Moving Pains: Transitioning into a new home
Transferring houses can be like growing pains – on one hand, you’re thrilled at this exciting new chapter of life, often after an agonizing period of searching, finalizing, and processing; on the other hand, there are more than few adjustments to make, many of which can be uncomfortable for an initial period.
Under such circumstances, the best way to cope with any hurdles gracefully is to have a structured game plan. While you may be tempted to view the living-in-a-new-home as the next experience to anticipate, it would be best to consider the transition itself as a large-scale event with necessary preparations.
This event can be divided into two phases, providing a sense of structure to what would otherwise be a chaotic several days of home life: the packing, and unpacking – preparing to leave your current home, and polishing the new abode in the most efficient way possible.
Packing: Planning, pruning, and processing
- MAKE A LIST
First things first, you want to have structure for the whole moving process: a checklist of paperwork and other tasks, an organized plan for each room in the new house, a list of major things to bring – think of what you need to do before, during, and after the unpacking process, and lay these out on paper. Sure, it may be time-consuming at first especially if you’re not too fond of planning, but this will save you plenty of time and energy overall.
If you’re not moving alone, it would also be wise to get input from other family members involved. This will also give them a sense of responsibility that you can utilize by assigning minor tasks. Older kids can search online for establishments close to the new address, while young adults can occasionally check on the house in your place.
- DEAL WITH YOUR JUNK
Admit it: unless you’re proactively into the minimalist lifestyle, you have corners, shelves, or even a room more-or-less full of clutter or even personal effects that you haven’t laid a hand on for over a year. While many have a hard time letting go even of unused items, moving houses is the perfect excuse to finally rid your inventory of dust-collectors. You can even hold a house-clearing yard sale to make an extra buck.
Otherwise, you can organize junk into “Dispose” and “Donate” boxes. Allow trash to go where trash belongs and extend a hand to those in need – schools, libraries, and local welfare organizations would be more than thankful to receive gifts in kind. Get unnecessary weight off your shoulders instead of chucking everything into “Moving” boxes, and don’t forget to…
- ANNOUNCE THE MOVE
While it will be easy to send a mass text message or inform your circle through online group conversations the day you move, you should take extra care to ensure that your documents are taken care of in advance: your listed address on utilities and billing, banking information, and delivery systems should be updated. It may also be helpful to go through the past six months’ worth of your mail to check who else need to be informed of your change of residence.
- SAY FAREWELL
This is especially important for youngsters, but a clever way overall to mentally prepare for the next chapter of home life. Transferring to a new home is a positive event, but it at the same time, it can register as a loss that needs to be grieved. Children who had no say in moving out of a house filled with happy experiences can benefit from being given time to “say goodbye” to their room and other favorite corners of what will soon become an old home.
Depending on the scope and distance of the move – across the city, to another province, or overseas – it will also be important to bid farewell to the routines and community closely tied to the house. Just as everyone will need time to process leaving, allot a schedule and…
- PACK AHEAD OF TIME
Part of the planning process should be to schedule a timeline for packing, so that it isn’t done in a rush and no important items are forgotten or packed carelessly. Start with the rooms least used, and gradually set aside only the most essential items to leave out until the last day, so that you have plenty of time to finalize and double-check the boxes.
As you pack, you can make use of the following tips:
- Utilize large pots and travel bags. Pack small kitchen essentials like utensils, condiments, and food containers into your larger pots. Travel bags like suitcases and duffels can also hold personal belongings like toiletries, desk essentials, and other paraphernalia. Making use of these as substitute boxes will help maximize space in your moving vehicle and make unpacking a much more efficient process.
- Be creative with cushioning. For fragile objects like mugs, glass frames and décor, and electronics with no available box, you can save on buying bubble wrap by simply putting to use thick blankets and towels to safeguard them. It’s yet another bonus space-saver for packing the said items.
- Organize by room. You do not want to have a disorganized stack of boxes that you need to check one-by-one before unloading when you arrive. Prior to moving day, mark your main moving containers and identify which one goes to which room or area of the new house. This will provide immediate direction for the unpacking process and help other members of the family or moving staff know where to place things.
- Prepare for moving day itself. Keep in mind that on the day you move, you will still need to eat, freshen up, take breaks, and remain in contact with people. Prepare for this by making an advanced plan for meals and having plenty of water on hand. Perhaps order some takeout in advance, ensuring you’ve got one restroom ready to use, and even have a playlist and mini speaker to make the process a tad less tiring.
Lastly, before taking off from your old house, make sure you have at least done or serviced a deep-clean for the new house to ensure it is spick and span for you to settle into.
Unpacking: Secure, stay, and socialize
- CHECK ON LOCKS & SECURITY
Arranging furniture and unpacking won’t be done in 24 hours. Before the sun sets on the first day, double-check the overall home safety of the new residence – are there any risky spots in the walls or gates? Do all the lights outside work, and which ones can be left on overnight for added security? Part of this is also ensuring all the electrical outlets and fuse box are in top condition.
As a precaution, bring in your own padlocks and take care of all the exits and entrances on the first day – a hectic household with plenty of open boxes and busy people may expose you to thievery, so be vigilant. As you get more settled, aim to have all the outer locks replaced, reset any keyless security devices, and be mindful of the balcony as well as window latches.
- LAY THE GROUNDWORK: MAJOR FIXTURES
To officially start the unpacking process, get the major things done first: large furniture, broad surfaces, curtains, and anything mounted like shelves should be installed to give you a feel for how to arrange the smaller objects in each room. It will also be easier to rearrange and shift furniture placements during this period, in case some spaces turn out to be more crowded than expected. This will be the ideal time to remedy any furniture getting in the way of doors, and child-proof (or pet-proof) where needed.
- ONE ROOM AT A TIME
Starting with the kitchen and dining area as these are the most essential common areas of the house, unpack and arrange one room at a time and not all at once. The coded moving boxes should be plenty of help at this stage, saving you time and effort. Still, on the first day aim to only place the essentials because it is a must to…
- SPEND FEW NIGHTS BEFORE FINALIZING THINGS
That snug corner you thought was perfect for a study desk may be the recipient of noise from the neighborhood at a certain time of day. A high vent may bring rays of sunlight directly to your eyes, disturbing peaceful mornings. There are things you cannot discover about a house until you spend several days in it, so try to do so and make the necessary adjustments within a week.
- GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD
While getting chummy with a new community may not be everyone’s cup of a tea, try taking the time to greet neighbors when you encounter them and don’t be afraid to ask questions (e.g., trash day schedules, reliable home services, etc.). It’s an effective way to build rapport and trust, which will provide a deeper sense of security eventually.
Taking note of these tips and having a game plan for your move is sure to pay off, and the more efficiently you’ll be able to transfer, the earlier you can sit back and enjoy the newest chapter of your home life.
Remember that overall, a house is more than just a place to live in. Consider the experiences that await you and your household in the new location and make the most of them by being careful and intentional with how you set up your residence.