Next to losing a job or grieving a loved one, moving can be one of life's most stressful experiences. So how do military families, mobile executives, and others manage to do it on a regular basis? By having systems to stay organized and reduce the stress. If you are planning a move this spring or summer, consider these time-honoured tips from families who know the ropes:
Make A Moving Binder
Assemble copies of important documents such as birth certificates, social insurance cards, mortgage documents, rental agreements, and employment contracts and keep them in a binder, where they'll be safe and easy to find.
If you plan to hire movers, book your move at least a month in advance to secure the date you want. Consider budgeting for a short vacation at your destination of your dates don't line up quiet the way you'd like them to.
Maintain A Large Staging Area
Dedicate one area of your home to sorting, packing, and storage. As boxes are filled, move them into this area to keep the rest of your home feeling organized and undisturbed.
Lighten Your Load
If you are hiring movers, you are paying them by the pound, and if you are moving yourself, you are paying by the muscle. Either way, sorting through your belongings now and packing only those items your wish to keep will save you a great deal of money and effort.
Use Your Camera
Your digital camera or smartphone can be helpful in keeping track of what goes into your boxes. As you pack, take an inventory by camera so if anything gets lost on route, you will have photo documentation. Before packing, take a picture of the back of the TV and other technology as a reminder of how to set it up. And when you arrive at your destination, document any damage or problems with new your place before you move in.
Prepare For Packers
If you are hiring packers, be prepared for them. Packers have been known to empty the contents of a drawer directly into a box, making for time-consuming sorting as you unpack on the other end of your move. Prepare by putting the contents of drawers, such as silverware, spices, utensils, pens and pencils, and toys, into Ziploc bags. That way, they will be pre-sorted for you when you unpack. Use smaller Ziploc bags for curtains rings and hardware you'll need to re-assemble beds and other furniture on move-in, and label the bags with a permanent market to keep things straight.
Figure Out What "Home" Means To You
Consider what your first priority will be when you get to your destination. If you know that you won't feel at home until the bathroom is clean, plan to make that your first order of business. Does vegetating in front of the TV make you feel at peace at the end of a long day? Plan to hook it up on Day One. Having one space that feels settled and friendly will give you a smoother landing.
Be Kind - To Yourself And Others
Moving is stressful for you, and it can be stressful for the people who are helping you, too. Do your best to communicate your needs and expectations clearly to landlords, real estate agents, packers, and movers, and get everything in writing. Take note of those people who are helpful and accommodating, and make an effort to show your appreciation. The next time you more, the relationships you have created this time may come in handy!