06/06/2017 by Deb Federico
Moving Out: 5 Tips To Avoid Moving Stress
So you want to sell your house but the thought of moving is overwhelming? The stress of moving has been compared to the stress of other life altering events such as divorce, job loss, major illness or losing a loved one. Although I’m not quite sure that moving, by itself, holds a candle to these other situations, it can certainly create such a stressful time as to entice you to contemplate living in the woods in a tent. Whether you are needing more space or downsizing, packing five, ten or twenty years of "stuff" into bags and boxes isn’t a walk in the park.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to hire a crew to take care of it all, then you may be in a better frame of mind than most. However, not many people are willing to spend money on a moving company that would include all the packing. So here are five tips to help you organize your move.
What do I mean by early? Before you put the home on the market, or if your renting, start packing and getting ready a few months in advance. You might think it’s unnecessary, but begin early anyway. Just the indecisiveness of what to get rid of and what to keep will take you longer than expected. I have been through five moves myself, and one of the criteria I’ve learned to use is determining if my loved ones would be quick to throw the item out after I’m gone. If that’s the case, than it has no value to anyone, so why am I keeping it? (Except my books, they stay!)
Seek Out Moving Options
Chances are unless you have a football team of friends with trucks you are going to need professional help moving. Plan a couple of months in advance to start searching for options and pricing. There are many helpful websites like the Better Business Bureau or other consumer rated sites. You can also check the US Department of Transportation for filed complaints if you are hiring interstate movers.
Yes, buy yourself a cheap notebook and rolls of different colored duct tape (one for each room). Notebooks are great to take the "to do list" from in your head (where it runs non-stop through your mind like it’s on its own hamster wheel), to paper, leaving you free to worry about all the other balls in the air. Whether you have friends moving you or professional movers both will appreciate the color coded boxes, just remember to label the door or entrance of each room with the corresponding color before they start unloading.
Plan For The Unexpected
Delayed closings can happen. It’s part of the unpredictability of life. How would you handle a delayed closing on your own home? How about if your own home closed but the closing on your new home is delayed.
- Create a what if plan and start by having a suitcase or backpack for everyone. Pack it with items you would need if you stayed in a hotel for a couple of days, toiletries, clothing, medicines and personal electronic devices with chargers. This will also come in handy if you are in your new home and don’t feel like weeding through all the boxes in the first night.
- If you are having movers, ask what their policy is if you need to cancel and reschedule or to store your belongings overnight or over a weekend and put that money aside.
- If you have friends helping you find out their flexibility and have a plan to store items if there are delays.
Remove The Drama From Moving Day
We all love our children and pets but little feet underfoot on moving day adds a lot of stress for you and them. It also puts them in potentially dangerous situations, such as falling boxes, people tripping over them or getting outside with nobody watching. You may want to forgo breakfast and lunch because you’re busy but they will not share your sacrificial attitude. So finding a relative or friend to be a caretaker for the day is a great idea.
Then there’s the crazy "this sofa, table, bed, armoire doesn’t fit in this space!" If you have furniture that you are moving to the new home take the time to measure it. Ask if you can take measurements in the house you are buying or ask the listing or buyer’s agent if they could find out the length a particular wall is or how wide a doorway or staircase is. If your furniture isn’t going to fit, there is no need to waste time and money moving it. Sell it or give it away.
Pack clean bedding for every bed in separate see through bins or bags and label them with the colored tape to the corresponding room. The last thing you will want to do at the end of an exhausting day of moving is hunt for bedding.
Have cash. Movers like tips. It also comes in handy to hand cash to your buddy who’s going to grab some beer and pizza for everyone that helped.
These tips can make moving day less stressful. Although the next time I move I may hire a crew and go to St Thomas for the weekend