For Sam. 🙂 This just felt like too much for a comment, and maybe it will help someone else!
I don’t have too many tips, I did a lot of research before I moved and the conflicting advice became redundant and overwhelming after a while. But these three things that I did and which actually worked will be my gold standard from now on:
Pack at least one box a day, marking them with the room/area they will go into in the new place.
I packed my room and most of my boyfriend’s apartment, and I was basically living out of boxes by the time moving day actually arrived. I bought tape with room names on it for about five bucks at a Uhaul and just used that – it was super convenient. I also marked (or remembered because I have a photographic memory) the boxes with the room they came from if it was very different. So, for instance, if I knew his screwdrivers were in his kitchen junk drawer, but junk drawer stuff went into the laundry/utility closet, I find the box that has both labels, make sense? Which leads to:
Get rid of everything you possibly can.
I used to be a packrat, but now I just take pictures of things I know I won’t use and give them away. A clean start is way more addicting and convenient than having to carve out space in a new phase for emotional baggage. I have a little lock box with very special things in it (a dried rose, the notecard, and the menu from our first valentine’s day, or wedding invites from special friends, etc.) and a shoebox with handmade cards or papercrafting gifts my younger sisters have made that I think they might want someday, but that’s it. I came to this house with clothes, books, quilting supplies, and my few culinary possessions.
Don’t damage your relationship with them (if it can be helped), but be honest with your parents or roommates if they ask you why you’re leaving.
It might make it easier on the next person to move out! Not long after I left, my Dad would still worry and ask how I’m doing every day and be generally hurt if I didn’t come over several times a week – which was weird because we saw each other every day before but we didn’t really talk too much. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, but we both worked a lot so most of our contact was cursory and often overshadowed by exhaustion. But I moved an hour away and worked full time, so being at his house all the time after moving out wasn’t exactly feasible or – let’s face it – healthy. Finally one day I told him the truth, that I was taking a break from the family to get my new life in order and make the separation real, for everyone. And that made sense to him. He slowed his roll a little bit and let me communicate on my own terms. Now we do text almost every day, mostly about food, and our relationship is healthier than ever.
Let me know what you think, or comment below with more tips.