“Moving” brings to mind a variety of connotations, such as “The actor’s performance was very moving,” or, “I don’t know about you, but I’ll be moving to rescind the HOA’s decision at our next meeting.” The use of the word that evokes either intense excitement or nauseating indigestion, however, would be “We’ll be moving out of our home at the end of the month.” If you’re part of the latter group, and just the thought of all the boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and empty take-out containers that will engulf you over the coming weeks is enough to send you running, stay tuned. With some planning and thoughtful organization on the front-end, you may just come out with your sanity intact on the back-end.
If your move brings you to the Denver metro area, even better! The housing market in Denver continues to grow as people are drawn to Colorado’s beautiful climate, which averages 300 sunny days per year. Add that to the wide range of accessible outdoor activities, cultural performances, and professional sports teams, and you might find packing and moving a little less abhorrent. We’ve compiled this list of practical tips to help make your next move a little less exasperating.
10 Ways to Mitigate Moving Stress
- Schedule a Moving Crew
If you plan to hire professional movers, obtain quotes from at least three different companies. Be prepared to tell them the square footage of the home you’re moving out of, the number of beds, couches, etc., and details such as how many staircases they will be required to navigate. If you have a piano, be sure to ask if moving it is included in the quote or not, as some moving companies either will not move them at all, or will do so only if the client waives any right to claim damages to the instrument. If hiring professionals isn’t in your budget, be sure to reserve a rental truck with time to spare, and rent one that is large enough to hold all of your household belongings. Recruiting friends to help on moving day can be a great way to boost manpower, but be respectful of their time and don’t ask at the last minute. Either way–professionals or pals–make sure you’re prepared when they arrive so that you make the most of their time.
- Prepare a Moving Budget
Moving is more expensive than you may think, and the cost will vary depending upon the distance of your move. There are the obvious expenses of movers, trucks, etc., but don’t forget to budget for packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape. You may be able to pick up some free boxes on Craig’s List or NextDoor from neighbors who are on the downhill side of moving, but in all likelihood you’ll have to make a trip or two to the store to buy some packing materials of your own. Consider also that, once you start packing in earnest, you won’t be doing much cooking, so allotting a portion of your budget for DoorDash or UberEats would be smart. Gasoline and other transportation costs will vary depending upon the distance of your move and how many vehicles you are transporting, but also need consideration as you budget your move.
- Don’t Forget to Say Thanks!
And speaking of budgeting, don’t forget to have cash on hand to tip the moving crew (if you’ve hired professionals) or to treat everyone to pizza for lunch. Having a cooler full of chilled bottled water to share shows your help that you’re mindful of their comfort. In the words of Amy Rees Anderson, “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” Let people know how much their help–hired or not–means to you.
- Repack Electronics in Original Boxes
If you’re the person who always saves original boxes from every printer, computer, laptop, or television you’ve ever purchased, now is your time to shine. Those items really will travel better and more safely in their original packaging. (Just ignore the silent eye-rolling from your significant other and smile back with an “I told you so.”).
- Pack a Tracking Device
For long-distance moves, when you’re trusting a moving company with the entirety of your worldly belongings, pack a fully-charged iPad, iPhone, or other iOS device in one of the boxes that will go on the moving van. Using the Find my Phone app allows you to track the progress of your household goods and know where they are located on their journey to your new home.
- Take Photos Before Packing
Before you begin taking pictures off of the walls and books off the shelves, take a moment to snap some photos. From a sentimental standpoint, you’ll be glad in years to come to have a record of the home in which you spent part of your life, but practically speaking, you’ll want to have a record of valuables in case anything gets damaged in the course of the move. If you have any special wall gallery collections or displays that you are likely to want to replicate in your new home, you’ll thank yourself to have a reference photo later, when you’re unpacking and getting settled.
- Protect Belongings by Packing Smart
Use heavy blankets to wrap around framed artwork and mirrors, then wrap and seal with either packing tape or cellophane wrap. You get the benefit of protecting your framed art and not having to fill countless large boxes with bulky blankets and bedding. For items that are in boxes, mark the boxes clearly with their intended destinations in your new home so that people who are unloading on the other end of the move will know exactly where to take them (so that you don’t end up with all of the kitchen pots, pans, and utensils on the bottom of a stack of boxes out in the garage).
- Take a Last Look
Once everything has been packed and the house is empty, go back and do a walk-through to check for any forgotten items. It’s easy to leave belongings in closets, cupboards, in the shower, and in the garage or shed. When you’re tired it’s tempting to leave unwanted items behind for the next owner/occupant to deal with; remember that they’re going to be tired from moving, too, and won’t want to dispose of your moving crumbs any more than you do. Hiring someone to clean the home for the new owners takes the burden off of your tired shoulders and provides a warm welcome to the new occupants.
- Pack a ‘Moving Day Essentials’ Box
Pack one box (and mark it clearly) that contains fundamentals like paper towels. hand soap, toilet paper, cleaning spray, phone chargers, a small first-aid kit, internet cables, and maybe a snack or two. You may even wish to leave this box off of the main moving van and keep it with you.
- Bring a Door Stop
A door stop, you ask? Yes, bring two! And you’re right–they can go in the Moving Day Essentials box, but it’s important enough to get a bullet point of its own. With all of the traffic going in and out of the house and heavy boxes and furniture being hefted about, having door stops to wedge front and back doors open proves a small but mighty help in the hubbub.
If moving to Denver is in your future, let Sheffield Homes help you find and build your forever home. With over forty years’ experience in the residential home construction industry in the Denver metro area and in northern Colorado, we know the ins and outs of building in the Mile High City. Let’s work together to build your next home! Call 303-420-0056.