Moving is always hectic, but moving to another state in the middle of a pandemic? Even more so, if that’s possible! After 15 months in NYC after graduating from my MBA, I packed up my apartment (which also functioned as okko’s office and fulfillment center) and moved to Miami, Florida.
You can read more about why I decided to move on Instagram, but here are my tips for packing and moving as a minimalist. Most of these tips are more relevant for a cross-city move, but some definitely apply even if you’re moving a few blocks away! I also included some products, music, and podcasts I relied on to stay comfy for the drive down.
Moving tips1. Marie Kondo everything
Moving is the perfect opportunity to assess everything you own. Marie Kondo hits this one right on the head — only take things that spark joy for you. You don’t want to move clutter from one place to another, so get rid of items not worth keeping before the move (even weeks before!). I got all of my clothing, shoes, and accessories into 2.5 boxes.
Decluttering shouldn’t solely focus on the closet — get rid of decor, kitchen stuff, anything in your home. Especially for bulky items like furniture, think about where you’re going to place them in your new home. If it doesn’t fit, try to sell it. We had this hallway tree thing that was too wide for our new home’s entryway. We got rid of it!
And if you need financial motivation, most moving companies charge by volume — so you’re saving money by shrinking your collection.2. Flag items you need with you and shouldn’t be boxed up
Put a Post-it Note or put them in a designated area of the home. I had about a 10-day period between moving out of NYC and moving into Miami, so I needed more than just a backpack of items with me. For example, I needed my planner and monitor and its supporting accessories for work; a couple of dinner-appropriate outfits for meals with my boyfriend’s dad on the drive down; and my puppy Pogo’s food and favorite toys.
It helped that I figured out what those items were in advance — avoiding the headache of accidentally packing them, then needing to fish it out of packed boxes.3. Start early!
My situation was a little different, because I not only had to organize and pack up my NYC apartment, but also all of okko’s inventory (which ended up being 370 boxes). I started packing the apartment a couple of weeks before the move date, aiming to do 1-2 boxes per day.
By not waiting to pack until right before the move, I reduced procrastination, spent more time organizing everything appropriately without pressure, and felt less stressed! Also, since I was moving cities, spreading out the packing freed up my time to focus on saying goodbye to my friends and favorite places in my last few days in NYC. This is what minimalism is all about — not letting material things get in the way of focusing on what’s important to you.4. Think about how you’re going to unpack
In my opinion, unpacking feels as cumbersome as packing up. I tried to minimize stress for my future self by organizing and packing boxes according to room, being conscious of not mixing across rooms — that meant all my kitchen stuff would be together, all my bathroom stuff was in the same boxes, etc. Don’t forget to label the boxes — nice and big letters! — so you can easily direct the movers to put the boxes in the correct room.5. Hire a bulk trash company at your old and new home
I really hate trash clutter, enough so that I hired bulk trash companies to get it out of my sight. When moving out of NYC, the bulk trash collectors took items I didn’t want to take with us — or couldn’t donate or sell — like my broken bar cart. In Miami, they were even more clutch because they took away the broken-down cardboard boxes, packaging film, bubble wrap, and other moving litter accumulating in our living room. This was all trash that couldn’t fit into our garbage can and I didn’t want sitting in our house.
My boyfriend and I drove down to Miami over five days, stopping in Richmond, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia; and St. Petersburg, Florida, where we posted up at my boyfriend’s dad’s for a week while waiting for our things to arrive. Since it was a road trip, comfort was a priority. Here are some things that made the trip a little easier.
What I wore: Driving south means temperatures increase, so I wore okko (obviously!), lightweight T-shirts, and my favorite Pangaia shorts. In the car I wore comfy socks, but when we stepped out I wore slip-on sneakers like Vans.
What I relied on:
- Healthy snacks like protein bars and dried fruits and nuts — there aren’t many (or any, really) healthy, convenient options for food when taking a road trip.
- Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask — I don’t know why, but I felt pretty dehydrated the entire drive, and my skin started to show it. For every night during the road trip, I used this sleeping mask. It kept my skin looking healthy and bright!
- Portable charger — a life-saving product. Buy it and charge it in advance, in case your phone runs out of battery and you don’t have access to an outlet.
What I listened to:
Music: I’ve been on a real kick for throwback songs, so I listened to a lot of Spotify’s All Out 00s and Acoustic Hits: Oldies but Goodies. For more chill vibes, I definitely recommend Essential Indie (also on Spotify).
Podcasts: Because my last month in NYC was a whirlwind, I had fallen very behind on my podcasts. I used the road trip to catch up on my fave business podcasts: How I Built This with Guy Raz and WorkLife with Adam Grant (a professor at Wharton — my alma mater!). I also suggest the app Blinkist, which summarizes non-fiction literature into short and digestible episodes.
What are your top moving tips? Let me know on Instagram @okko.co!