Summer is fast approaching and for many Americans that means it’s time to move. By and large, summer is the most popular season for moving to a new house, and it’s easy to see why. School is out, so households with children don’t have to change schools in the middle of the academic year. It’s also preferable to move in balmy weather rather than to risk icy roads during the winter.
Between 2012 and 2013, more than 35.9 million people moved homes. A popular saying many movers have heard is that the second most stressful life event is moving, preceded only by a relative’s death. Thankfully, that myth has been debunked, but moving into a new house can still be incredibly stressful if you aren’t prepared for the big day. So what can you do to prepare you and your family for this exciting next step in your life?
Here are 7 important ways you can prepare for a summer move:
1. Make contacts well in advance
Reach out to moving companies and friends ahead of time! If you plan on asking friends for help, do so months in advance. Summer is peak moving season, so if you’re using a moving company, you will want to reserve your spot as soon as you can. Even if you don’t have an exact date just yet, contact companies and start getting quotes, as this will save you the headache of comparing prices and services down the line.
2. Have refreshments ready for everyone
Moving is hard, sweaty work, and it’s even worse in the sizzling heat. The summer of 2015 is already anticipated to be a scorcher, with more 90° days than last year. Heat stroke can be a real threat, so make sure everyone – family, friends and hired movers alike – are well hydrated and are taking breaks. If you are making back-and-forth trips, stock cooled drinks and snacks at both houses! Everyone will thank you profusely for it.
3. Enlist the kids in the move
If the kids are able-bodied and old enough to help out in the moving process, don’t let idle hands go to waste. Figuring out how to let the kids help with your move shouldn't be stressful. Assign the kids a task they can take ownership of and communicate that while moving can be scary, it is also an exciting opportunity for the whole family. Let your child pack their own belongings, and trust them with responsibilities they can handle. If the kids are unable to help out with the move, ask a friend to watch them for the day so you can focus on moving out safely and efficiently.
4. Take advantage of yard sale weather
According to the Statistic Brain Research Center, about 690,000 Americans buy something at a yard sale each week. Yard sales are a terrific, sustainable opportunity for getting rid of your old junk. If you are currently in an apartment, you can still set up shop at a communal tag sale or borrow a friend’s yard. There are a lot of secret tactics out there for holding your own yard sale. For example, the best time to open your sale is at 7:00 AM on a Saturday.
5. Check that utilities are set up in your new home
It can be an unpleasant surprise to arrive at your new home, only to discover that the air conditioning is broken, or the water’s been shut off. Coordinate with the previous owners to check that the appliances are functioning, and if you want them to leave the utilities on, make sure to communicate this to them. The last thing you want to worry about in the middle of your move is where the nearest appliance store is. Use our handy checklist to make sure you don't forget any important address changes.
6. Protect heat-sensitive items
Do some research on what items can be transferred in the back of the moving truck, and which items should go with you in the air-conditioned car. Wax candles, aerosols and electronics, for example, should not be boxed up in the sweltering heat for hours at a time. Sort these items in a separate box and clearly label them so you know to transport them with you in the car. As soon as you reach your destination, bring the boxes indoors.
7. Make a Moving Day kit
After a long, grueling day of moving boxes and furniture, no doubt you will want to take a relaxing shower! Keep daily essentials, like toiletries and a fresh change of clothes, in a knapsack so you won’t be forced to dig through piles of boxes for a fresh towel when you are most tired. This will save you a lot of stressful unpacking later on, and you’ll be able to relax if you aren’t worried about where you put essential items.
Moving is renowned for being a stressful mess, but it doesn’t have to be! With careful preparation and good organization skills, you can anticipate any scenario that comes your way this summer. After you have readied yourself for the big move, you can look forward to enjoying the hot summer weather in your new home.