couple smiling with moving boxes

5 Essential Tips To Make Moving Less Stressful

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Starting over in a new place can be exciting, but the moving part is almost universally despised. Between actually finding a new place, packing up stuff, and actually moving it, the process can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! I’ve had at least 10 personal moves in my adult life (and one really big corporate move), so I’ve learned a lot about turning a move from painful to promising. Here are five of my favorite tips to make your next move less stressful.

1. Have A Plan For Your Move

Think of moving as a big project. The more prepared you are, the smoother the project will go.

  • Secure your new place before moving. I know I sound like Captain Obvious, but even if you are moving in with friends or family, make sure you have had the necessary conversations about doing so.
  • Get clarity on the timeframe. Be sure to discuss how much time you have to move out of the old place and into the new one. If you’re buying, you should talk about this during the purchase process. If you’re renting, discuss this with your landlord.
  • Create a timeline. Start with a high-level timeline that includes tasks like packing, the actual move, cleaning your old space, etc. Then, break those larger tasks into more specific goals and assign them to your timeline. For example, you might put a broad action item in your planner to start packing one month before your drop-dead move-out date. You might then break packing down by rooms or functions, working backward through the things you will and won’t be using.

Are you “planner-challenged?” Not to worry! Check out Mack’s Method, my four step planning process here.

Moving Week Plan
Purge, pack and move.

2. Let Stuff Go Before Moving Day

When you take out the trash, do you just haul it from one can to the next indefinitely? No? Then why do that with your stuff?! We should all ideally be editing our belongings periodically anyway, but if that isn’t the case (*raises hand*), moving is a great opportunity to do so. Take it a room at a time or even a drawer at a time, and be honest with yourself about whether or not the items are serving you. Try categorizing items. For example, you can make initial piles for things that are to keep, donate, and trash. Then, take a good hard look at your “keep” pile. I personally favor Marie Kondo’s method of letting go of things that no longer “spark joy.” Everything you let go of is one less item to pack and potentially one less box to move!

Image courtesy of Moving Solutions.

3. Give yourself ample time

A good way to burn yourself out is to move in a hurry. I understand that moves often happen in a short window, but where possible, I recommend at least a week for the actual moving and cleaning. I also recommend starting to pack at least two weeks in advance. This way, you can stage your move over the course of several days, and allow yourself the grace to prepare and manage the unexpected. You will also have the wiggle room to clean your old place while it is empty – and not on the same day you move.

If you have the luxury of taking a day off after your move, DO IT. You and your back can thank me later.

4. Hire Help For Moving Day

There comes a point in life when there isn’t enough pizza in the world to convince your friends to help you move that couch up and down three flights of stairs. That’s where the big guns come in! Hiring reputable relocation professionals can save your time – and your friendships – by doing the heavy lifting. Companies with licensed, bonded, and insured drivers (like Moving Solutions in the Nashville area) can give you the peace of mind that everything (and everyone) will arrive at the new destination in one piece.

man loading moving truck

Image courtesy of Moving Solutions

Your plan will come in handy when you call for a moving estimate. Professional movers often charge by the hour or by the pound. In a previous move where I was pressed for cash, I hired movers to handle my furniture, appliances, and large boxes, and moved all my smaller items myself over the course of several days, according to my staging plan. This shaved time, and subsequently money, off my final charge.

Regardless of whether or not you pull in friends to help, some items should really be left to the professionals. Hire a professional like these long distance movers in Nashville to take care of the items for you!

5. Measure twice, move once

A solid space plan can save you a world of trouble come moving day. Before you move anything into the new place, take the time to draw a map.

  • I’m extremely detail-oriented, so in addition to walls, and I recommend marking outlets, vents, communication ports, and any other idiosyncracies you may need to work around.
  • Measure, measure, measure. Sure, you could just draw the layout, but none of that matters if you show up and your items don’t fit. Measure your furniture and anything you know will have a footprint in your floorplan. If you have the time, go for the gusto and mark up your map. Measure the walls, windows, doors and your new space.
furniture labels
Labels make it very clear to your helpers where things should go.
  • Mark furniture placements. This may be the best thing I’ve done in my past two moves. Get some index cards and label them with the names and dimensions of your furniture pieces. Tape those cards to the walls or floors where they belong. This step is indispensable when you have help, because it makes your move self-explanatory. My movers were able to make quick work in the new place without having to stop and ask for directions, because everything had been labeled for them.

All in all, moving is a big undertaking, but it does not have to be stressful. Take it one manageable step at a time, and you’ll be enjoying your new digs in no time.

Do you have tips for a smooth move? Drop them in the comments below!

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