Moving can be stressful, especially when you're constantly moving from state to state. It starts with the boxing and loading of a truck and ends with picking out a place and creating a home in a new place. Whether you're moving yourself or hiring movers, there's a lot to be done and many ways that you can become stressed. Any big move can become overwhelming if you aren't prepared for what's to come. Luckily, I'm here to share a few tips with you today to help minimize the stress that comes with moving.
I've divided my tips for you into the three parts of moving - before, during, and after (imagine that!). With each move that I've made, I have found new tricks along the way and I thought I'd pass those on to you. You can read each section as you go through that part (in this case, pin the post to refer back to later!) or you can read them all at once since they do directly relate to each other. This post is a bit lengthy but that's because I've filled it with lots of tips and tricks!
Before the Big Move
Purge! Purge! Purge!
I love moving because it gives me an excuse to get rid of things. A big move gives me the extra kick I need to truly clean out the items that we don't need. I can't even quantify how much stuff I've gotten rid of in the course of moving (or how many items I get rid of right after moving because I didn't plan well). We're getting ready to move again and there's a donate pile on the couch just waiting to be given away. Trust me, get rid of things before you move them across the country. No need to pack things that you're simply going to get rid of later.
As you're getting rid of things, these questions can help you make decisions:
- When was the last time you used this item? Will you use it again soon?
- Can it be easily replaced? How much will it cost to buy a new one when you need it? (If it's not much, now might be the time to get rid of it.)
- Is it worth carrying this item up several sets of stairs? (Let's face it - there may be several stairs to go up.)
- Will it fit in the new place? (It might be easier to part with an awkward sized piece of furniture before moving if it might not fit in the new place.)
- Can you temporarily rent it? (There are services out there that rent appliances but did you know that you can also rent furniture? Check out the "When You Arrive" section for more details!)
Make a Plan
You're going to have a lot of decisions to make when moving. Take time to sit down and plan out these things together. Think about how you're going to move, where you're moving to, and how long you'll have to move. Don't forget to consider your budget and who will be helping you during the move. Consider whether you'll do everything yourself or hire professionals to help with the process. This step may require a bit of research to decide what works best for your family.
Streamline Your Packing
One of the best things I did on our cross country move is using a color coded system to keep everything organized and streamlined when packing and unpacking. If you have people helping you with the packing process, make sure that they are aware of any system you're using to make things easier.
I used colored index cards to keep our packing organized. When a box was packed, I wrote the name of the room on an index card along with key contents underneath. (For example, a kitchen box may have pots, pans, and utensils listed under it.) Each room was assigned a color. The colors made things easier when moving into the next thing because we were able to look at the color to tell which room it went in. You can also color code using tape.
During Your Journey
Keep Yourself Entertained
Whether you're moving yourself in a uHaul or you have professional movers driving a truck full of your stuff, it's very likely that you'll find yourself spending several hours (or days) on the road getting from one place to the other. Keeping yourself (and others) entertained during the trip will make things more bearable. Forms of entertainment can include music, audio books, road trip games, and videos for the back seat riders. If you have the time, you may even find neat destinations along the way to visit.
Stick to Your Budget
You did set a budget, right? If not, you can still benefit from this section on how to save money along the way. I recommend packing snacks and possibly even meals to eat on the road. Gas station snacks can add up quickly and are often overpriced. Will you be staying in hotels along the way? There are two ways to save money on lodging. The first is to join the point system for the hotel chain of your choice. This will allow you to accumulate points towards future free nights. The second is to pick up the coupon books that you find along your route. These often have great discounts on hotels.
You know I'm trying my best to be fit and healthy so it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm including this tip. Make a plan before you leave your old city of how you're going to stay healthy on the road. This can include packing your own food, stopping at certain restaurants, or using a calorie tracker app. Think about the opportunities that you'll have for exercise along the way. Can you get in a few lunges at the rest stop? Do a workout video in the hotel room? Is there a gym in the hotel that you can visit? Not only will your muscles appreciate the exercise, but so will your mind. It'll also help relieve any stress that may have built up during the long period of sitting in a car.
When You Arrive
Know What You Want BUT Be Flexible
Before you start looking for a new place, make a list of your needs and wants. Wants are the items that you would like to have in a new place but could do without (those walk in closets). Needs are the items that you can't really budge on (for example, the number of bedrooms or allowing your furry friend). Make sure you identify a price range before you head out! This will make the search a little easier. Keep in mind that you might have to give up a want item in order to get a need item. Depending on where you move, you may find that the rental or buying market is a tough one to navigate - knowing what you're looking for will make things a little easier.
When I found out that you can rent furniture, a light bulb went off in my head. There are so many different cases where I could see this being a beneficial service. Military families, college students, unattached bachelors and bachelorettes, individuals living part time in an area, the list of people who could benefit from this service goes on and on.
Renting furniture may seem like an odd concept since it's not the traditional method of settling into a new place, but it really offers up a world of possibilities.
CORT Furniture Rental offers families an affordable way to settle into their new home. By renting furniture, families can make a space their own even when it's only temporary. The company offers military discounts as well, making them a budget friendly option! (You know I'm all about saving a little money, especially when decorating!) They also have a variety of styles and prices to fit almost anyone's needs.
Here's a few reasons that I'm intrigued with the thought of renting furniture:
- New furniture can make a space feel fresh. Renting is a cheaper option for a room makeover than buying.
- Furniture is one of the biggest, most awkward things you have to pack in a move. A move would be much easier without this hassle.
- Sometimes you're only living somewhere for a few months.
- Furniture rental can make a temporary place feel more like home.
The last step of minimizing stress is actually my favorite step in the moving process. Once you've moved all of your boxes in and put all of your furniture in place, it's time to decorate the new place. This is where you can get creative and make your temporary place feel even more like a home. I recommend looking at bargain stores and on Pinterest for ideas of do-it-yourself projects that you can complete in your new home. Adding a little color and style to your walls and décor will help make the place feel more like home.
And last, but not least...
Remember that the moving process is temporary and it will all be over soon. You may need to take a step back and focus on the journey rather than the destination. Take lots of pictures and enjoy every moment of your journey.