Taking the Stress Out of Moving

Stressful MoveJust the thought of going through the moving process can cause panic and stress. Moving (particularly if relocating to a new city or state) represents a huge change that can trigger our “fight or flight” response and create feelings of anxiety. This can further exacerbate the challenge because stress can lead to a lack of energy and motivation. We tend to procrastinate during stressful periods of our lives. This is one time, though, when we must rise above that. When preparing for a move we need to focus and drive to the goal.

Here are some suggestions that may seem obvious, but when in stress-mode we tend to be forgetful. Moving and relocating calls for being proactive, grabbing the bull by the horns and actually completing certain chores well in advance of their deadlines. Not included here are the “big things” such as finding the best moving company, researching your new neighborhood’s transportation, parking, employment, schools, etc. The web can be a great resource for this information.

Get rid of what you don’t need.

I often tell my clients that they don’t realize how much stuff they have until they have to move it. Many of us are “pack rats” and one benefit of moving is taking the opportunity to purge. Moving unwanted items from one place of residence to another is a great waste of time and effort. It is surprising how much more in control we feel once we start narrowing down our “inventory” to what we actually need to keep. Consider having a garage sale or selling items online long before moving time and then donating the leftovers to a local charitable group – many will even pick up the items for you.

Get all important papers and documents together and secure them.

Since moving can be hectic, be aware of the exact location of important items. Things that absolutely must not be lost or misplaced should be carried with you, not put in a box for the movers.   In this technological age, if feasible, digitize as much as possible and utilize cloud storage or a portable external drive for added protection and easy retrieval. Items on the list may include:

Account Numbers and Passwords, Address Books, Birth Certificates, Bank Statements, Checks, Credit Cards and Statements, Home Movies, Irreplaceable Memorabilia, Insurance Policies, Marriage Records, Medical and Dental Records, Military Records, Passports, Photos and Photo Albums, Resumes, School Records, Stock Certificates, Tax Returns, Telephone Numbers, Valuables, Vehicle Documents, Wills.

Prepare well in advance for living at your new location.

There are many things that can be done in advance of a move that will help smooth the transition. If you are not banking online, open up a new bank account. Contact the new area utility companies and arrange for services. These can include Cable TV, Internet, gas, electric, oil, telephone, water and trash pickup. Arrange for new medical providers. If you are moving to a new state, contact the DMV and get forms necessary to re-register your vehicles. Contact your insurance companies and find out if your auto, homeowner’s insurance, etc. can be transferred. If not, find an Insurance Broker in your new area and discuss your needs and requirements for new policies. Go to the post office and get a moving kit (which may also be available online). Prepare change of address forms for all of your correspondents – credit card companies, other credit accounts, banks, insurance companies, current utility companies for final statements, magazines and other subscriptions, family, friends, and any other persons or businesses that you correspond with on a regular basis.

Your smartphone or tablet is your most useful tool.

It seems as with anything these days, there’s an app for that. Martin Panayotov of Moving News reviewed several apps for moving, including:

  1. My Move App for iPhone and Android
  2. Moving Day for iPhone
  3. Moving Guru App for iPhone and Blackberry
  4. MoveMatch App for Android

A fifth app to consider is available at TXHomeFinderApp.com – compatible with most smartphones and tablets, this app will help you search through available homes for sale near you or in any selected location. With built-in mapping, you can easily find and save homes of interest. All listings are pulled from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so they are the most accurate and up to date.

When moving actually begins, you don’t want to be hunting for phone numbers in wallets, purses, or address books. Keep all important phone numbers organized in your smartphone: Banks, Doctors, Emergency contacts, Family members, Friends, Landlords or REALTORS, Movers, Pharmacies, Schools, Storage Facilities, Utilities, etc.

Proper planning and preparation during the moving process can help preserve your sanity. The rest is just a matter of time to make the adjustment and acclimate to your new environment. As for the unpacking – maybe there’s an app for that too.