Whether you’re moving out of a place that you’ve been living in for six months or 20 years, upending everything to relocate can be an incredibly stressful experience, especially in the 2019 age of information.
But it doesn’t need to be. There is plenty you can do to help make the process as seamless and pain-free as possible … and then you can get on with enjoying your new home.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Do It
Unless there’s an emergency of some kind, you’ll generally know that a move is either on the cards. Preparing to move always takes longer than you’ll predict, especially if you need to book movers and purchase moving boxes (and have them delivered). If at all possible, give yourself three months to complete the entire process. Two months is still manageable, but certainly, don’t restrict yourself to a month without expecting that you’ll also need to run around like crazy to get everything organized.
The better you are at planning, the smoother the moving process will be. Set yourself up a calendar of events, and mark down deadlines. Be as detailed as you can with this too – write down when you’ll have the movers finalized when each room will be finished in packing, when the cleaners will come, and so on and so forth.
Critically, you should also set out the budget. Moving also tends to throw up unexpected costs, and drawing up a proper plan will help you to calculate what everything will cost throughout the process.
Don’t let these deadlines slip, or the process will snowball into something very stressful. At the same time, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to hit each milestone along the way while leaving time for everything else in life. You shouldn’t (and probably can’t) make moving a full-time job for a couple of months.
Use the Move as an Excuse to Declutter
The more stuff that you take with you on a move, the more time consuming and expensive the move will be. Most people use a house move as an opportunity to get rid of the clutter from the home. Before you even start to pack, go through each room and make the hard decisions about what you want to keep, and what you’re happy to get rid of. Be thorough about it, and treat the move as an opportunity for a fresh start.
Get your Utilities Organized Ahead of Time
There’s every chance that when you move you’ll want to make some changes to your utilities. This most commonly applies to the WiFi and cable, but electricity and gas utilities providers are also worth swapping sometimes with a move.
You’ll need to call your current providers ahead of the move to tell them that you’re either moving, or closing the account, and pay any remaining fees that you have with you. If you’re adopting a new utility provider, then be sure to get everything connected and ready to go at your new place before making the move. That way you’re not waiting on the basics just after moving in.
Rent a Storage Unit Near Your Current Residence
Something that’s often overlooked, but can really make the moving process smooth, is to rent a storage unit near your current place. There’s a couple of reasons for this: Firstly, you no longer need to stress about making the move in a single day – get the movers to bring only the essentials to the new home, and leave the rest in storage to move on your own when you’ve got the time.
Secondly, it allows you to unpack in the new place in stages; get the essentials all set up, and then deal with the boxes of collectibles, books, DVDs and so on. Staging the unpacking can save the stress of having boxes and mess everywhere in your new place for those first days when you just want to settle in. This is also handy if you’re planning on painting or doing some home improvements as soon as you move in.
An Emotional Experience
If you’ve lived in a particular house for a long time, then moving out of it can be difficult. You’ll have your favorite places in the local area, a favorite restaurant or café, and plenty of memories. Take the time to revisit all those favorites (particularly if you’re moving far enough away that you’re not anticipating coming back to the area) and say goodbye to the area that has been good to you. Giving yourself that time can help ease the stress and emotional burden in the move.
Get the Kids Out of the House
If you’ve got kids – particularly if they’re too young to be helpful in the packing and moving, then see if you can get them out of the house, particularly for the last week or so before the move. See if the grandparents or friends can look after them for a time. Even if it’s just on moving day itself, you’ll already have enough to worry about without having the stress of children to mind around.
Finally, it’s important to approach moving with a positive spirit – it is an opportunity for new adventures and a new start, after all! Make sure you’ve got backup plans, just in case movers or so on fall through, and otherwise, enjoy the process!