Tips for a successful (& stress-less) move

We’ve all done it, probably more than once.

Whether it is coast to coast or down the street, Americans move and move a lot. According to the US Census Bureau, the average American changes houses once every five years. Given our nomadic tendencies, you’d think we’d have a system for minimizing headaches and maximizing efficiencies. Yet anyone who has moved is almost certain to have multiple horror stories — we hear about them all the time. And we’ve certainly experienced our fair share of nightmares – between the two of us, we have moved 26 times! While we can’t promise that it will ever be easy, we have learned that with a bit of pre-planning and some creative thinking, most of the biggest pitfalls can be avoided.

Alicia on ‘Overcoming Inertia’

‘Although the actual moving day may be weeks or months away, your move actually begins the day you decide to change your residence. The impending day is likely to produce a fair amount of anxiety. You know you should be getting organized, but it can be a daunting, even overwhelming prospect, so many people procrastinate until the last possible minute. Knowing where to start is truly half the battle. We’ve got two simple tasks that you can do right away that will help you overcome procrastination and organizational inertia. The first is: create a master calendar to plot out the major events. Keep it in one central place and use it to write down everything from cable appointments to house closings.

It’s much easier to stay on top of all the details if you also can see the big picture. The second is: have each family member over the age of 6 pick one closet and make a pile of items to give away or throw away before you move. The simple act of deciding what not to take often makes it easier to start thinking about what you will take.’

Sarah on ‘Keep a Notebook’

‘Moving is by definition, a period of flux. It can be incredibly challenging to stay on top of all the bits of information that inevitably accompany a move. Most people just jot down critical information (from telephone numbers to bids to emails) on slips of papers or post-it notes…and waste hours searching for them later. You’ll eliminate half of the headache of a move if you get one notebook that can serve as the central repository for all notes, numbers and notices.’

Here are three more moving tips that will help you get ready for that big day:

#1: Create a YUNKâ„¢ Box
YUNKâ„¢ stands for ‘You Never Know’. Set aside and label one moving box for just that purpose. You might throw in a remote control that you still have but are not sure what it goes to. Put in those plastic ‘do-hickeys’ in the kitchen that probably make something work. You will surely find a home for some of these things when you unpack at the new place.

#2: Consider What You Need to Open
First Put aside one box for items that you will want to get to first and label it ‘Open Me First.’ We like to include things like toilet paper, garbage bags, box opener, paper towels, pens, and screwdrivers. Make sure to put this in the moving truck last so it is easy to get to right away.

#3: Pack a ‘Gift’ Box!
Whether you’re single or have a family — take few minutes to pack a small gift box to open on your first day in the new house. Include some of your favorite items — ones with sentimental value and things that make you smile. Write a quick note to yourself (or have each family member write a note to the entire family) with your wishes for your life in your new home and your top 5 favorite memories of your old home.