Five months ago, after packing up 8 years worth of living in a 3400 square foot home, I vowed it would be at least one year before I moved again! Various challenges arose that dictated I rent for a short period of time before purchasing a new home.
But a year seemed such a long time! Nothing could tame my excitement over regaining homeowner status – not the fact that I had to sign a one-year lease to secure the rental home I wanted, and not the strong evidence given me by my financial planner that renting is actually a better financial move over the long run than owning a home.
This past week, I moved again. Despite having to deal with a landlord who bore at least a moving-truck-sized grudge against me, I’ve never had such a smooth transition from one home to another.
Allow me to share how I took one of the most stressful experiences in life and turned it into, well, as close to a peaceful move as is possible. You may be surprised…
- Storage/saver-type items remained in boxes from my previous move. If this is your first move in a long time, take the time now to get things arranged in labeled totes.
- Don’t start way ahead of moving day. At least 9 out of 10 of us get pumped with an early start, only to experience a lull that peters out until moving day and then we’re strapped for time. I cleared my schedule a week in advance and only concentrated on packing up until the big day arrived.
- Hire movers! Wow! What a difference it made to my peace of mind. I discovered that some movers offer a great hourly rate but then rack in your cash by inflating the length of time the job will take. I found a moving company that charged marginally more per hour but gave me an honest estimate of how long they’d be there (which turned out to be bang on!)
- Arrange staging areas in your home for boxes. For example, I was in a townhome and every single time I left the top floors I carried something down with me (I mean every time!). What a time-saver, and my legs thanked me also!
- If kids are involved, shuffle them off! Even with my somewhat capable teenagers (sorry, guys!), it was easier to focus on that one packing up week without them getting in the way. Have the kids pack up their rooms, and dedicate one day to helping and be done with it.
- If the move-in dates, location, and time allow, begin making a couple trips each day to the new place, carrying things such as lamps, plants, and awkward items that will eat up time with your movers. All of these items go straight into the place where they’ll be kept, and even unpacked if possible! For example, hang the clothes in the closet and put the food in the cupboards ahead of time. This will make it much easier to live while you’re unpacking your new home.
- Use this time to divest yourself of junk! Anything you don’t need can be given away to charity. If you call up a junk removal company, any amount of cash outlay is worthwhile when you consider how valuable your unpacking time is in the new place!
So these are the action items that made my move a little easier. But there are many more! Consider the Five Things You Should Do One Week Before Moving Day for a sampling of things you may not have thought about.
As for me, I believe I’ll stay in my new place for longer than a year!
Tania Venn is Director, PR for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Her other responsibilities include leading the PR team for WOW 1Day! Painting and You Move Me. In her spare time Tania enjoys the outdoors, hiking in summer and skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Tania can be found on Google+ and LinkedIn.