Preparing to Move House

If you had to name the three things that would cause you the most stress, what would they be? According to most psychologists, they would be bereavement and divorce, not necessarily in that order, followed by moving house.

No one looks forward to moving. We always hope, when we move into someplace new, that this will be "the last move for a while."

And maybe it will, but it probably won't be your last move. In these times, people move a lot. A hundred years ago you could probably count on living in one place for most of your life, if not your entire life.

That's not true for most people these days, and knowing how to prepare for a home move can save an incredible amount of stress. These tips can help you have a successful move.

First, clean thoroughly. Throw out anything you don't want to move. Even if it's a magazine article or a package of pens, or whatever, give it some real thought. "Can I replace this easily and cheaply? Do I want to put this in a box, carry it to the truck, carry it out, and unpack it?" Of course you may not have to move that box yourself, but pretend you will, because at some point you will be touching everything you move. If you don't need it, throw it out.

As you clean, organize. There are things you won't be needing before you move. Box these up and label the boxes clearly. It may seem like a lot of trouble now, but putting labels on all four sides of the box, and the top, will help you find everything and know where it needs to go. If you already know what room it will go in, put that on the label, too, so anyone who helps you move can put things where they're going to stay, and you don't have to move boxes around once you get them into the new place.

When you purchase boxes, consider purchasing letter/legal file boxes for your heavier items, such as books and, well, files. These boxes have lids and handles, and are excellent for moving books, DVDs and CDs, and anything else relatively small and heavy. Big moving boxes are better for clothes, pots and pans, and the lighter, bulkier objects, but once you've used uniformly-sized boxes with handles and lids, you may never switch to anything else.

Pack the things you'll need your first night in boxes that stay separate from everything else, so they don't accidentally get put on a truck. This will include linens and clothes for everyone for at least two days, food, dishes, medicine, toiletries, and pet food and bowls.

If you are moving locally, consider having your pets boarded the day of the move. If you're doing a long-distance move, try to get the pets into carrie rs before anyone arrives to move. If possible, get them on the road and completely out of the way early. This may involve boarding them for a short time, but will reduce the stress on both you and them.

Above all, make sure you start cleaning and packing early. Six weeks before your move is not too early; you will still find that there is more to do than you think you can do.

Preparation is the key, though. Prepare for your move well and you'll have much less stress than you expect. Maybe it will move down to number seven or eight on your list of stressful things, after searching for a new house.



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