Moving is stressful. There’s an old cliché that suggests the only thing more stressful than moving is experiencing the death of a family member, but research indicates that’s not exactly accurate. How we view the move matters tremendously, so a move for a high-paying new job is going to usually be a better experience than a move prompted by death or divorce. Still, no one is going to mistake a move for a day at Six Flags. Regardless of your circumstances, here are three ways to simplify the moving process.
Clean Out That Closet
For many people, the physical act of hauling their stuff isn’t the hard part. No: what’s hard is sorting through all their personal items and trying to figure out what goes with them and what gets left behind. That’s because all that clutter often has a bigger psychological hold on us than we realize. Experts say that we hold onto possessions because they represent a better version of ourselves. Take your old prom dress, for instance. Are you really going to have a reason to wear that again? Almost certainly not, but it’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll keep it in the closet until you lose weight and can fit into it once more. But when you don’t lose enough weight, you feel guilty and ashamed. That’s not helpful. Donate that prom dress to someone who can really use it. You’ll feel significantly lighter once it’s all done. As a bonus, you can replace the items you donated with some new outfits that actually fit, including casual dresses that will flatter the body you have now rather than the one you had at age seventeen.
Ship What You Can
How much stuff do you need to physically tow along with you when you move? Of course, you need basic items like clothes and medicine. If you have pets, you need to bring them as well, since they can’t exactly be placed in the back of a moving truck. But anything beyond those essentials is just going to drag you down and make the process more frustrating than it has to be.
Let’s use your car as an example. The idea of taking a road trip when you move is powerful, as it seems like the easiest way to get your car from Point A to Point B. But it turns out that flying is more efficient. Traveling by car takes more energy than boarding a plane and letting it take you to your new hometown. If you don’t want to put your pets in the cargo hold, then that’s understandable, and you can choose an airline that allows you to bring pets with you into the main cabin. What about your car? You can hire an enclosed auto transport company to ensure it gets to your destination without any scratches or dings.
Pay Professional Movers Instead of Bribing Friends
Bribing your friends with pizza and beer is fine when you’re moving from a dorm room to your first apartment, but by the time you hit age thirty or so, you need a level of expertise that your friends can’t provide. Also, your friends are probably tired of lugging other people’s couches around, even if they’d never admit it openly.
If you have the money, invest it in a professional moving company. Don’t hire the first one you see, and if a company is really cheap but has terrible reviews, steer clear. But getting recommendations and estimates is well worth the trouble when moving day arrives and you know you’re in capable hands. If you’re moving close by, feel free to invite your pals to a housewarming party, since those are a lot more fun anyway.