Can moving ever be completely stress free? Whether you’re moving into Western North Carolina from out of state or just down the road from Asheville to Hendersonville, practically speaking, the answer is no. But whether you are buying or selling, relocating after a job change, or simply looking for a fresh start, there are ways you can make the transition easier and less stressful. In our previous post we talked about how to mentally take care of yourself during a move. In this post we dig into the practical tips that help you say goodbye to the stress associated with relocation.

Prepare Early and Create a Budget

Moving to a new home can be an exciting new adventure, but it can also be quite overwhelming. That's why it's important to prepare early by making a checklist of everything you need to do before and after the move. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don't forget any important tasks. Create a budget, making sure to plan for expenses carefully; people often underestimate the costs of a move. Also, make sure you give yourself enough time to pack. Moving professionals recommend starting at least a month in advance to avoid any last-minute stress.

Research Moving Companies

When it comes to moving, finding a reliable moving company is essential. Researching moving companies will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your move goes smoothly. Start by asking friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Their personal experiences can give you insight into the quality of service different companies provide.

Once you have a list of potential moving companies, take the time to research each one. Visit their websites, read customer reviews, and check their ratings with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. Look for companies that are licensed and insured, as this shows their commitment to professionalism and protection of your belongings.

Contact several moving companies and compare the prices and services they offer, taking into consideration factors such as the size of your move and any special requirements you may have, like packing specialty items. Be wary of companies that offer significantly lower estimates than others, as they may be inexperienced or unreliable.

Remember to inquire about any additional fees or surcharges that may apply, such as fuel or mileage, and ask about their policies regarding liability and insurance coverage for your belongings.

Declutter and Donate

Moving can be a great opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need or use. Before you start packing, take the time to go through each room and assess your belongings. Ask yourself if you really need or want each item. If not, it's time to let it go. This will not only make your move easier but also give you a clean slate.

As you declutter, consider donating items that are still in good condition. Not only will you be helping others in need, but you'll also have less to pack and move. It's a win-win situation!

And while you’re in the process of purging, don’t forget your refrigerator. Try to eat as much as you can and then donate the rest to a food pantry or share with a neighbor.

Packing Practicalities

Before it’s time to begin packing, make sure you have all the necessary supplies: tape, markers, boxes, bubble wrap, scissors, etc. Set up a packing station and invest in quality standard size boxes. Use towels, sheets and other materials to fill space in partially filled boxes. In addition to boxes, large bags and suitcases are helpful when moving. Consider keeping hanging clothes on their hangers and protecting them with garbage bags.

Label Everything

Take the time to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This will save you time and frustration when it comes to unpacking in your new home. Make sure to use clear and legible labels, and consider using different colors for different rooms to make it even easier to identify where each box should go. Don't forget to label any fragile items as well, to ensure they are handled with care during the move. If you have any furniture that needs to be disassembled for the move, be sure to label each piece and keep all the screws and bolts together in a labeled bag.

Pack a Moving Day Bag

Moving day can be chaotic, with boxes everywhere and movers coming in and out of your home. To make the day go as smoothly as possible, it's important to pack a moving-day bag with all the essentials you'll need. This bag should include necessary documents, such as your lease or mortgage papers, identification, and any needed paperwork for the new home. You should also include basic toiletries, a change of clothes, and any medications you or your family members may need. Be sure to include chargers for your electronic devices, as well as any items that are sentimental or valuable that you want to keep close to you.

Notify Service Providers

After all the preparations and packing, it's easy to overlook notifying your service providers about your upcoming move. But this is not a step you want to forget. To avoid any interruptions in your services, be sure to inform your utility companies, internet and cable providers, and any other service providers about your move. Let them know your moving date and provide them with your new address. By informing your providers in advance, you can schedule the disconnection and reconnection of your services, making the process more efficient.

Take Care of Important Documents

Before you start packing up your belongings, gather all of your essential documents and ensure they are safely stored in a secure folder or box. This includes items such as identification documents, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, and any other important paperwork.

Lastly, don’t forget to update your address with the necessary organizations and institutions. This includes notifying your bank, credit card companies, insurance providers, doctors and any other entities that regularly send you mail. Additionally, don't forget to forward your mail through the US Postal Service to ensure that you receive any important documents that may be sent to your old address.

Make Arrangements for Children and Pets

Moving can be a hectic time for both children and pets, so it's important to make arrangements to ensure their safety and comfort during the transition. For children, it can be helpful to have a trusted family member or friend watch them on moving day. This will allow you to focus on the move without worrying about their well-being. It's also a good idea to pack a bag with their favorite toys, snacks, and any necessary supplies to keep them entertained throughout the day.

As for pets, consider booking a pet-friendly hotel or arranging for a pet sitter to take care of them during the move. Additionally, don't forget to update their information with the microchip company or register them at your new address.

Get Help from Friends and Family

Moving to a new home can be a daunting task, but with the help of friends and family, it doesn't have to be. Reach out to your loved ones and ask for their assistance during the moving process. Whether it's packing boxes, lifting heavy furniture, or even just providing emotional support, having a helping hand can make a world of difference.

Make a list of tasks that you could use some assistance with and delegate them to your friends and family members. This not only lightens your workload but also allows you to spend quality time together before you embark on your new chapter.

To show your appreciation, consider treating your helpers to a meal or small token of gratitude. After all, moving can be exhausting, and it's always nice to feel appreciated.