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The Art of Happy Moving: How to Declutter, Pack, and Start Over While Maintaining Your Sanity and Finding Happiness

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A comprehensive, upbeat guide to help you survive the moving process from start to finish, filled with fresh strategies and checklists for timing and supplies, choosing which items to toss and which to keep, determining the best place to live, saying farewell and looking forward to hello. Moving is a major life change—time consuming, expensive, often overwhelming, and somet A comprehensive, upbeat guide to help you survive the moving process from start to finish, filled with fresh strategies and checklists for timing and supplies, choosing which items to toss and which to keep, determining the best place to live, saying farewell and looking forward to hello. Moving is a major life change—time consuming, expensive, often overwhelming, and sometimes scary. But it doesn’t have to be! Instead of looking at it as a burdensome chore, consider it a new adventure. Ali Wenzke and her husband moved ten times in eleven years, living in seven states across the U.S. She created her popular blog, The Art of Happy Moving, to help others build a happier life before, during, and after a move. Infused with her infectious optimistic spirit, The Art of Happy Moving builds on her blog, offering step-by-step guidance, much-needed comfort, practical information, and welcome advice on every step of the process, including: How to stage your home for prospective buyers How to choose your next neighborhood How to discard your belongings and organize your packing How to say goodbye to your friends How to make the transition easier for your kids How to decorate your new home How to build a new community And so much more. Ali shares invaluable personal anecdotes from her many moves, and packs each chapter with a wealth of information and ingenious tips (Did you know that if you have an extra-large welcome mat at the entrance of your home, it’s more likely to sell?). Ali also includes checklists for packing and staging, and agendas for the big moving day. Whether you’re a relocating professional, newly married, a family with kids and pets, or a retiree looking to downsize, The Art of Happy Moving will help you discover ways to help make your transition an easier one—and be even happier than you were before.


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A comprehensive, upbeat guide to help you survive the moving process from start to finish, filled with fresh strategies and checklists for timing and supplies, choosing which items to toss and which to keep, determining the best place to live, saying farewell and looking forward to hello. Moving is a major life change—time consuming, expensive, often overwhelming, and somet A comprehensive, upbeat guide to help you survive the moving process from start to finish, filled with fresh strategies and checklists for timing and supplies, choosing which items to toss and which to keep, determining the best place to live, saying farewell and looking forward to hello. Moving is a major life change—time consuming, expensive, often overwhelming, and sometimes scary. But it doesn’t have to be! Instead of looking at it as a burdensome chore, consider it a new adventure. Ali Wenzke and her husband moved ten times in eleven years, living in seven states across the U.S. She created her popular blog, The Art of Happy Moving, to help others build a happier life before, during, and after a move. Infused with her infectious optimistic spirit, The Art of Happy Moving builds on her blog, offering step-by-step guidance, much-needed comfort, practical information, and welcome advice on every step of the process, including: How to stage your home for prospective buyers How to choose your next neighborhood How to discard your belongings and organize your packing How to say goodbye to your friends How to make the transition easier for your kids How to decorate your new home How to build a new community And so much more. Ali shares invaluable personal anecdotes from her many moves, and packs each chapter with a wealth of information and ingenious tips (Did you know that if you have an extra-large welcome mat at the entrance of your home, it’s more likely to sell?). Ali also includes checklists for packing and staging, and agendas for the big moving day. Whether you’re a relocating professional, newly married, a family with kids and pets, or a retiree looking to downsize, The Art of Happy Moving will help you discover ways to help make your transition an easier one—and be even happier than you were before.

