Moving: The Forgotten Stress
Anyone who’s sold and bought a home knows how much there is to stay on top of. And then somewhere in all that it hits you: you have actually to move, as well.
That’s its own big project that perhaps you hadn’t focused on yet, which is why some folks call it the “forgotten stress.”
Moving can add a whole new layer of stress to your life, but there are ways to make it easier and smoother. Here’s a list of moving tips to help you do just that:
Secrets to a Better Move
- Start Preparing Early
Start getting ready to move before your home hits the market. This tip has the double benefit of giving you a head-start on moving and decluttering the home for showings, which is a must-do.
- Prepare to declutter by designating piles for Trash, Donation, and Keep. Then go room by room, and be firm. If it’s Keep, you have to pack and move it!
- Do not fall into the trap of packing things up so that you can “go through them later” after you move. We all know that never happens.
- Starting early, you have more time to get donations to places where they can do some good. You’ll feel good about that and generate less trash. You can even have a yard sale, if you have time, for some extra cash.
- A decluttered, clean home with open spaces, surfaces, and storage can potentially get you 3-5% better offers.
- Get a Storage Unit
Get a temporary rental storage unit for boxes of Keep, furniture that doesn’t need to be there for the showings, or donations you don’t have time for. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to get your things out of the way until you’re ready to move.
Or maybe family and friends can also offer a little storage space.
- Throw In Your Furniture
Include furniture in the sale if there are pieces you don’t want to move. Don’t add to your stress by taking furniture or appliances you don’t need, or by trying to find them a home. Ask your agent about including them in the sale: buyers are often interested.
- Make sure pieces are repaired, clean, updated, and looking their best.
- Put laminated signs around the house that list what you’re offering.
- Research Good Moving Companies
Research movers early, so you can get written estimates from several companies to compare and have time to check their referrals.
- It’s a good idea to have movers do a walk-through of your home before the estimate, for accuracy.
- Tell them about unusual items that require special handling, like a piano or large piece of art.
- If you want them to pack for you, ask about their fee for the extra help.
- Book your chosen movers the minute your home sells so that you’ll have them when you need them!
- Pack Smarter
There are ways to pack smart to minimize the chaos:
- Take a moment to label every box, on all sides. Don’t ask yourself to remember what ten boxes that say “kitchen” contain: write “dishes,” “pans,” etc.
- Use your soft items to pad breakables. Blankets, towels, pillows, linens, and even winter jackets can be used to cushion other things. Include them on the label.
- Don’t box up valuables. Keep important papers, jewelry, and anything else that cannot be lost or damaged with you. Just in case.
- Research the Essential Contacts You Need
Make important contacts you need in your new area before you get there: doctor, vet, school, pharmacy, plumber, etc. Transfer records wherever they need to go beforehand.
- Change Your Mailing Address
Change your address with the post office by going to USPS.com. Most utilities and other companies will let you change addresses online, too. Let everyone know you’re moving sooner rather than later.
Even if you do not update your address right away, you can have the USPS hold your mail while you are busy with the move.
- Get a Pet Sitter and a Baby Sitter
Moving day is no time to have young kids or pets around. Enlist family or friends to take them for a while. I remember, as a toddler, loudly demanding to ride to the new house on the furniture in the truck. You don’t need the extra stress.
- Moving is rarely or never stress-free, and that’s okay. Take breaks to rest and recharge!
- There’s no right way to do it all: discover what works for you, and take it step-by-step.
- Pick your head up now and then to take in the bigger picture, making sure you’re keeping up with any selling/buying details that need attention. If you’ve chosen well from great realtors near you, you can feel confident your agent is on top of things.
- A great playlist and a sense of humor are useful to have around for this process.
You Did It!
For a while, it may look as if you haven’t made a dent, but we assure you the “dent” will appear, and suddenly you will realize how much you’ve accomplished.
Even if you’re eating the proverbial dinner on a moving box some evening, the moment will come when you can say, “Done!” Even if you’re not unpacked. Give yourself time with that, and think of it as an adventure in creating your new home.
Then celebrate and enjoy it!