When you’re emotionally drained, it pulls focus from the many urgent details that need attention when moving. Between hunting for a home that meets your needs for budget AND location AND space…stress continues to pile on as you adjust to your new commute, job, and roommates.
With these moving preparations, you can put your energy toward embracing the exciting changes about to happen instead of trying to remember why you wanted them.
How to Make Moving Less Stressful
- Self-Care: Tensions are already high when moving, so don’t elevate them with lack of sleep and poor nutrition. Avoid fast food and copious caffeine that lead to burnouts and sugar crashes. And don’t squeeze all packing into a few backbreaking hours. When you’re down to the wire, there’s no time to rest. You’re the only thing that truly has to make the move. So take care of you.
- Healthy Goodbye: Take time to visit your favorite people and places so you don’t panic at the idea of leaving them behind. This is especially important if you have children to make the move less scary and help them experience satisfying closure.
- Pre-Planning: As soon as you have that move-in date, create a task checklist. This is especially important in the summer as everyone’s leases end all at once. A solid timeline will bring you peace of mind. If anything, it gives you something to reassure you that you’re on top of everything. 8-12 weeks out, make sure the checklist includes getting your moving truck estimates, gathering packing material, and filling out a change-of-address form.
- Flexibility: Delayed dates, hidden fees, a moving truck groaning under the weight of too many things…there are so many potential mishaps. Steel yourself to expect the unexpected. Having a backup plan of who can help you and when will prevent mental exhaustion. Remember: Borrowing a friend’s couch and garage are less expensive than renting motel rooms and storage units.
How to Declutter for a Move
When to clean: You don’t want to waste money, effort, and valuable space cramming knickknacks into a moving truck. Clear clutter BEFORE packing. It will also help with the deep clean for any move-out inspections.
Ways to pare down: Earn money by selling undesirables (less stuff will also cut your transportation costs). Yard sales can shed a few things, but selling is easiest online. Use Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. If you donate, you can write off donations on your taxes while helping those in need. All that extra cash should alleviate some of your anxiety.
A few tips to consider when purging:
- Getting the measurements of your new space can edit your furniture inventory.
- If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in the last year, you’re probably never going to.
- Books can have sentimental value, but be replaced with digital versions or a library card.
- If you wouldn’t notice whether something fell off a moving truck, it doesn’t make the cut.
- Keep track of valuables – passports, leases, or insurance information should stay with you, not be floating in the ether.
How to Pack for a Move
- Label boxes per contents and future location in your home (this is easier when you pack one room at a time – even easier if you pack one week at a time).
- Distinguish any needed or breakable items. Off-season or less-used items can be stowed away first. This helps curate an overnight bag of outfits and toiletries for travel.
- Pack heavy things in small boxes. It makes everything quicker and easier to carry out.
- Plastic packaging can withstand weight and spills.
Get the materials.
- Tissue paper, bubble wrap, or clothes can act as padding for fragile dishes, etc.
- Grocery stores are eager to gift you with unused boxes. Make use of any of your own luggage, gym bags, or book bags.
- Keep markers and tape handy.
How to Ask for Help Moving
Friends and Family: Rely on the empathy of friends and family for a few hours at a packing party. Frame it as an opportunity to spend quality time together before you leave, and don’t forget to wine and dine your helpers. Bring on a variety of people for packing, heavy lifting, or babysitting. Kids and pets should be out of the hustle and bustle!
Movers: Research trustworthy movers that are timely, diligent, and transparent about their fees. Make sure you’ve reserved space for them to park on the big day. Take pictures to verify the condition and amount of items coming with you in case anything is broken or goes missing. Pictures might even help you plan your layout at your new place.
Moving is proven to be one of the most stressful life events. It’s risk, it’s uncertainty. It’s everything that makes us afraid in life, and everything that makes it so rewarding. So it’s normal to be upset when you’re uprooting your life, but try to keep it in perspective.