We often mark major life events by moving. And like any event that segments our lives into chapters, moving carries a lot of weight (literally and figuratively). With so much on the line, it can be hard to avoid anxiety and fear of the unknown.
However, the good news is that packing up and moving doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing event. If you know what you’re doing, it can actually be relatively effortless.
1. Start Packing Well in Advance
You can’t just start packing the night before. Do this, and you’re guaranteed to be stressed. Packing must start well in advance – five days, a week, or even two weeks prior to your moving date.
When you give yourself time to pack, it’s much more bearable. Take a room-by-room approach and neatly box up everything that will make the move. If there’s stuff you want to throw out or donate, make a separate pile for it. This methodical approach lets you move at your own pace without worrying about time constraints.
2. Label All Boxes
Every single box, without exception, needs to be clearly labeled for the move. This ensures the moving process goes smoothly, that nothing gets misplaced along the way, and that you can easily find what you need when you arrive at your new home.
Taryn Williford of Apartment Therapy has a three-step labeling plan that she believes is the perfect solution. It involves giving each box a number (so that you can quickly ensure that every box has arrived), a color (to designate the room it goes in), and letters. The letters – “H” for high, “M” for medium, and “L” for low – signify unpacking priority.
3. Get the Kids Out of the House
If you have kids who aren’t old enough to help carry boxes and unpack, then there’s no reason for them to be part of the moving process. They’ll only make things more stressful and take your attention away from where it should be.
The best option is to send kids to a friend’s house or hire a babysitter to watch them during the move. Either way, you need a plan in place that prevents them from being a distraction. There will be plenty of days for them to get used to the new place – moving day is not one of them.
4. Rent a Storage Unit
Here’s a well-kept moving secret: Renting a storage unit near your new home can be super helpful. There are many circumstances under which having a storage unit is helpful, but it comes in extra handy when you’re moving a lot of stuff on your own or don’t have enough time to complete the move in a single day.
“If you’re essentially stuck doing your entire move by yourself and can’t afford to hire a moving company, then renting a self-storage unit for a month or two, near your current residence, may be the perfect option,” says Jon Fesmire of StorageFront.com.
5. Have a Toolbox on Hand
One of the most important things to bring with you when moving is a toolbox. Think about all of the furniture that needs to be assembled, boxes that need to be unpacked, and pictures that need to be hung. Having basic items like levels, hammers, screwdrivers, and tape measures on hand will help you avoid unnecessary frustration.
Don’t Let the Little Things Bother You
The most importance piece of advice is to take a few deep breaths. Don’t let the little things bother you. Something will go wrong on moving day, but don’t let this derail you. Moving isn’t always an enjoyable process, but it certainly doesn’t have to be stressful.
Featured photo credit: Nicolas Huk via flic.kr