How to Plan Ahead for the Big Home Move and Make Life Easier
Although it’s one of the most demanding pressures on time, money, and energy (which is why nobody likes doing it), at some point, moving is going to be inevitable. And it’s usually a big job that requires a lot of preparation in advance, with much more to it than just finding a storage service and booking a truck, or hiring professional movers. However, the biggest part of the whole moving process happens before you actually move.
It consists of two essential steps:
- Thinking ahead – Anticipating when you’re going to need resources for moving and storage
- Taking action – Coordinating these and other resources associated with changing your residence
By splitting the process up into two separately manageable areas, it becomes easier to determine the scope of your move and the many resources you will require to complete it. Now let’s take a closer look at these steps…
Thinking Ahead: Reasons You Need to Move and Use Storage
Buying or selling a home
Buying or selling a home is a big decision, and requires a lot of preparation to do it successfully. There are often upgrades and repairs you need to perform beforehand – otherwise, you’ll have a hard time convincing prospective buyers that “antique” plumbing or roofing tiles are catchy trends. And you’ll also have to remove a multitude of furniture items and personal effects to properly stage the home for showcasing. In another situation, you may have already sold your house, but your new home is still not available on your move-out date, which means you’ll find yourself temporarily stuck in residential limbo. In either event, you’ll need a self-storage solution to stash some or all of your household belongings until you can completely settle into your highly-anticipated new home.
If you’re moving into a smaller home, you’ll have to rethink which items you’ll take with you, and which ones you won’t. And this means you’ll have to declutter in order to strip your household belongings down to the minimum. However, even though you’ll end up giving away or throwing out years’ worth of accumulation, there’s bound to be a few items that’ll have you stumped – because they’re still perfectly good, right? And you’re so attached to them! But at the same time, you sure don’t want the comfy, old oversized sectional couch dwarfing the space in your new, much cozier home, either. As you figure out the ultimate fate of these kinds of items, you could consider putting them in a modest self-storage unit for a spell until you decide.
If you’re a home owner, you’ll eventually experience the desire to renovate some aspect of your house. If the renovations are taking place within the home’s interior, it may well be necessary to remove various pieces of furniture and belongings off-site altogether. Depending on the extent of the renovations, this may end up including virtually your entire household, as you prepare to live elsewhere for the duration – unless you prefer sleeping on an air mattress on the floor for weeks on end, surrounded by dusty plastic sheeting. Fortunately, self-storage presents several flexible size options that let you start with a small unit at first, and then, gradually, as the renovations progress and become more complex, you’ll have the option to upgrade to more suitable size.
School or a job
When it comes to your academic or career advancement, you might come across a lucrative or prestigious offer that’s just too good to pass up – even if that means moving away temporarily to a different city or abroad. Whether it’s a one-year research grant at Oxford or an eight-month contract in Dubai, you might not be so enthusiastic about getting rid of your entire possessions for such a short duration. And of course, twice a schoolyear thousands of Canadian students move to and from college or university – and if you’re one of them, you’ll need a space for your dorm-room items to (literally) lie dormant until the next semester. For either of these situations, self-storage is the most flexible and affordable option available on a short-term basis.
Relationships and Family
Families grow – marriage, then children; and families shrink – divorce, or the “empty nest”. When you go through major life changes, the size of your household is directly affected, and in turn, it will determine the size of your home. Planning on getting married? When two homes merge together, there’s bound to be items that won’t be an ideal fit, but don’t deserve to be discarded, either. So if your partner’s not keen about your vintage bean-bag chairs, or your precious collection of over 500 “rare” VHS tapes which you actually do watch, make sure they stay “extra-marital” by putting them in storage. If you’re older and your children have already grown up and moved out (permanently, you hope), you’ll eventually consider selling the four-bedroom house, so you can put the proceeds towards the new mainstays of your emerging lifestyle – a condominium, and retirement. And when you’re finally ready to become a Snowbird, you’ll be on the lookout for somewhere safe and affordable to safeguard all those heirlooms and keepsakes for the next generation.
Taking Action: Organizing the Perfect Move
Okay, now that you’ve figured out that you’re going to be moving, the most important key to a successful move is total organization. And let’s face it, there are just so many things to tackle that you’ll have a tough time keeping track of everything. Besides, because moving is so complicated, you’re likely to forget something, somewhere along the way – and not just leaving a few boxes behind by mistake, either. So what’s the best way to stay organized?
Get professional help
Not everyone likes the DIY experience, and in some cases, the complexity of the circumstances involving the move is just too overwhelming or messy to manage alone. Fortunately, there are organization and transition specialists who do a fantastic job of helping you plan out every aspect of changing your residence, no matter what your situation, and can provide the same service level as a temporary concierge or personal assistant, and some even offer coaching. These professional services can include everything from helping you declutter and pack, connecting you with essential community resources and services, or even complete stress management for major transitions. But, these services are not economical for everyone. On average, a professional organizer will charge around $50/hr or more, and depending on the sophistication of your needs or the services you want, this figure can definitely add up, on top of your other moving and storage related expenses.
Apps and online resources
If your budget is a big factor in determining the resources available for your move, you can always use an online solution to help control the costs. Best of all, using an online or mobile solution is often absolutely free. There are various types of free virtual-assistant mobile apps that give you more convenience in organizing your move, such as helping you track your boxes and contents, providing you with task checklists and practical tips, and assisting you in finding local movers, along with reviews and service quotes.
Alternatively, if you want to be the black-belt champion of planning things yourself, but don’t want the hassle of divvying up your activities through different tools, you can go for a full-scale, comprehensive online service like iammoving.ca, which enables you to easily arrange and streamline every aspect of your move in a single web session. Instead of visiting dozens of other sites to do everything from updating your address on your umpteen account profiles to renting a truck, at no cost you can coordinate the entire process in one go – think of this as a one-stop shop to get all the important things done in one place, one time, such as getting quotes from local service providers, switching over your home’s utilities and insurance, and making sure your mail will be forwarded after you move. And, happily, you won’t have to keep retyping your new address over and over and over and over.
With enough advance planning and anticipation, moving does not have be a dreadful chore that mutates into chaos. When you start thinking ahead, you’ll stay ahead of your move; and moreover, if you take advantage of the variety of helpful resources available, you’ll stay in control, too. The next time around, it’ll be it’ll be a breeze!