By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Moving can be one of the most stressful things you have to do. It consumes your free time, and while it most always works out in the end, it can result in the need to find a punching bag or take up yoga.
As a professional moving company, we've seen all kinds of moves, both smooth and chaotic, and we have some suggestions that can help you avoid the stress of moving.
- Acknowledge that the stress exists. Denying that you are stressed will make you even more stressed. Stress is normal and natural, and working through it does require admitting it is there.
- Try to give yourself enough time to get everything done. It takes most people two days to pack up a studio or one bedroom, three to four day for packing two bedrooms, or five to six days for three bedrooms. If you have a lot of stuff, then it will likely take even longer. If you need moving boxes, be sure to order or buy them well in advance and have a plan for if you run out. Check with your local moving company, as they may have used boxes available. Schedule the utility changeover well in advance. You should also allow a day or two to clean the home you are leaving.
- Have a plan. Work out how you need to plan things for the best result. Some people need lots of to-do lists, some people may try to find a moving app for their phone. Set deadlines for each stage of the move and make them early enough that blowing them won't be a disaster. Also, have a specific plan for what is going into which box. Label your boxes clearly and consistently, so you can explain those labels to the professional movers. Label anything that is fragile. Plan what room everything is going into in the new place and label boxes accordingly. Most moving companies will gladly put everything marked "K" in the kitchen for you.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help or hire a moving company to assist. You don't have to do everything yourself. School age kids can help, although you may have to find appropriate bribes to encourage them. Ask your friends and extended family for help. Hire professional movers for the heavy lifting, though, rather than relying on anyone's goodwill. If you are busy and can afford it, consider hiring the moving company to do some or all the packing, too.
- Be willing to let things go. Moving is an excuse to get rid of things which have been sitting in your home a long time out of sheer inertia. If you have a worn-out piece of furniture, now may be the time to kick it to the curb and buy a replacement after you move. Electronics that don't work? Books you haven't read in ten years? Something you completely forgot you even had? Sell what you can and donate the rest. Choose a charity that does pick up if possible.
- Make sure to allow for downtime. Moving can take over your life. A lot of people find they don't have time to get enough sleep during the move. Or they don't do anything but work, move, and worry about the move. Give some slack in your schedule so you can go out for dinner, take the kids to a fun activity, etc.
- If you are moving to a new neighborhood or a new city, be a tourist in the new town for a bit. Spend some time looking for restaurants you just must try and attractions you want to visit. Make a list of those restaurants and choose one you really like the idea of, then plan to visit the day after you move when you don't have your kitchen unpacked yet.
- Stay in shape. Moving boxes can help your exercise regime, but if you usually jog every morning, keep doing your morning jog. If you must pack your exercise equipment, find a temporary replacement. Maybe get a free trial at a gym. At the very least, take a quick walk every day to get away from the moving chores. Exercise is proven to reduce stress.
Moving can be stressful, but the eight tips above can help reduce the stress and turn it into an adventure. Remember that professional movers can help with as much or as little of the move as needed, and your local mover can be a great resource for everything from tips and tricks to moving supplies. Also, remember this is a temporary situation and your life will return to normal soon enough.
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