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How to Take the Stress Out of Moving

You don’t need an expert to tell you that outside of planning a wedding, losing a loved one or trying to find a new job, moving is one of life’s most stressful events. From the pre-plan to the final unpack, there are a myriad of ways your relocation can go from smooth to total insanity.

Image by Robert S Donovan

Making it to your new home (without losing all your marbles) involves more than having just a solid game plan. A savvy mover knows all the traps to avoid before the packing even begins. Here are some moving tips to consider as you prepare for your next move:

Set a timeline

Start off with a general timeline and try to stick to it to avoid being inundated days before your move. When in doubt, set a date for everything — even tiny details like changing your address and doing a final clean. It’s the best way to keep track of both the big picture and day-to-day odds and ends.

Be flexible

Whoever said, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” had moved — often. Setbacks are bound to happen, even if you’re only relocating across town. Take a deep breath and try to see the positive.

Begin with a big clean

Expired cans of beans. Your taxes from 10 years ago. The greeting cards you bought but never sent. These are things you don’t need cluttering your new home. Before you pack, purge. If you’re having a hard time getting rid of things (and yes we mean that collection of concert tees you never wear) ask yourself if you’ve used or worn the item in a year and as long as it’s not a family heirloom, it’s time to let it go.

Pack well

Packing your own things? Keep these three tips in mind:

  • Don’t try to save by purchasing cheap packing tape — you’re guaranteed to end up with busted boxes and broken items, especially if you’re shipping them.
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are your friends — there’s no such thing as too much.
  • Your moving boxes should be easy to carry. Heavy moving boxes give movers a bad attitude, can cost loads extra if you decide to ship your things and are a pain to unpack.

Know how to spot a scam

There are 101 moving scams out there. Get trapped by one and you could end up paying thousands of dollars more than you were originally quoted in order to get your stuff off of the moving truck. Industry Canada has great tips to help you choose a moving company that’s trustworthy so you avoid moving scams.

Labels and lists

Packers and movers aren’t perfect. Sometimes items get lost or left behind. Keep a list of what’s in each box and you won’t have to wonder if anything is missing during the final unpack.

Move your most valuable items

Pack Aunt Tilly’s pearls and Grandma Fran’s tea set in your car so you know they won’t get broken or lost. If that’s not possible, make sure the items are well-wrapped and packed well.

Get insured

Choose a moving company that provides a solid insurance plan and get to know it well in case you have to make a claim. In some cases, your home insurance may also provide protection.

Reward yourself with a little celebration

When you (and your stuff) finally arrive at your new home, kick back with a little bubbly. You deserve it.

Did we miss a moving tip? Let us know in the space below.

By Megan Mostyn-Brown

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