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How To (Almost) Look Forward To Moving Day

in Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Image CC0, by Nikon D800, via MaxPixel

It’s probably cliché by now to say that moving day is right up there with divorce, job loss and even death as one of life’s most stressful times. While I suspect this age-old study (if it was actually a study) was done when people were a bit less transient, for most people, the stress of packing, cleaning, hiring a mover and leaving the known for the unknown, is not exactly something they look forward to, but there are ways to make the moving experience a lot less stressful if not actually pleasant.

If you can afford it, outsource

Americans are busy people, which is why service industries thrive in this country. Ninja Movers and just about any good moving company can handle all the packing as well as the moving. Some, like Ninja Movers, can also help you find great cleaning people. If you can’t afford the full white glove service, decide what you most hate and hire for that. Personally, after my last move, I swore I would never again perform the shine and polish move out cleaning for a home I’d never enjoy again. It’s worth it for me to spend a few extra hundred dollars to have pros do it. Even if you don’t feel like shelling out the extra money, ask yourself what your time is worth per hour compared to what you’d be paying someone else. You might find that your time is much more valuable and frankly, a price can’t be put on your sanity.

Get a little help from friends and family

You aren’t in college anymore. You probably wouldn’t draft your friends to help you do the heavy lifting, but packing and maybe move out cleaning? That might be a different story. Of course, make sure they are close friends and don’t talk them into it. Let them volunteer and make sure it sounds sincere. You might be able to pressure siblings and adult children, though.

Do a little at a time

I almost should have listed this as the first tip. A little at a time is my number one moving sanity strategy. Start early and aim for just two boxes of packing per day per person (on average, each person will have a total of 20-30 boxes). Let children pack unbreakable items like their toys. It helps them feel like part of the process. Out of season clothes, decorative knick-knacks and books can be packed very early, so can all of the items in your kitchen you rarely use. As you get closer to moving day, hold out the clothes and kitchen items you’ll need. A day or two before moving, pack the entire kitchen (except maybe a couple of cooking utensils) and eat from disposals. As you empty closets and cupboards, scrub them clean. Clean the windows, fireplace, oven and mow the lawn before the furniture is moved out. That will leave less cleaning on moving day.\

Spend a day exploring your new neighborhood

If you are moving locally, take the kids to the new neighborhood and make a day of it. Walk around. Say “hi” to your new neighbors. See how many homes have kids. Also, see what parks and businesses are within walking distance or within a short drive. This exercise will help you get your head focused toward your new home, which makes the moving process a little less daunting.

Plan a reward

You’d think the job done would be enough of a reward, but it’s not. Your reward can range anywhere from ice cream to a spa day to a vacation. Or, you can just make a fun day of shopping for your new home.

Why Is Moving So Stressful And What Can Be Done About It?

in Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_'06)A few days ago, my husband dropped a bombshell that there might be a job offer for him in another state. The money would be irresistible, which you’d think would make the decision easy. We’d be able to afford a nicer house and we’d be close to family, but still, I hesitate, he hesitated. We looked at our tiny home. We thought about our great neighbors. We thought about the near perfect Bay Area weather. If the job offer comes through, we’ll move, but not without sadness and, yes, uncertainty.

We have a bit of a confession. We know moving is difficult. Part of our job is to empathize, but it’s also to make it less difficult. We know that, but sometimes we forget that the stress is so much more than about the work and the expense – the parts we can help with – there is also so much uncertainty and unfortunately, we can’t really help with that. Why exactly is moving so stressful? How can you make it less so?

When we move, we tend to be so focused on the logistics, that we walk into our new home almost blind. Sure, we’ve seen the home. We’ve decorated it in our minds. We’ve even checked out the neighborhood. We might know where the parks are and the schools and the grocery stores, but what about the people? Maybe you’ve researched activities for the kids, but what about for you?

When we’re caught up in moving, we typically wait for the neighbors to come to us. In some neighborhoods, they will, but how about a reverse welcome wagon type of thing? Why don’t you take a bit of time and bake some cookies and meet your neighbors? The unpacking will still be there when you get back.

Think of everything you’re interested in. Have you thought about knitting? How about rock climbing? Do you enjoy reading? Whatever your interest, has a group for you. Instantly, you’ll have something in common with a group of people.

Join the PTA. Yes, I know, that sounds rather Mad Men era, but parents with kids tend to gravitate toward parents with kids and what better way to stay on top of your kids’ educations?

Invite your coworkers for happy hour. Busy people tend to make friends through work. Sometimes, though, those relationships need a little push. Get them outside work. You may also get the scoop on what they can’t talk about during the day at the office.

Don’t rule out service people as friends. I know, this sounds weird. How can you be friends with someone with whom we exchange money? Well, we’ve made friends with a lot of our customers, but beyond that, I remember when I moved to one new city, my chiropractor became one of my closest friends. They key is to talk to people like they’re people. You might find you have a lot in common.

Finally, just get out and do stuff. Go hiking alone, as long as it’s on a well-travelled trail. Go to a movie. Go out to eat. Ride a bike. Take the dog for walks. You’d be amazed at how many people you can meet if you open yourself up to the possibilities.


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