We often hear that one of the most stressful life events – other than divorce or death – is moving house. Apart from the fact that this is a myth (the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale actually placed changing residence at 20 on the scale; death of a spouse is 100 and divorce is 73), most of the stress of the day can be alleviated with some simple planning and preparation.
From Bunnings to Martha Stewart, there are numerous websites loaded with helpful hints and tips for planning your move, but the one suggestion most of them have in common is to use a checklist, both before and on the big day. It takes the extra pressure off you and your possibly frazzled nerves.
Here is a short list:
First of all: shower, dress in your comfiest moving-day clothes, eat breakfast and drink coffee: it is going to be a long, busy day and you need to start it right. Get the movers there bright and early, so you won’t be at the mercy of their other jobs running overtime, leaving you still shepherding loads of boxes through the door well after midnight.
Get rid of the kids/pets
Anyone who doesn’t physically need to be there, in other words. They can get underfoot and find the experience unsettling or upsetting. Best to send them on an outing with the grandparents or a babysitter until it is all over and they can explore their new home.
Clearly! And – if you have the time or the inclination – you could even move all the boxes into one easy-to-access room to keep the movers out of your way. That way you could even use the time for cleaning up in their wake.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. Delegate one person, and one only, to oversee the move. At both ends. Others can make themselves useful by cleaning or moving smaller or more fragile items by car.
Have plenty of food and water on hand
Time gets away from you on moving day and, with no fridge full of food to turn to, tempers can fray due to hunger or thirst. Pack an esky with enough food and drinks to keep you fueled up all day.
Make the moving and assembly of beds and bedclothes your number one priority. Or plan to spend that night in a hotel. You will be dog-tired by the end of the day and the last thing you are going to want to do is spend precious time looking for bedclothes or trying to find an allen key.
If possible and within your moving budget, remove yourself from the equation altogether. Most “removalists” offer packing services as well, with the added bonus that if they pack your stuff they are also responsible for the condition your precious goods arrive in!
Moving doesn’t have to be a headache; with a little preparation and your checklist in hand, you’ll soon be sitting pretty in your new home.