At some point, everyone experiences the stress of moving. I know we did in our recent move. As a result of leaving your previous comfort zone and the disruption of your routines, you will naturally feel a bit disoriented. Moving takes everything we’ve grown familiar with and turns it upside down. It’s no wonder moving is stressful.
Being prepared and organized throughout the moving process will help you avoid or at least reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you experience.
Here are five essential tips for making any move much less stressful.
1. Prepare to be disorganized.
Relocating can throw even the most organized person into a tailspin. Unrealistic expectations will add unnecessary emotional stress, but being prepared with transitional tasks will help ease your mind.
- Schedule moving help and trucks well in advance.
- Order boxes and moving supplies (plenty of small portable boxes with lids, wardrobe containers, extra packing tape and markers are essentials).
- Set up your new utilities and cancel the existing.
- Cancel your services like lawn care.
- Change your address and forwarding address with the post office.
- Set up a notebook for your move where you keep notes, business cards of realtors or bankers and to do lists.
- Have a portable file box ready to keep your moving and essential papers organized
- Make arrangements for children and pets.
- Schedule housekeepers or ask friends to assist you during the move if possible.
- Arrange for a final garbage pick up and your favorite charity or donation truck.
2. Pack a transition bag.
Consider what essentials you’ll need in the first two weeks during and after your transition. Once movers arrive, everything will go quickly, and you will lose control of where everything goes. You’ll find it reassuring to have a bag packed in advance and clearly marked with the items you want to keep in your possession.
First, make a list of what you’ll want to keep with you and gather them in one area of the house.
- Important papers (including mortgage and financial documents)
- Cell phones, laptops, camera, chargers
- Children’s necessities and favorite stuffed animals
- Pet necessities
- Snacks and drinks
3. Set aside move-in supplies.
Watching your home get packed up and then living out of a sea of boxes can be disorienting. Setting aside or pre-labeling your move-in supplies in advance will make the move much more seamless.
You might set aside helpful items like:
- Your own bedding so you can sleep comfortably in your bed the first night.
- A box of basic cooking supplies and everyday dishes/silverware or paper products so you’ll be ready for the first days in your new kitchen.
- A box or bucket with cleaning supplies and rags, brooms and a vacuum ready to clean out the old place and tidy up the new place as necessary.
- A first-aid and disaster kit will help you to rest easier in the unsettled first few weeks.
4. Declutter storage areas first.
Most people know to prepare for a move by decluttering, but very few of us actually declutter as much as we will wish we did on our moving day. You will thank yourself profusely on your moving day if you decluttered more than just the obvious stuff.
In addition to obvious items, declutter by digging deep into your storage areas and sheds, the backs or high shelves in closets, attics, garage, and cabinets. If you haven’t used an item recently, you likely won’t use it in a new house. Saving those storage areas to declutter until the last minute will feel like a regrettable choice on the final days before your move.
5. Make a check off list and schedule easy to forget moving tasks.
Since some moving tasks are easy to forget or postpone until the last minute, make a list of the less-obvious tasks to avoid the panic.
- Pictures need to be removed from walls and holes filled and painted, so start that task early.
- Your freezer will need to be emptied by your move-out date. In a short distance move, you’ll want to put food into coolers (so have them on hand).
- Make arrangements for potted plants and outdoor lawn furniture.
- Hazardous materials need to be disposed of properly.
Moving is inevitably stressful, but change can be exciting so enjoy the adventure of new beginnings!
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