Here are 8 simple stress reducing tips for the move.

Clear the Junk.

We all have stuff that we’ve been keeping because, well, who really knows why but, we have it. Get rid of it before you start packing. Not easy but, you’ll be happy when you unpack.

Get rid of clutter and stuff you haven’t used, worn or even looked at in over a year. That way, when you’re packing, your packing only the useful, needed things. Time and energy saved,

Give YourSelf Time

If you’re not being pursued by the feds, take some time to move. 8 weeks is a good amount, 12 if it’s a summer move.

More time means less stress, less panic and gives you time to hire movers, set dates and meet deadlines.

Stay organized

Make lists. What you’re going to do and when. Divide those lists into the number of weeks you’ve given yourself to move.

This keeps you organized and it also keeps your progress clear. Progress makes us feel better and on top of the whole nightmare.

Pay Attention to You

Here’s a rule of thumb that’s helpful, if you’re not sleeping enough, then you’ve got to eat right. If you’re getting enough sleep, you can afford some junk food now and then.

You cannot mess with both. If you’re not sleeping and eating only from the ‘eetos’ food group; cheetos, fritos, frozen burritos, then you’re going to get sick. Not good when you’re moving.

Get Help

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. It’s good advice though. Ask friends and neighbors for a helping hand and don’t be shy about it. Don’t try to do it all alone.

An hour or two from several friends or neighbors at different times can make all the difference in the world. Short bits of help allows them to feel useful, avoid injury and get rid of any guilt they may feel watching you haul boxes.

Have back Ups

Not a full on emergency contingency like; let’s just dump the pets, the kids, get the weapons and run, kind of plan but, have back ups in mind.

Keep a list of movers, rental agencies and maybe a calendar of friend’s activities in case you need someone in a pinch. You may never need them but, that’s better than not having them when you do.

Allow Time To Breath

Once you have your schedule mapped out, your lists made, give yourself a few days on either side of the move day, before the date you set and after.

You may need this adjustable movement, the movers may get sick, you may not meet your packing schedule by a few days. A buffer relieves stress, stress relief is good when moving.

Allow Goodbye time

Unless you’re high tailing out of dodge due to some egregious social or moral faux pas, you’re probably going to want to have a proper so long with friends and neighbors.

Set aside time for a party, drinks, dinner, lawn bowling, cock fight, some way to say goodbye to those friends and neighbors and let them say goodbye to you. Also a good time to upload any junk you don’t want to pay to have hauled away.

Other things to keep in mind;

Be Aware of Others

Moving is going to be difficult, even the best, smoothest moves are still going to be stressful, it’s time consuming, it’s expensive. If you have OCD, dear God, it’s horrific, rapidly dismantling a well ordered life. Keep a level head, breath and be aware of the people around you. Taking your stress out on a spouse or partner is not going to be good. They will remember it, believe me, they will.

Honey, I packed the Kids

Keep in mind that, if you have kids, they are going to be hit hard by a move. Especially if you’re moving to a new city. They’re leaving friends, school, familiar comforts. Kids often take moving as the end of the world. You’re not going to have the exact right words to say to assuage their fears completely, don’t beat yourself up about that. Do the best you can, listen and sooth but, then remember, they are going to find their way on their own.

Dear God The Dog!

If you think the move is tough on you, think about your pets. They’re feeling it even more than you are. All these people putting the furniture in a truck, how does your dog know the house isn’t being robbed in an incredibly organized way?

Your cat or dog or llama have taken time to get to know the old place, smell the smells, find the perfect nooks to hide, observe you, plan your imminent death and their world domination. Take time to pay attention to them. Give them extra love, anything you can do to help ease their stress. And keep an eye on them for signs that stress is becoming too much. Weird scratching, unusual noises, doing their business inside the house, heavy drinking and consorting with women of questionable reputation. All could be signs that your pet is not handling it well.

Now for some tips about the actual nuts and bolts of packing.

-Organize a packing supplies basket; tape, scissors, labels, sharpies … bourbon.

-Take a photo of your cords. Before you unplug, photograph the cord set up on the back of your TV, computer and other electronic devices. Chances are the manuals are gone so, this will help.

-Defrost, dry and clean the fridge 24-48 hours before the move. It’s going to avoid a wet, stinky, sticky mess on the other side. If you’re not taking the fridge, hide stuff in there for the next tenants of the house. My favorite choices are cheese, a pair of underwear or a monkey. Oh they will laugh and laugh.

-Keep clothes in the closet on the hangers and just wrap them in a garbage bag. Keeps them all together and you can just hang them up in the new closet.

-Use wine cases for glassware, This is a great idea, you can just slip in cups, wine glasses, vases and they are safe and snug. Added benefit, you have to empty the wine case before you can use it.

-Connect necklaces through a toilet paper roll. This helps avoid tangling and snarling and possible breakage.

-Keep earrings rings and smaller jewelry in an egg carton. Yes, I know, an egg carton. It works.

-Put soft items; pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, Uncle Phil, in garbage bags and they can be used for padding between fragile items in the moving truck.

-Make a first night kit. A box with stuff you’ll need right away and put it in the car, not the moving truck. You’ll want things like; Toilet paper, toiletries, meds, snacks, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, candles, matches, disposable plates and utensils. Basic stuff you may think you’ll need. And bourbon.

-Drain all the gas and oil from lawn equipment. Keep it in non flammable containers and in a cool place.

-Invest in some convenience boxes. Those wardrobe boxes with the hanging bar in them, a little expensive but really worth it for keeping expensive suits, nice dresses and your charcuterie wrinkle free.

-Lay everything out before you pack the truck. This is a great way to see all you have and how you’re going to actually pack the truck. Also, if the stress leading to the move has been too much and your husband is just impossible, the move can easily become a yard sale.

-Pack the truck as tight as possible. This lowers the chance of movement and possible damage during the drive. Especially if your driver is a wanted criminal and he suddenly finds himself engaged on a high speed chase mid move.

Above all, try to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. Remember, it will be over eventually. And, if you think you’re having moving trouble, stop and read this article about some nightmare stories about moving in NYC.

Hope this has been helpful, it sure helped me and made my recent move so much easier and less stressful. For more detail, this is a great article about moving under all sorts of conditions.

How about you, have you moved lately and learned some things that you think would be helpful to know? Drop them off in the comments section.