When you’re looking for tips and tricks for your first time moving, there’s no better person to rely on than Yan Mei, author and mover extraordinaire.
Over the course of 12 years, Yan Mei moved 14 times. But she didn’t just move down the block; Mei has moved cross-country and internationally throughout her lifetime.
“I have a bit of a nomadic history. I moved 14 times in 12 years, including three international moves (from China to Great Britain, from Great Britain to Switzerland, and then Switzerland to the United States) and one cross-country move from the San Francisco Bay Area to New York City,” she wrote to Business Insider.
Though these were all moves following positive events — such as pursuing a graduate degree in England — she still dealt with her fair share of stress, especially when she married and had a child. Change can be tough for the average person, after all.
The average American only moves 12 times in their lifetime, but Mei blew that statistic out of the water with her fast feet.
To keep up with her traveling lifestyle, Mei expressed some of the most important aspects of becoming a regular mover.
Firstly, she always researched the costs and healthcare associated with moving to a new country. This can be a stark change when you move from country to country. Mei traveled from China to London when she pursued her graduate degree, but the price difference was a difficult adjustment. Even though the typical American only moves a median of 14 miles away from home, even this adjustment can put you in a different job market and tax bracket.
She also recommends downsizing. Moving from place to place can be difficult when you have a lot of material goods. Getting rid of old clothing you don’t need and decorations you barely use can be a cathartic experience, especially when you donate the items to charity or people in need. Mei donated nearly half of her books to a library after graduating from her London college.
This also lessens the load on your car. An estimated 77% of cars aren’t in proper working condition and require repairs or other forms of maintenance. Adding on hundreds of pounds of weight could leave you stranded halfway through your journey.
However, there are some items you should definitely not throw away. Valuable items that are lightweight and efficient are worth keeping for your new home, including extension cords, chargers, and lighting fixtures like table lamps. While big furniture is difficult to move, packing smaller furniture items are worth keeping to decorate your new abode. It’s estimated that new furniture will take up to eight weeks to arrive at your new home. Either do some serious planning ahead or keep your smaller furniture items.
Whether you choose to rent a moving van or stuff everything in your car is up to you. However, if you’re moving out of the country, downsizing is an unfortunate necessity. If you can’t pack all your items at once, leaving non-fragile goods with a friend or relative is an alternative option. They can mail the items to you once you’re settled, but it’s common courtesy to cover the shipping fees.
The day of your move is another story. On your moving day, it’s best to be all packed up with a cooler ready with your favorite snacks. This way, you’re not stressed the day of and you can focus on the travel ahead.
Nowadays, there are even travel apps to make your move easier. Between movers who don’t show up and scams with surprise moving fees, the necessity for reliable movers has become an issue for many. One women, Sonya Cook, was charged $1,800 before the movers asked for even more.
Reputable movers can be difficult to find, but utilizing apps that show verified moving companies with unbiased reviews can help streamline the process. Some moving apps include, Unpakt, Dolly, and Hire a Helper.
Whether you’re moving cross country or 14 miles down the road, moving is a time for renewal and new experiences. It’s also a great opportunity to downsize and consolidate the important things in your life. Just like Mei, moving might become a big part of your future with the right tips and tricks.