If you are anything like me, or many others, the sheer thought of moving is exhausting. Moving day can be an enormous undertaking and can be extremely stressful. Having had the opportunity to embark on this joyous endeavor on more than one occasion, I have become well acquainted with the process. Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the years that hopefully will assist you when moving day comes for you.

1.       Plan Ahead 

More likely than not, we are aware of when and where we are going to be moving. Granted there are some occasions where moving is short notice and there is not much time to prepare but most likely this is not the case. Leaving things for the last minute ultimately causes undue, unnecessary and avoidable stress. If you take the time to pack a little at a time each day or even each week, you will find that as the official moving day arrives, the process becomes significantly easier. 

Additionally, you will want to notify “The Crew” of when you will be moving to ensure that they can plan appropriately. Make sure that you follow-up with them as the moving day approaches to confirm their availability and willingness to help. Nothing is worse than counting on people to assist you with moving and ending up rolling your antique dresser down the stairs on your own. Food is a great motivator and so I have found that enticing participation through nourishment is a powerful strategy that has not failed me yet.

2.      Organize and Purge

Probably one of my favorite things about moving, other than the arriving at my new location, is the ability to, regrettably, let my wife know that her favorite pair of shoes that she has worn twice in the last 6 years must have gotten “lost” during our move. Packing for a move forces you to go through all of the unnecessary and useless items that have accumulated over the years. It is the perfect opportunity to rid yourself of that awful sweater your mother sent you that you took one photo in to prove that you loved and appreciated her gift. De-cluttering and purging your items while you are packing assists on both ends of the moving process. On the front-side, you don’t have to pack as much and if you are smart about it, you may be able to accumulate some petty cash for your move by hosting a garage sale before moving day. You could also donate your gently used items. On the backside, there is less to unpack when you arrive at your destination, you don’t have to find a place to stash the items you don’t need or use anymore, and you have a new clean slate to accumulate new “stuff”.

Organization is paramount when you are moving, at least to me it is. Packing a bowl with your dress shoes and the grill accessories simply doesn’t make any sense. It creates chaos that can easily be avoided if you take the time to organize and label while you pack. Put like items together, or at the very least, items that belong to the same room and label them appropriately and as descriptively as you can. If you are going to use cardboard boxes during your move, you can write directly on the box or in the area that many boxes have specifically for labeling. If you are going to use plastic containers for your move, do NOT write on the box itself with a permanent marker. Doing this renders the box incapable of being utilized for anything other than what you wrote on the box (my wife may argue this point, but I simply would not be able to use it again). Instead you could create a home-made label to affix to the container that could easily be removed after the items have been unpacked.

3.      The “Unpack First Box”

Over the years I have learned that when I am have finally arrived at my new location, I found myself searching for a variety of items like garbage bags, a screw driver, or that allen wrench that was specifically designed for that one piece of furniture. It can be extremely frustrating and time consuming trying to track down items that you need immediately once you are moved in and ready to unpack.

To avoid this situation occurring to you, I have implemented the “pack last” or “unpack first” box. You will want to have the essential items that you will need immediately, or shortly upon arriving to your new location. Things to include in this box would be: toilet paper; garbage bags; cleaning supplies; light bulbs; batteries; a screw driver; and any other item(s) that you may need.

4.      Essential Services and Deliveries

You should not plan your move around the time of any major sporting event, or your favorite television series season finale. If you do however, you will want to make sure that you have scheduled for the cable company to have your services available for when you are moved in. now that the necessities are taken care of, you will want to ensure you know how your utility bills are going to transfer and who your new water, electric, gas, etc. service provider is going to be. This can easily slip to the way side during the packing and moving process but make a note to schedule for these things to be taken care of well in advance before moving day is upon you.

Lastly, I definitely forgot this the last time I moved, you will want to get a change of address form from your post office so that you can make sure you will be receiving mail at your new location. Additionally, if you have done any online shopping or made any purchases that will be delivered, make sure that you have the appropriate address or that you schedule the delivery for after you have moved in.

5.     Make Friends

The last bit of advice I can give is to get to know your neighbors. Take some baked goods around the neighborhood and get to know the people that you will be seeing on a more regular basis. Moving can be stressful and if you are relocating to a new city or even state, you may not know anyone at all. Getting to know your neighbors will help with the adjustment of being in a new place but it will also allow you to build relationships with the people that will be looking over your residence when you decide to take that much needed vacation.

Article by Jordan Douglas, www.makeminothome.com