How to Move Stress-free During the Pandemic

These four steps can help.

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The best thing anyone can do right now is to find safety in their own home. But for some, this year may also mean a change of homes. Add that to pandemic stressors.

This is what happened to my partner and I last month. Our apartment lease was coming to an end and with new perspective in mind from this year, we made the difficult decision to move. Thankfully, we were only moving within the same city (N.Y.C.) to a different neighborhood.

Given the times we’re living in, we still wanted to make sure we took all the precautions possible and find ways to add more comfort to the process to keep our stress levels in check. This is how we made it happen.

1. Plan the process, from start to finish, in advance.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when moving is simply blocking out the calendar for the day of the move and figuring it out as they go. This is where you end up running into unnecessary headaches, last-minute needs, calling a friend for favors, and more. Especially amid the pandemic, trying to do things at the last-minute can be either costly or impossible.

In advance, think about:

  • Setting a budget for your move from start to finish.
  • Planning a timeframe to purge things you don’t want to take to the new place (ask yourself what are you donating, selling, tossing).
  • How much and what packing materials you need (boxes, tape, tools, etc.).
  • Planning a timeframe to get packing done (we actually opted in for a packing service to save us time and packing materials).
  • Does your current or incoming building have any insurance requirements that you need to coordinate in advance?
  • Child or pet care you’ll need for the days you’re moving or getting work done.

The days before:

  • Confirming scheduled times with movers or support.
  • Cleaning out your fridge.
  • Last-minute dry cleaning or laundry.
  • How you’ll move sensitive items like plants and perishable foods
  • Packing a day-of bag with essentials you’ll need on hand and toiletries and clothes to get you through the moving days while everything is packed.
  • Checking C.D.C. Guidelines & recommendations in your local area to ensure proper care amid COVID-19.

Days following the move:

  • Doing a final property check and any household & administrative transitions (more on that below).
  • Scheduling in days to unpack (essentials first).
  • Giving yourself at least one full rest day (more on that below).

2. Pick the right movers to get the job done.

There are a range of factors which can trip you up on your move day that can cause a headache. Picking the right movers is one of the biggest factors that will influence if you feel zen or exhausted on your move day.

Shortlist professionals with up to date and recent reviews online, check their credentials, social channels, and ask them all the right questions. Getting a guaranteed flat rate, finding a company with comprehensive insurance, and receiving excellent customer service are just some of the qualities you should expect as standard with your move. You should also confirm what precautions they’re taking to ensure safety amid COVID-19.

Some movers can also provide additional services that provide extra comfort, like storage options and packing services. I’ve always opted in for professional support and found a great experience with Piece of Cake Moving.

3. Make necessary household & lifestyle transitions within a few days of the move.

Moving is about so much more than getting your “stuff” from Point A to Point B. Especially if you’re moving outside of your current city or state, there are lots of changes that will need to get taken care of. Gather resources to make these changes in advance, and ensure they’re handled or addressed within a few days of your move to truly have a smooth transition.

Think about:

  • Transitioning over your utility bills.
  • Setting up mail forwarding.
  • Updating addresses on your subscription services.
  • Updating addresses on your bills and financial accounts.
  • Updating your “default” addresses online so you don’t make accidental purchases to an old home.
  • Finding a new doctor, hospital, and pharmacy in your area.
  • And any additional needs in the childcare and pet space (like daycare, schools or a vet).

4. Giving yourself the necessary time to rest and pace yourself in the unpacking process.

With all this movement, planning, and change, you deserve a break. Actually, you’ll need a break. I recommend planning at least one total self-care day.

The unpacking can happen over time, at your own pace. Turn on meditation tracks, give yourself a warm bath, call a friend, whatever it takes for you to have a day that doesn’t feel like “work” amid all you’ve had to do with a move.

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