Of all the things you go through in life, moving home has to be one of the most stressful – particularly if that move is to an unfamiliar city or country. Indeed, in a recent survey, 38% of respondents cited moving home as being more stressful than breaking up with a partner, while another poll suggested that 51% of men and 62% of women considered a house move the most stressful life event.
However, while there is undoubtedly a level of unavoidable upheaval involved in moving to a new home, you should consider a few things that can greatly lessen the impact and help make things go as smoothly as possible.
If you’re considering changing home soon and are looking for ways to reduce stress and make the process as simple as possible, below are a few tips you should think about.
Plan ahead and create a checklist
Speak to any project manager, and they will likely suggest that planning is the most important part of any job. In moving home, you are essentially taking on a management project, having to think about everything from packing belongings to transportation and their arrival at the other end. Note, delivery becomes even more important when you’re looking at a more distant move, so be sure you’ve already worked out an agreement with a long distance removal service that is aware of – and can handle – your exact needs. Check online for reviews of recommended long distance movers.
Taking time to consider all your requirements and producing a checklist will help you stay on top of these elements while also giving you peace of mind that you’ve considered everything needed for your move. Factors might include anything from ensuring you run down perishable food in your old home to making sure you’ve made adequate plans for getting kids or pets from A to B, etc.
Having a checklist will also provide you with a roadmap for your move so you can work through the points individually so you reduce the risk of forgetting important tasks.
Declutter your home and be ruthless
A new home marks the opportunity for a new beginning and a fresh start. However, it is inevitable that you will collect things you no longer need or use throughout your life. After all, there’s little sense in simply shifting pointless items that you don’t need from one location to another. Rather, try to take a slightly ruthless view and think about when you last used things that clutter up your space. You might be very surprised.
As a general rule of thumb, any item you own but haven’t used in the last six to twelve months probably isn’t sufficiently important to take with you (except for memorabilia, photos, etc.).
Think of more efficient forms of storage
On the subject of photos noted above, you might want to consider transferring any traditional pics into digital format. Not only are physical photos rather redundant these days, but they also take up considerable space – and, of course, are at risk of loss or damage.
There are now numerous firms that will automatically scan and digitize your photo collections so you can then store them safely in photo gallery services like Google Photos. It’s also worth bearing in mind, using Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, you will then be able to search photos by type, person, etc.
The above information could also apply to DVDs, videos, CDs, etc. – pretty much all of which can be streamed via services like Netflix and Spotify.
Take time to pack efficiently
One of the most stressful parts of a move is realizing that you still need to live and function while this process is happening. For this reason, you should aim to pack all non-essential items first, leaving things like cutlery, plates, and cooking utensils until last.
As a starting point, you’ll want to ensure you have all the required materials – for example, sturdy packing boxes, paper, tape, bubble wrap for breakables, etc.
It’s also a very good idea to try to pack with a view to how you’ll unpack on the other side and, if possible, pack items by the room they’ll belong to in the end destination. For example, TV and music players for the living room. If you have complex electrical equipment, it can often be a good idea to take a photo of how it’s currently set up to save you from forgetting when you arrive.
Lastly, ensure you label all boxes with what’s in them (be as detailed as you can), and for fragile items, make sure they are clearly marked as such. Again, it can be an idea to take a few pictures for insurance purposes in case of any damages that might occur during the move.
Use a professional removal company
While a professional removal company will almost always cost you more than the DIY approach, it will save you considerable time and effort and remove the need for heavy lifting. A skilled person will have experience handling moves like yours and will handle the logistical and physical challenges of moving home. Indeed, you would be well-advised to contact a professional firm for all but the shortest and simplest of moves. Most can also often provide packing services if required.
Reduce upheaval by informing relevant parties
When you move, your address changes, so you will need to inform all concerned parties, including banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and your employer. You should also arrange for a mail forwarding service for at least six months to save you from missing any important correspondence.
Remember to inform utility and service companies
It can be easy to forget to inform utility and service companies that you’re moving – yet it is one of the most important parts of your move. You should notify internet, water, gas, and electricity companies that you’re changing address and agree on a date for their disconnection. Note, you will also need to arrange a service connection at your destination address too.