Taking everything you own from one residence to another can be a stressful experience. Even if you’ve moved before, it’s easy to forget things like keeping a utility knife handy for unpacking all those boxes! To make the moving experience more relaxing for you, I’ve compiled some tips to keep in mind before and after your move. Remember, moving may be necessary, but it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience.
Before the move
Make the major decision on movers right away
- Do consider hiring movers. You’ll give your back and your friends a break. For tips on how to hire a mover, visit our post on choosing a moving company.
- If you do choose to hire movers don’t forget to get cash for tipping the movers prior to your moving day. You’ll want to help direct your movers when they arrive with your household possessions (so that’s not the time to run to the ATM).
- If you’re moving yourself, check out these tips on how to load a moving truck.
Allow enough time for the post office to find you
- Remember that you need to fill out a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service at least two weeks before your move, but not sooner than three months before your move.
- If you don’t see your mail right away, don’t panic. It can take up to 10 postal business days after your indicated start date for your mail to arrive at your new place.
Start packing the correct way
- Before you start packing, eliminate unwanted items. Have a garage sale or give your stuff away to charity. Having fewer boxes to pack, move and unpack will give you more time to relax!
- Once you know what you’re keeping, carefully pack matching the items to the box. This will help you avoid heartbreak while you unpack.
- For packing and box labeling tips, check out our post on how to pack boxes for a move.
Consider your refrigerator
If you’re moving your refrigerator, you’ll need to get it in shape at least 24 hours in advance of your move.
- It’s important that your refrigerator is completely dry before moving, but you should also consider whether the appliance will fit in your new space.
- You may decide it’s easier to just leave the refrigerator with the house. For more on refrigerator moving or leaving tips, visit MoveBuilder.
Don’t get stuck with unpacked belongings
- Get packed on time. Take it from someone who once very embarrassingly didn’t get everything packed in time for a cross-town move: Don’t procrastinate! Get your money’s worth by making sure everything that needs to be packed is packed. If those books or dishes aren’t in a box, the movers will leave them behind.
- Don’t forget to your outdoor items. Take your bird feeders, birdhouses, wind chimes and any other outside items that you aren’t obligated to leave behind.
- Be honest with yourself. If you don’t have time to pack, take advantage of packing services.
Some final considerations
- Take some time to unwind before the big moving day. What relaxes you? Is it a massage, acupuncture, yoga, a run through the park with your dog? Whatever makes you happy, make time to do it a day or two before your move.
- Decide who will change the locks. Research and reserve a locksmith before your move. There’s nothing like trying to sleep while wondering who else has a key to your home!
- Pack a moving survival kit. Pack a couple bags of essentials that travel with you in your car. Include things you’ll need right away like medications, snacks, bottled water, new keys, toiletries, pet food and supplies, pen and paper, flashlights, utility knife, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags and cleaning supplies.
After the move
Take a walk!
- Once you arrive in your new neighborhood, don’t start unpacking right away. Take a deep breath, then a nice walk to explore your new community. The exercise will help you relax, and you may also meet a few new neighbors.
- If you’re new to the area, these are people who can give recommendations for plumbers, veterinarians and landscapers. Get to know your neighbors!
Make shopping lists
You took your relaxing walk. Now you’re beginning to notice you need batteries, light bulbs, lamps and new curtains. Don’t get stressed. Instead, make lists.
- Keep a notepad handy, or whip out your smartphone. Either way, when you realize you need something for your new home, don’t try to keep a mental list. Free up your brain!
- Make two shopping lists: items to buy right away and products to shop for later.
Put the sheets on, then tackle the kitchen
You’re ready to begin unpacking, right?
- First, get the sheets on the bed. You can get tired sooner than you think!
- After that, it’s wise to get your kitchen organized as soon as possible. You don’t have to cook dinner that night, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up the next day and make breakfast in your own kitchen instead of trying to find the nearest coffee shop?
Consider this before getting in bed
Why is it that we remember important things the minute we get snug in bed for the night? Before you hit the sack that first night, remember:
- Smoke detectors should be tested to ensure working batteries.
- Windows should be locked (I’m assuming you’ll remember to check doors!).
- Security system codes shouldn’t be a mystery, so keep a reminder handy in case you need it in a hurry.
I hope you greet your new home sweet home with a relaxed body and mind! If you have more tips not included here, please share them in comments.
What’s the most stressful thing that’s happened to you during a move? Is there an item you’ve needed right away after your move that you wished you had brought with you in your own car?