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Energy Conservation Series: Moving

Welcome to the third installment of the Energy Conservation Series! This week’s focus is going to be stuff we can do while moving so it doesn’t take us out for weeks.

If you haven’t checked out the original post, you can do that here. It has definitions, explanations, and some other tips/tricks.

A little background

Yes, you read that right. After three years of doctors telling me to find a new place to live and a two year waiting list later, I have found and been approved for a new apartment! The whole thing has been a crazy exercise in patience, but I’m making it through with most of my sanity intact.

Long story short, I was told I could move in last week and got my current two bedroom apartment packed up in a week (I am a professional mover at this point in my life) and due to issues on the part of other involved parties the date had been pushed back. I am crossing my fingers that by the time you read this I’ll have the go-ahead to move forward.

Moving is stressful for everyone, especially those with chronic illness. All of the packing, cleaning, carrying boxes, etc. is a huge energy drain and I’m going to share with you how I got through it with little pain or more fatigue than usual.

Tips and Tricks

You may be thinking “Thank you Capitan Obvious” when it comes to some of these, but they helped. Maybe you’ll see something you didn’t think of and decide to implement it.

Make a to-do list

This one shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been here for a minute. I am a list person and it helps when things get overwhelming. When making the list below, I went room by room and wrote down everything that needed to be done. It is a HUGE list and felt daunting at times, but it kept me organized and I could choose tasks that fit my spoons for the day.

Work when you have the most energy

Finding the time of day you have the most energy is important for energy conservation in general and for moving tasks, its no different. I typically worked on my days off or in the evening after I’ve rested and eaten dinner. Now, I am fortunate enough to be able to work part-time with shorter shifts so while work is an energy drain I usually have some time to recover. Some weeks are better than others, but I listened to my body and did what I could. The following tip (and caffeine if I’m being honest) helped me immensely, especially on the days where my energy was lacking.

Room by room

Working on one room at a time might seem like obvious, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to start multiple rooms at once. Focusing on one room helps keep your brain and your stuff organized. Doing this will also give you the opportunity to go through your belongings and purge. I did this and have a large stash that will be sold/donated/thrown and I have less to move. I’m giving those who help me move first dibs on anything and then the rest will be taken care of accordingly.

This also applies to cleaning and repairs–we get those security deposits back in this house. A can of touch up paint, new drip pans for the range, and the energy it takes to clean up after myself is worth getting several hundred dollars back when I leave.

Use smaller boxes

This is something I HAVE to do since I am a chronic over-packer when it comes to moving boxes. They get way too heavy and only the likes of power lifters should be carrying them around. So, to save all of our backs and energy levels I got boxes that would make things more manageable. Yes, that does mean I have more boxes than I would otherwise, but safety is more important. Your body is expensive to fix and maintain, so it’s best to do as much as you can to not mess it up any more than it already is (I’m looking at you, self).

On the topic of boxes, another tip is to NEVER PAY FOR THEM! Plenty of businesses will gladly give you boxes so they don’t have to break down and dispose of them. I went to a local assisted living/skilled care facility and got boxes that commonly used items were shipped in. Briefs are shipped in a sturdy box that are perfect for moving. I also went to a liquor store and got boxes that are perfect for glassware. Some of them still had the dividers inside. My job also gets a lot of supplies shipped in on a regular basis and my boss was more than willing to let me take whatever I wanted.


Put hanging clothes into drawstring garbage bags! You don’t have to waste time and energy taking them down, folding them, and putting them into boxes only to undo when you get to the new place. I did put clothes that were not on hangers into boxes, but the majority of my wardrobe looks like this….

These bundles are lighter than a box and I don’t have to mess around with it when I get to the new place. Win-win.

Use wheels

Dollies are a moving person’s best friend. I currently have my wheels (which I have talked about before) and two of my helpers have dollies that they will bring on my move-in date. This falls into the save your back and energy category. Getting things from the current dwelling to the car and then from the car to the new dwelling will be so much easier when the devices to the heavy lifting.

Speaking of wheels….use your wheeled luggage to transport your books, movies, video games, etc. These items get heavy in boxes and are much easier to move around this way. If you have these items in ridiculous quantities, like I do, the bags are very heavy too but it’s easier to wheel them than carry them.

People in your life

This is going to be a huge one for me. Originally, I swore that I would hire movers because I don’t have the desire to do the whole moving thing ever again (before my current place, I moved six times in six years), however, my people made it clear that there was no need for it (even if they 100% understood). I have a group of friends and family that are going to help me so I don’t have to do it alone and for that I am extremely grateful. The majority of them offered to help and others jumped on it when I asked. They’re also willing to be paid in dinner, so that works for me.

If your support circle is unable to help, you can always hire a moving company. This option isn’t cheap, but it has benefits. They can pack up your house, put it in a truck, bring it to your new dwelling, and set it up for you. It certainly has its appeal. As far as I know, they don’t clean for you, so that is something you would need to take care of or hire out for.

Take care of YOU!

It is almost inevitable when doing a huge task, like moving, there will be some aches, pains, fatigue, and some symptoms of your chronic illness. Personally, there was shortness of breath and couching, along with the chronic pain stuff. The tips above can lessen those things, but it will not take them away completely. We are humans and if you’re like me, not even fully functioning on a good day.

Make sure to sleep, eat food that has some nutritional value, and move at a pace that works for you. Do your stretches and treatments too. It’s no secret that I forget to stretch and warm up my muscles before doing activities, so that’s a reminder for both of us. Taking your meds is important, as well. Can’t breathe well if we don’t take our breathing medications.

Have you been using any of the tips from last week or have any other tips or tricks you use, post them below and help out the community!

And as always…Be safe out there! Seeyalaterbye <3

Do you spy Currently Unnamed CardyBear? If you spot him, put FOUND in the comments 😊

Also, if you feel called to help a sista out with her travels, check this out!

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