30 review for The Art of Happy Moving: How to Declutter, Pack, and Start Over While Maintaining Your Sanity and Finding Happiness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    3.5 stars Listened to the audiobook then sought out a physical copy for the checklists and reference materials.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    3.5 - this book seems a bit dated now, due to what we've all gone through the last few years. Many of the suggestions for living life in your new space just don't work anymore, people don't want to be touched & it's hard to smile at everyone if you're masking. Still, the actual moving checklists, advice & planning tip were quite good. Recommend to any who have a move coming up 3.5 - this book seems a bit dated now, due to what we've all gone through the last few years. Many of the suggestions for living life in your new space just don't work anymore, people don't want to be touched & it's hard to smile at everyone if you're masking. Still, the actual moving checklists, advice & planning tip were quite good. Recommend to any who have a move coming up

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    "The average American moves 11.7 times in a lifetime..." As a military brat, I've moved a lot more than this and sometimes several times in a single year. And Ali is right, every time you move can be an opportunity to start all over again... and thank goodness for that. I remember one time as a kid that I didn't even care if I made friends since I knew I'd just be moving again soon. On top of all of this, except for moving from apartment to apartment at an obnoxious rate within the same city for "The average American moves 11.7 times in a lifetime..." As a military brat, I've moved a lot more than this and sometimes several times in a single year. And Ali is right, every time you move can be an opportunity to start all over again... and thank goodness for that. I remember one time as a kid that I didn't even care if I made friends since I knew I'd just be moving again soon. On top of all of this, except for moving from apartment to apartment at an obnoxious rate within the same city for years, moving to NYC was the first (and only) move I've done on my own. I did not make a Pros and Cons list, I didn't research the city properly. I just knew I wanted to be in a bustling city that was extremely diverse, so once I secured a job, I was OUT. I truly wish I had a book like this or advice from Ali before I had made any moves. **disclaimer - I have absolutely no regrets moving here but it would've probably been better to have done it more responsibly. 😉 I'm not sure about the starting to declutter with your books *ahem* haha, but the advice Ali gives is fantastic and the best part is that this book is actually fun to read. Most self-help or informational books are a bit of a bore for me. I will absolutely be utilizing this in the future because I know I still have many moves ahead of me. There are plenty of checklists that help. Ali's experiences with moving a ton herself definitely shows throughout this book. Honestly, if you're moving and need some direction on how to keep yourself organized, I highly recommend this book. If you move a lot and think you have it all down... well, I suggest you maybe take a look at this anyways as you may find some tidbits you didn't know before. Also, there's a great blueberry muffin recipe in here I'm definitely going to try! Thank you William Morrow for this copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Reid

    I won this audiobook as a giveaway the author provided. Unfortunately it's taken me two years to get to this one, due to blowing off some dust bunnies in the shed and cranking up the old faithful CD machine. . Although this is an audiobook, Ali does talk about diagrams and such like that you can physically do in the paperback version. . On average in America you move 11 or 12 times ... that's quite a number of times. Ali suggests and gives her expertise help on something that you would think is easy I won this audiobook as a giveaway the author provided. Unfortunately it's taken me two years to get to this one, due to blowing off some dust bunnies in the shed and cranking up the old faithful CD machine. . Although this is an audiobook, Ali does talk about diagrams and such like that you can physically do in the paperback version. . On average in America you move 11 or 12 times ... that's quite a number of times. Ali suggests and gives her expertise help on something that you would think is easy, but isn't, the CD was loaded with common sense observations that we tend to over look when buying a house. There were 4 disks in the CD case, (with mine an additional bonus of the PDF) Ali mentions decluttering before moving, and even you aren't moving this was so facinating to listen to and some very useful hints that I will be putting into practice. There was quite alot on pets and travel and how to plan shifting with them. How to set up rooms, once you have arrived. How to greet people in a new town and carry on with a conversation when you are making new friends. Alot of thought has been put into this CD. . Rating The Art Of Happy Moving 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ . Recommended genre - self help - non fiction - life skills - audiobook

