There aren’t many life transitions more stressful than moving from one home to another. When you look around at the sheer number of items in your home that have to organized, packed, labeled, and transported to your new residence, it’s too easy to feel overwhelmed. Try to look at the move as an opportunity to edit your belongings, to let go of the things you are hanging onto out of habit, and start fresh. By planning ahead and tackling the job in an organized way, you can take some of the stress out of the moving process and set yourself up for a successful unpacking. This is timely advice for me to give myself, as I am preparing for a move myself and need all the help I can get to hold back the chaos! Here are my tips for a painless move!
Make a list. Compile a to-do list, making note of tasks from packing to purchasing supplies to scheduling the movers. Once the list is complete, turn it into a timeline and delegate tasks to each member of the family. Even young kids can help pack and carry boxes!
Clear your schedule of unnecessary events. Give yourself the extra time you need to prepare for the move and pass on events you don’t need to attend. You’ll be more relaxed and feel like you’re making better progress.
Categorize your belongings. As you pack, sort items into three categories: keep, consign, donate. Have boxes ready to hold goods you plan to consign or donate and simply add to them as you go.
Hire teenagers. If you aren’t blessed with teens of your own, ask friends or neighbors if their teens are interested in earning some extra cash. A couple of teens supplied with snacks and a bit of money will be more than happy to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
Be merciless. Take a “no prisoners” approach to letting go of things you really don’t want or need. Don’t let a sense of obligation get in your way. Yes, that pink ceramic kitten statue may have been a wedding gift from Great Aunt Edith, but it’s been fifteen years. It’s OK to say goodbye to the kitten. That George Foreman Grill may have been a good idea ten years ago, but if you can’t remember the last time you used it, put it in the donate box. If you have four vegetable peelers, do you really need them all?
Start with storage spaces. Begin packing in places where you store things you don’t need on a daily basis. The garage, basement, or attic. Move on to closets and drawers, leaving essential day-to-day items for last.
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Many moving companies offer a range of services beyond transporting your furniture and boxes from one home to another. Ask what else your mover can do — they may provide discount moving supplies, offer storage solutions, or even do the packing for you. Get quotes for a range of services then take into consideration the cost vs. time factor.
If you have any moving preparation tips, share them in the comments!