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Moving Guide - Reducing the Stress of Moving

MovingQuotesMoving house is going to be stressful. There's simply no way around it. Moving means change, dealing with unknowable and ambiguous situations, and making decisions that will have a long-term effect on your quality of life. But with a little planning, a little patience, and the application of a little thinking, you can reduce your personal stress level and increase the chances of a successful move.

First you'll have to work through literally two hundred action items or more, and some of these decisions are connected to other decisions. Just as soon as you know you're moving (if necessary, today!) sit down with a yellow pad and brainstorm the heck out of your plans. Make notes about everything you have to do -- getting moving quotes, getting a moving guide to help, changes of address, keys, travel plans, setting up phone service and utilities, caring for your pets, changing car license and insurance, the list goes on and on. You have two goals here: forging a practical to-do list for yourself, and also empty your mind of worry. This is your opportunity to relieve yourself of the stress attached to "I'm forgetting something." Just as a tip, figure out where you're going to sleep each night and make sure you have a comfortable bed lined up by 9 pm or so. Sounds ridiculously simple, but that simple question has a wonderful way of ironing out a lot of other decisions.

Speaking of opportunity, let's think about what you're NOT doing when you're moving. Moving is not an opportunity to assess all your possessions and suddenly adopt a monastic lifestyle. Moving is not the best time to redecorate or change your living environments more than necessary right now. Moving is not an opportunity to get emotionally caught up in looking at old photographs or love letters. Keep your eye on the ball, be crisp, deal with one thing at a time, and limit the changes to a minimum. That gets rid of more potential stress.

It's obvious, but pace yourself and budget time for rest. Get rid of the "deadline stress". Ask for help. Marshall your friends and relatives for the big move, or to knock off some of those organizational tasks. If you do get some help, it's a good thing to think through exactly what you want people to do and delegate those tasks.... this removes the "it's all on my shoulders!" stress but still keeps you in control of the overall situation. As another tip, make yourself one little box, and never let it out of your sight. This box prevents you from packing away something you'll have an immediate need for. This includes your cell phone, your to-do list and itinerary and planner, all keys, spare glasses, any medicines, the list of your packed boxes, emergency phone numbers, batteries and chargers, can opener, a pair of scissors with packing tape and a black marker, etc. Special hint: put a little bit of toilet paper and a clean towel in there too.

Lastly, do your best, but please let go of trying to be perfect. If it turns out you have to replace all your condiments from the refrigerator door, well, life goes on. If you lost your favorite red sweater along the way, that's regrettable, but it's really okay. You'll inevitably miss, neglect, or forget something. Your planning insures that it won't be a BIG something, and just let it happen in the context of the successful, happy, and exciting change in your life.

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