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Loved reading Wenzke's book, not just about moving but about choosing a happy path in life and making that life a reality. Wenzke's book offers tons of practical advice on moving but it also reminds you to be gentle with yourself, thoughtful with your decisions, and most importantly to laugh along the way! Wenzke's happy-go-lucky voice cheers you on throughout the pages, reminds you of all the little things you don't want to forget, and makes you feel like you have a friend even when you may fee Loved reading Wenzke's book, not just about moving but about choosing a happy path in life and making that life a reality. Wenzke's book offers tons of practical advice on moving but it also reminds you to be gentle with yourself, thoughtful with your decisions, and most importantly to laugh along the way! Wenzke's happy-go-lucky voice cheers you on throughout the pages, reminds you of all the little things you don't want to forget, and makes you feel like you have a friend even when you may feel like moving is a lonely process.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    In The Art of Happy Moving, Wenzke says that every time you move can be an opportunity to start all over again... I say hallelujah to that, because who doesn’t love a fresh start? ⁣

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This is The Best book I’ve read this year (it’s number 40ish) I’m a book lover and this book is BEAUTIFUL, funny and super helpful. I listened to it first, and the narrator is a gem. Super energetic and positive and drew me in. The checklists are thorough and fantastic for someone feeling super overwhelmed with the idea of a move after living in the same place for over 10 years and with 2 elementary age children (who LOVE all the things. Everything sparks joy for them). I find Ali to have amazin This is The Best book I’ve read this year (it’s number 40ish) I’m a book lover and this book is BEAUTIFUL, funny and super helpful. I listened to it first, and the narrator is a gem. Super energetic and positive and drew me in. The checklists are thorough and fantastic for someone feeling super overwhelmed with the idea of a move after living in the same place for over 10 years and with 2 elementary age children (who LOVE all the things. Everything sparks joy for them). I find Ali to have amazing ideas that are very manageable (like, why didn’t I think to do that??) After I finished the audio, I went on social media to stalk her pages and ordered my own hard copy for reference. It arrived today and exceeded my expectations (which were high). I couldn’t know about the amazing diagrams and charts and fun patterned pages from the audiobook. I feel like this is a great book for anyone considering a move but also for people who are evaluating their lives and who they are and what they want out of life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Gabriel

    I wasn't expecting it, but I felt so connected while reading this book. The narrator's voice is light, relatable, and funny at times, which pulled me right in. Then, of course, it's filled with recommendations, how to's, and check lists- everything you need but might not think of when it comes to moving and decluttering. I have always hated moving and get easily overwhelmed by decluttering, but this book helps both seem manageable. I wasn't expecting it, but I felt so connected while reading this book. The narrator's voice is light, relatable, and funny at times, which pulled me right in. Then, of course, it's filled with recommendations, how to's, and check lists- everything you need but might not think of when it comes to moving and decluttering. I have always hated moving and get easily overwhelmed by decluttering, but this book helps both seem manageable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Good book, somewhat helpful for me. It focuses a lot on faraway moves, so a big chunk of the book did not really apply to me, as I am moving within the same city. But I found the moving with kids section helpful, as well as the moving checklists. Please note that it is USA centric, so if you live elsewhere some of the information may be different. Overall, this provides a good set of guidelines and a lot of commonsense if you are already an organized person.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liv

    A good listen with helpful checklists and advice. This book is geared more towards those that are moving by choice across a great distance. I do wish the book spent more time on purging and packing, but the advice is still pretty golden and will undoubtedly help in the long term. I appreciate the author's humour and real life examples. With all the advice out there, the author's advice through real examples helps lodge good info in my brain. A good listen with helpful checklists and advice. This book is geared more towards those that are moving by choice across a great distance. I do wish the book spent more time on purging and packing, but the advice is still pretty golden and will undoubtedly help in the long term. I appreciate the author's humour and real life examples. With all the advice out there, the author's advice through real examples helps lodge good info in my brain.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Herr

    Helpful guide for moving that includes more than just the standard moving checklist. 👍

