Keep Moving As Stressful as Possible With These Simple Strategies

Would you believe me if I told you that moving could be an exciting time full of adventure and wonder?  Okay, so maybe that does sound a little bit like a Disney World ad, but moving seriously doesn’t have to be a negative and stressful experience.

Moving Tips

The key is in the planning and preparation.  If you are well-organized, have planned ahead, and prepared for the process, it should go quite smoothly with minimal angst and anxiety.  For a lot of us, we start to feel like we’re drowning when it comes to a big task, which is what makes a list tips and strategies all the more appreciated:

  • Use a notebook to make a list of everything that you are putting in your boxes. Give each box a number in your notebook, and write that number on each box.  Keep that notebook in a specific section of your home, which you will refer to as your “moving headquarters”.  Anything pertaining to the move should be kept here.
  • Make sure you have enough supplies. We always wind up needing way more supplies than we think we will, so find good deals for cheap moving boxes and other packing supplies on the Internet or local yard sale sights.
  • One of the most helpful moving tips I have ever used was color-coordinating my boxes. Say you put a red sticker on all boxes from the kitchen, and then you a hang up a red piece of paper in the corner of the kitchen that says, “boxes here please.”  This way the movers can know where exactly the red boxes need to be stacked.


  • You may have found some cheap moving boxes, but you will still wind up needing more than you anticipated. Use your luggage to pack linen closet items or even your clothes in.
  • Set aside cleaning supplies so that you can clean up after yourself and prepare your new place.
  • Pack overnight bags for everyone in the family so that you don’t have to worry about finding simple things like pajamas, toothbrushes, even toilet paper, on moving day/night.
  • Begin the packing process as soon as you find you out you are moving.  Seriously, the sooner you begin to pack the better, because it always takes a lot longer than we think it will.  Downsize as much as possible during this time, which will hopefully make you some money at a yard sale and save you money on your move since you will be decreasing the amount of weight you are moving.  Some people even have a giant estate sale before they move, where people come in and have the option of buying whatever they see.
  • Remember those cheap moving boxes? Sell them after you are done using them, and get some return on your investment.

5 Fabulously Fun Creative Cardboard Box DIYs

Who needs a babysitter or gaming system if you’ve got cardboard boxes laying around?  Hands down, these are THE greatest, THE most universal toy of all time, throughout all time.  They transcend gender and favor no region.  It is the same across the world, for every boy or girl.

But wait…not everyone is creative, right?  Well, thankfully for us, there are A LOT of creative people out there, and double thankful for us is that we have the internet where those creative people can post their creative ideas for us to discover and try to duplicate.  And so, without further ado, here are 5 fabulous and fun ideas for how to transform your cardboard boxes into an amazing time:

CASTLE– hands down, the first and most obvious suggestion is a fortress! The bigger the box the better, but don’t be discouraged because you can put together smaller boxes and still make a super convincing castle (do I need to specify sans moat?).


BALL MAZE– a favorite with little boys, this is the option for when you have a bunch of wrapping paper or paper towel tubes laying around. A couple ping pong balls or matchbox cars call this complete, although you will probably find yourself joining the youngsters as they experiment with what will and what will not roll.


SLIDE– have you ever used a towel or a strip of cardboard to go down the stairs like a slide? Well, the idea has developed into something much safer, and MUCH more comfortable.  Take all of your cardboard boxes, open them up and tape them together laying over the stairs.  Don’t forget to put a couple pillows or a mattress at the bottom for the best results possible.


STOREFRONT– every kid loves to play “store” or “restaurant”. If you have some engineering skills, or at least a lot of self-confidence, take some time to cut out a storefront and add some cardboard shelves where the junior entrepreneurs can hock their wares.


BEANBAG GAME– any box at all will be perfect for the beanbag game, and the best part is that you only need one box! Cut it in half diagonally and then cut some holes in the new “tops”.  Make the holes different sizes, worth higher and lower points.


If you don’t have any beanbags on hand, fill up some old socks with whatever is close enough to dried beans and tie the tops shut.  Great for a rainy day, and the kind of game mom and dad don’t mind being asked to play.


The ABCs of Adorable Giftwrap

There are so many ways to give a gift.  There’s simply no need to stick to the plain old, boring status quo!  Too many times we go over the checklist in our mind (cardboard boxes, tape, wrapping paper…).  We don’t even stop to think about all of the fun ways we can giftwrap something.  Did I mention easy and cheap, too?   You don’t have to be Martha Steward to hand someone the most adorable package they’ve ever seen.  If you’ve got Pinterest and YouTube you’ve got everything you need!

Sans Cardboard Boxes

Let’s start by saying “no” to plain old cardboard boxes.  Nowadays, there are templates and patterns online that you can download and print out and then trace on beautifully designed cardstock.  Literally, with a couple rolls, tucks, and bends you can create a package that yawns open at the corners, unfolding like a flower, with a cylinder in the middle holding the actual gift.

Another favorite of mine are like little fortune cookies.  Once again, using cardstock, you can fashion hollow geometric shapes and then stick a little piece of ribbon or thin paper out with the name of the participant.  These make awesome party favors.

