In the ‘Zen of Moving: 7 Tips to Keep it Under Control’ we shared some great ideas on how to make your moving experience a little less stressful. Our readers loved the ideas, so we sat down with Soraiya Kara, the owner of POSabilities Personal Organizing, to gather a few more creative tips.
So here’s the scenario. You have your movers organized and the packing has started. You are diligently using some of the great ideas from ‘Zen of Moving – Part 1’ to keep the process moving forward with minimal stress. But in the back of your mind, you know that moving day is quickly approaching and there is no way to avoid it. So, what other things can you do to keep the Zen alive?
1. Plan a space for everything
No one likes moving big, heavy furniture around. By making a floor plan, you can save yourself the heavy lifting, and leave that to the pros – your movers. Start with a floor plan or use graph paper and map out how your existing furniture is going to fit in your new space. You may realize that some of your items may not fit in the way that you imagined. Consider donating these items to a local charity or passing them on to a friend. By getting rid of unwanted or unnecessary furniture before moving day, there will be less items to transport and less cost. Print a copy of the floor plan for your movers so that they will know exactly where to place the large items, decreasing their work load and yours.
2. Empty the pantry
Getting rid of as many items as possible before a move is always a good idea and this includes food items. Take a look in your pantry, cupboards and fridge and throw out items that have dubious ‘best before’ dates or that you are likely to never use. With the remaining items, build some meals for the days leading up to the move. By using what you have in stock, you will save precious time and have fewer perishable items to transport on moving day.
3. Unpack this first
We all have our comfort items which make life a little easier. You may require a freshly-brewed mocha in the morning or a special toothbrush. Determine what these items are and place them in a few boxes labelled ‘unpack first’. Consider your personal items, toiletries, and any kitchen tools that you know you will need right away. You may also want to transport these items yourself, to make sure you know exactly where they end up.
4. Keep calm and get a sitter
Small children and pets can often find packing and moving very stressful. The chaos and the noise create disruption to their daily routine and they may be better off at a temporary home. Consider having younger children stay with a relative or close family friend for one or more days during your move. This will free your hands and allow you time to focus on getting things done.
5. Clear the mess
Once you have unpacked, you will still have empty boxes to deal with. Broken-down cardboard boxes can be listed on a site such as Craigslist or donated to a charitable organization looking for storage and packing supplies. Another alternative is to use plastic bins from SayNoToBoxes orFrogBox which you can rent for varying periods of time.
So, if you are considering a move in the near future, reflect on these tips and see if any will work for you. There is no question that moving can be stressful, but with a little planning and organization, you will be able to keep the calm.
Tracy McEvoy has been managing commercial real estate for more than 25 years and has held senior management positions with several of Canada’s largest real estate companies. Presently, she runs Maple Leaf Self Storage Inc. in Canada and has more than 14,000 tenants. Maple Leaf Self Storage has been helping families and businesses for more than 30 years. Follow her on Twitter at @CdnStorageDiva.
Soraiya Kara has been a professional organizer in Greater Vancouver for more than 15 years and has created a special service called ‘The Stress-Free Move’. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org