Everyone who has ever moved has asked at some point in the moving process, “Why is this so much work?” But unless you get rid of everything you own, moving involves a tremendous amount of work. You have to deal with budgeting, finding a new place to live, reviewing, choosing from estimates, packing, notifying everyone you and your family knows, setting up new utilities, and then unpacking and replacing everything from schools to health care providers. It would be surprising if it wasn’t a lot of work. But perhaps the issue isn’t that moving is so much work, as that we make it more work than it needs to be. Here are some ways we make moving more work than it needs to be.
Moving without a plan
You can move without a plan, but you may find that you either forget to do things, or that you end up doing things more than once, like making repeated trips for supplies. In the worst case scenario, moving without a plan means that you need to reschedule the move, or it costs you additional money. So create a detailed plan for your move, one that breaks out everything you need to do, creates a timetable with deadlines, and assigns someone to do them.
If you find yourself repeatedly saying, I’ll do that tomorrow, you could be setting yourself up for an ugly moving day. Whether it’s not getting a moving crew lined up in advance, or putting off purging your belongings, procrastinating can lead to increased moving costs, or delays, or even both. Don’t keep putting off items on your to-do list.
If you just assume that everything needs to go, your move will cost more, and you’ll have more to pack. A good rule of thumb is never move things that are broken, that you won’t use, or that you just don’t like. Also evaluate whether heavy items will cost more to move than they’re worth, and whether you’ll have room for what’s currently in your house.
Missing Your Packing Deadline
Few things are worse than realizing the movers are coming in the morning and you are not packed. You may end up rushing to finish the packing. Poor packing makes it more likely that things will break in transit, and makes it harder to find things when you’re unpacking. Worse, if you can’t get everything packed, you then run into trying to pack while the movers are taking items out of the house, or worse, a delay in your move. So start packing two to three weeks before your move date.
Doing it all yourself
Moving a family is a lot of work, but even for a single person, there’s a point at which moving becomes too much for one person. While hiring movers or someone to do the packing are good solutions, there are more ways to get help. You can ask friends to help you hold a sale, to watch the kids while you pack, or to help direct the movers at your new home. Other ideas for getting help where you need it is to schedule charity pickups rather than dropping donations off, hiring a cleaning service to take care of your old home after you move out, and even hiring a move coordinator to help you get organized. But perhaps the most important one is if you’re moving as a family, making sure that everyone in the family (including school age kids) are helping with moving related tasks.