  12. 5 out of 5

    E. Mellyberry

    I didn't move a lot when I was young, definitely not as many as Ali did, but I can relate to the stress and the cost of moving. I didn't make any list when I moved (wish I did). I didn't have the positive and merry atitude before, during, and after the move (nobody taught me. Where were you, Ali, when I needed you the most?😂). This book talked about all that, and since Ali wrote it from her own personal experiences, her advice came out warm and genuine. Seriously, it's like having your BFF whispe I didn't move a lot when I was young, definitely not as many as Ali did, but I can relate to the stress and the cost of moving. I didn't make any list when I moved (wish I did). I didn't have the positive and merry atitude before, during, and after the move (nobody taught me. Where were you, Ali, when I needed you the most?😂). This book talked about all that, and since Ali wrote it from her own personal experiences, her advice came out warm and genuine. Seriously, it's like having your BFF whisper to you all the good advice when you read the book. Total fun!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Jayasuriya

    It was super informative and had some out of the box tips and ideas I hadn't thought of. It was thorough. I laughed when I read 'beware, they will ask for a puppy'...but no. lie. They asked for a dog in the exact conversation. I couldn't believe it. It was super informative and had some out of the box tips and ideas I hadn't thought of. It was thorough. I laughed when I read 'beware, they will ask for a puppy'...but no. lie. They asked for a dog in the exact conversation. I couldn't believe it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Natalie S

    Well written and organized, as well as humorous and fun. Definitly makes the idea of moving less stressful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annika Larson

    Full of really good advice

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Atherton

    I thought this was such a cute book that touches on just about anything you could think of needing to plan for when you move. Ali is funny, and there are adorable illustrations to go along with the material. I even gave some of her suggestions to a social media friend who had recently moved, but I also plan to use this book myself for my recent move.

  17. 4 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    Moving is a universally dreaded endeavor that most people will have to experience at some point in their lives. Luckily, blogger Ali Wenzke is familiar with the ups and downs associated with moving and has adapted her blog posts into a guidebook, The Art of Happy Moving (William Morrow). Having moved ten times in eleven years with her husband and three children, Wenzke has experienced it all. She first takes readers step by step through the process of moving from one place to another with ease. S Moving is a universally dreaded endeavor that most people will have to experience at some point in their lives. Luckily, blogger Ali Wenzke is familiar with the ups and downs associated with moving and has adapted her blog posts into a guidebook, The Art of Happy Moving (William Morrow). Having moved ten times in eleven years with her husband and three children, Wenzke has experienced it all. She first takes readers step by step through the process of moving from one place to another with ease. She offers a unique perspective on the topic as she is someone who has been there herself and learned from her own past mistakes. Wenzke describes a few important aspects of moving that many tend to assume they don’t need to do and brush past, like shadowing your new hometown and actively trying to make new friends. As Wenzke tells readers about the art of happy moving she incorporates personal stories that mirror the topic at hand. This adds a level of comfort for readers as they can see they are not alone, and positions Wenzke as an authority on the topics she is covering. In fact, many of her most helpful tips come from lessons she learned and things she wishes she had known beforehand. There is a part of the book where Wenzke tells a different kind of story. She talks about one occasion in which she and her family realized that they had made a mistake in moving altogether. Read the rest of the review: https://booktrib.com/2019/02/move-ove...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ramona Mead

    I don't plan on moving any time soon (thank goodness), but I will keep this book on hand for when I do, even if it's many years from now. Ali calls on her experiences moving 10 times in 13 years, to guide readers in a clear straightforward way through the entire moving process. Her writing style is casual and honest: She knows moving sucks! She's also positive, funny, and realistic. This isn't only about your move, it's about all aspects of your life, and your family. The book is packed full of I don't plan on moving any time soon (thank goodness), but I will keep this book on hand for when I do, even if it's many years from now. Ali calls on her experiences moving 10 times in 13 years, to guide readers in a clear straightforward way through the entire moving process. Her writing style is casual and honest: She knows moving sucks! She's also positive, funny, and realistic. This isn't only about your move, it's about all aspects of your life, and your family. The book is packed full of checklists and other resources to help you stay organized and not forget anything. There are chapters specifically addressing parenting through a move, and how to help your children adjust to a new home and make friends. Even people who aren't currently planning a move will find useful advice in here for evaluating their current lifestyle and home environment. My favorite thing in the book is her Happily Ever After Checklist, 20 short reminders of what is necessary for a well rounded happy life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura Beth

