Moving is stressful. It is possible one of the most stressful things about life. After all, we do so much to settle into our homes, so relocating everything is daunting. You find yourself standing in the middle of a cluttered room asking yourself, “How did I get so much stuff?!” But there are things you can do to keep the process as stress free as possible.
1. De-clutter. The first thing you need to do is make sure that everything you have is everything that you need (or even want) in your new home. What do you have that is just taking up space? What can you live without? Since you’ll already be packing things up, you have a good opportunity to reevaluate what you need to keep. It’s better to get rid of all the things you don’t need ahead of time, than to potentially spend extra money moving them. You can also possibly earn a little extra cash if you have a yard sale, or by selling items to friends or on Craigslist.
2. Make a master to-do list. Write down every possible thing you need to get done before you move. Every little thing you can think of, and keep the to-do list near you so you can write something down the second you think of it. Sometimes it’s best to go small, write the big things (like “sell the car” or “get rid of clothes”) down into smaller units (like “wash the car” and “go through closet”). You can put the big things on the list too so that it feels great when you finally cross off “move!”
3. Make a daily to-do list. But don’t just look at that list every single day and get overwhelmed. Ask yourself “what can I accomplish today?” Or better yet “what can I absolutely not do today?” If you have work, you probably don’t have time to clean out your entire closet and wash your car. But maybe you have time to take a box of old clothes to the goodwill, post a Facebook message asking if anyone is available to help you move (or in need of some of your old furniture), and call moving companies to schedule.
4. Delegate. If you’re moving with a significant other, or with children, or a roommate, don’t be afraid to delegate what needs to be done. If you have other people who are moving with you, then it is unnecessary for you to take on everything alone. Say, “We need to all go through our closets today!” or “You need to wash the car.” You shouldn’t have to do everything yourself if you can avoid it.
5. Allow yourself to relax. When you’ve done everything you can do on your daily to-do list, don’t spin your wheels for the rest of the day and cause yourself unnecessary stress. Allow yourself to bask in your accomplishments. If you did everything on your daily to-do list, it doesn’t hurt to look at the master to-do list again and see if there is anything else you can do really quickly. But don’t push yourself, and don’t wear yourself out. Enjoy your last days, weeks, or months, in your current residence, and enjoy the possibility of change.