By Guest Contributor – Hannah Hilzer, Direct.TV
Moving is stressful. That’s just the reality of the cumbersome task we all must do at some point or another. The packing, transitioning, organizing and cost can make moving all the more stressful. Thankfully there are easy steps you can take to alleviate the build-up of moving stress and anxiety. Here are four things to help you deal with your move, stress free.
1. Start planning
Seems like a no-brainer, right? If that were the case though, we would have all the logistics neatly in order days, even weeks, before the big move. But for one reason or another- be it work, kids or disorganization, the moving process becomes a second thought. Until the last minute, that is. The first, and most important, step in preparing to move is to start the planning process as soon as possible. Use a moving checklist for a well-rounded guide to moving and staying organized while doing so. The following three stress-reducing steps are based off this principal.
2. Consolidate Belongings
Perhaps one of the greatest moving stressors is packing all the stuff you’ve cumulated while living at your place. The more stuff you have, the more you have to move. Before you pack the mask you wore for Halloween four years ago, take the time to decide which items you are going to keep, to trash or to donate. The packing process can be an extremely daunting task, so start early and space it out as much as you can. Start with the rooms and stuff you rarely use, like the attic and seasonal decorations. Once those are taken care of, move onto the storage spaces of your home- closets, pantries, cabinets, etc.
Sort through, organize, throw-away or pack every item, as it fits accordingly. If you have items to give away, donate them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, consider selling your items at a yard sale or on sites like Ebay or Craigslist. Spending a little more time sorting and organizing will alleviate so much stress when it comes to packing and unpacking your belongings at your new place.
3. Get Utilities in Order
Dealing with your home utilities should never be left until the last minute. The sooner you get them worked out, the less stress you will have during and after the move. If you’re moving to a new home in the same city, you will probably be able to keep your basic home utilities like water, gas and power, with the same companies. Other home services like phone, Internet and TV might can be just as easy, too. Moving out-of-state may make transferring utilities more difficult though.
The first step in this process is to list all of your services you need to transfer or get. This may include the ones mentioned already and additional ones like home security service. Then contact your current providers and notify them of the move; they may be able to service your new address, which means you will only need to transfer your service from your old address to your new address. If, however, your utilities cannot be transferred to your new address due to serviceability, or your distaste for the provider, you will need to find new ones. Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as it sounds when you follow a mover’s utility guide. If you bought a home, the realtor should be able to give you a list of providers. If you’re renting, the leasing office or agent will help you with the appropriate contacts.
Contact your current providers at least two weeks in advance to let them know of your move. You can also contact new services at this time to set up accounts and schedule any installations you may need. Have your old utilities turned off the day after your move, and your new utilities turned on two days before your move to ensure you have power and water during that time. Other services like Internet and TV can be installed the three+ days after the move.
4. Your Muscle or Their Muscle?
Apart from the packing and taking care of utilities, you eventually have to move your belongings to your new home. So, do you do it yourself or hire movers? All the details of the move- distance, day, and amount of stuff to move- will ultimately determine which method is right for you. If you choose to DIY it, organization is key. From packing and labeling the first box, to finding help to pack up and unload everything, you have to be organized. Moving yourself is best done when you rent a moving truck, like a U-Haul, or recruit your friends with large cars and trucks to help haul the stuff. The other component of moving on your own is, of course, people to help you load and unload. Ask friends and family members who can spare a few hours to help with this tedious task. Offer them lunch or dinner, and maybe a few beers after as a ‘thank you’.
If you don’t have the resources to do the move on your own, you’ll need to hire a moving company. Hiring movers can be one of the greatest ways to rid yourself of moving stress, but keep in mind that not all moving companies are created equal. Finding the right moving company takes research: ask friends and family who they have used in the past, look up ratings on local movers, ask your realtor or neighbor for a recommendation. There are tons of good movers out there; you just have to find them.
Follow these tips for hiring an awesome mover to ensure you hire the right one. Once you find a few you trust, contact them asking for availability, quotes, experience, insurance and any other questions you need answered. After you find the right one, get a contract in writing and pay any deposits. The right moving company can make all the difference when it comes to a stress free move.
Following these simple four steps will eliminate the majority of moving stress, leaving you to enjoy the memories and your new home.