Moving is a notoriously stressful time for many people. Coupled with the natural nervousness that accompanies a big change, the thought of combing through and packing all of your belongings can be very daunting. There is also the fear of losing or breaking something important in the chaos. But here are a few pieces of advice to help you keep your moving stress levels as low as possible:
Once you decide you are moving, start sorting through all of your belongings and pack up as much stuff as you can. Begin with your basement, attic, and closets – likely hiding places for things you don’t use regularly. Pack up seasonal clothing, rarely-used cooking pots and pans, books, and anything else you don’t see yourself using between now and the move. Starting early also gives you the option of donating or selling a portion of your belongings. People have a habit of accumulating many items that they don’t particularly want or need, and moving time is a good excuse to purge yourself of excess. Whether you decide to box up your things to bring to your new home or simply get rid of them, you’ve already made your moving day easier by starting early.
Change your Address
There are a lot of details surrounding a change of address, so keep a list and make sure you notify all important agencies in your life of your address change. This includes your banks, insurance companies, doctor, dentist, and employer. Don’t forget to cancel cable services and utilities, which you should allow plenty of time for, and schedule a shut off date to avoid being charged for time after you’ve left. Moreover, you should keep all important documents in one place so you know where they are during your move and so they are easy to access in your new home.
Organize Your Boxes
While staying organized is easier said than done, there are a few simple things you can do to make it a no-brainer. Label your boxes on the sides as well as the top so you can still read the label when they are stacked. In addition to the contents of the box, it’s also a good idea to pack and label your boxes by what room they belong in. Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box. This makes unpacking much easier and more organized. Be sure that boxes are completely full to make breakages less likely.
If your friends and family are reliable and willing to help you move – good for you! But, if you have valuable items in your home, you may want to consider hiring movers anyway. Movers typically have much more experience moving and transporting valuable or heavy items than your buddies, which is worth the money if your friends accidentally break something important. Movers also have dollies, hand trucks, and moving blankets to protect furniture, making for a smoother, safer moving process. In addition, moving companies have insurance, so if something breaks, you can receive compensation. Do some research to make sure that your stuff fits within the company’s guidelines – for example, many companies will not move items that are only stored in a plastic bag.
Hold Back the Essentials
Keep a few items, such as a broom and cleaning products, until the very end so you can leave your old home tidy. Decide what items you will need immediately in your new home and make sure to move them last so they will be first into your new place. Pack an overnight bag for yourself with pajamas and toiletries because you may not get everything unpacked the first night that you’re in your new home. It’s also helpful to pack a box with things for the kitchen and bathroom – soap, paper towels, etc. because you’re likely to use those rooms right away.
If you’re on a budget of any kind – whether it be time, space, or money – get creative with packing! Save space and money by packing items in hampers, baskets, and containers you already have and are moving anyway. Wrap ornaments and glassware in your clothes or towels so you are packing two items at once and saving on bubble wrap. Put your pantry items, like spices, in a large pot. Pack heavy items, like books, in a rolling suitcase for easier transportation. Think about what you need to move and what you could put it in to make your life easier.
While moving isn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite thing to do, these tips can help make it a lot less chaotic for you and your family, as well as making unpacking a lot quicker and less stressful.