    Only a part of this book is relevant to me right now, as we've already bought the house, moved only a mile away from our apartment we were in before we bought a house, and don't have kids. But the parts about setting up your new home are very relevant and some of the tips are really great. I've moved a number of times in my life, but this is the most mindful I've ever been moving, and this book aligns with that. I also definitely see some of the parts that aren't relevant to me right now being v Only a part of this book is relevant to me right now, as we've already bought the house, moved only a mile away from our apartment we were in before we bought a house, and don't have kids. But the parts about setting up your new home are very relevant and some of the tips are really great. I've moved a number of times in my life, but this is the most mindful I've ever been moving, and this book aligns with that. I also definitely see some of the parts that aren't relevant to me right now being very much so in the future, so I will be keeping this book on my shelf. Details like humorous footnotes and lists that you can use in the book or transfer into a notebook if you want to keep the book for future moves give it an edge over other similar books. It's nice that it's easy to read and simple without being overly simplified, so it's not overwhelming but is actually helpful. I recommend this book, for sure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Not going to be as helpful on the tedium of 'how and what to pack', but Wenzke goes into things that others ignore, like talking to your children about moving and weaving yourself into your community once you arrive in your new location. More for long distance moves than in the same city as well, but still worth a look. The checklists and guides at the back are also worth it! Not going to be as helpful on the tedium of 'how and what to pack', but Wenzke goes into things that others ignore, like talking to your children about moving and weaving yourself into your community once you arrive in your new location. More for long distance moves than in the same city as well, but still worth a look. The checklists and guides at the back are also worth it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Noble

    Delightful and informative! The author breaks down a daunting topic and makes it approachable, providing tools and tips to a get it done right. The perfect gift for anyone contemplating a move!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Auroch

    4.0/5 A light and quick read, 'The Art of Happy Moving' breaks what may feel like gargantuan tasks into digestible pieces. From advice on how to plan packing your things time-wise to detailed check lists, there's a lot of useful information if you're thinking about or planning a move. There's even a section on ideas you can use to decorate or make the most of a new space. I also liked the emphasis on how to transition emotionally to a new place, such as using the move to explore new hobbies, loc 4.0/5 A light and quick read, 'The Art of Happy Moving' breaks what may feel like gargantuan tasks into digestible pieces. From advice on how to plan packing your things time-wise to detailed check lists, there's a lot of useful information if you're thinking about or planning a move. There's even a section on ideas you can use to decorate or make the most of a new space. I also liked the emphasis on how to transition emotionally to a new place, such as using the move to explore new hobbies, local events/places, and ensure you and your family are adjusting socially. My only critique would be that this final section (and the book overall) is heavily skewed towards families with children. That said, even as a single person not planning on moving soon, I found a lot of the advice about making the most of where you live helpful in appreciating where I live now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I picked this up because I was searching the decluttering subject heading at my local library and it would have been SO helpful to have read this 2 years ago when I did a cross country move - making new friends is hard ya'll. Anyway, I loved that Wenzke covers the gamut here from buying/selling houses, packing and moving, setting up a new space, getting the kids on board, so much helpful social interaction tips (seriously, I need someone to break down human behavior for me cause I still suck at i I picked this up because I was searching the decluttering subject heading at my local library and it would have been SO helpful to have read this 2 years ago when I did a cross country move - making new friends is hard ya'll. Anyway, I loved that Wenzke covers the gamut here from buying/selling houses, packing and moving, setting up a new space, getting the kids on board, so much helpful social interaction tips (seriously, I need someone to break down human behavior for me cause I still suck at it) and, unless you are very unusual, everybody needs to move at least a couple times in their lives. The aesthetic and tone are approachable and practical, with little quizzes and fill out bits get you to think about what might work best for you. She even points out where you can skip ahead if a section is not applicable to you (no kids, no pets, not buying, wtv)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book would make a wonderful gift for any couple or individual who is planning on moving in the near future or a great purchase for yourself if you have a move coming up. It has practical advice on how to do everything from looking for the ideal city to packing to making arrangements for your pets on the day of a move. Ali talks with an honesty that is refreshing and you feel like she is your friend talking to you through the pages. Easy to read in one or two sittings if you are in a hurry b This book would make a wonderful gift for any couple or individual who is planning on moving in the near future or a great purchase for yourself if you have a move coming up. It has practical advice on how to do everything from looking for the ideal city to packing to making arrangements for your pets on the day of a move. Ali talks with an honesty that is refreshing and you feel like she is your friend talking to you through the pages. Easy to read in one or two sittings if you are in a hurry but also separated into sections so you could read the information on an as-needed basis. Great check lists and quizzes too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    The Art of Happy Moving was a happy accident of a find for me. I picked it up as we’re looking at a potential move soon and I wanted to make our next move more positive than our last. Then, I get a few pages in to the book and realize it’s a book written in response to the authors own move to Knoxville which was my last stressful move. I even wrote Ali to thank her for helping me not feel so crazy about my stresses regarding life in Knoxville and she replied. We’ve moved a number of times and no The Art of Happy Moving was a happy accident of a find for me. I picked it up as we’re looking at a potential move soon and I wanted to make our next move more positive than our last. Then, I get a few pages in to the book and realize it’s a book written in response to the authors own move to Knoxville which was my last stressful move. I even wrote Ali to thank her for helping me not feel so crazy about my stresses regarding life in Knoxville and she replied. We’ve moved a number of times and not everything in this book is new to me but I really appreciated her point of view, checklists, quizzes and advice in general. It was a fun, easy read and helpful so I’d definitely recommend it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chirine

