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Reducing moving stress

Over the last two weeks, we have talked about reducing the stress of moving on your kids and your pets. Now it’s time to think about the oft-forgotten, but terribly still important, member of the family – you.

Moving is stressful, even under the best conditions. It still involves work, organization, and planning, all while going about your regular life and your regular stress. Even if you hire professionals, there is still an unease that comes with transitions that is perfectly normal and, yet, completely life-disrupting.

Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to make it a little less… upheaval-y (totally a word).

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1. Give yourself enough time

Think about how long you think it will take to pack everything up, and then add another full week. Procrastinating on the process of moving is the surest way to make moving stressful. The longer out from Move Day you can start planning and organizing, the easier the process will be. Generally, it will take about two days to pack up a studio/one-bedroom, three-four days for a two-bedroom, and five-seven days for a three-bedroom home. However, if you add an extra week for planning and organizing, everything will go much smoother. When you start early, you can also take time to declutter, which means less packing and unpacking.

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2. Stay organized

Ensure you have plenty of packing supplies and that everything is labeled in a way that will make unpacking easier. When you move, put the boxes in the labeled room to make unpacking easier. Plan out in what order you should pack things – seldom used items first, regular-use items last. Book moving trucks well in advance to avoid surprises. Keep first aid supplies handy for any over-zealous moving injuries (they do happen) and do your best to keep things neat so you aren’t having to bump into boxes every day. Make friends with checklists during this time – nothing eases an anxious mind like writing down what you are worried about forgetting to do come morning. Pack 24-hour boxes with everything you need to live for 24-hours, so you don’t need to unpack a whole bunch of boxes once you get to your new place.

3. Sleep and eat

Sounds simple, right? But, how many of us forget to take care of our basic needs when something has to get done on a deadline. This is why starting early and organizing is so key – you need time to live your life and to recharge your body while adding this entire giant project into your schedule. You might even want to freeze several meals in preparation for this time to make life easier.

4. Book time off work

There is enough going on with a move that you don’t want to be doing it only in off-hours. You want to have plenty of time to move out and to move in, as well as recover. Ideally, book at least a Friday off to move out and clean. That way, you have Saturday to move in and Sunday to recover.

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5. Ask for help

Many hands make light work and all that jazz. Sure, no one likes moving. But, family and friends expect to help out from time to time. Make sure to make it fun and to thank the people who help out by offering food and drinks. And, don’t do the thing all loved ones dread when they agree to help someone move: don’t have them show up to a completely unpacked house on moving day. It’s the worst. If you are organized, you can be the director of the move and you will be shocked at how efficiently everything gets done. If you can, hire help, either for the move or to clean the space after you have moved out.

5. Make it fun

Order your favourite pizza. Make a batch of margaritas. Load your iPod with your favourite dance music. Have some friends help out. This doesn’t have to be drudgery.

Moving is going to entail some degree of stress, no matter how organized or positive you are. But, it doesn’t have to a bad experience. With enough planning and enough coffee, even moving can go smoothly.

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