I’ve helped several of my long-term clients move into their first homes, their dream homes, and their down-sized homes. Some jobs took several months to complete, others only a few weeks. Whether we move frequently or only once, the process is always full of anxiety. To reduce stress, create an action plan for moving about 12 weeks before your actual move date.
The first step in the plan should be to take a complete household inventory. An up-to-date list can be invaluable and can help you when purchasing your new home. In addition, it’s a great tool for your insurance company in the event of damage or loss. A fellow organizer told me that when she handles a move for one of her clients, she takes a video of all items in each room. Then types up the detailed list afterwards. Even if you don’t type up the list, having a video record of your home’s contents is useful.
One of the most important decisions is whether to hire a moving company or do it yourself. Referrals are often the best way to find a reputable mover. In addition, the Canadian Association of Movers has a list of movers and advice on choosing a moving company. You can choose to have the movers pack for you or pack your household goods yourself. Or hire a professional organizer to manage the entire process.
Choosing the do-it-yourself move can certainly save you money. For this to be feasible, you will need some capable, dependable friends who know how to load a truck. You should get an estimate from a moving company too. Then, you can compare it with the cost of renting a truck and doing everything yourself. Keep in mind how much time you have to take off work and whether it would make more financial sense for you to hire the experts.
The next step in preparing your action plan for moving is taking a good hard look at all your ‘stuff.’ You may discover how much stuff you have and how little of it you actually use. So, take this opportunity to edit. It’s not about discarding everything. It’s about ensuring everything you keep will make sense in your new home. Of course, the more you pack, the more time and money it will cost to move and unpack at the other end. You may choose to sell, give away or store excess items.
Finally, consider what professional help you will need for a household move. If the thought of moving to a new home is overwhelming, many people can help, including stagers, real estate agents, moving companies or me, a professional organizer.