7 Tips to Dilute the Torture
Most folks would agree that the physical act of moving a household ranks high on the list of unpleasant things to do—are you quivering just at the thought of it? See what I mean?
There are easily 17 tips that could make your move more bearable, but keeping the end in mind, these 7 should help you be happier—in the end, not necessarily during the process.
If you’re like many, and have a love affair with stuff—now is the time to break it off.
Be Ruthless. This is the advice I gave a recent client who is moving to a cottage that is less than half the size of the home she’s selling. She’s lived in her Bethlehem Township home for over 15 years and was amazed at the amount of stuff she amassed over the years. Besides the stuff she has furnishings and collections and personal memorabilia that she just doesn’t have the space for in her new, scaled down digs.
Every time I stop by to see Nancy and check on an inspection, meet the appraiser, change the sign from For Sale to Sale Pending, etc. she reminds me she’s being ruthless getting rid of “stuff”. Her kids have volunteered to help too, and she is handing off to them items they have a use for or want to pass on to the next generation. She’s called in an auctioneer to sell a Longaberger Basket collection, she’s donated clothing and household items to charities like American Family, found a place called Furniture and Beyond that buys used furniture and takes it away for you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and she seeing it and feeling great about it.
You can also sell items on Craigslist and hire companies to help you haul away junk—there, I’ve said it. Chances are you’ve also been holding onto what is clearly junk and ready for the dump. Full Circle Removal will haul it away and get rid of it for you.
The thought of moving to a new place and being stuffless is liberating. Whether you’re moving or not, if you’ve accumulated lots of stuff, start finding a new home for it now, and pat yourself on the back for taking action. Step 1 when you’re moving…. be ruthless.
Eat Down Your Food Supply. Food isn’t exactly stuff, but somehow our cupboards can get stuffed. A move is the perfect time to take stock of your food supply and start eating it so you don’t have to move it. Try to live off what you have on hand. Make soups, stews, and casseroles and see what kind yummy recipes you can concoct with what you already have. Challenge yourself to only buy what you need until you move. Donate to a local food bank if you’ve found yourself overstocked with non-perishables you can’t eat and don’t want to move. Now is the perfect time to go through your spices and get rid of those that have passed their useful life.
Start Packing. With the excess stuff gone, you’d don’t have to worry about packing up and moving what you no longer need. If you’re doing your own packing, get boxes and start organizing what you’ll be bringing with you. Label the boxes for content and then color code them by room. At a glance you’ll know which box goes where. If you’ve done a decent job of getting rid of what you no longer need, this step will be so much easier.
Hire a Mover. Movers charge by quantity and weight, so having them come in to give you an estimate before you’ve removed what you’re not taking will result in an erroneous estimate. If you’re organized the movers can be much more efficient with your move and it will cost you less money. Professional movers will make your move quicker and safer. A couple of local recommendations are Obrien’s and 3AMoving.
Address Changes. Take note of all the mail you receive—bank statements, insurance policies of all types, investment statements, magazines, medical offices, credit card statements—basically any piece of mail that you don’t consider junk mail. About 3 weeks from the date of your move, start notifying everyone of your new address. Usually when you pay a bill there is a form you can fill out to designate your new address. For investments, you can call the 800 number and let them know of your address change. You sure don’t want to lose sight of your life insurance or 401K statements.
Did you know that many publications do not forward? If you receive Reader’s Digest, as an example, they will not forward to your new address. Notify them a couple of months in advance of your address change to keep those publications coming. I missed my Reader’s Digest for 3 months because I neglected to change the address.
Notify the Post Office. Of course you won’t have remembered to change every address or notified all your friends and families, so you’ll want to make sure mail from your old address gets forwarded to your new address. USPS will forward for 6 months, so that should catch the stragglers. You can get a change of address kit at the post office or do it online here.
Change Utilities. Don’t forget to notify your existing utility companies of your move—Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, Trash, Phone, Cable, Alarm services are the standards. Be sure to set up the utilities at your new residence. The tricky utilities these days are cable and phone. Most folks can’t live without their cable and internet service and you may need to make that appointment several weeks in advance and meet them at your property—wait until the last-minute and you could find yourself with no internet—gasp!
A move has the potential to be torturous, but if you lighten the load before your move, I promise you the entire process will be less stressful, easier, and cheaper. Now that you’ve moved, the key is to remain stuffless for you next move—are you up for the challenge?