Did you know that more that more than 10% of Americans moved to a different home last year? If you think that’s a lot, that number was more than 20% in 1947 when the Census Bureau kept track of how many people moved. Since one out of ten people move each year, you would think that it wouldn’t be a major ordeal, but many people cite moving as one of their greatest sources of stress in their lives. Moving can be an overwhelming ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some things to consider when planning your next move:
Make a Checklist and Schedule: Organization is imperative in a move as there are a lot of things going on all at once – or at least it feels like it. Consider all of the things that you need to do before your move and make a spreadsheet complete with deadlines, so you stay on top of things. The last thing you’ll want to do is rush to get your address changed when the movers ring the doorbell. Speaking of that…
Hire the Right Movers: If you’ve never used moving services before, you have no idea how much stress relief you’re missing out on. While you might save money moving on your own, the time, stress and potential for injury as well as broken items are not worth it. However, in order to enjoy the benefits of hiring professional movers, you’ll need to find a quality moving company. Things to look for in quality moving services include guaranteed on-time pickup and delivery, attentive customer service, and many years of experience.
Start Cleaning Out Your House as Soon as Possible: Six weeks out, you should start to clean out your house. You’ll thank yourself later. A good idea is to have a garage sale, so you can earn a little extra money getting rid of the excess stuff. The more you sell, the less you’ll have to move. The stuff that you can’t get rid of can be donated to charity or friends/family.
Remember all of the Perishables: Unless you’re moving down the road, you’re probably not going to bring any frozen or fresh foods. Although throwing a few things out the day before might not be avoidable, keep perishables in mind in the weeks before you move. If all else fails, throw a final dinner party a week before the move to clear out your fridge.
Change Your Mailing Address Again and Again and Again As Soon as You Can: When you move, one of the biggest hassles you’ll have to deal with is changing your mailing address. The first step is to contact the Post Office. The Post Office has the Mover’s Kit, which will help you get all of your mail forwarded. If you are moving within your state, you should be able to change your address on your license online with the DMV. If you’re moving out of state, this is not an option. Finally, remember to change your address with your bank, any credit cards as well as your Amazon/eBay accounts. Oftentimes, packages cannot be forwarded.
Don’t panic. You will survive your move. Follow these tips and you might even enjoy it.
James Andrews is a blogger who writes about issues related to real estate and the home. He lives in Jersey City.