Few people enjoy moving, even if they happen to be moving to a nicer location or for more economic opportunities.
This is because moving can be overwhelming.
Not only are there a lot of things to figure out and a lot of loose ends to tie up, but just thinking of the effort necessary to move can be a little unsettling.
Moreover, if you don’t go about it in a sensible way, you’ll probably spend more than necessary, struggle with meeting deadlines, forget about taking care of important things, and end up making a mess of the packing, resulting in careless accidents and damaged stuff.
However, a move need not be as stressful as you imagine. Here are four ideas to make a move easier on yourself and your spouse:
1. Make a list of your constraints.
If you have a clear idea about your constraints, it will be easier to work around them.
For instance, if you’re working with a tight budget, you can figure out how to save costs or get more money for the move.
Or perhaps, you’re both still working full time at a job, leaving you only the evenings and weekends to pack. In this case, since you have a tight schedule, you might want to ask family or friends to help you out or hire a little help.
2. Decide on how you will move.
Essentially, you have two choices:
The first choice is that you can take a DIY approach by renting a moving truck and enlisting the help of family and friends to pack and load up the truck.
The second choice is to use the services of a moving company. If you have relatively few possessions and it’s a local move, then you might be able to get it all done by yourself.
However, if you have to pack up the contents of an entire apartment or house and are traveling some distance, then hiring cross country movers will be a better decision.
Generally speaking, professional movers have considerable experience on how to move freight over long distances and, through experience, have figured out cost cutting strategies.
In other words, it will be easier to move than if you had to figure everything out for yourself, and you will probably end up paying less than if you did it yourself.
For instance, doing it on your own, you would not be licensed to drive a large truck and would have to take a smaller one, which could mean that you might have to take more trips or rent more trucks.
3. Organize your stuff
Obviously, the first step is to declutter.
You don’t want to go through with the time and expense of taking stuff that you no longer even want anymore. There will be stuff that you’ve lost interest in—clothes, DVDs, books, etc.
There will be stuff that has broken—tools, gadgets, devices, and electronics. And there will be stuff that you wish you had never bought in the first place, like silly souvenirs and tchotchke trinkets.
Once you’ve figured out what you no longer want to keep, then you’ll have to decide whether to donate, sell, recycle, or trash them. Also consider mailing stuff to your new address.
For instance, USPS has a media mail service that you can use to send your books, videos, and CDs . If you have a large collection of favorite books, this will save the limited amount of room in the truck for other things.
4. Try to stay frugal.
It’s easy to end up spending money for all sorts of small things that you need.
While each expense might be small, a number of small expenses, $10 here and $17 there, can add up to hundreds of dollars.
You can save by asking your local supermarket for boxes, borrowing tools for temporary use from neighbors, and timing when you should shut down your utilities.
Many of the frustrations people experience when they move is due to poor planning.
This results in mood swings over simple issues.
By planning ahead of time, by asking for help when you need it, by asking questions about how to do things you’re not sure about, by using the right tools for the job, and by using a budget and a calendar, you should be able to move without too much nervous tension and emotional turmoil.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.