Anyone who knows me even moderately well knows that staying put is not one of my talents. The opposing desires to put down roots and to wander the earth are frequently at odds in the wild, dream-fueled, somewhat contradictory territory of my heart, and my current journey is one of discovery… discovery, hopefully, of a way for them to coexist harmoniously in my life. (Planning a destination wedding and need a photographer, anyone?!)

After ten years of regular pack-up-and-moves, I’ve picked up some essential tips for streamlining the moving process.

  1. Find that perfect balance between packrat and minimalist. While I love every aspect of the idea of minimalism, I’ve discovered that as a frequent pack-up-my-life-and-moveer, I simply can’t afford to be a 100% minimalist. While it can seem a tad ridiculous to haul things like paper clips, tape, staples, or twinkle lights across an ocean, I’ve learned that anything I throw out during a move must then, at some point, be replaced, and although items like that may seem small and their price inconsequential, it all adds up. Fast. Especially when done repeatedly. Ask yourself… “Will it cost more to transport this or replace it?” On the flip side, some degree of minimalism is an absolute necessity. I’ve never owned a piece of furniture for more than a few months, and anything I have bought has been through craigslist so that when I move I can re-sell it for a similar price. Also… who really needs 15 forks and more than five pairs of shoes?!
  2. Once you’ve decided where to be minimalistic and where to be packrat-ish, sell everything you can. And I mean everything. Be creative 😉 When I was preparing to leave Maui, I was selling everything from used craft supplies to shampoo to succulents to my “alcohol closet.”
  3. Let craigslist and thrift stores become your best friends.
  4. If you’re a business owner or freelancer, try to avoid anything that locks you to a certain area… for example, listing the city/state/island name in your website address, or including it in your business name, etc. With this most recent move, I’ve even quit listing my location on my business cards, simply because I’m so tired of throwing out unused (and unusable in the future) cards at each move.

One last thing…

Staying can be just as big of an adventure – and, if you’re like me, much more challenging of one – than moving. So sometimes, do sign a lease – and then commit to not finding a way out of it until it ends. I’m only a month in, and I can already tell it’s gonna be a wild, wonderful ride.