1. Start Early. If you have the luxury of knowing a while in advance when you will be moving, don't procrastinate. Giving yourself plenty of time to declutter and pack is THE KEY to sanity while moving.
2. Pack Items from a single room together. This might seem like a no-brainer. But you may be surprised. So make sure that items from one room are packed in the same box. Then make sure that box is clearly labelled with the room it belongs in. If you have the time (and energy) you can even label each box more specifically...such as "Home office" "Desk drawer items". Can you see the logic? ;-)
3. Make sure that you pack items separately that you will need upon arrival at your new house, and then make sure you keep them with you (in your car for example). For instance, make sure you have some clothing, personal hygiene items including toilet paper, cleaning supplies, important papers, bedding, etc. available when you arrive so that you aren't ransacking the house trying to find where you packed the toothpaste.
In addition, make sure that you set up beds first thing when you arrive at your new place. It's always nice to have a bed to sleep in when you're surrounded by boxes.
4. Make all necessary arrangements for utilities, mail changes, and kids' schooling as soon as possible. Nothing like showing up at your new place and having no power. And little people transition easier when Mom and Dad already have things arranged at their new school.
5. Find Free Boxes. This is always an issue for us. We ALWAYS move ourselves. And we have rarely had enough room to store moving boxes from previous moves, so we always find ourselves in need of moving boxes. But here's a great tip on how to get FREE moving boxes. Look on Craig's List or on your local on-line classified ads in the Free Section. You will almost always find someone who is trying to get rid of moving boxes.
6. Purge Before You Pack. This might not save you time while you're packing, but it will definitely be worth it once you arrive at your new place. I hate to admit it, but there are boxes in my basement right now that the Hubby and I have lugged from place to place for at least the last 10 years. And here's a hint..if we haven't needed the stuff in 10 years..we're not going to need it. So this move, we're getting rid of the stuff before we move it one more time.
7. Breathe. If all else fails, just remember, this too shall pass. When I get stressed out, I just visualize myself in my new space...with everything put away, and I realize that in a few short weeks, all the chaos will be over, and I'll have a new place to decorate. And that just puts a smile on my face.
If you're moving, or just thinking about moving, I hope you'll be able to use some of these tips to help you stay sane in the process.
Have a great day~