The thrill of a new home and new surroundings: few things can compare with it. Much like that “new car smell”, moving into a new home can provide that same exhilarating feel; that fuzzy, warm-in-your-tummy, chest-bursting sensation of pride and accomplishment that says “I’ve arrived.”
Whatever the motivation—growing family, in search of lower rent; better home and environment—a move to a new home is a major milestone in anyone’s life.
However, the eager anticipation of new digs is tempered by one factor as daunting as the promise of a new home is inspiring: THE MOVE!
Getting to the “Promised Land” is often a challenge-filled journey. Much as the Israelites of ancient days faced plagues, flying serpents, giants, and other numerous difficulties, moving to a new home can be fraught with all sorts of difficulties.
Sorting, packing, organizing; putting years of your life away into boxes, before the actual move. And let’s not forget, the UNpacking, sorting and organizing all over again. Definitely enough to stir up a grumbling and complaining to rival the murmuring of the Israelites on the journey.
Indeed, the entire process is mind-boggling, nerve-wracking, and tedious enough to test the virtue of the saintliest of saints. Small wonder God told the Israelites to take only the sandals on their feet, and no more than they could carry; a very tall order, indeed.
Here are some sanity-saving, soul-soothing tips to make the move easier:
- Plot it all out. Make a master list and timeline of all the tasks at hand, and try to stick with this. Do not forget to include in the list the task of informing family and friends of your new address. Unless, of course, you are on the lam for whatever reason (I kid).
- Do NOT procrastinate! Keep to your tasks at hand with the discipline of a good soldier—days roll around quicker than we’d like them to, sometimes, and “M”-Day will be at your doorstep sooner than you know it.
- Snap it up. Take pictures of each room of your old home, to serve as a guide for when you fix up your new home. Key word: guide. A new home is an awesome chance at a fresh start and a flood of new decorating ideas. By the way, don’t forget to take photos of things that may need re-assembling or hooking-up—furniture, accessories, electronics—especially if the manuals are nowhere to be found.
- Count pennies on packing materials. Determine how many boxes you will need, for instance, and make the rounds of grocery, department, or appliance stores. Most of these places have boxes to spare.
- Call a professional. If you can put aside the budget for it, hire professional movers. Canvass for quotes online, and get some referrals, whenever possible. This may be more costly than the DIY approach, but might be a worthwhile investment. Especially if you are working on a limited time frame within which to complete your move.
- Get by with a little help from your friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, especially in the absence of professional movers. Find out what days and times work for those friends who are willing, able, and can be counted on to help you in the moving process.
- Sort, sort, sort and get rid of the unnecessary. Don’t take everything with you; especially items that have been in storage forever. This is probably a clear indicator that you don’t really need these. It’s rather amazing how that tiny storage cabinet underneath the stairs can often resemble a bottomless pit of unused and forgotten stuff.
- Don’t skip the labeling! Taking a few minutes to properly label your boxes can greatly reduce the stress of moving and unpacking.
- Take time to take 5. Rest and de-stress whenever you can.
- Clean and prep your new place before you move into it. It makes perfect sense. It is way easier to clean, polish, paint, re-touch, renovate an empty house than to move around a maze of unpacked boxes.