Moving can be a stressful experience for various reasons.
The logistics of moving — the decluttering, organizing and packing — can be physically and mentally overwhelming. The process can be emotional too. Moving is, fundamentally, an exercise in embracing uncertainty: welcoming new experiences and saying goodbye to a place connected with memories. Finally, moving takes time. Especially if you are working full time, raising a family or caring for a senior family member, it may be challenging to find the requisite hours in the day to undertake a big move.
Together, these physical, emotional and mental aspects combine to create an overwhelming experience sometimes. But it is important to remember that you do not have to go it alone. You can accept help in several forms: from family, friends and the move management service we offer at NEATSPACES.
In this post, we wanted to help put your mind at ease. Below, you will find tried and true suggestions for taking the stress out of moving day.
Have a Plan
Heading in without a plan can make the moving process much more stressful. Once you start unloading cupboards, removing clothing from drawers and purging the crawlspace of its items, the clutter adds up. It can be difficult to know where to start. Then the week of the move rolls around, and you find yourself woefully behind on packing.
It’s better to be methodical about packing. Create a timeline for yourself that includes packing tasks and related duties. You can break up tasks according to parts of the home (i.e., week one, you will tackle the crawlspace, while leaving the final week to pack frequently-used items in the bathroom and kitchen). From there, you can create sub-tasks relating to each room.
Give Yourself a Long Lead Time
Starting far in advance may help mitigate the anxiety of moving. How long you take to pack ultimately depends on the size of your home, the nature of the move (are you downsizing, for instance?) and the number of items you are bringing with you.
Experts online recommend giving yourself a three-to-six-week window, but that is only a guideline. You may need longer than that.
To get started on planning, read our comprehensive six-week moving checklist. In it, we detail specific action items and tips that you can follow week to week.
Get Help Decluttering and Organizing
Remember: you don’t have to work alone. NEATSPACES can help you declutter your home and organize your belongings in advance of a big move. The home organizers at NEATSPACES have plenty of experience working compassionately with clients to sort through belongings for an upcoming move. We have helped declutter small apartments and sprawling, multi-wing houses.
Decluttering and organizing before you pack saves you time and money, since you only unpack and pay to move what you want or need. When you hire a moving company to help you pack, they “pack in place,” without helping you sort and declutter in advance; all that junk you don’t want gets loaded in a box as is. With help from NEATSPACES, you can pack only what you want and need.
If you have an elderly loved one in your life who is planning an upcoming move, you can also call us. We specialize in patiently, empathetically aiding seniors in decluttering, organizing, packing and moving. We understand how emotionally and physically taxing moving can be for older adults, especially those downsizing from a family home. That’s why we do everything in our power to make the experience as effortless and worry-free as possible.
The first two tips on this list will help lessen the stress surrounding moving. Calling in NEATSPACES can eliminate the stress.
Hire End-to-End Move Management
In addition to our home organizing services, NEATSPACES also offers end-to-end move management. So far, we have mainly dealt with the anxiety leading up to moving day. But the day itself can also be frenetic, logistically complex and – frankly – exhausting.
Our concierge-level move management services take care of all the minutiae in preparation for moving day. We also manage all the details on the day of the move — from the movers, to packing up last minute things, emptying the fridge into cooler bags, etc.
We coordinate movers, packing supplies, cleaners, elevator reservations, etc. We help you sort through belongings, tagging items to keep, sell, donate or discard. And we even help you unpack on the other end. Our experts will make recommendations for furniture layout in your new home, and work with you to implement an intuitive system that works for you.
If you are interested in off-loading the burden of move day from your shoulders, call us for a free in-home consultation.
Allow Yourself the Time and Opportunity to Say Goodbye
With moving logistics taken care of, you can turn your attention to emotional wellbeing. Moving homes is a transitional period in your life; you welcome new experiences and bid farewell to a familiar space. The process can be emotional, and that’s okay.
Allow yourself the opportunity to say goodbye. Go for a stroll around the neighbourhood with your eyes wide open, taking in the sights and sounds. Permit yourself time for personal reflection as you walk through the old home. For some of our clients, it helps to take lots of pictures – they are easy, space-effective mementos that you can revisit if you ever feel nostalgic. Feel free to photograph things like faucets, doorknobs, light fixtures, architectural details, fireplaces, window seats, gardens and specific flowers.
Throughout the farewell process, do yourself a favour and also contemplate the excitement that lies ahead. Devoting all of your time to thinking about the past can become sombre, but if you temper those feelings with anticipation, you can save yourself some grief.
Remember: every ending is also a new beginning.
Make Preparations for an Easier Move Day
Finally, make a few preparations for the big day.
If you have kids, consider shipping them to grandma’s house, or to a close friend or relative’s place. Prepare a simple, ready-to-eat meal in advance and leave it in the fridge the night before. (Alternatively, splurge on a meal delivery — you deserve it!). If you are managing the move yourself, book time off work. Pack a go bag for yourself with snacks, a few articles of clothing (in case the weather changes) and self-care items like toiletries and medication.
The night before your move, make sure to get a good night’s rest. With all the excitement of packing and organizing, your brain may have a difficult time turning off the night before move day. However, proper rest is imperative for the big day. In addition to physically energizing us, sleep plays a vital role in regulating mood. Studies show that a lack of sleep can exacerbate stress. Do yourself a favour: Get some quality shut-eye before the move.
As with all of life’s big transitional moments, moving can be stressful. To alleviate the burden, we recommend planning in advance, tending to your emotional wellbeing, getting proper sleep and calling NEATSPACES to help with decluttering, organizing and move management. With the stress off your shoulders, all that’s left to do is get excited about the big move.