We have been in our new apartment for a little over two weeks now and we like our new place. It is roomier and newer and in a better neighborhood. We are not rushing into getting everything done. I have had to buy some new things to make this place our home and that has been fun. We both felt we needed more clocks, especially in the two bathrooms. We had some new wall areas to decorate as well. We realize a move takes a stress toll on the body and it is best not to try to do too much in a day. We are taking time to savor the things we like about living here. I have decided to take all three blogs from the last three weeks and combine them into one convenient place.
BEFORE YOUR MOVE:
TIP ONE: PLAN WELL
Start preparing at least 3 to 4 weeks before your move-in date – by arranging for a moving company, getting boxes, tape, and labels, using up food, especially in the refrigerator, making a master MOVE TO DO LIST. I find colored labels to be invaluable. Also, don’t forget to fill out the change of address for, arrange utilities, etc. Write everything down! Trying to keep everything in your brain is impossible during this time.
TIP TWO: PACK WISELY
Pack all items you will not use in the next month – books, hobby supplies, most kitchen stuff. If you pack a lot of your things in clear stackable plastic bins, you will be able to find items if you need them. I use small liquor boxes for easy carrying. I also like to use shopping bags for ease of carrying. And make sure you can lift these bins and boxes. Stack boxes and bins against the walls to keep the living areas easy to walk in Clear out as many cupboards, drawers, and closets as possible so that you will have less to do last minute. I like to keep some essentials in an open bin – things like markers, tape, scissors, labels, etc. Remember you can leave things in the dresser drawers – so pack them to the brim since you won’t have to be moving these, the professional movers will.
TIP THREE: KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER
Try to keep up with your laundry and cleaning. You don’t want to get to the overwhelmed state. Try to keep things tidy even when you are in a chaotic state because your health and sanity are at stake during such a stressful time. I found that having cleared horizontal surfaces was such a mental lift. I could also find things easier when things were cleared off. I keep all my important papers and office supplies in a large briefcase. I keep my to-do lists on my notes app on my phone. Put it on the list as soon as it pops into your brain. The biggest lie we can tell ourselves is that we will remember something we don’t write down!
TIP FOUR: HAVE SEVERAL MOVING DAYS
If possible, try to move all the things that you can do on your own a couple of days before the movers arrive. This is possibly done if it is a local move. We spread the actual move out to three days. The first day was moving all the small items, plus marking on the floors where the movers needed to place the furniture. The second day was unpacking some of those items, storing things away, and getting some groceries into the new place. The third day is having the movers move the oversized furniture items. I had a couple of family members assist on the first day. Any more helpers than two can be hard to manage.
TIP FIVE: RELAX WELL
Be kind to yourself. Don’t try to be a superwoman. Don’t overload yourself. Try to get some form of good exercise every day, even if it is just twenty minutes. I also find that stopping cooking the last few days before a move to be a wise idea. It frees up a lot of needed time and effort. I also made sure to have some wind-down time every evening by watching a movie on TV with my husband. I like to read before sleep because it removes the mind clutter that the moving process can create.
DURING YOUR MOVE:
TIP ONE: GET UP EARLIER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED TO
Get up early on moving day – movers often come earlier than they say they will – ours came at 8:30 a.m. rather than 9. I was on my way back from delivering my husband to our new home. I informed the front desk of our building to let them in and tell them to begin without me. When I got there, they were well on their way to padding up the furniture. They said they were pleased I was so organized and would make it easier to move everything.
TIP TWO: STASH YOUR STUFF
Put what you don’t want the movers to move in a closet and tell them not to touch it. Things like the bedding you took off the beds and all the last-minute things you needed to spend the night there can be put in a large suitcase and wheeled out to your car the morning of the move.
