We can talk about summer fun all we want, we can fantasize about beachwear and even bulk up our existing summer wardrobes with the latest and greatest styles, but for a lot of us, one summer event can definitely create a psychological dark cloud: moving day. Whether it's across the country or across the street, a little bit of strategy goes a long way. You don't have to let pre-move anxiety give you nerves (save those for first and second dates). Here are some moving tips that will help ease your mood and your transition to a new spot.
No Plan is Too Early
Seems obvious, right? But I thought I'd include a reminder that really, no planning, brainstorming or list creation regarding your move is going to be too early. The better prepared you are, the better your plan, the less stressed you'll be. It's true that the best laid plans often go awry, but just making one (even if an unforeseen circumstance thwarts it) can help ease your mind. What kinds of lists are handy? The standard "to-do" lists regarding packing, change of address forms, scoping out the new hood and finding the new nearest Jamba Juice are all legit.
The Great Purge
Let this be a time to start getting rid of your secret pack rat habit by purging your place of anything you're not going to need or use in your new place. Don't get overwhelmed, if you've planned ahead it doesn't have to be an all day marathon. You can do one room or one closet at a time. What are candidates for removal? Think about cans of food that can be donated or need to be tossed due to their expiration. A lot of people think spices stay good, for like, years. They don't. And given they're not expensive, you might just want to buy a new lot for your new place. Many of us have way too many dishes, can you get rid of some? See if your library is taking donations for books you no longer want to keep around.
Avoid the Urge to Reminisce
Before you purge and pack, you need to steel your resolve to be efficient. It will be tempting to sit down and look through that shoe box of your middle school notes to friends, but it's also something you can do after you move in, too. Purging and packing time is not a time to get too sentimental or emotional.
Make Packing Easier on Yourself
A few packing tips can make the process a lot easier. If you're on a budget, check out craigslist and see who's giving away moving equipment they don't need before you buy everything from Mailboxes Etc. Of course, if you have the funds, it may be quicker and easier to buy a packing kit, do what works for you. Instead of labeling boxes by contents, label them by the room they're going to occupy. Use sheets and T-shirts as padding. And don't be afraid to pack your dresser drawers with items, too. Just tape over the drawers so they don't fall out during the move. Putting boxes on tables, rather than floors, while you pack is better for your back and energy levels.
Take Care of the Nitty Gritty
This is the part that can be downright scary, especially for a first big move. There are agencies to call and the post office and the doctor's office and records to change. Here are the major things you need to take care of: Find out if your property is insured en route during the move by your home insurer. Ask them if your insurance bills will change with the new location and get a quote, so you can shop around if need be. Do the same with your auto insurance, if necessary. Contact the USPS (you can go to their website) and change your address. Cancel gym memberships, and transfer magazine subscriptions to your new address. If you have medical subscriptions, transfer them to a convenient pharmacy. Call each company responsible for your current utilities and have them canceled or transferred to your new place. Finally, check to see if your current bank is convenient for you to stay with in your new location. There's a Chase ATM on every other block in Manhattan, but not necessarily in your new town or neighborhood. Factor that into whether or not you might want to switch banks before or after the move. If this sounds overwhelming, write this info down in a list, and check it off as you accomplish it.
Keep Your Receipts
Moving can be a big tax write off, so feel free to keep a folder with your receipts nearby. If you need to stay in a hotel, if you've hired movers, whatever expenses are related to your move, keep tabs and have a lower tax bill next tax season.
Don't be Scared to Check out the Package
What package is that? Well, many municipalities create a "new resident" welcome package that's free upon request through city hall. They're chock-full of all kinds of information that will help smooth your new setup over. In fact, if you're just in the early planning stages, as in pricing places and looking at different neighborhoods, you might want to get some of these ahead of time, to help you make your decision.