They say, when it comes to stressful life events, moving houses is right up there with marriage, divorce, and death of a spouse. But what makes it so stressful – and how can you reduce the stress? While we can’t completely ease the discomfort of moving, below are a few tactics to help reduce it:
Mental preparedness counts
Whatever way you look at it, moving is an emotional experience. Most of us form emotional attachments to our homes – to the memories and life events that occurred in them – so it’s natural to get a little teary-eyed at the thought of saying goodbye. To overcome this, make a list of all the positives that will come out of the move, and try to keep them top-of-mind as you begin the long process of saying goodbye to your old home.
Understand what needs to be done
Even if you can’t wait to leave the hole you’ve called home for this last little while, you’re likely not excited about packing it all up and moving it. For that reason, the more organized you are, the better. Right now, lists are your best friend. Begin by jotting down every tiny, minor thing you have to do before the move-out date, and then write these things on a timeline. Give yourself deadlines and, if there are other parties involved in the move, don’t be afraid to delegate!
Purge. And then purge again.
Jot down all the cluttered areas of your house that need to be purged before they’re packed. We’re talking closets, utensil drawers, bathroom cabinets, fridges and pantries. Then pick a weekend and tackle them first – throw out all the empty packages, ripped clothes and can openers that don’t work. Donate the stuff you’ve never used – like the melon baller. And don’t forget to be ruthless – the alternative, remember, is to pack all this stuff up and carry it with you to the new place. And who wants to do that?
Sell some stuff.
Whether it’s through a garage sale or online sites like Kijiji or Craigslist, try to sell some of your lesser-used items, if you can. Not only will this help in the decluttering process, but it will put some money in your pocket. Money that will likely come in handy when you’re feeling a little cash-strapped after the move.
Whether you pack by room or in order of most-used items to least-used, the point is to just get started. Make sure you have plenty of boxes and tape (there’s nothing more annoying than running out midway through) as well as a good labelling system. Some people write the contents of the box on the outside, while others simply number the boxes and list the appropriate room, with a central list that records exactly what’s inside. Whatever way you choose to do it, make sure there’s some semblance of logic to it! The last thing you want is a pile of unmarked boxes in your new home!
What are your no-fail moving strategies? We’d like to hear! Oh – and also – Happy Moving!