Moving house ranks as one of life’s most stressful events. Yet, despite how stressful it can be, Australians move frequently.
The 2016 census report showed that nearly half the population (43.4%) moved every five years, and a third of Australians aged 20-29 moved every 12 months.
If you’re facing a big move, what can you do to make the experience less overwhelming? Follow our step-by-step checklist to make your move less stressful.
Give yourself enough time
Don’t procrastinate. One of the most stressful aspects of moving is packing up all your worldly possessions. And the more stuff you have, the more time you need to pack.
Declutter before you start packing
Moving to a new home is a great opportunity to get rid of items you no longer need. Go through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, donate, or sell. Decluttering will make packing and unpacking easier and faster.
Additionally, you’ll have less to move, which will save you time, money, and reduce your stress levels.
If you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, now is the best time to declutter. Be ruthless. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says “but I might need this somewhere down the line”. If you haven’t used it in the last five years, chances are, you never will.
Create a to-do list
Moving involves more than packing. You need to buy boxes and bubble wrap, book the moving company, cancel utilities, plus lots more. Don’t rely on your memory alone. A to-do list will prevent tasks falling through the cracks.
Packing can be overwhelming; and the larger the house, the more mammoth the task seems. That’s why it’s best to start early and take it one room at a time. Alternatively, you can pack per category. For instance, packing the books, decor, ornaments or clothing in each room.
Have a labelling system
Packing is only half the job. The other half is unpacking at your new home. Avoid the stress of searching for items by labelling all your boxes. Categorise them by room and item, e.g. kitchen utensils, bedroom linen, dog toys, etc.
Ask for help from friends and family
Many hands make light work. Enlist the help of friends and family, especially if you’re in a time crunch. Have a ‘packing party’ at the end to reward your helpers.
Use the same-sized boxes
Try to use the same-sized box as much as possible as it’s easier to move and store. You may think a large box is best for bulky items, but it may be better to pack heavy items in smaller boxes which are easier to pick up and move around.
Move boxes into the rooms in which they belong
On moving day, direct the movers to put boxes into the rooms they belong. That will save you a lot of heavy lifting to relocate them and the owner of each room can immediately start unpacking their boxes.
Pack a moving day ‘survival kit’
Moving day can get crazy and that’s why you need a survival strategy.
- Pack essential items such as cell phones, chargers, medications, nappies and toilet paper separately and transport it in your car. That way, you won’t be searching for it when you arrive at the new house.
- Pack a box with kitchen items such as mugs, utensils, a kettle and some basic food so you can rustle up a snack at the end of moving day.
- Pack an overnight bag with clothing and toiletries for each family member to use the day after moving.
Basically, your survival kit should include anything your family needs to make life in your new home livable until you can unpack everything else.
Connect your utilities and internet in advance
Nothing’s worse than no electricity or hot water when you’re settling into a new place. So arrange for your utilities to be up and running beforehand. The same goes for your wi-fi, if you need to be connected to the internet immediately.
If all else fails – get the professionals in!
If you’re not the most organised person or simply don’t have the time, hire a moving company that can take the onerous task of packing off your hands. They can provide packing and unpacking services and transport your belongings safely and efficiently. You’ll pay a bit more if the movers handle your packing, but it will make your move a lot less stressful.