While buying a new home is cause for celebration and a sense of accomplishment, lurking in the background after making that big purchase is the dreaded upheaval you’ll face when forced to cram your whole life into a mounting pile of moving boxes. After all, countless surveys and studies have confirmed that moving is considered one of life’s most stressful experiences.
But have no fear and take a deep breath because if you know what needs to be done before the big day, then the experience doesn’t have to be terribly overwhelming. Here are some moving tips to keep your stress levels low as you make your new house feel like home.
1. A Room a Day Keeps the Stress Away: You’ll make life easier for yourself on moving day if you start to get rid of stuff before you start packing. In order to make the task less daunting, pick one room a day to clean out. Moving house is a perfect excuse to purge and streamline your possessions and form a pile to donate to charity. Do you really need those three can openers? Or those shoes you haven’t worn in 5 years? Also, if you come across items that you want to keep but aren’t going to use anytime soon, then it’s a good time to pack them away.
2. Prepare a Checklist: You’ll thank yourself in the long run if you keep a running list of those little items you need to get done and what you need before you actually start packing. You’ll be too busy to remember the little things, so keep the list handy. And yes, you will need more moving supplies than you think, so plan ahead.
3. Garage Sale: Moving is expensive and who wants to pack up and load a bunch of possessions you no longer want or need? Get a head start on lightening your load and make a few bucks in the process by hosting a garage sale.
4. Notifications List: Keep an up-to-date list on all the entities you need to notify about your change in address, such as Internet service provider, your cable or satellite TV provider, various utility companies, a number of insurance companies and more. Set aside some time one morning to cross these off one by one.
5. Keep Kids Involved: If you have little ones in tow, then keep them in the loop by being upfront and making sure that you clearly communicate to them why you’re moving so they have time to adjust. Your kid(s) will pick up on your emotions, so physical and emotional preparation for your child needs to start well before moving day. If possible, show them around the new neighborhood before you move and perhaps visit a local park.
6. Box Hunter: Start looking as early as possible for a good variety of boxes that are sturdy enough to protect your goods. While you can buy moving boxes from stores like The Home Depot, it doesn’t hurt to start collecting used moving boxes and essential moving supplies. Also, be on the lookout for cheap packing materials. Checking unconventional places, such as CraigsList for example, may yield great results. Some recent re-locators may be looking to unload some cardboard boxes they no longer need or want. One’s man’s trash could be your treasure!
7. Create “Unpack First” Boxes: A little prioritization can go a long way in making life comfortable as you settle into your new home. By putting key essentials in boxes labeled “unpack first,” you’ll have access to what you need right away without having to search endlessly.
8. Takeout is your Friend: Cooking and cleaning up home-cooked meals can’t be a priority when you’re changing residences, as there are too many other details to worry about. So take the pressure off yourself and leave the cooking to someone else.
9. Color Coordination: Label boxes with a color for each room in your new home. So orange labels might be for the kitchen, and red labels for the bedroom, etc. This method will help you organize where items go once you arrive.
10. Happy Helpers: You’re probably not moving all on your own, so if you’ve roped some friends and/or family into helping, keep in mind “fed helpers are happy helpers.” By offering to feed and hydrate your assistants, they might be a little more patient when you ask them to move that armoire from the second floor.
11. Computer Talk: Life without the Internet is no life at all, so unless you want to compete for free wifi at a crowded coffee shop after you move, you might want to get your Internet set up at least a week before you move to your new place. Unpacking some of those boxes can wait as you unwind and catch up with your favorite shows on Hulu.