Moving to a new house or city can be an exciting but truly stressful time. While moving offers a fresh start and new opportunities, the process also comes with many logistical and emotional challenges. Moving requires extensive planning, preparation, and support, from packing up an entire household to updating your address and settling into a new community.
According to a 2020 survey, people find moving to be one of the most stressful life events, ranking it above divorce or changing jobs. However, being proactive, strategic, and seeking assistance from friends can make any move go as smoothly and swiftly as possible. Below, we’ll share some effective tips to overcome the most common moving challenges.
Get All the Packing Supplies
Ensure you have all the necessary supplies like boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, and permanent markers well in advance. Having the proper materials and containers will make packing much more efficient.
Sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes are essential. While purchasing boxes specifically designed for moving is ideal for protecting belongings, you can save money by getting free boxes from grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, and other retailers. Just be sure they are clean, dry, and sturdy with intact corners.
Other useful supplies include tissue paper for wrapping fragile items, zip ties and rope for securing boxes, furniture pads to prevent scratches, and a dolly for moving heavy objects. Make a checklist of needed supplies and buy them at least two months before moving day.
Additionally, if you’re willing to downsize your belongings but don’t want to let go of some prized possessions, consider warehouse storage. The benefits of using warehouse storage are plenty, especially for relocation purposes. They can be a smart solution if you require a safe and accessible place to keep some items during the transition. This option provides flexibility and extra space, allowing for a smoother move-out.
Create A Master To-Do List
Moving requires juggling many tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities. Make a comprehensive master checklist breaking down what needs to be done on a weekly or daily basis, such as:
- Scheduling movers
- Contacting utility companies
- Changing your address
- Updating accounts and subscriptions
- Completing repairs and maintenance at the old home
- Deep cleaning the old property
Post this list where you can see it daily. Check items off as you go to stay on track and feel in control. Assign specific tasks to family members or friends who have offered to help.
You may use an online checklist or Excel spreadsheet to sort tasks by due date or assign them to specific people.
Pack room by room, starting with areas you use less often, like the garage, attic, storage spaces, basement, and closets. Leave heavily used rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms for last.
Organize and label boxes according to contents and the room they will go in. Use color-coded labels for easy identification and separate valuable items and important documents. The last thing you want is to misplace or lose them.
Pack a “first-day” box with items you will need immediately upon arriving at your new home, like toilet paper, soap, trash bags, basic tools, plates, cups, snacks, towels, and bedding. This way, you’ll be prepared for the first 24 hours and won’t have to dig through boxes.
Properly Handle Major Appliances
Consult owner’s manuals to determine how to prepare large appliances for moving day. In most cases, appliances like refrigerators, washers/dryers, and ovens must be cleaned, dried, defrosted and properly disconnected before transport.
Make arrangements with your moving company regarding appliance handling. Provide exact dimensions and weights. Measure doorways and stairways to ensure appliances will fit.
For gas appliances, hire a professional to disconnect fuel lines. Drain water lines from washing machines. Let appliances air dry completely before moving to prevent mold.
Update Accounts and Services
Address changes with banks, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, online accounts, and other services should be done at least 2-4 weeks in advance, if possible. This way, you may prevent important documents from getting lost in the move.
Most importantly, contact utility companies like power, water, cable/internet, and phone to set up installation or transfer dates at your new home. Schedule these for 1-2 days after your move-in date.
Use Professional Movers
Hiring professional movers might seem expensive, but it is often worth investing in long-distance or complex moves. Experienced movers have the workforce, moving equipment, trucks, and efficiency to safely transport your belongings quickly.
Get estimates from at least three reputable moving companies 1-2 months before the main moving day and check reviews. Meet the movers to get a feel for their customer service. Obtain a binding estimate in writing after movers assess your home and possessions.
Confirm details like insurance coverage, packing services, storage options, and guaranteed pickup/delivery dates. Share any logistical challenges like stairs, narrow hallways, or limited parking.
Properly Disassemble Furniture
To avoid damage, carefully disassemble any furniture that comes apart. Label pieces so you know how to reassemble them. Use screwdrivers to remove legs from tables, beds, chairs, etc.
Pad and tape removable hardware like screws or bolts to the corresponding furniture pieces so they don’t get lost. Also, use your phone to take photos of how the furniture looks assembled.
Hire professionals to disassemble and reassemble large, complicated items like pool tables, pianos, or playground equipment.
Unpack Slowly Over Time
It’s tempting to want to unpack everything at once in your new home. But this can be overwhelming. Focus first on setting up essential rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. Make beds so you have somewhere comfy to sleep.
Unpack slowly, opening boxes room by room as you put items away. Try to do a little bit each day. Don’t rush to decorate since you’ll only exhaust yourself. And live in the space first to determine how you want to arrange furnishings and décor. Allow this new chapter to unfold gradually.
While moving presents many hurdles, breaking the process into smaller tasks and planning everything can ensure your relocation goes smoothly. Give yourself ample time to sort, purge, organize paperwork, and schedule services. Strategic packing and using professional movers will also ease the burden. Implementing these effective tips will help minimize stress and enable you to settle into your new home swiftly. With some forethought and preparation, you’ll be equipped to overcome the challenges of moving and embrace new beginnings.