    Insightful, inspiring, and seriously funny! This book is a must read to anyone contemplating a move. It’s full of tips and useful ideas about what to do and what to avoid — from staging home, classifying priorities, talking to children, preparing pets etc... all offered in a positive, upbeat, even hilarious format to alleviate the stress associated with moving, packing, and transitioning in general. This book is delightful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kara LeNoir

    Despite the fact that this book is about moving-one of the worst things to do-this book was a delight to read! It was very engaging; I felt like I was having a conversation with the author herself! I also appreciated the step by step breakdown of how to organize a move, and I plan to utilize her checklists in the months ahead as we prepare for our move. Highly recommend this book for anyone moving or thinking about moving!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Beider

    I picked up this book while traveling to a town in another state that my husband and I were considering moving to. I am SOOO glad that I did - I learned a ton right away: everything from choosing the city (hint: rent first!) and all about not falling in love with the house, but with the deal (we were about to make a HUGE mistake). This book saved us years of overpaying for something that wasn't a sure path to happiness. It probably saved our marriage. THANK YOU ALI!! I picked up this book while traveling to a town in another state that my husband and I were considering moving to. I am SOOO glad that I did - I learned a ton right away: everything from choosing the city (hint: rent first!) and all about not falling in love with the house, but with the deal (we were about to make a HUGE mistake). This book saved us years of overpaying for something that wasn't a sure path to happiness. It probably saved our marriage. THANK YOU ALI!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Definitely worth reading. Wish I had read when we moved when I was in middle school. I have no plans to move, but this book contains a lot of practical information about being social. Even for a 50+ year old. The audiobook is very well done; a bit less than 5 hours and worth the time. Wow. Authors first book. Nicely done! I think with her insight to social cues, she could do a great novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Morven

    Excellent book on those considering a move. You're probably thinking "Why do I need a book?" You don't, but it'll be a lot easier and a lot less stressful if you read hers. Good resource for those thinking of moving, especially if you're moving a house and family. Covers a little bit of everything, even for apartment dwellers. Recommended. Excellent book on those considering a move. You're probably thinking "Why do I need a book?" You don't, but it'll be a lot easier and a lot less stressful if you read hers. Good resource for those thinking of moving, especially if you're moving a house and family. Covers a little bit of everything, even for apartment dwellers. Recommended.

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