It’s not a secret that most people dread moving, even though the average American makes more than 11 moves in her lifetime. Life temporarily gets turned upside down and the stress can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are some things you can do in preparation for your move to reduce some of the stress and make it a smoother transition.
- Keep a moving notebook. Planning and organizing your move in a notebook or binder can make a world of difference in making this an easier transition. Keep To Do Lists, budgets, track phone calls and appointments. Jot down all information when you schedule the electric to be turned on, including the phone number, who you spoke with, the date and time of appointment, etc. Keep your moving budget in here and track your expenses as you go, tucking your receipts in an envelope in the notebook for easier returns and exchanges.
- Create a moving budget. Don’t get caught off-guard with the cost of moving. Calculate all your anticipated expenses and track them as you go. CLICK HERE for help with creating your budget. Keep your receipts for reimbursement from your employer or for income tax reductions.
- Change your address. Make a list in your notebook of all the places you will need to notify of your change of address, such as utilities, organizations, subscriptions, credit cards and banks. Have the postal service forward mail to your new address to catch the things you’ve forgotten. Update your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles and any company to whom you pay bills. Your doctors will also want to know your new address. CLICK HERE for a printable checklist.
- Get packing materials early. When you get an early start, you’re less likely to spend money on packing materials. Check with your local supermarkets or other stores that might discard boxes of various sizes. Don’t overlook the value of small boxes! If your community has a social media page, you can ask if anyone has boxes they want to get rid of.
- Research and hire a moving company. If you aren’t planning to DIY your move, take the time to get reviews on movers and get multiple quotes. If you are moving out of state, make sure they are licensed in the states they will travel through, and make sure they are well-insured.
- Prep your new home before moving. If you have the luxury of being able to get possession of your new home before having to be out of the old one, make plans to make repairs, updates or cleaning before you bring in the furniture and boxes. If you can plan your new rooms before packing old ones, moving will be so much easier. Get measurements and make a basic drawing of each space so that you can decide where the furniture will fit before you get there.
- Label, label, label! Labels are your best friend when packing. No matter how big or small, label every box with the name of the destination room and a brief summary of most important contents. Stock up on those Sharpie markers (and don’t forget the packing tape)!
- Eat or donate your food. Moving food is tricky and sometimes messy. Try not to shop for a week before your move and eat everything you can. If you’re moving out of town, consider donating what you can to your local food bank or give opened packages of food to friends and neighbors. Include money in your moving budget to restock the pantry and refrigerator upon arrival at your new home. You’ll thank yourself when the time comes.
- Pack essentials last. Imagine what you’ll need the first day you arrive in your new home. Basic dishes and utensils. Pots and pans. Laundry detergent. Toiletries. Towels and sheets. Pack them into boxes last and load them into the moving truck last. Label the boxes as “Essentials” and briefly list what’s in them. This will make the initial hours in your new home so much easier and reduce a tremendous amount of stress when trying to get situated for getting your house put together.
- Create a moving kit. This is the essentials of your essentials. Include your basic toiletries and medications, eyeglasses or contacts, a change of clothes, phone chargers and pet food. A first aid kit often comes in handy since moving can produce cuts and scrapes along the way. A small tool kit can also be useful with screwdrivers, a hammer, nails and other useful items you won’t want to search for while unpacking.
- Schedule a babysitter and/or pet sitter. Moving with children or animals underfoot can add stress to your hectic moving day. Pets can easily escape while movers are coming in and out of the house. Pets and children can also sense the stress and chaos of the move and become fussy or needy. Having them stay somewhere else can ease the day for them and for you.
Moving is a monster-sized task for most people. Plenty of preparation well in advance of your move will make the day much easier and you will thank yourself in a hundred ways for taking the time to do it.