While moving can be an exciting milestone, it’s also considered one of the top five most stressful life situations — and for good reason. The process is arduous, your schedule is disrupted, and it can be costly. The key to making everything go smoothly has everything to do with planning, so don’t wait until the last minute to create a plan that can help make moving as stress-free as humanly possible. Here are seven tasks that need to make your to-do list.
Decide If You’re Going to Hire a Pro
If you’re making a short move to a smaller apartment or condo without an overabundance of personal things, it’s possible that you can handle the move yourself. Just keep in mind that you won’t have anyone to help you load/unload cumbersome items like furniture. For larger moves, it can behoove you to hire professional movers and packers to do the heavy lifting. One of the most appealing aspects is how much time you’ll save. Pros can turn a two- to three-week packing and moving process around in four to seven days or less. Not to mention, your move is insured in case anything gets broken, damaged, or lost. Regardless of who is packing the boxes, don’t stow items like money, valuable papers, expensive jewelry, perishable items, medications, firearms, plants, flowers, and flammable items. Just make sure to book a mover as far in advance as possible — especially if you’re moving during a busy season.
Make a Plan for Your Pets
Moving can be a traumatic, stressful experience for a pet, so make arrangements for your furry friends prior to moving day. Slowly introduce your pet to its new surroundings. For cats, only let them snoop around one to two rooms before letting them loose in the entire household. Make sure you try to maintain the same routine as much as possible and don’t purchase any new blankets, toys, or feeding bowls — the scent of familiar items will help them feel comforted. These items should be close at hand, so don’t pack them away. If possible, ask someone to watch your pets on move-in day so they aren’t stressed out by all the activity. Otherwise, keep them sequestered in one area with plenty of food, water, bedding, and toys.
Pack an Essentials Box
It’s unrealistic to think everything is going to be in order the day you move in, so make sure you pack an essentials box to get you through the first night. Key items to pack include electronics, keys, toilet paper and toiletries, snacks and beverages, all-purpose cleaner, plates and utensils (even disposable), a change of clothes, pajamas, pillows and blankets, garbage bags, a flashlight, an emergency kit, and a shower curtain so you can take a mess-free rinse the next morning.
Update Your Mailing Address
At least three weeks prior to moving to your new abode, change your address with the United States Postal Service. You’ll also need to individually contact other organizations such as your bank, credit card companies, bills such as utilities and student loans, clubs, your employer, health insurance, online retailers you regularly use, crowdfunding sites, voter registration, and anything else of importance.
Arrange for Utilities to Be Switched
Before you move into your new home, make sure your utilities are switched on. You may want to assess all your options to see if there’s a way to make your bills more cost-effective. For example, you may want to forgo a landline and only use your cell phone. Switch to natural gas instead of electricity to heat your home, heat your water, and dry your clothing.
If you were adequately prepared, then the day of the move should be relatively stress-free. If family and friends are helping you out, schedule them in shifts so no one has to give up an entire day. Make sure you have refreshments on hand (pizza delivery usually does the trick) to thank everyone for their efforts.
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