Soon you will have a new address, and you can’t wait. The condo or retirement community apartment is exactly what you envisioned years ago when you thought about growing older.
What a relief to have finally found the perfect-for-you new home. But now that the lease or contract is signed and a moving date is on the calendar, the pace has picked up and there is so much to do. Emotions are running high too, as you sort through possessions full of memories.
Yes, moving is a major stressor. Whether you are relocating to a nearby zip code or traveling across the country, moving is a disruption to your normal routine.
“Packing up all of your belongings and then unpacking them is just a hassle. Very few of us are fortunate enough to be able to have someone do all of this labor for us so it tends to be stressful. However, even if we do not have to lift a finger, moving is still a disruption of our normal routine,” explains HealthStatus, which ranks moving as one of five major stressful situations.
So as you plan your move, prepare for stress. Pull out your calendar and schedule stress-breakers, such as a massage, bike ride or dinner with a friend. You may feel like there is no time to waste, and there isn’t. But treating yourself to some TLC is not a waste of time – it’s a good use of your time.
Here are four other things to remember as moving day approaches.
Write It Down
Keep all your notes in one place. Buy a notebook – even better one that is colorful or has an inspiring cover, such as “She saw every ending as a new beginning.”
This is where you will keep track of all your lists.
What kind of lists? When you’re changing your address with the USPS, you’ll want to keep track of the senders that know and don’t know your new address. You don’t want a delay in receiving checks or bills (though many of those may be electronic). As mail arrives, add to your list, including magazine subscriptions, organization memberships, mail-order prescription companies and the like.
Other calls require more than a change of address, such as your homeowner insurance, and depending how far you are moving, automobile insurance.
As you make calls, write down the date and person you talked to in case you have to circle back to it.
Don’t worry about keeping your notebook orderly and neat. This is where you want to jot down all the miscellaneous stuff coming your way. And keep it by your bedside to record those late night interruptions and inspirations.
Decide What Stays Behind
You may be moving to a home with less living and storage space, which means downsizing. There are free, space-planning templates to help you decide what furniture to take (and what items you might have to purchase).
What is your game plan for getting rid of what doesn’t make the cut? A garage sale? Hiring an estate sale company, such as Everything but the House or contracting with a consignment company? Donating to Habitat for Humanity Restore or other charitable organization? If you have a specialized collection, such as vintage photographs of a city, contact a library, museum or university.
Then there are pets and plants that might not be able to make the move. Contact your local animal shelter, and ask friends and neighbors for suggestions.
Speaking of Others
Your move won’t take a village, but it will require a fair number of helping hands for pre-moving jobs and the actual move.
If you are counting on children, grandchildren and other relatives and friends, make sure calendars and expectations are in sync, along with required vehicle space. If you are hiring a moving company, find out what additional services are available and their costs. (And ask about their free checklists for packing and moving.) Check with estate sale companies, consignment shops and charities about the services, free and paid, they provide.
We all know people who have strained their back or worse when moving. So be careful and patient, and be sure to ask for help when moving heavy boxes and furniture.
Goodbye and Welcome
Make sure you take time to say farewell to your neighbors and neighborhood. Take up a neighbor’s offer to host a luncheon or cocktail party in your honor so you can say goodbye. Don’t forget to let the mail carrier, corner restaurant owner and others you interact with on a regular basis know you won’t be around anymore.
As for your new neighbors, take time in between unpacking to say “hello” and “yes” to offers of getting together for coffee or dinner. The stress doesn’t end with the move, so look for opportunities to relax. And remember — you made it home.
In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.