Whether you’re upgrading or downgrading, moving up the road or down the country, if you’re not prepared to move home, it can be a stressful experience. There is an overwhelming number of things you might feel you need to consider, and if you’re making decisions for your partner or family, pressure can start mounting. Don’t worry! Moving home can be entirely stress-free if you take the right precautions and remember that preparation is the best antidote to stress of all kinds.
When to Plan
You should plan to move at least a month in advance, but if you’d like a more relaxed time, aim to start a couple of months before. That’s because the earlier you start to think of the move, the more your brain will get into ‘move mode’ and remember things it otherwise wouldn’t! This is extra important when you are planning the move of a large family because you’ll need to also consider the needs of the individuals (including pets!).
The Most Important Steps to Take
When you start planning, try to break your tasks down into smaller steps to take. This will make things a lot easier, help you move home systematically, and will give you a sense of completion and focus as you’re drawing to the end of it,
- Firstly, it’s important to organize. Prepare checklists (see below for help with this) and make sure you have sorted out all the essential paperwork for you to move to your new home. This might be as simple as some text messages if you are moving to a new apartment, but if you’re moving house, you might want to include financial documents, moving receipts, and, depending on where you’re moving to, government documents. If your family is fairly big, it might save a lot of time to gather this information and put it in an accessible place, as you might be referencing it frequently throughout the move.
- Then it’s important to assess your financial situation and calculate a budget. If your budget is very small, you’ll be thankful that you started prepping so far in advance, as you will be able to call upon your friends for help and find times that they are free to help you move. Make sure you stick to your budget once you’ve set it – otherwise, you could cause problems for yourself for the first few weeks after you move in.
- Arranging your moving help – you might need to call upon friends and family to help you move, but if your budget allows, you can make your life easier by finding a moving company. Make sure you read reviews or go for a trusted national large item delivery service that provides quotations in advance so you can quickly know whether it’ll be in your budget, without wasting too much time.
- Well before the moving date, the last step you should take before packing is to conduct a thorough inventory of your belongings. Undoubtedly, there will be things that you will not want to take, and it can be good to put your items into a list of things you want to throw away, donate, or of course, bring with you on the move. It can be helpful to practice a bit of sternness at this stage, as taking only the items that you need will save time and also possibly money when you pack and eventually move.
- The last vital step is to make sure you pack in advance! Don’t wait until the last minute, as you’re almost guaranteed to miss something, break something, or just unnecessarily stress yourself. Try to pack room by room and start by packing things that you don’t use.
Moving with a Larger Family
If you have children and pets, your stress could be amplified. If children are young enough, they can increase your stress by not being fully understanding of the move and offering resistance. It can be hard to leave friendships as a child, so you will have to be extra attentive to and considerate of their needs and feelings. If you can control when you move, many people suggest moving at the end of a school year to be the least disruptive.
Another recommended technique is to research the area you’re moving to with your kids and try to hype it up. The best way to make them excited about the new area is with a trip to do something exciting nearby – whether that’s a lovely lunch with their friends (or friends you might have in the area) or, if you’re lucky enough, finding a theme park or some high-octane activity, you will be able to behaviorally condition them to associate the new location with excitement.
Pets can get extra stressed during the moving, especially with unfamiliar items they might associate with being scared (e.g., if you put them in a crate before the vet, it can really freak them out). If there are any items they might associate with unpleasant events, take them out a few days or even a week before, leaving it around them for them to adjust to and understand there’s no need to be afraid.
Planning a Checklist
Your checklist should be separated into time periods. A couple of months before should handle high-level things like choosing your moving day, moving help, and maybe finding new schools.
About a month and a half before you go, consider assembling relevant financial documents and writing to your local doctor to obtain your family’s medical records, as your new doctor might need them. This might be a good time to find fun things to do and take your kids there for a trip.
About a month before your move, it’s time to buy your moving boxes and potentially other supplies like tape, paper, bubble wrap, and pens to mark the boxes, if you don’t have them already. Also start on the packing of the items you won’t use for the next month.
Two weeks before your move, change your address with relevant services (utilities, governmental institutions, etc.). Start cleaning and decluttering, making a meal plan for the first few nights in your home and planning which items you’ll take to be with you for your first night.
Dorian Rossini is a French musician. He has a number of albums out, and he also likes to upload them to YouTube and Spotify. He is also incredibly popular on social media. His two most popular albums are “Religion” and “Starmania.” Dorian was born on December 13, 1990 in Paris, France to a jazz singer and a kindergarten teacher. He was raised in a Christian home, and is now an avid music lover.