Moving from one home to the next is one of life’s unavoidable stressors, and it can be hard on both your body and your mind. Once, while moving, I was involved in a minor car accident. Another time, I’d loaded up my 1960 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, only to have the car not start. Gah!
I’ve found that the best thing you can do for yourself and for those around you is to stay as organized as possible. Simple, right? Here are some tips to help keep you sane and on track:
Make a List:
I like lists. I might make too many of them, but I’m also pretty organized (proof that they work!). I’d suggest creating a basic list of important dates and decisions on your relocation timeline, presented here in handy list form:
* Move-in date of new place/old place
* Which large items do I need to sell/give away/donate before I move?
* What items should I keep out (ie: toilet paper, shower curtain, towels, etc)?
* Utilities stop/start dates
* Boxes and packing tape
* Redirecting mail – and put aside an hour to update your address on all your online accounts (there’re more than you think!)
It’s pretty satisfying checking off items on your list as you go. And make sure to update your calendar with reminders for important dates.
Organize Your Stuff:
As the moving date looms, it’s tempting to just throw everything in a box in the hope that it will sort itself out on the other end. Save yourself a lot of unnecessary angst by boxing things that belong together, and labeling them so you know exactly where they go once they arrive at your new home – that way, you aren’t digging around for your straightening iron in a box of pots and pans. You can easily access great preprinted labels online.
Use the Right Moving Supplies:
Stuffing all of your clothes into the backset of your car or a giant garbage bag might work, but it’s so much easier (and safer) to use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, garment-moving boxes, tape, markers, plastic storage bins, etc. You can easily source free moving supplies on social media sites, such as Facebook, NextDoor, or your local Buy Nothing group. Tip: Get started early! You can pack inessential things such as books and seasonal clothes well ahead of time to keep your stress levels low.
Ask for Help:
Asking for help when moving is perfectly acceptable, but make it as easy as you can for yourself and obliging friends. Have a solid plan in place, and ensure everything is packed and ready to move. If a friend helps you, remember: food + drink = moving day currency. And the next time someone asks for help moving, pass along that good karma by jumping in and lending a hand. And, if you can afford it? Just hire someone to move your stuff for you. That’s 60% of the stress off your plate, right there.
Prepare Your Budget:
Between the moving truck, gas, and other supplies – plus your new security deposit, pet deposits, and first month’s rent – you’re likely talking a few thousand dollars in a short amount of time. Make sure you have the necessary funds available to you, as well as a little padding for unforeseen expenses.
Set Up Utilities:
Before moving day, remember to turn off your electricity, gas, and cable/Internet service at your current address for the day you move out (or the day you clean the apartment – a vacuum cleaner doesn’t run on good intentions). And sign up and turn them on at your new address for the day you move in. Advance planning is key, especially for cable installation, which often has a long waiting list at the beginning of prime moving months.
It’s really, really important to make sure your furniture will fit through your new doorway, and it’s surprising how many people overlook this step. It would be such a shame to have to part with your favorite piece of heirloom furniture because it got jammed in a stairwell.
Clean, Clean, Clean:
Find out what it takes to get the deposit back on your old place. This might mean sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing, and possibly spackling or painting. Tip: Photograph your old place after cleaning, and your new home before you move in. Documenting the state of the property could protect you from losing your deposit due to damages you shouldn’t be responsible for!
Remember Your Pets!
Moving takes a toll on your furry friends, too. Make sure they can’t sneak out while you’re loading the van – especially cats, who notoriously hate disruption to their routine. If your pets have a microchip, get your new address updated at your veterinary clinic ahead of time, just to be safe. And be sure to schedule walks and pick up treats!
Take Care of Yourself:
Stay hydrated, keep snacks around, and order delivery instead of worrying about preparing meals. Set up your new Postmates/Instacart/Caviar account before your move. Moving day can be exhausting, and you need to be full of energy to get everything done.
Hopefully this helps with your next big move – did we miss anything? Let us know!