Moving Day: The Final Countdown!

You’re singing the song now, aren’t you?

“Stress” and “stress avoidance” are pop psychology topics that have gotten a lot of attention lately, much of it deserved. If you ask anyone about how “moving day” rates among life’s stressful events, it’s surprisingly up there near the top. University Hospitals lists “Moving” as #3 (right between “Divorce” and “Major Illness or Injury”).

This is unnecessary. Unlike a lot of stressors, a proven way to dispel moving day anxiety is to just do something—and start well ahead of time. One approach is to fashion your own countdown list, something like this:

6 weeks: For valuable items you don’t use and don’t want to move, start selling them on the web or in market notice boards.
4 weeks: Make a list of utilities that serve your current and new homes and notify each of the dates for cut-off and turn-on. Getting an early start puts you in line ahead of last-minute notifiers.
3 weeks: Arrange for a local charity to pick up the items you don’t want to move. Pick-up volunteers are often in short supply, so a long lead-time may be mandatory.
2 weeks: Change your address by notifying the USPO using this. If you do it two weeks prior to the move, you won’t need to stress further.
1 week: If the move is a distant one, consider shipping via bus for stuff you won’t need immediately. Some have ‘space available’ and multi-box services that can be great economizers.
6 days: When you buy cartons, buy a roll of the big (18”) stretch wrap film that lets you group items and protect furniture from getting scratched and scuffed.
4 days: If possible, arrange to visit your new house to pre-clean the bathroom and kitchen (all but the most considerate sellers rely on “broom clean” level of readiness, which you may find unsatisfactory—and moving day isn’t the time to discover it!
3 days: Take pictures of the way your electronics are connected (you can save a lot of time when you are setting them up in your new place).
3 days: Use saran wrap to cover the tops of toiletries before putting the tops back on
2 days: Start to defrost your refrigerator/freezer, leaving enough time for shelves to dry.
1 day: Pick out the items you’ll need first and put them in a clear plastic bin. Just being able to see them on moving day will be a stress reliever!

On moving day, if you have been renting, take photos of interiors as soon as they’ve been cleared. Then attend to the inevitable last-minute stress-makers (you can’t foresee all of them). It’s also good to remember that Moving Day marks the successful conclusion of your landmark objective.