Is it possible to have a stress-free move? Perhaps not completely stress-free, but there are some specific steps you can take to reduce and even eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with moving, whether it’s a cross-town move or a cross-country one. This month we’ve been celebrating National Senior Move Managers Week and the fact that Cris has earned her Senior Move Manager certification from the National Association of Senior Move Managers®, so we’re sharing some tips to help make moving easier. No matter why you are moving (major life event, new job, downsizing, upgrading), these tips for a stress-free move can help you manage the move more effectively.
We don’t always have a lot of notice before a move is necessary. You may get a job offer or promotion that requires you to move quickly, but whether you have two weeks or two years, do as much planning as you can to make it easier. If you know where you will be moving, you can use the floor plan of the new space to help you decide what furniture to take and what to sell. You can also make lists of everything you need to have quick access to – like medicines, work clothes, chargers, and other essentials that should travel with you and not on a moving truck.
Start the Decluttering Process as Soon as Possible
One of the great opportunities moving presents us is the ability to get rid of stuff we’ve been accumulating but no longer need or want. Think about how many extra feet of space it will cost you on the moving truck – or how much more time it will take to pack it all – to help you decide what you really want to keep and what you don’t. This can be an incredibly difficult process if you’ve lived in your home for a long time. Each attempt at packing can result in a trip down memory lane. There is no right or wrong way to decide. Factors you might need to consider are your budget, how much space you will have to store stuff, and if there is someone else in your family you would like to give the item to who might benefit more from having that item than you.
Start Packing Early
As you sort through everything and start deciding what to sell, trash, or donate, you will also come across items you want to keep but don’t need for the next few months before you move. Pack those things now. Wrap everything carefully, and clearly label the box with the contents and the destination room. The more you can pack ahead of time, the less stress you’ll have as your move date looms closer. There are so many other things you have to worry about in the last days, like shutting down or transferring utilities and cable, changing your address with everyone, and cleaning the house you’re leaving that the more you can do in advance the better.
Set Aside Time to Work on Moving Every Day
If your move is six months away or you just listed your house on the market and won’t be moving until it sells, you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time each day on preparing. Someone who has to be at a new job in less than a month can spend time each day working toward moving. This will keep the task from becoming an overwhelming burden. Each day you can do a small chore that brings you closer to moving. Go through all of your clothes and bag up what you want to donate. Clean out drawers and pack or toss the contents.
Moving is stressful enough, but if you get to your new place and can’t find the little things like sheets for the beds, it can be even worse. Start packing early, but pack the things you use the least first (extra kitchen storage containers, extra office supplies, books that you want to keep but don’t need access to, mementos and home decor). The very last boxes you pack will be the ones you label “open first”. They will contain all the essentials you need to survive until you can get to the rest of the boxes – like sheets, and spices, and toilet paper.
There will always be some stress when you move, but by using these tips, you can enjoy the move for the adventure it is.