Moving house is one of the most significant logistical tasks people undertake. It involves packing your entire life into boxes and moving it anywhere from up the road, to across the country. It’s little wonder, then, that a lot of people find moving stressful. There’s a long period of uncertainty, a short flurry of activity, and then a transitional period where you have little permanent storage available to you.
That is, if you don’t have a self storage unit. Self storage units provide you with a little stability when you’re moving house, and can help you to alleviate some of the stress.
However, you’re going to have to keep the process moving with or without a storage unit, and that involves a high degree of organisation. To help you hone your organisational skills, we’ve broken down the moving process into five key components, and developed five moving tips to get you through each stage of the process.
How stressful is moving house?
On the Holmes and Rahe Scale of stress, moving house has a score of 25. To put that into
perspective: a mortgage or loan of up to $150,000 rates at 17 on that same scale. A minor violation of the law comes in at just 11. You might feel as though moving house shouldn’t feel as stressful as it does, but you’re not alone. Moving is one of the most stressful things that you can go through. It’s important to take that seriously, and to take care of yourself throughout the moving process. The stress you’re feeling is warranted, and you’re not alone. It’s not a question of whether moving is stressful; it is a question of what you can do about it. Here is what we would recommend.
1. Create a moving checklist
Stress compounds—it gets worse at an exponential rate, so you’ll want to fix it quickly. The best way to get on top of things is with a moving checklist, which gives you one of the most powerful stress-busting tools: time. If you have time to get your belongings together without having to rush, you can really take a weight off your shoulders. You can pack your things at your own pace, and make sure everything is well labelled and safely stored. Then, when it’s time to move, you will be able to do so with ease.
The contents of your moving checklist will vary depending on where you’re moving, what possessions you hold, and what needs to be done in your current property. As a baseline, though, we would start with packing. Your checklist should divide your belongings into categories: you could work room by room, or you could work under different categories, such as “fragile vs non-fragile.” Whatever you choose, be sure to document each belonging under the right category.
The next thing your checklist should include is things to purchase, such as boxes, packing tape, and transport accessories. It’s vital that this step comes in second, because you need to take the first step to perform an accurate inventory. Unless you know what you’re moving, and how much of it there is, you can’t prepare properly.
2. Get boxes for moving house
Before you pack your things you’re going to need boxes. Most self storage facilities sell them, as do local hardware stores. Bunnings offers a wide range of cardboard and plastic packing boxes, which are a hot commodity for movers.
We recommend getting high quality cardboard boxes, because they’re going to be carrying precious contents. Getting poorly designed or constructed boxes comes with the risk of tears and disintegration, which can result in lost or damaged goods.
There are also a few little things that can make all the difference, such as labelling options. Some moving boxes come with pre-printed categories, so you can simply tick a box on the box to indicate whether it’s carrying kitchen bathroom, living, or laundry goods. They also have boxes with “fragile” warnings on them, so you can let the removalists know to take extra care.
3. Don’t let stress follow you
Arriving at your new home should prevent stress, not cause it. But in some cases, movers arrive at their new homes before all their possessions do, and there can be a few days of stress that come with the empty house. Preventing that stress is essential, especially considering that you’re likely to be at the tail end of a stressful few weeks already.
This is where communication can be a helpful tool. If you pick a reputable moving company with a responsive administrative team, you can track the location of your possessions while they’re on the road. Delays are a natural part of the moving process, and your removalists have a lot of factors to contend with while on the road. Knowing that you can pick up the phone and get a status update is often enough to minimize the stress that comes with the inevitable wait.
4. Long term storage
Don’t give yourself a deadline— they breed stress, and when it comes to moving you’ll have enough deadlines to contend with already. If you’re renting, or if you’ve just sold and need to vacate your home by a certain date, then deadlines are part and parcel of the moving process, and making more deadlines won’t help. Instead, organise long term storage early on, before the moving process begins in earnest. Self storage is a long term solution that you can utilise well into the future, and it can drastically reduce your workload later in the moving process.
If you aren’t ready to fill your new house just yet, or if you just need some time to rest, leaving your possessions in self storage will work wonders. If you know that your lease is coming to an end or your current house will be sold in a month, you can start dropping off small loads at your storage unit weeks or months in advance. Before long, you’ll have drastically reduced the number of possessions you have to move.
You may also find that all your non-essential items (clutter) will end up in storage first, leaving you with a more streamlined and spacious home. Self storage is a great way to sort out the important from the unimportant, and the useful from the useless. If you’d prefer to leave some stuff there when you get to your new place, you can simply extend the lease on your storage unit and enjoy freedom from clutter indefinitely.
5. Don’t change plans on moving day!
Finally, here’s our golden tip: make a plan and stick to it, no matter what happens. Unpredictability is part of the reason moving house is so stressful, and you can almost always expect something to go wrong. When it does, it’s important that you stick to your plan and work through whatever problem has arisen. Making new plans takes time, and you’re more likely to create further problems for yourself if you make contingency plans on the fly. If you start planning early, and follow through, you can create less work for yourself and reduce the risk of catastrophe!