MOXIE, Relocation and the Podcast

MOXIE. A word I’ve been using for years. When Jaime Wilkins of Sincerely Satisfied asked if I’d be interested in doing a podcast, I immediately responded with a yes. I responded before fear had a chance of setting in.

Moxie is a spirited courageousness.

Moxie pushes me into the unknown, accepting that things out of my control are simply going to unfold, and possibly unravel. It’s bravely stepping up in all of my discomfort and awkwardness because doing something new is also an opportunity for growth.

Moxie keeps you moving forward bravely and doing new things. 

Moxie is especially crucial during relocation. In order to get acclimated, feel at home faster and attach yourself to your new place, moxie will push you to try new things. And take on new responsibilities simply because you don’t have a good reason to say no yet. Besides, feeling fear and awkward really aren’t good reasons to say no or hold back.

And the more you push through the discomfort and put yourself out there, the less awkward being new feels.

Encouraging people to say yes and step into the unpredictable, unscripted unknown of being new in a new place is what I do. So, in this podcast I lean in, acknowledge how awkward I feel and just kept going. Jaime and I talk about how saying yes and doing new things relate to relocation in this podcast, as well as authenticity, vulnerability and gratitude. (& off the record, I was happy to discover that Jaime has superb editing skills.)

So, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and listen to the podcast, here. We talk about RELOCATION MOXIE, mindset, gratitude and authenticity; inspire you to go first and say yes, whether you feel awkward or comfortable being new and more. Enjoy!   

Jaime and Sincerely Satisfied can be found here. And my instagram has changed since doing the podcast: marni_thriveunscripted

Relocation Podcast Marni Cummings

Organizing to Move: Key Tips

The key component to a smooth relocation is organizing before a move. I know it’s easy to say rather than do. And a lot depends on the amount of time you have on the front end. Confession, we weren’t always fortunate to have the time to organize first. Those moves were rough. Loose items falling off of the back of a pick-up truck rough.  

As I wrote and recommend in another piece, Moving and Packing Tips, use a spiral notebook to get organized and keep track of to do lists. I create my own lists based on our specific needs and use a flexible format. There are loads of moving checklists out on Pinterest. Use one as a reference and adapt it to fit your needs. 

In a pinch, because things change quickly, you can use blank pages from the notebook to write yourself or someone else a quick note. I love my iPhone dearly, yet it’s not always convenient or faster. 

A 6” x 9” notebook with pockets is large enough to write easily and small enough to toss into most bags. Binders have the flexibility to move pages around and add additional paperwork, preprinted checklists and tabs. Choose the format that’s best for you, and your work style.

First Steps: 

Start by thoroughly decluttering and purging. This makes organizing to move much easier. Go to the items that you don’t use, love and know what to do with first. You’ll have less to organize, less to move and less to unpack if you do this thoroughly now. This golden task will also save you both time and money on moving expenses. Per my tips in Decluttering Before Relocation, sort to make 3 piles: trash, donate, and recycle. 

After decluttering and purging, the next step is to sort before packing begins. There are a variety of ways to sort, either by person or by room and category. Relocate items to the room that they will be unpacked in before packing. Whether you’ve hired movers and packers or doing it yourself, sorting is a must. This will speed up the time it will take to unpack.

Also, go look at rooms and areas, such as pantries, the attic and garage, that have the most clutter. Decluttering these spots will require more time. Plan accordingly and give yourself the time necessary to do a thorough job. Again, head over this blog post for more suggestions. 

Packing and Materials:

Moving boxes that are the same size stack more easily on dollies and the truck. If you belong to an online community group, ask if anyone recently moved. They may have free boxes left over. And make sure any used boxes are clean. I didn’t, only once, and missed a few spinach leaves. They got packed in with a bunch of living room decorative items. 

Newspaper is great packing paper, though it runs the risk of getting ink stains on items. Or purchase paper from a moving company or supply store. Bubble wrap is an alternative, too.  I’ve also used dishtowels, table cloths and other soft items to protect dishes and breakables. 

Organize and pack items that you aren’t using first. Heavy items, such as books, should be packed into smaller boxes to keep them from getting too heavy to lift.

Stuff that’ll Move with You (not on the truck): 

Make another pile of the items that will remain with you during the move. Or if they are items used daily, keep them out wherever you use them and be careful not to pack them. More than likely these will go with you on the road or by air. 

Chargers and items that are used regularly should be packed in clear bins or bags so that they are visible and easy to find in the chaos. Start thinking about how you’re going to pack laptops, iPad and other technology. Entertainment, to help you relax and destress is important. A book and a deck of cards, perhaps.

Other necessary items that may be riding along with you are bedding and towels, toilet paper, tissues, a dish towel or 2 and some utensils. Pack cleaning supplies if they will fit, or buy them there. It will be good to run and errand and see a bit of your new place. 

Think about the number of days that you’ll be in the house before your stuff is delivered and what you’ll need. I swear by packing cubes when we go to the beach and travel and think the bigger ones could be useful when packing a full car. 

Other Important Items: 

A big mistake I made when organizing to move from Atlanta to Cincinnati was leaving my social security card in my dresser. In the chaos of getting estimates and having people in and out of our house, I completely forgot I had quickly shoved it there. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t with me until after we moved into our new home. Although there are a lot of good people out there and our movers have been great, this story could have gone in another direction even if the card had merely fallen out of the drawer. I freaked out when I found it. 

