Moving presents numerous challenges, even when you’re moving for the most exciting reasons.
Anything you can do to save time and money will reduce the stress of relocating.
Here are 10 hacks to make the process run more smoothly:
1. Start early.
If you know months, or even years, ahead of time that you’ll be relocating, you may be tempted to think there’s no rush to get started. However, that time will go more quickly than you anticipate, and the sooner you begin to prepare for the move, the less stressed you will be as moving day approaches. This will not only benefit you but also your family members, friends, and co-workers. The less stressed you are, the easier it is to maintain healthy relationships.
2. Weigh your options.
Will it be most cost-effective to rent a truck or trailer and move yourself? If you’re moving on your own or with only one other person, this may be something to consider. This is also an option to explore if you have very little to move. However, if you’re moving a larger family and/or have a houseful of items to take with you, hiring a moving company may be your best option. You’ll want to compare fees, check customer reviews, and read the fine print. A company that seems less expensive may charge for options that their more costly competitor includes in their base price.
3. If applicable, ask your employer if they’ll cover some or all of your moving costs.
If you’re moving for work, your employer may pay all or a portion of the cost of relocating. If you haven’t discussed this with them, it’s worth investigating. You may be pleasantly surprised.
4. Multitask and make the most of small pockets of time.
Only have 15 minutes or half an hour to devote to getting ready for the upcoming move? No problem. When you start early, taking advantage of these small pockets of time will add up. Need to kick back after a long day and watch your favourite TV show or listen to a chapter in that audiobook you have on the go? Why not grab a box of papers you’ve been meaning to go through? While you’re doing something you enjoy, you can be taking another step in preparation for the move. And speaking of going through your things ...
5. Take advantage of this time to declutter.
When you’re preparing for a move, it’s the perfect time to decide what you do and don’t want to keep. Author of Clutter Free and The Clutter-Free Home, Kathi Lipp, advises readers to get rid of items they don’t love; rarely, if ever, use; and wouldn’t replace should something happen to them. Paring down the volume of what you have to relocate will save the cost and time of moving those items and will make you feel less weighed down mentally and emotionally. Excess stuff has a way of doing that. Designate certain boxes or areas where items you’re not sure about taking can be placed so you can make the final decision later.
6. Enlist help from the whole family.
When it comes to decluttering and packing, it’s best to recruit the whole family. If each person spends even a little time each day going through their personal belongings, it can relieve stress on everyone. If each person chooses what to get rid of, what they won’t need before the move, and what to pack closer to moving day, it won’t all fall on one or two people’s shoulders. As much as possible, it’s important to avoid tension among family members. Author Kathi Lipp recommends one family member not try to determine what’s important to others. However, she does recommend negotiating space. If you decide to do so, you can determine, as a family, how much space each person will be allotted in the moving van. This will help each person decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
7. Head out to the garage, up to the attic, and down to the basement.
While you won’t want stacks of boxes in the main living area well ahead of your move, if you begin in the less high-traffic areas, you can make significant headway and live a relatively normal day-to-day life while still preparing for the move. Getting boxes and totes ready to pack into the truck, labelling them to make unpacking easier at the other end, and stacking them neatly will give you a sense of accomplishment and will save you time when you’re down to the crunch.
8. Move on to the more high-traffic areas of your home.
It’s inevitable that you’ll eventually have to pack up your main living space. As the move gets closer, you may want to make some of your favourite meals and pop them in the freezer. This will allow you to pack away appliances and kitchen utensils you no longer need available. It will also save you the cost of ordering in, something you’ll be increasingly tempted to do as time goes on. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to pack knickknacks, physical books, all but a minimal number of clothing items and shoes, etc.
9. Pack a suitcase for each family member.
When you’re flying, it’s wise to take at least one outfit in your carry-on luggage just in case your suitcase doesn’t arrive at your destination. It’s similar when you’re moving, especially if the bulk of your things will be arriving on the moving truck. What will each family member need for at least three days after arriving at your new home? If everyone can make do for a few days, it will save you the time, expense, and aggravation of hitting up the mall as soon as you arrive.
10. Declutter a second time as you unpack in your new home.
As you settle into your new home, you may discover that you don’t really need everything you brought with you. As you unpack each box, why not set aside those items that aren’t as important to you as you thought they were? Instead of finding a place for them (or tucking them away in a bin somewhere), why not fill a box or two and take them to the local thrift store? The less you have to deal with, the sooner you can finish the task of unpacking and begin to feel that you truly are home.