With unfamiliarity comes anxiety and stress. Moving can be a trying, yet exciting time in anyone’s life. During a move it is easy to become overwhelmed, losing site and falling behind in our business and personal lives. With a plethora of moving experience (being married to a previous military man), I have learned and mastered the art of a successful move. With moving comes disorganization. In becoming disorganized, we can quickly fall into a spiral of confusion and stress. Whether it be our belongings becoming jumbled, not having a school or physician for our children lined up, or simply feeling isolated in a new community, it can be beneficial and stress reducing to become organized in our move from top to bottom, beginning to end. Below, I have listed the top ten priorities to effectively reduce stress and make the moving process seamless and in turn, give us more time to enjoy the excitement that also comes with a move.
Before & During Move:
- Labeling and Categorizing
It comes as no surprise that knowing where your items are during packing, transportation, and unpacking is essential to saving us from the time and stress that comes along with not being able to find our needed belongings. Whether the packing is being done for you, or you are doing the packing yourself, it is important to take the extra minute to carefully label your boxes. Categorizing your belongings by item type, rather than specific room, is also very helpful. When moving homes, we often change the “room” that a specific item will be put in between our old home and new home. By categorizing items by type rather than room, we can make things easier to find (ei; décor, bedding, clothing, toys, etc.). Properly labeling and categorizing items can save us from the hassle and stress of not being able to find our things when we need them.
Overlooking the simple things is something we all can be guilty of during the stress of moving. Not receiving important documents and information because of a lengthy mail forwarding delay can cause frustration for anyone. Make changing your mailing address a priority during your move can save time in the long run. Primarily setting up a change of address through USPS is the most important in receiving your mail at your new home in a timely manner. However, contacting banks, bills, and important connections and notifying them of your address change is important in making this mailing address change permanent, and allows others to update their records, alleviating mailing hiccups later on in the year.
- Picking and Registering for a School
If you have children, you already know how important the school your children attend can be. For this reason, finding and researching the schools in your area prior to moving is a must, and can often determine where you decide to lease or purchase your new home. Once you have determined the school, it is important to be proactive in registering your child and getting them set up in their new school. While it is easy to become overwhelmed and put this off, by reducing the stress on our child and settling them in quickly, you are able to give them an outlet to be involved in and focus on settling in to your new home and community with less stress for you and your family.
It is easy to overlook our family’s personal needs, or simply forget and push these priorities to the back burner. Finding a new physician for yourself and your children can often be a time consuming process. Contacting your insurance before moving, and getting a primary care physician set up is a good strategy to reducing stress during your move and alleviates complications when unexpected illness occur at such a busy time.
- Keeping Records
The documents and receipts that come along with moving can seem endless. However, keeping these moving documents organized and in an accessible and safe place can save you money in the long run. Moving can often be a great write off on your tax return, and these documents will be necessary to have handy to do so. With the great costs that come with moving, it is great to be able to see some monetary benefits at the end of the year, just for being organized and keeping good records!
- Update Utilities
Utilities can be a pain! Often times, utility companies require multiple days to activate a new account and get your home up and running. Contacting local utilities before moving can make all the difference. Walking into a home fully operational home with electricity, water, Wi-Fi, etc. is essential in alleviating anxiety in a stressful move.
If making an out-of-state move, a change in vehicle registration will be needed. The registration grace period can range from 10 days to a month depending on the state; therefore contacting your local DMV in a timely manner is essential in settling in to your new home. Often times a license change will also be necessary; luckily the local DMV can take care of both of these items for you pretty effortlessly.
- Get Acquainted With Your New Community
Isolation is difficult, and having friends and social activities is key to feeling more at home in a new place. Immediately getting involved in group activities, whether it be a church, or events with your child’s school, can make settling into your new home more enjoyable. Searching online for an events calendar for your area, can also give you a chance to explore the community and become acquainted with your new home in a fun way. While moving can be an extremely busy time, it is important to give yourself the opportunity for enjoyment and build new relationships and activities for your family in your new community.
Safety is something that should be kept in mind when moving to a new home. During the sale or lease of a home, there are often many people that have access to the home besides the previous owners. Changing the locks to your home is fairly inexpensive and can be very effective in promoting the safety of your new home. The security that comes with knowing you are the only one with access to your home can be worth it alone to take this quick and simple pre-caution.
- Find New Service Providers
Homes require maintenance and maintenance requires time. Finding local service providers quickly after a move can give us much needed time back, to focus on settling into our new home. Being proactive and finding quality service providers in our new community is well worthwhile in the long run. Asking for referrals from neighbors, and checking reviews on sites such as Yelp! can be helpful in picking a quality service professional. Whatever services you are accustomed to, whether it be residential cleaning or a landscaping service, these providers can assist in making your new home more comfortable and putting time back on the clock in your busy moving schedule.
Moving comes with many new experiences, obstacles, and anxieties, but also opportunities, adventures, and relationships. The ten priorities listed above, while they do not complete the list of moving must-dos, are highly helpful in keeping us on track and off to a great start at a new home! It is important to remember that the more you can take off your plate and hire out during a move the better. We all have budgets to keep in mind, but lessening the load is always a good strategy in whatever capacity fits our personal budgeting and needs. Staying organized and being proactive, especially in the areas listed above can keep us positive and produce a less stressful and more exciting moving experience!