There are plenty of good reasons to move. You might want to be in a safe neighborhood for your kids’ sake, you might be wanting a more vibrant community, you might be looking for more relaxation in retirement — you might even be buying a second home such as a cabin or lake property. But no matter how excited you are about your new place, the actual move into a new home can be stressful. Here are seven simple ways to tame the process and keep your move as easy as such a major event can possibly be:
- Be Realistic and Start Early
You may not think you have very much stuff, but you’re almost certainly wrong about that. The absolute worst thing you can do is underestimate how big of a project moving truly is — you’ll get a rude awakening if you start trying to box things up only a day or two in advance.
- Start With the Low-Hanging Fruit
Instead of dealing with the stuff you actually use, start your packing with a thorough decluttering. Go through closets and catch-all storage spaces (we all have those drawers), getting rid of junk and putting everything else back in more neatly. You can do this literally months in advance without disrupting your family’s everyday life.
- Hire Movers Well in Advance
Whether you’re planning on just renting a truck or investing in a more complete moving service, do your comparison shopping early and have your plans booked. You’ll pay higher prices by waiting until the last minute. It’s often easier to change plans (upgrading to a larger van, etc.) than it is to make a last-minute new reservation.
- Keep an Inventory
Once you actually start packing things up, be methodical and keep detailed records. Instead of just labeling boxes with what is in them, consider numbering them and keeping a corresponding inventory that can be easily updated if you end up switching some items around at the last minute. You can even color-code your inventory, assigning one color to each room in the new house, and use matching colored packing tape to make sorting boxes easier on the other end. That will save quite a bit of time and stress when you’re staring at a sea of virtually identical brown packing boxes in the back of a moving truck.
- Downsize and Donate
As you’re packing, scrutinize each and every item. If you’re looking to make your life easier, you should ask yourself one simple question about each piece: Would I buy this again? If the answer is no, then it’s time to donate it.
- Pack Enough for Three Days
You might think you’ll get unpacked in a day or two, but it’ll take off some pressure if you have all the essentials for at least three days packed in a suitcase.
- Take Some Time for Yourself
Before you move into a new home, you should take some time to say goodbye to your old one. Have some friends over, drink some wine and reminisce about the good times you’ve had.
Are you planning to move into a new home? Share your plans for keeping things under control in the comments.