Moving is said to be one of the most stressful experiences that people can go through, however there are many ways to make the process fairly painless and stress-free. All it takes is organisation, time and a positive attitude.
Instead of focusing on the negative and time-consuming task of packing, transform it into an opportunity for organising your life and getting rid of all the unnecessary items that you have accumulated over the years. It may seem difficult at first, but the process is quite refreshing and psychologically ‘cleansing’.
It’s also quite fun rediscovering items that you have forgotten about. It’s a time for reflection and decision-making – think of it as spring-cleaning on a grander scale. The task may seem daunting at first, but if you break it down into segments, giving yourself enough time to process everything, it will become fairly simple.
The first thing to do is make a list of everything that needs to be done. Once written down, it’s easy to tick off chores and tasks one by one. Set yourself a goal each day for what you can realistically accomplish and get friends and family to help.
When it comes to packing, make sure you have enough boxes. These can be bought or recycled from supermarkets. Many supermarkets around the country will willingly give up their used packaging boxes if you simply collect them from the stores.
When packing, also make sure you label your boxes very carefully. It’s easy to chuck something in, but when you have to unpack the box again in your new home it can be very frustrating if you’re looking for something specific and don’t know here to find it. To make sure that you do not lose any boxes, number them and write the name of the room down. For example: ‘Kitchen 1/10 (mugs and bowls) or ‘lounge 3/10 (photo frames and albums)’. This will tell you how many boxes you have for each specific room. Keep the boxes from the same room together so it’s easy to keep control over where everything is.
It’s very important to prioritise. Start packing the items you need the least first, like photo albums, books, clothes that are for a different season (ie: if it’s summer, pack away your winter clothes). This way you can divide up your time, only packing the every-day essentials right at the end. Also remember that material items are just ‘things’ and that you can live without them (or replace them) if needs be. So do not stress if something breaks during the moving process.
Feelings or anxiety and sadness may arise if you have become attached to your current home, but remember to focus on the positive aspects of the new home. Concentrate on what you love about the new place, whether it be a view, a section of the garden, a good kitchen – anything that will help you mentally and emotionally to start letting go of the current home and create positive feelings towards the new home.
Work out a budget. Ask yourself whether you can you afford a moving company with big trucks and many helpers or only a small team. Remember to ask friends and family to help. If you can’t afford a moving company, find someone with a bakkie to carry the big items or furniture. This does however take more time and will cost a fair amount in petrol due to driving back and forth between the old house and the new house, so weigh up the costs. While doing it by yourself means that you have more control over the moving, it also means a lot of added work, carrying and lifting. These factors need to be considered if you have children or old people living with you.
Start getting quotes from moving companies early on and book your moving date in advance as companies can get quite booked up. Remember to make sure you stipulate any requirements you might have and mark containers with the word ‘fragile’ where necessary. Remember that different companies offer different moving packages, from packing for you, moving and unpacking, to simply picking up and dropping off goods.
When the moving day arrives, it’s good to get an early start and eat a good breakfast because normal meal times will be interrupted. Remember to stay hydrated and keep calm throughout the day as getting flustered doesn’t create a good atmosphere or make anything go any faster. Just relax and remain calm and make the best of the experience.