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When the boxes come out and the clothing starts going in, you realize just how much stuff you didn't know you actually had. But don't panic — there are several hacks and tips for packing your things to move across the country that will make it a little more painless.

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You should be excited about your move, not dreading it! I moved from the West Coast to New York City for graduate school a couple years ago, and if that experience taught me anything, it was that literally the worst form of punishment is having to pack up what feels like your entire life to move. You'd think that fresh out of college you wouldn't have accumulated that much stuff yet.


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But oh, you would be wrong. What feels like "just a few boxes," turns into a nightmare of gigantic piles of clothes, cartons of shoes, and probably several more boxes than you told the moving truck you'd actually be bringing.

There's no universe in which packing will ever be constituted as fun, but there are certainly ways to mitigate the pain a bit. Here are nine hacks for packing to move across the country, learned the hard way: from experience. I mean, what if that item comes back in fashion?

Learn more about offering an After the Boxes Are Unpacked study

What if you randomly want to wear that bright yellow tube top you wore all of one time on some upcoming beach vacation that you don't currently have planned? I know it's hard, but my rule is that if you haven't worn it, you probably aren't going to. Further, if you didn't even know you owned it, it goes in the donation pile. Every box you bring costs you more money, and they pile up fast , so pare down your stuff to what you actually and truly wear and need. Space bags are your new BFF. They'll keep your clothes clean and protected, and you can suck the air out of them so it saves you space!

Do not throw shoes in a carton; it's always better to pack them in boxes.

Moving Boxes: How Many Do I Need?

If you have the original shoe box and dust bag, that's the way to go. If you don't have the shoe box, just use another similarly sized smaller box, then you can just stack them up inside a carton. Pro tip: Always wrap a rubber band around the box or tape it. A car lease is a subscription, but so is your gym membership and the way you use Microsoft Office.

Consumers receive things they need or want without having to make any decisions, and that creates more stable and predictable revenue streams for the businesses they patronize. The pitch for Feather, a two-year-old start-up that lets consumers borrow suites of furniture for their apartments, sounds a little dystopian.

So why own your furniture? The furniture they need might change pretty quickly, along with the rest of their lives. Although Feather offers terms as short as three months, Reno says most of its customers rent for a full year—the length of an apartment lease. According to Reno, Feather is targeting educated, middle-class consumers who can probably qualify for in-store financing at West Elm—the same type of people who might have been proudly buying a new dinette set for their young family at Havertys in the s.


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But back then, those shoppers could expect their dining area to be the same size for the foreseeable future. If furniture subscriptions might help consumers delay a purchase decision that feels too permanent to handle, Rent the Runway might help shoppers stop making purchases that have gotten too easy. Most individual pieces are worn only a handful of times before being discarded, usually into landfills.

At the same time, supercheap clothing is more omnipresent than ever, which can make it seem like a smart, budget-conscious choice for refreshing a seasonal wardrobe or flexing on Instagram.

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The Only Thing You Can’t Subscribe to Now Is Stability

In theory, a wardrobe subscription gives people access to the variety that modern life demands, in addition to the kind of high-end clothing that it would be impossible for most people to wear every day. But along with the advantages of variety or quality comes a downside. Whether or not a subscription to breakfast smoothies or Reformation dresses or mattresses makes sense depends on individual consumer circumstances, which Dholakia says people are bad at evaluating on their own. Consumers also seem to be bad at estimating how much they spend on subscriptions.


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