Most people don’t move as often as we do, so they don’t get the chance to become experts in the process. After a couple of local moves (within 30 miles) and a few cross-country, we’ve developed a system that makes moving almost painless.
Today I shared these tips with Redbook magazine for an upcoming story about making your new community feel like home and wanted to share them with you.
7 Ways to Take the Stress out of a Move
- Pretend you are a planning for a guest in your new location (you!). Think of all the things your guest would like on that first day in the new home. Pack a box with those things and label it “first off” with the movers or take it with you. You’ll appreciate clean sheets, soap, a few towels, a coffee pot, paper plates and utensils, a scented candle and your favorite mug.
- Locate your new doctor/dentist/optometrist online before you go. When you get settled, make appointments with all three on the same schedule you would have been on in your last location. Do it now, though, before you forget! And make sure you get copies of your medical records before you move. You will not want to deal with this kind of stuff when you are sick or in pain and trying to find someone to help you.
- Get a new driver’s license. Don’t wait because your old one still has time left on it. Getting a new license makes you feel more like a resident, and all states require that you do this shortly after moving. In our own situation, I let mine lapse by mistake and had to take a written and driving test to get a new one, and Warren got a ticket for not having his updated within 30 days of moving.
- Tell your friends and family before you go. Send an email, a change of address card, or update your status on Facebook. Let even casual friends know you are moving before you go. You never know who might show up to help or have connections in your new area to help with settling in.
- Set up your services before you go. Many places now offer online setup of everything from your utilities to your newspaper delivery, and grocery delivery is becoming increasingly common. How nice would it be to have your Internet/cable/phone hooked up the day you move in along with all your utilities? Or wake up the next day to a paper on your doorstep and groceries?
- Move in completely as quickly as you can. This means pictures on the walls, all boxes unpacked and recycled, and every room finished. When you leave things in boxes or rooms undone it creates an impression of “temporary,” which makes it harder to adjust to living in your new area. We strive to be completely moved in within one week.
- Get out and explore! Discover a new casual eating spot, the local pet store, or the neighborhood parks. Join a group through http://www.meetup.com/ or other posted groups and get to know people.
Moving can be stressful both on moving day and months afterward as you have to relearn where everything is – the grocery store, the doctor, and where to get the best hamburger. When you take care of the basics, the rest of it becomes an adventure.
For help before the move, check out our e-book, Get Rid of It! How Downsizing Can Upsize Your Life. You’ll find easy ways to declutter in your everyday life so that when moving day comes you won’t be so overwhelmed.
Remember, movers charge by the pound. The less you move, the more you save and the less work you have on moving day!