I came to think about the moving process as I stood in line at the UHaul rental store (Yes...I drove a UHaul truck in the city!) and was mesmerized by the large number of individuals waiting in line with us at 7:00am on a Wednesday. Some people looked bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for the day; others looked like they had stayed up all night throwing their belongings in boxes for yet another move. I think I fell somewhere in the middle with a positive attitude, but a "Let's get this show on the road" mentality. On a side note, I was rather annoyed by the middle aged man who stood 2 people in front of us in line, then proceeded to take up time trying to return 2 unused moving boxes. When the lady said he needed the receipt he then tried to exchange the unused medium boxes for small boxes. Patience were running low by many of the line waiters for this poor guy!
Anyways, I digress...June apparently is a VERY popular month for Chicago movers and the personalities of the movers I observed were vast. Here are a couple tips for reducing stress during the moving process for all personality types:
- Give yourself plenty of time to pack. Do a little everyday or week for up to eight weeks prior to the move. Having to do it all the week or day before will do nothing but cause stress and chaos.
- Keep yourself organized. Clearly label boxes with contents, or at least which room the contents belong in.
- Purge clutter. Don't pack up the clothes you "might wear again." Now is the time to donate your belongings/furniture that you no longer wear or use. No need to travel with things that will continue to be stored away and re-forgotten about. If you are getting new furniture, donate the old stuff. Some places will even come and pick up your unwanted belongings.
- Ask for help. Friends will typically be willing to help because they too, at some point, will need help. Favor for a favor, when it comes to moving, is just fine. Don't feel bad asking! Thank your friends by getting coffee and donuts the morning of the move, and buy pizza/sandwiches/beer later in the day. Having friends around can make the move as fun as a move can be!
- Rest up. The night before a move don't try and stay up all night finishing things up. Feeling fresh and rested will make the entire day run more smoothly.
- Be flexible. If an item gets broken or the rental truck keys magically disappear don't freak out. Take a couple deep breaths, realize that it's not the end of the world, and then reassess. Accidents happen and there is nothing that can be fixed by getting all bent out of shape.
- Have fun. It's better to find things throughout the day to laugh at, take a break when you are sick of the unpacking process, and just know that when it's all over with, you will be able to explore your new neighborhood!
If you are moving, try to stay stress free by following these tips. If you are not, but know a friend or family member that is, ask if they need help.
*ADDED MOVING BONUS* The moving process is a great workout...no need to hit the gym that day!