How to Move With Less Stress

January 24, 2012

how to, smart fixes

One of my pals on Facebook recently moved across the country. He mentioned that his “car was on the ferry and the boxes on the plane.” Oh my word, I have never moved out of state but it must be so stressful!

There are ways to alleviate a bit of the stress of moving. Here’s how:

1. Mercilessly throw away your unused and unwanted items.
Those old business suits from the 1980s that don’t fit you anymore? Get rid of them. Chance are you’re not likely to squeeze into them again, and even if you were you’d probably want something much more modern. Consider donating those old Tupperware containers, collection of floor lamps, and stuffed animals from your youth.

When it comes to children, avoid throwing away their things. The move is stressful enough for them, and kids become very emotionally attached to their possessions. So don’t throw away their stuff unless they really, really want to rid of it. Making the kids feel secure and relaxed is well worth the extra four or five boxes of old toys.

2. Purchase packing boxes.
I can’t believe that I, the Frugal Queen, am telling you to BUY boxes for you move! But I have moved quite a number of times in my day, and locating recycled boxes is very stressful, especially when you can’t find any. Many stores crush their boxes almost as soon as they get them, so if you get recycled boxes, you often have to rebuild them with glue or duct tape. In my opinion, your time is much better spent packing and preparing for the big move, not duct taping junky old crushed boxes.

3. Rent a truck.
If you have a lot of stuff, it is much, much better to rent a truck to haul your stuff. Everything is packed into ONE or two vehicles, which makes locating stuff so much easier later. Believe me, the last thing you want to experience is rummaging through minivan after sedan looking for the lost “binky” in some box or another. If you have to transport a vehicle, learn about the car shipping process and get a handful of reasonable quotes from several businesses. A website like can help.

4. Research your moving company.
If you hire a moving company, look them up online. Get references, call former customers. Get a complete picture of the company. There have been too many stories of people whose possessions were stolen or delivered in terrible condition from a lousy company.

5. Take time to relax.
Moving is tiresome, stressful, and exhausting. Make a schedule break and get away from the site for a while. For example, if you are going to spend one entire week packing and moving, schedule a lunch break at the park every day at 1pm, or go out to dinner every two days. These moments help to break up the monotony and stress of moving, and get you out of the mess for a while. I know, going out to eat is expensive– but moving IS expensive. Your mental and emotional health is just as important as Aunt Ethel’s dishes in bubble wrap, you know. You can opt to eat out at simple places, too– a burger joint or a pizza place. It doesn’t need to be expensive but it does need to be relaxing.

6. Invite friends.
If you have a large family or a ton of stuff, make your packing and move a community event. 🙂 Invite a friend over, one each day. Friends and family can really help lighten the mood as well as lend an extra pair of hands. Make it fun, too– treat your friend or family member to a little lunch or dinner.

7. Give yourself plenty of time.
There is no stress like hurry. Give yourself lots of time to pack and move stuff. Prepare for unexpected things, too, like a rainy day or a sick kid or a delay with the moving truck. The extra buffer of time can really make a difference.

I hope these tips help you. Moving can be such a stressful time, but with a little TLC and preparation, you can make it into an enjoyable experience for you and your family.

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