Moving is a big change in one’s life; it’s an event that can have happy connections or be filled with upset and worry. Even if the move is for positive reasons, such as a new home or a better job, it can also be one of the most stressful and overwhelming times in a family’s life.
Moving from a place of familiarity to a brand-new setting can be particularly upsetting for the youngest members of families as well. Parents and individual movers alike can take steps to prepare for their move and reduce stress and anxiety at the same time. Focusing on a specific moving timeline seems to work wonders for keeping all participants on track and on task.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to take months to prepare for a move to a new community, state or even country. But those who have the advantage of time appreciate the value in having the equivalent of a “moving roadmap” for reference. By following a specific timeline and by identifying pressing tasks on a week-by-week basis, movers can avoid most surprise developments and panicky “uh-oh!” moments when important tasks get missed or overlooked.
The rule of thumb is to begin your planning-to-move project six to eight weeks before the actual day. In that time, you can begin by making a master list of all of the loose ends that need to be resolved before the move. Many people start this process by cataloguing their belongings and taking a hard look at all that they own. This is also the perfect time to do a little down-sizing in the form of determining what you don’t want to have to move and what is no longer necessary in your life. The items that are not coming with you can be sold beforehand, donated or thrown away to reduce the amount of “stuff” that needs to be moved.
Around week four or five is the time to intensify your packing efforts. Chances are that by now you have a firm grasp on what items are truly making the move with you, so the next logical step is to formally begin to box and pack up your belongings. What you pack your items in, and how you pack said items, is a huge determining factor in whether your precious items will make it to their new destination intact.
When assembling and sealing up your packing boxes, invest in good quality box sealing tape such as Scotch® Heavy Duty Packaging Tape to avoid box-bottom blowouts at inopportune times. After breakables are wrapped in cushioned bubble wrap, all seams of the box need to be securely taped at least twice for added strength. Another tip that will not only save your back but help your items arrive safely is to not overload boxes. As an extra precaution, pack heavy items in smaller boxes to avoid back strain and cardboard failure.
When your moving adventure hits the two- to three-week mark, your boxes should all be packed, marked and placed in a secure area for the movers to find. This is also a good time to make sure your own vehicle is in tip-top shape, especially if a lengthy drive to your new home is in order. During these final weeks, last-minute details such as confirming facts with the moving company, gathering medical documents, returning library books and coordinating information with your children’s new and old schools need to happen.
Moving week will be a flurry of activity and anticipation, and also a time when the final push to pack and clean happens. Now is a great time to enlist the help and support of friends and family to help keep you from becoming overwhelmed. If there are children involved, take the time to explain the moving process to help them understand what to expect during the final leg of your moving journey. Helping them know and understand “what’s next” will also work to calm fears and even generate excitement at the prospect of a new adventure. Once they are onboard, they will not only find comfort in the new situation, they can be a helpful part of the process.
Moving away from the familiarity and comfort of a cherished home can be stressful for adults and children alike. But taking the time to organize and orchestrate your move will help to keep the overall mood positive and spirits high. Children take cues from adults when it comes to coping with new life changes so if Mom and Dad remain upbeat and positive, they will be as well. HLM
Sources: moving411.com, upack.com and smead.com.
The Smead Corporation offers a free printable moving checklist that details items you might not think about, such as checking utility meters and recording their readings. It’s at smead.com. If you are using a shipping company, check out a handy list of what is NOT safe to ship at upack.com. It includes the obvious, such as gasoline, but also lists nail polish and acetone.