Sans Cardboard Boxes

Random Materials

You  might be scared to branch out, but trust me, this is one of those times when it’s okay to do so.  Sometimes people use a cute scrap of cloth or even a beautiful scarf to wrap their gifts in.  This is all well and good but you can achieve the same effect with a fifty-cent piece of felt from your local craft store.  Once again, there are plenty of how-tos all over the internet, so don’t get give up before you even get started.  Felt and ribbon.  That’s like three bucks.  And if you are really liking the wrapping-turned-bonus-gift idea just use a coffee mug!  Everyone uses coffee mugs (they do, right?).  Stuff it with tissue paper, slip a gift card inside, that’s all it takes.  See! You don’t have to be a creative genius to make it happen.


Perhaps my favorite thing about gift-wrapping is embellishing.  This is simply not how things were done when I was growing up.  You were lucky if the paper was cute.  But now there are SO many ideas, and most of them aren’t that groundbreaking.  Skip the designed wrapping paper altogether and go with a solid color.



Then, make it fun and 3D by adding your own touch: glue buttons or pompoms all over a package; use washi tape to create designs and pictures.

Make Your Moving Day Easier

So you’re moving, and the question remains: now what?  Do you do it yourself, or do you pay someone else.  Good question.  Probably the most important one.  It’s completely acceptable for an average-sized home to have upwards of a hundred boxes.  That requires a lot of manpower, not to mention vehicle space, to transport all of it.


First and foremost, a couple things have to be established:

  • How big is your move? Are you downsizing or upsizing?  How many rooms are you moving into how many rooms?
  • How strong are you? This is a serious question.  Depending on your age, your health, and your overall stamina, moving will take its toll.  Are you ready for that?
  • Have you done the math? Moving always winds up being more expensive than you plan on.  It usually starts with the shipping boxes.  You think you will only need twenty but you wind up needing forty.  How about gas, tipping the movers buying your helpers dinner…

After you’ve answered those questions, hopefully with the advice of some friends weighing in, you can decide if you are going to do your own move or not.  If you have decided to hire movers, make sure you’ve done your research and read good reviews.  If you are have decided to do your own move, here are a couple tips to help you save time, money, and energy:

  • Use shipping boxes to pack your stuff in. Boxes designed to go through the mailing system are usually a better quality cardboard and more enforced.
  • Go through your belongings and get rid of what you don’t need. If you enough to get rid of you could even host a garage sale and earn some money towards the move.
  • You can save on moving supplies by finding or purchasing used items. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding used shipping boxes from local stores or that someone else is trying to sell on Craigslist.
  • Mark your boxes on the top and the sides. Be descriptive! Label the room they are being moved into, and what they are holding (Kitchen: hand towels, Scentsy burner, mixing spoons).
  • If you don’t feel comfortable, or interested in, driving your own moving truck, you can at least save a lot of money by loading it yourselves. There are plenty of companies that will drop off a truck and then come back to get it after you’ve loaded it.
  • Pack everything tightly, using enough padding. Make sure not to pack too heavy, so don’t use bigger boxes for books or kitchenware.  Be sure to label if a box is fragile!

What Pinterest Has to Say About Cardboard Boxes

Do not go on Pinterest if you want to continue feeling good about yourself.  Do go on Pinterest if you want see how talented, creative, and apparently wealthy everyone else is.

Of course I’m just kidding.  Pinterest is a wonderful resource, and if you treat it for what it is (namely, an internet website), you can walk away without hating yourself.  It’s true that there are now new forms of depression and obsession that have developed solely because of social media, and that makes sense.  They call them “Pinterest fails” for a reason.  And have you ever seen any of those?  Hilarious!  But honestly, if we embraced the components of our own lives we might be able to give some of those creative, witty, and resourceful Pinterest ideas a try!

If you simply type in “cardboard boxes” you will immediately see pin after pin of awesome looking DIY cardboard toys.  Okay, let’s stop there.  I said “give some of these try”.  Not “replicate them to perfection”.  The fact is that we aren’t starting out with the same resources of whomever that even created what they have posted (starting at our brains), so we can automatically start to assume that our project will NOT come up looking the same.  And that’s okay.


Do you have some cardboard boxes?  If you do, awesome.  You are one step closer to attempting a cool Pinterest idea.  So, you type in “cardboard boxes”.  You can make a pirate ship or a mailbox.  If you have a ton of them you can tape them all together and make a maze.  You can make a marble labyrinth game, which actually gave me an idea… I took some old cardboard boxes that were in the burn pile and cut them down so that they were trays.  I squirted different colors of paint on the bottom.  Tossed in a couple of black walnut pods and taught the children how to hold and tip the tray so that the black walnuts would roll through the paint and create a very Jackson Pollock-esque painting.


Don’t have kids?  Dress up the boxes with cloth and rope and turn it all into a beautiful storage box, or any number of organizational containers.  Don’t even want to make anything, you were trying to find those subscription boxes and you couldn’t remember what they were called for the life of you?  Those pop up, too (and they are my favorite).  I want to try all of those subscription boxes… but I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, and that would just happen.