A change in residence can be one of the most stressful events you’ll ever experience in life, and for good reason. You’re essentially packing up and leaving your comfort zone, a space that you’ve called your home base. The concept of home is a sacred aspect of modern human life, and moving away from a trusted, beloved space can prove not only physically and mentally exhausting and stressful, but extremely emotionally taxing as well.
Even if you’re moving into a new space that is clearly superior to your old abode, and maybe even close by – there’s a certain condition included in moving that wants to tell you, ‘you’ve left a bit of your character, and a big part of your personality behind.’ Indeed, your home becomes a part of who you and your family are together, and that can sting when you drive away, adding stress to your first few days away from the familiar.
When you move into your new home, having a stress-free couple of days to adjust is crucial to acclimatizing to your new surroundings, so in the interest in helping you feel a well-deserved sense of calm, here are a few moving tips for making your move stress free:
Have Less Stuff
Experienced movers will tell you that it’s not the bulk of the big objects that make moving stressful; it’s the over-abundance of tiny brick-a-brack and trinkets that make your home cluttered and time-consuming to move.
It’s the closet full of clothes that you never wear, the kitchen drawer of old bills and odds-and-ends that need sorting, and the pounds and pounds of books, bathroom accoutrement, china sets, etc. that take up the bulk of your day adding to your stress.
If you can, get rid of it. Purge your unused belongings that are just going to take up valuable time and space at your new home and donate it to someone in need, the local thrift shop, or consider trying to sell a few things online. Host a yard sale prior to your move to avoid the senseless packing of added poundage. Alternatively, if you have a large amount of items you can’t bring yourself to get rid of, you can look into long term storage.
This way when you move in, there’s less to unpack, and less of a mountain of stuff you’ll realize is simply a waste of space. The benefit of moving in quickly allows you to take that coveted ‘sigh of relief’ days sooner than you originally anticipated.
Pack a ‘First Week’ Care Package
There’s nothing worse than waking up with a massive job to do, i.e. unpacking your effects in your new home, and being unable to experience a shred of your tried-and-true morning ritual for days on end. If you have little ones, this will probably be accentuated.
Prior to leaving your old address, pack yourself a large duffel bag of critical things that will make your first week seem a little less out of the ordinary. The coffee maker, iPad, toiletries, your kid’s favorite books or games, gym clothes, a small set of tools for home maintenance and odd tune-up’s, etc. Anything that will make your life seem comfortable and easier.
The benefit being that you won’t have to tackle unpacking four or five boxes marked ‘kitchen’ to find yourself the coffee maker so you can actually wake up. Giving yourself this form of moving help is key to enjoying the first few days at your new home. You’ll be able to find the key things you use on a regular basis to get back a sense of home quickly.
Ask for Help
There’s no need to feel incapable or poorly equipped when moving; don’t take everything on yourself. Feel confident in asking your friends and family for help, chances are they’ll be happy to lend a hand. If it’s possible for you, consider hiring a cleaning service, or a babysitter to help out as well.
Outsource the pre-packing linen and towel laundry duties to a couple of friends, ask your in-laws to babysit while you get the bulk of packing done, consider asking another few friends to supervise your impromptu yard sale while you disassemble the living room. Hire a cleaner to tackle the nitty-gritty of cleaning your old place, and extend the services of your moving company to take some of your stuff to temporary storage prior to moving.
Hang Family Photos ASAP
One of the biggest stress-harboring things about moving is having to start fresh in an environment that lacks character and a sense of home.
When your new surroundings are looking a little empty and bland during the first few days of living there, throw up a few of your prized family portraits, or that favourite piece of art in the living room. Having a few visual reminders of your family and personal taste will help to humanize your new space and usher in a new sense of character and personality to your new walls.
It’s not always the house itself that made your old place a home, it’s the people you occupy it with – so remember that they’re along for the ride, a few visual cues can really help eliminate some moving stress.
Make Time for R&R
You’re not a machine; if you have a plethora of stuff that you just can’t seem to unpack easily, take a break and go out for lunch, or head out to a movie with your spouse and try to enjoy the afternoon. Allotting yourself some time to relax and actually enjoy the achievement of buying a new home will hugely help you to unwind and relieve some of that moving stress.
If you’ve got your heart set on being unpacked and settled, in say, three or so days, make plans for a post-move family and friend BBQ party to celebrate your big adjustment, and to say thanks to the people who helped you pull it off. Invite the new neighbours and kids of the same age as yours so your little ones can make friends in your new neighbourhood. Take a drive around your new area and explore the great little gems that are nearby.
It may feel like a huge undertaking, but these tips will hopefully take the edge of a stressful situation and help make your first few days in your new home the exciting and enjoyable memory you’ve envisioned it being.