How to Reduce Stress When Preparing for a Move

Did you know that 80% of all moves happen between the months of May and September? Knowing that this summer has been “weird,” you would think it might be a little slower than usual… but from what I can tell, plenty of people have been super busy with moving!

I think we can all agree that moving, whether during COVID or not, can feel like a daunting task. And that is because it is! I mean let’s break it down... think about all the “life events” that are considered “major….” This list of the 10 Most Stressful Life Events lists moving as #7! MOVING is right there sticking it’s big M out at us so we know it’s MAJOR. 

I am here to tell you that if you are moving, though it is major, you can do it! There are proven strategies that will help reduce stress when preparing for a move. In this blog post, I am going to share my top 5 tips that will decrease your overall stress when preparing for a move. I’ve got you, friend!

1. Declutter

I CANNOT stress this enough… The first step is ALWAYS decluttering! Think about it… why waste the time and energy to pack something that you will never use, don’t love, or forgot that you even had. Here’s the truth, friend. If you pack + move your clutter... you are setting yourself up to live in a cluttered home. It’s not going to magically find a place in your new home if it didn’t have a place in your old home. Do yourself a favor + don’t even bother moving it. Declutter it instead!

Start anywhere! It can be a corner, a drawer, a closet -- the first step is to just START. Take everything out of your designated decluttering digs and go. I like to keep it simple at first and get rid of the bits and bobs of trash. Moms: Here is my FULL permission to throw out every birthday party favor your child has ever lovingly received (AMIRIGHT?!?!?!) 

As you work through your space, begin to categorize the contents. For example, common junk drawer contents include: pencils/pens, paper clips/clips, tape/glues, sticky notes, notepads… those are just a few quickies that come to mind to help get your juices flowing.

Once you have your categories, you will need to plan your space based on its uses and more importantly, your needs. This is the fun part... containment! Creating a system for containing the items in your space is key. You may choose to use what you have (I love a good shop in your home situation), and if you don’t find it there you can often find great containment options at your local dollar store, hardware stores, Target or The Container Store. This is the perfect opportunity to minimize. Less stuff = less clutter = less stress. You got this, friend!

2. Plan

What’s the plan, Stan? ;-) The next step is to come up with a plan! Here is a short list of just a few admin tasks that are a must when preparing for a move…

  1. Update service providers + contacts with new addresses.
  2. Set up internet + telephone. Go ahead and set up any additional utilities services you will need at your new house!
  3. Schedule a donation pick up. With all the decluttering, you’ll need to know who picks up donations and/or where you can take donations for drop off. 
  4. Find a drop off center for any electronics or hazardous materials that you are throwing away.
  5. Shred any personal files that you are getting rid of.
  6. Take inventory of what you have in each room of your home. 
  7. Hire a moving company or professional organizer to coordinate your move.

If this list feels overwhelming + you don’t know where to start, you can hire someone to help you! Professional organizers (like me!) often specialize in moving services that will help you create a plan of action.

 3. Pack

Here’s the deal with packing… it’s SO similar to any type of organizing you do: sorting and categorizing is key.

Packing by space or by room is a streamlined process that will help ensure your belongings end up in the appropriate NEW space or room! Pack all of your linens for the linen closet together, all of the laundry products for the laundry room together, all the toys for the playroom together and etc.

You may be wondering: but what about the more complicated spaces, like the kitchen or bathroom? Start by sorting and categorizing by room, and then further categorize the items in each space! So for your kitchen, you can break it down into dishes, appliances, etc. When you do this, you’re setting yourself up for a more streamlined unpacking process. 

Quick Tip: When packing, organize your everyday use items together so that you can unpack them all at once. Place these items in an easy-to-access location, making morning routines and daily habits a breeze. All of the special occasion items can live on higher shelves! And as always, label, label, label.

4. Move

As with many things in this world, you have two options. You can do it yourself OR you can hire someone! You have lots of different options, and it will come down to a function of time and money. You dig?

When hiring a mover, you can opt to have them wrap, pack, load, unload, unpack, unwrap every single item you own -- think, full-service. Or, you can choose to just have them load and unload the truck! If you want to take it a step further, you can hire a professional organizer along with a mover to plan and coordinate the entire thing from start to finish AND help you organize your new space! 

5. Enjoy + thrive in your beautiful, functional space!

This is the best part, friend. When it’s all said + done, you can relax and enjoy your new space. Marci McAvoy Home Organizing recently worked with a client on a move to make sure that she was able to fully thrive in her new, beautiful + functional space! The client had chosen to pack on her own on her own time and have a moving company to load + unload her boxes. Before the move, MMHO came in to assist in decluttering. We focused on the kitchen, linens, bath and child’s room. After decluttering, the client had some homework! We created an action plan for anything that we did not tackle together so she would feel confident doing it on her own. After the declutter, we got to work!

We helped declutter, planned + coordinated the move, dropped off donations, took items for shredding, offered moving company referrals -- can you imagine having someone do all of that for you? Hiring a professional organizer during a move can help solve problems before they arise and make your moving process a lot easier! From planning + packing, to unloading + re-organizing, I would love to walk with you every step of the way. 

Want to learn more about these moving services? We can start by booking a quick call to figure out exactly what you need from me to make your move a breeze! You can schedule that call here. I’d love to chat and help you decide if working with a professional organizer is the right fit for you!