Moving Day: How to Get You and Your Family Ready

How to prepare for moving day

Moving day! It’s come around at last – that flurry of activity dedicated to cramming your life into cardboard boxes. No wonder moving has been ranked among life’s most stressful events, right up there with divorce, getting fired, a major illness, or the death of a loved one. Granted, Americans today are moving at historically low rates, but plenty of people still criss-cross state and county lines.

In 2015, it was estimated that 40 million individuals had moved that year – or 14 percent of a total 282 million. So here are some tips for moving day, what to expect and plan ahead for, when to use movers, and how to move your pets.

What to Expect and Plan Ahead For

Procrastinators beware: Expect chaos in this process, and plan ahead to avoid it. Consider tabbing up a to-do checklist calendared around the weeks leading up to the big day. Eight weeks out, you might write down an inventory of everything you own. At six weeks, throw a yard sale, or transfer your kids’ school records to their new district.

This is an intense time because, depending on your situation, details like reserving the freight elevator on the day-of might matter. So keep on top of these deadlines and knock them out as they crop up. That way, you’ll stave off chaos as it rises around you, rather than try to muscle it back all at once.

When to Use Movers

On top of all the hurly-burly involved in moving, it definitely isn’t cheap. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the cost of a move between states is about $4,300, while in-state moving runs about $2,300. The upside to moving yourself is that you’re saving money, and you can oversee the process to make sure the box of family china doesn’t get pitched around haphazardly.

And the cons? All that heavy lifting, plus the moments when you realize movers are wizards at making couches fit through attic doorways. People usually go with movers when they’ve accumulated too much stuff as a family, and they’re even relieved to shell out cash to make sure it all gets done.

How to Move with Pets

Add pets into the mix and the chaos may just go bonkers. After all, what’s more zen than a crew of strange guys hauling away a Tetris game of boxes while your Jack Russell terrier zips around barking?

To avoid that carnival, set up a playdate between your pup and a friend or family member it’s comfortable with so that it’s out of the house. If they’re unavailable, consider hiring a pet sitter to keep your furry pal company. Then, once you’re moved in, set aside a quiet nook in the house for your pet to acclimate to its new surroundings.

How to Move with Kids

Children crave boundaries, so even a good uprooting like a move to a safer neighborhood can feel destabilizing to them. Explain to them in advance that you’re moving, when it’s happening, and why. Tell them that they’re going to a new home that they’ll love as much as the one they’re in now. If they’re sad or upset, let them talk it out. To maintain their sense of order, lay out the schedule leading up to the big move, then stick to it for their convenience. Also, consider stowing them with a grandparent or another family member until you’re ready to open the door for them into their new house.

Even college kids who are renting out six-month leases can be amazed at just how quickly we all collect stuff. When you’re on a deadline to ship out that mausoleum of stuff, it can get overwhelming. So prepare, prepare, prepare. When you sink down into your couch in your new living room and finally feel excited about this new phase of life, you’ll thank yourself.

Thinking about moving but haven’t found your dream home yet? Contact us to get started!