorse. If this does not describe you, pack smaller.
Hire a maid
The last thing you’re going to want to do after moving all your stuff is go back to your old place and scrub the evidence of a year’s solid partying off the walls for three hours, before handing the keys back. Hire a maid to come in while you’re moving your stuff to the new place, then come back to a squeaky clean apartment just in time to give your former landlord his keys back and get your security deposit returned in full.
Nick Leftley has been published in Maxim, Time Out New York, Men's Fitness, and many others. He has also written for various sitcom projects for the BBC, and enjoys writing about himself in the third person.