Your move to a new home should be an exciting time, not a stressful and overwhelming experience. So what can you do to improve your chances of more ups than downs in your move? Here are a few tips:
Make a Plan. There are too many details to commit to memory. Make a list of everything that needs to be done. Include the timeframe for completion and assign responsibility. As you make your activity list, also keep a running list of supplies that you will need.
Edit Your Belongings. Take an objective look at furnishings, household items, and clothing– literally everything you own. Decide what you don’t want or need anymore. Discard items that are on the “not going” list, or hold a yard or garage sale and let others take those items off your hands.
Strategize when packing. Organize items for packing in a logical manner. This will come in handy on the other end. For instance, group items that you use infrequently or that you won’t immediately use on arrival at your new place. These include items like formal china or out-of-season clothing. That way you can unpack these boxes at your leisure.
Set up a labeling system for boxes so that it is easy to identify which room they go in at your new home. Having a particular color for each room can be helpful. Place colored stickers on each box or container in a spot that readily catches the eye.
If you are using a moving company, pack a box or suitcase to take with you. Include toiletries, sleepwear, disposable plates and utensils, snacks and beverages, flashlights and batteries, cleaning supplies, and any other items that you would need if the movers were delayed.
Handle notifications and cancellations. Request that utilities needed up to the last minute be disconnected the day following your move. This covers you if the disconnect takes effect a day early. On the other end of your move, request the start of new utilities the day before you are scheduled to arrive.
Make sure you get your mail delivery notices and banking business handled in plenty of time. File a change of address notice with the postal service and request mail forwarding to your new address to correspond with your arrival. Consider personally notifying businesses like credit card companies versus relying on mail forwarding. Also, if your bank does not have a presence in your new city, open a basic account so that you have the ability to at least write local checks if needed in the short term.
Prepare kids and pets. Get your kids involved and excited by talking about the upcoming move. Try activities like sketching how they would like their new room set up. Get travel books that have information about your new city and identify places you would like to go as a family once you are settled. Also, look for books about moving that are written from a kid’s perspective.
If you are transporting pets, get them ready with a visit to your veterinarian. Make sure all of their vaccinations are current and that you have the proper paperwork confirming that. Ask for a referral to another vet in your new town. Also, ask if a sedative is a good idea to make travel easier for your pet. Have the proper carrier available, and be sure to have an adequate supply of food and water for the trip.
With planning and preparation, your move can be far less frustrating. It might even be fun. You will certainly feel more organized, and that will go a long way toward taking the stress factor down a notch.