TIP THREE: ALWAYS KNOW WHERE KEYS AND CELLPHONE ARE
Keep your keys on a lanyard around your neck at all times except when you are driving. And your cellphone and wallet in a tiny crossbody purse around your neck. You will regret it if you don’t have this done. Also, misplacing and looking for things will just add to your already high-stress level!
TIP FOUR: KEEP IMPORTANT THINGS TOGETHER
Have essential things in a small shopping bag that you can easily transport to a new place- something you want to have handy. Put it on your kitchen counter in your new location.
TIP FIVE: FIRST THINGS FIRST
Make the beds as soon as the movers set up the beds. Hopefully, you have the sheets in a handy place and won’t have to search for them. You do not want to wait until you are too exhausted to do this essential task. Get outside serenity first. By this,I mean your horizontal surfaces clear – floors, top of counters, dressers, desk, tables,etc. You want to hide things in our closets to give your new place a serene feel right from the start – day one! Then you can relax and feel less stressed. The work ahead of you is still there and it can wait. For now, you can have serenity and that will greatly help you relax after the big move. You may not have everything arranged perfectly in your cupboards and drawers but at least you can find things if you need them.
AFTER YOUR MOVE:
TIP ONE: GET FOOD!
Go out as soon as you can to your nearest grocer – in my case, and it is 1 mile from where I live. There you can stock up on easy meals that don’t require a lot of prep time. Keep it healthy. You don’t want to compromise your immune system after putting your body under such stress.
TIP TWO: KEEP SURFACES CLEAR
Keep all your horizontal surfaces clear. It will be a way to provide yourself with mental serenity. It may only be outward serenity, but that is a great start. So always clear your counters floors and make your bed, etc. Your home will never be this clean again, so try to keep it clean as far as possible. This is your chance to work on some new habits like loading the dishes in the washer as soon as you use them, putting things away in drawers in cupboards right after use, and giving the floor a quick vac as soon as you notice it needs it.
One of my purchases after this move was a small handheld, cordless vacuum. What a lifesaver. We have dark laminate flooring in the kitchen and living room, and things quickly appear on the floor. So it is so easy to do a quick vac and keep the floor looking lovely. I have a stick vac that I use weekly, but now I can keep things looking nice in-between times.
TIP THREE: KEEP AN ONGOING LIST OF NEEDS
Keep a list of things your new place needs. In my case, it was a welcome mat and some hooks to hang things on our doors and inside cabinets.
TIP FOUR: BUY YOURSELF SOME FRESH FLOWERS
Buy yourself some fresh flowers and maybe a pretty vase to put them in. Put them on your counter in the kitchen. Mine has lasted over a week now, and they are still looking great! It helps remind me to keep the counter cleared of clutter because I want the flowers to be a focal point and they can’t if they are surrounded by clutter! Place only the appliances you use frequently on your counters. In my case, it is the electric water kettle, the electric can opener, and the toaster.
TIP FIVE: GET SOME EXERCISE TO RELEASE STRESS
Find out where your local gym is and use it. Or just take walks every day or at least every other day. If it is too cold or icy outside, find an indoor place to walk like Walmart or Home Depot, or the mall. Again, just like eating healthy food, getting frequent exercise will energize you and keep your spirits up. And if walking is hard for you, maybe find a pool or a good chair exercise class to go to. If there is a will there is a way!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU MY READERS:
Do you think you will be moving in the near or distant future? If so, do you think these tips will be helpful? Sometimes our Third Act requires changes, one of which may be a move to another place that suits your needs better.
Do you have a friend or family member that is moving and can benefit from these tips? If so share them!
Do you have a topic related to decluttering or simplifying or organizing in your Third Act of Life* that you want me to write about this year?
I would love to hear your answers!
Also, could you tell me where you live? I am excited that I have readers from all over the world and I would love to be reminded of where you are! I also love receiving input about my blogs.
Maybe when I get your locations I will make a stick pin map of them – fun, huh?
*I define the Third Act of Life as the last 3 decades: ages 60 through 90 and beyond.