So, PLEASE pack ALL important paperwork such as passports, social security cards, wills, insurance policies, possible valuables, heirlooms, etc. carefully. Holy cow. I can’t stress this one enough or too many times. Find a good spot to start a pile and then on the day of the move, relocate it to a neighbor’s house. Or your car so that the movers don’t accidently put it on the truck. 

Spend the time upfront decluttering and organizing to move so that you’ll have more time to spend recovering and settling in. This is a time for fresh starts and self-care. And if you find that you’re having a difficult time getting acclimated and connected to your new town, try our course. Or consider relocation coaching. 

RELOCATION RECOVERY is an affordable self-paced online course designed to guide you through the post-relocation period. It’ll help you thrive by showing you how to process your emotions, make friends and connect faster in your new place, and so MUCH more. For more information, read about it here or click here to go straight to the course. 

Moving and Packing Tips

Because relocation timelines and situations are different for everyone, it’s hard to write a one-size-fits-all guide filled with packing and moving tip s. I’ve learned some lessons the hard way. Favorites include:

• Rental or moving truck reservations should always be reconfirmed
• Social security cards and other important paperwork should be filed back in their proper place when done and not left in my top dresser drawer
• Sort and purge before moving; better yet, declutter on a regular basis (full story here)

Getting organized and ready for your move:

Using a spiral notebook each time we move, despite my fondness for digital files and lists, works best for me. And yes, I would use the same again. I add notes and items on the fly. Multiple lists, categorized, with a few pages in between each category for flexibility, random thoughts and scribbles fill the notebook.

The back of the notebook is used, beginning on the last page working forwards, for random notes and thoughts to be either categorized later, or done quickly the same day.

The notebook fits easily into my bag. I keep track of things I need to do and mark them complete with the date. There was plenty of room for extra notes.

A side note, or moving tip, from experience. This probably isn’t the right time to try something new. Use whatever method and size you are most comfortable with, paper or digital. And then, once you’re in your new place, then go experience new things (lots of ideas in this online course).

Making your moving checklist(s):

Once you’ve obtained your “notebook” of choice, create a master list of everything you need to do and take into consideration, such as:

  • Hire movers and packers or DIY, rent a truck – do this ASAP. Confirm dates and seriously, double check your reservation
  • Change of address for mail, credit cards, phone bill, etc.
  • License: If moving to a new state, you may have to take their written drivers tests
  • Utility and cable companies – disconnect and reconnect service
  • Banking
  • Transfer medical records
  • Children: school records, medical, activities
  • Pets: transfer vet records; consider boarding them when your stuff is being delivered at new place.

Declutter Before Packing:

Whether you follow Marie Kondo and keep only those things that spark joy or not, I highly recommend decluttering before you move. Imagine, if you will, arriving at your new home and unpacking only the things that you need and love, rather than an overabundance of things you don’t use or want anymore. Moving less will save you time and money (bonus moving tip!).

Quick tips:
Create 3 piles: donate, recycle and trash.

Once you’ve removed what’s not moving with you, group remaining items together that will go into the same room in your new place. This will speed up the process of unpacking.

Moving companies will not pack and move liquids, such as dish soap, shampoos and cleaning supplies. I suggest giving away what you won’t be moving and packing what you will in your car.


Moving boxes stack more easily when they are the same size. If you get boxes from a grocery or liquor store, please make sure they are clean. Reach out in an online community group to see who’s moved recently and has boxes. Start collecting boxes as soon as you can.

Pack what you aren’t using first and a little at a time. Books and heavy items should be packed in smaller boxes to prevent boxes from getting too heavy.

I’ve always used paper, either newspaper or paper from a moving company. Packing paper doesn’t stain like newspaper can. Bubble wrap is an option, as are dishtowels and table cloths and other soft items to protect dishes and breakables.

At the very minimum, label boxes with the room name. When packing an item that you are going to need when you get there, include the name of the item on the box. Consider creating a master list or lists of what are in the boxes. I prefer the element of surprise on the other end of the move and don’t create lists.

Clear bins are great for items that don’t need to be unpacked right away, and nice because you can easily see what’s inside. Movers should put packing tape on the bins to keep them secure during transportation.

Stuff to Move with You:

There will be items that you want to move with you. Important paperwork such as passports, social security cards, wills, insurance policies, possible valuables or heirlooms, etc. that you don’t want someone else handling. Find a good spot in your house to start a pile and then start placing things into some boxes or a bag.

Pull together any necessary cleaning supplies and place near the pile, too.

Pack clothes and toiletries for the number of days needed plus 2. Or at least pack extra underwear and socks, just in case.

Other items you may need while you wait for the moving truck:
• Air mattresses, sheets and towels
• Toilet paper, paper towels (can be used as napkins), tissues and a few dishes, to go bottles and utensils or the disposable kind, also
• Coffee or tea essentials
• Food, if needed. This also may be a good time to start exploring your new area and getting acclimated
• Don’t forget to pack phone and tablet chargers
• Favorite music, shows, and movies; whatever you need to find your calm in the midst of chaos (fun moving tip) 

After your Move | Recovering from Relocation:

Moving is hard, and also an adventure. Melody Warnick, author of This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, and I created RELOCATION RECOVERY, an online course designed to help you thrive through the post-relocation period. This course will help you process emotions, find joy, connect faster in your new place, and so MUCH more. For more information, click here to go straight to the course, or read more here.