Getting Ready to Move? 5 Steps to Slash Stress


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Did you just get a notice from your landlord? If you’ve been living in your home for some time, getting notice can be difficult and stressful.

Suddenly, you realize just how much you’ve gathered. All those little collections, all those ‘have to have’ items seem to loom in front of you. Don’t worry you can get ready to move—with less stress. Here are 5 steps to have a happy move to your new home.

Embrace Decluttering

Whether you’re a fan of Marie Kondo or not, it helps to declutter your home before moving. Reducing your possessions has become the new normal. It means simply that you’re evaluating the items in your home. You’re making sure that things you have around you are enjoyable, current, and valuable to you now.

There’s a distinctive difference between things you may have enjoyed when you first bought them 20 years ago. They may be broken, chipped, or dull. The original joy and shine are long gone.

Give yourself a chance to start fresh. Begin with decluttering your valuables. Experts such as Kondo recommend starting with out-of-season things first. This makes it easier to let go of the old and make room for the new.

Ditch and Donate

A key phrase that can help you with decluttering is one that is easy to remember. Pick a phrase that works for you. It may be a phrase such as: “When in doubt – throw it out.” Or: “Ditch and donate.” Or: “Does it spark joy?”

Find the phrase that helps you the most. There is no single right or wrong way to declutter. However, words matter. Pick words that inspire letting go. Think of letting go as being more like a waterfall than a trickle. 

If you find yourself using words that inspire picky sorting, adjust your language. Words such as winnowing, selecting, dissecting, and abandoning do not inspire letting go. These words inspire holding on with sentimental attachment. That’s not what you need right now.

Aim for more flowing descriptions such as: letting go, releasing, and freeing. Ditch the words that do not inspire giving things away. You’ll have a lot more fun and an easier time with the process.

Stop Polling

Home means different things for different people. If you start polling your friends, family, and neighbors about where to live – you’ll get a lot of caring advice and diverse opinions. Your anxiety and nervous tension are likely to increase. Suddenly you have an overload of advice, opinions, and questions.

The best thing to do: stop polling. Discover your own preferences for your next move. Then, when you’ve decided, let people know your new address.

This may seem odd or awkward at first. However, this is your move. Enjoy having an open field to explore what you want to do next. Listen to your heart and find your next home.

Deal With The Fix-It List

When you’ve been in a house or apartment for years, there’s a Fix-It List. This is the list of items you’ve been waiting to get to. Maybe you thought you’d do it yourself. Perhaps you have a friend who enjoys helping out with plumbing, electrical, or fix-it jobs. But, he’s been out of town, busy, or swamped with other projects.

Now is the time to get real and deal with the List. For instance, if you’re living in San Diego, do a quick Internet search to find a San Diego plumber; if you’re in Manhattan, search for a Manhattan plumber. Find actual experts who can help you get things fixed. Get leaky faucets, blocked pipes, or clogged drains ready for the next tenant. This is not the time to DIY – get an expert and get it done now.

Find Your Best Next

While it can be sad, stressful, or challenging to leave a place you’ve loved – it’s also a fresh start.

As you look for your new home, focus on things that will be improvements. For example, you may never have had a private garden, a bathtub, or a view. In your next dwelling, look for a spot with features that are not in your current home.

Keep your eye out for neighborhood delights that you may have missed. You may be able to snag a place near a beach, a park, or a running trail. Score a spot near your favorite farmer’s market. With a little work, you can find a place that is even better than where you’ve been living.

Guess what? It’s a lot easier to move when you’re moving towards something desirable.


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