Whether it’s your first time experiencing it or tenth, relocation is always a big change. That alone is enough to cause most people some major stress. On top of that, the process of moving is physically and emotionally draining. The list of things to do between finding a place and making it your own is seemingly endless and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But is there a way to make things go smoother? Here are three things you can do to ensure yours is a stress-free move.
Start early and plan ahead
While there are certainly ways to move and pack on short notice, there is really no such thing as getting started too early. The key to having a true stress free move is to prepare and plan for everything. Read up on moving tips and research the possibilities specific to your move. Check your storage for boxes and bags you might need to pack and buy everything you’re missing in advance. Don’t just jump in and start packing – get organized! All of this takes time, but it is time well spent if it saves you future headaches!
Always have a plan B
Even the best-made plans can go awry. You might get surprised by a storm or have someone cancel on you. The moving van could break down unexpectedly. The airline may lose your luggage. There is simply no way to predict every possible bump in the road. What you can do instead is make backup plans.
Having a plan B ensures you don’t depend on a single solution in every complex situation moving presents you with. It will give you more flexibility and peace of mind that, even if things go wrong, you can deal with any problems that arise and still have a largely hassle-free moving experience. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare for the worst while expecting the best:
- Driving yourself? Check for an alternative route on your map, mark any gas stations or motels along the way, be sure to know exactly what your insurance covers and ask friends or family members in the area if they would be willing to help out should the need arise!
- Using a moving company? Ask the movers what their procedures and policies are in case something goes wrong and always save the contact information of your second and third choice companies as well!
- Flying? Check the airline’s policy on refunds and compensation in case of delays (especially if you have a connecting flight to catch) and invest in a good insurance for your luggage!
Get (professional) help
Doing everything yourself might make you feel like a superhuman, but it is certainly not the path to a stress-free move. Remember that even Superman needs help sometimes! Invest some time in finding the right moving company for you. Go a little over budget if you can – you won’t regret it when you realize what a huge burden has been taken off you. There is, after all, a reason why moving companies exist. These are the people who make it their job to know everything there is to know about relocation. They are paid to stress so you won’t have to!
Can’t afford professional help? Research alternative options like renting a moving van yourself or make moving a breeze with the help of friends and family! Ask a few people over to help you pack. With some drinks and snacks, you can even make it into a fun hangout. Offer them their pick from your donation box in exchange – it won’t cost you anything and it will make them feel more appreciated.
Organize your time: make schedules
Organizing your time well is a vital skill when you have a lot on your plate. Take a few hours out of your day to make a detailed schedule of all the things you need to do. Write it all out on a piece of paper or make an Excel spreadsheet. You can even download apps for making schedules online! Whatever you do, make it into some sort of a visual guide. That way you can use your schedule as a to-do list so you don’t forget anything.
Start with giving yourself enough time to research all possibilities from full-service moving companies to doing everything yourself. If you are hiring someone, pencil in enough time to contact at least three to five of your top choices to give yourself more options. Spread your packing out over several days (or longer if you can). This is usually the most difficult and stressful part of moving. Breaking it down into smaller tasks will ensure you pace yourself and don’t get overwhelmed. Go by size or purpose of things you’re packing or take a couple of days for each room, whatever suits you best. Don’t forget to label all your boxes appropriately as you go to make unpacking easier and save yourself the time of searching through countless boxes for that one thing you forgot you would need.
Make time for breaks
The best way to ensure a stress-free move is to give yourself some time to rest throughout the process. Make sure to include this downtime in your schedule. That way, you can have breaks regularly and you won’t feel like you are wasting time when you should be doing something else. Having some free time in your schedule will also give you space to fix any mistakes or problems that come up. Also, the closer you get to the big day, the more tempting it will be to double and triple check everything. Try to relax. Also, try adding some extra time towards the end – odds are you won’t use all of it anyway!
Finally, for an ultimate stress-free move, take a day off. Moving day will put you through the wringer physically and emotionally. Prepare for that by taking the day before off to rest. Enjoy your old place one last time – go for a walk in the nearby park, pet the neighbor’s dog and go out with friends to your favorite local hangout. Go to sleep early and wake up rested, content to have closure on this part of your life and ready for what comes next.