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Take the Pressure Off – Plan Your Move, Stage by Stage!

If you are considering selling your home or you are already have, you know that moving out is in your future. For most people, this would cause a great deal of anxiety. The good news is that if you can break the move into stages, you can release the pressure valve that is causing you stress!

Stage 1 – Get Organized

  • Make a timeline to help guide you through the moving process. Start with a beginning date and an end date for when you want to be done moving out. If you have 6-8 weeks to play with you can go at a more leisurely pace, but any shorter than 6 weeks, you will need to have a concrete and succinct plan of action.
  • Start a folder with all the information you need and a place to put receipts, inventory, notes, checklists etc… for taxes and for easy access.
  • Research different storage unit facilities if you are going to be placing belongings in storage before you move into a new place.
  • Make a list of jobs that the rest of the family can complete and give them a timeline as well. Research and print out some of the wonderful moving checklists that are available online to help you stay organized and on time!

Stage 2 – Make Decisions

  • Determine what type of move you will be making. Maybe you plan to do it all yourself, or maybe you plan to do some of it yourself and some of it you will hire out, or maybe you plant to go the full-service mover route. If you plan to hire movers, you need to get them scheduled as soon as possible to ensure you aren’t stuck without help. Also, if you plan to use a U-Haul, Budge, or Penske vehicle or some other rental truck service to move yourself, you want to schedule it as far in advance as you can.
  • Also, if you need help moving furniture and large items and nothing else, utilize some online services that hire individuals for smaller jobs. Look locally and help your neighbors out who might be in dire need of some work. NextDoor can be an easy way to elicit some neighborly help without contracts and extra fees.

Stage 3 – Get Physical

  • Start acquiring boxes and packing supplies. Again, contact your neighbors and local liquor stores for boxes. Ask around for packing materials like newspapers, bubble wrapping, and recyclables that you can use to pack your treasures.
  • Start a “garage sale/giveaway pile,” “a move to storage pile,” and “trash pile.” Start going through areas of your home that are for storage or used the least. Start organizing the contents into piles and getting rid of as much stuff as possible that will just weigh you down and cause anxiety. Box up items you know that you want but don’t need. Get down to the nitty gritty and pack up those small kitchen appliances you rarely use and those dishes that are only used for special occasions.
  • Also create some boxes for valuables that you will definitely be moving yourself and want to keep an eye on! Write down any serial numbers of important items if you plan to be moved by a moving company.
  • Start using up food in your pantry and freezer so that you have less to move! Not to mention, you will save money. Also, start to clean as you go so that you have less to do when the actually move is on the horizon. Or, better yet, get a professional cleaning service hired to take one more stressor off your plate.

Stage 4 – Continue Boxing

  • Start moving your boxes to an area of your home where they are out of the way but are easily accessible when moving day comes. If you have a storage unit that is in a convenient location, start moving loads as often as possible to get a head start.
  • If you are using a moving service, put boxes that you will be moving yourself: plants, valuables, essential paperwork, and items that you can’t be without into a separate area. Paperwork you may need in the next 30 days should be taken with you and easily accessible (you never know when your unpacking mojo will falter). Make sure those important items are out of the way or clearly marked if movers are coming into your home to box up your belongings!
  • Save your toiletries, medications, bedding, and essential clothing for last!

Stage 5 – It’s Time

  • Make sure your helpers are all ready to help on “the day.” Have meals planned out for yourself and your helpers. Plan for childcare of any small children. Check with movers a week of ahead of the day to make sure all last minute details are arranged. Pack up your final items and get moving!

Stage 6 – Relax

Moving can be very stressful, but if you break it into stages, you will find it much more manageable. You might even get a chance to sit back and relax (at least a little) and congratulate yourself on surviving another move.

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