Moving a household can be stressful, disruptive, expensive and exhausting. Even though the end result—settling into your beautiful new home—is worth it, a move takes a toll. But your attitude, thorough preparation, pacing yourself, sticking to a budget and being realistic will go far to get you through it. One of the primary stress factors is feeling like you have no control over the process. While it’s true that you can’t control every aspect, there are ways to take control of most elements of your move and make it relatively stress-free.
Let the following five tips be your guide:
1. Get an Early Start
You can never start planning a major move too early. Start as soon as the decision to move is in play and you have tentative move dates and make a master move plan. Just a few of the tasks will be:
- Getting quotes and scheduling the move with movers/other parties
- Getting the house ready for moving
- Contacting utility companies
2. Get Organized
One of the best tools to help you get organized for your move is a checklist. Of course you could craft your own, but there are online moving checklist tools that cover everything. MyMove.com has a moving checklist that you can easily customize to suit your situation.Break the plan down to manageable parts with sub-lists. Organizational tools are only helpful if you stick with it. Check off accomplished tasks as you go.
Even if you’re a take-control, in-charge type, a move is the time to let go of some of that control and delegate. Although being the moving “manager” is useful, assign duties as needed. Make each family member responsible for packing his or her own room. If you have a natural “facilitator” in your group, ask him to make the phone calls for moving quotes or to negotiate for new internet services. This is also the time to enlist extended family or friends for extra help.
4. Watch Your Budget
Paying offbig credit card bills after a move is not conducive to enjoying your new home. Watch your spending while moving. Look for ways to save money, like finding free moving materials, using coupons or online deals and sticking to a budget. There are almost always hidden costs when moving, so allow for the unexpected and don’t stress about it.
5. Take Some Time Off
Being exhausted during your move will make you more stressed. Your moving “team” won’t appreciate it if you’re crabby. As tempting as it is to plow through and get those checklists completed, take breaks. Moving disrupts your normal routine so plan to take time off to go out to dinner, see a movie, visit friends or do any non-moving-related, enjoyable activity.
So take charge of the elements of your move that are manageable and learn to let go of those things over which you have no control. Try to strike a nice balance between taking charge and letting go—it’s the perfect recipe for less stress.
Visit MyMove.com for a customizable moving checklist, hand-picked deals and moving resources from real professionals. Have a less expensive, less stressful move.