A stress-free move? It is possible.
Nobody likes moving. Stress-wise, it’s been compared to divorce or the death of a loved one but it really doesn’t have to be that bad. Some good planning can help smooth things out and ensure your move is as easy and stress free as possible. Here are a few ideas to help you plan:
The less stuff you have to pack and transport, the simpler your move will be. Clear out the basement, the attic, closets, the junk drawer and the shed. Have a yard sale, sell it on your local buy and sell, Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, take it to Goodwill, or throw it away. If you’re moving far away, consider getting rid of furniture too. Unless you’ve got really high-end or heirloom pieces, it could actually be more expensive to transport them than to buy new ones.
Get Ahead of the Game
Star packing as early as possible! Pack away books, off-season clothes and unused items, starting a couple of months before you move. This allows you to collect boxes and packing materials gradually without having to scramble for them at the last minute. It also gives you time to go through all your belongings and decide what to purge and what to keep. Leave essentials like kitchen stuff, your kids’ favourite toys, and key home office items for the last few days.
Label Boxes with Detail
As you pack each box, write a detailed list of the contents. Don’t just write “kitchen” be more specific; a box labeled “coffee maker, toaster, bread maker” will save you from rooting around six or seven boxes to find what you need. Put the list right on each box and make a master list in a notebook, on your computer or cellphone.
Hire a Moving Company
Yes, they’re more expensive than a DIY move, but if you’re looking to reduce stress, hiring pros is the way to go. Just make sure you hire a reputable company – shadier outfits have been known to entice customers with a really low hourly rate, then hold their property hostage until the customer agrees to pay more. Need help finding someone you can trust? Get a referral from your REALTOR® or a friend and always ask for a written estimate.
If you Google “Moving Checklist,” you’ll find plenty of printable lists of things to do before a move. Use one, or make your own, then check off items as you complete them. Lists should include big things like hiring movers and packing, of course, but don’t forget to include small stuff like booking elevators, dealing with the bank, sending out change of address cards, planning meals for the week of the move, and canceling your newspaper subscription.
Get babysitters for the kids, pet care for your fur babies, and if people offer to help with packing, take them up on it. If you’re getting friends to help with the actual move, give them lots of notice. Also, of course, be prepared to return the favour when it’s their turn to relocate.
Accept ahead of time that the day will be stressful. When things start to get overwhelming, take a deep breath and keep in mind that the move will be over soon, and a your dream home is waiting for you.
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