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.