Stress free moving sounds amazing and IS possible, the trick is to know what stresses you out and beat it at its own game. Moving is one of the biggest stress events in someone’s life. It’s no small task whether you’re moving down the street or across the country; there is nothing easy about moving. And when things get hard, stress is sure to surface. I recently moved and was caught off guard. For some reason, in my mind, I thought moving was a matter of taking our stuff from one place to another, simple, right? Yet, moving is so much more than that. Learn what creates stress when moving and what I did to relieve it.
The #1 thing you must do for stress free moving
This post isn’t about packing boxes or creating piles of “keep”, “donate”, “recycle”, or “pitch”. Let’s imagine that the boxes and furniture are dropped off at the new house. You have packed up your old house and are now in the new home. At this moment in time, your mind is swirling: I need to make the bed, clean the toilets, wash down the kitchen, change the address, set up the internet, grocery shop, get the kid’s rooms figured out, etc. However, if you’re like me, the very first thing my mind gravitates towards is getting the environment functional so I can accomplish all these jobs and get organized. In other words, if my “workspace” isn’t pleasant, I won’t be pleasant.
Step 1 in stress free moving: Home Odor 101
Satisfy the nose. This is the air you breathe! What does your new home smell like? Are you happy with that? If not, what can you do right now to fix it?
The smell in our new home was not good. I said goodbye to stress free moving because the smell was driving me nuts! The home is 19 years old, as you know with age comes odor. The first thing my nosed grabbed was the numerous scented candles the previous owner lit. I actually asked her about all the candles when we walked through the house for the first time, and she told me she was stressed and candles calmed her. Well, she certainly was stressed a lot, and come to find out, I think the house stressed her out!
Most of the time scented candles smell good, but when you get too much of a good thing, nothing is good. Yes, candles can help the house smell better in the short term, but it’s just masking the real problem. Hence, there was a smell in the basement, which gave me a sense that mold was present.
HOW TO FIX THE SMELLS
There were a few things we did to fix the smell issue in our new home. For the candle smell, we ended up painting the walls and getting new carpet. I know painting and new carpet isn’t something we all can do right away, but a good wash of the walls and a carpet clean will help! You can rent carpet cleaners if you want to do it yourself.
As for the basement and the musty/mold smell. We hired a mold guy who found the mold right away. Please note; bleach is not going to kill all molds, you can actually make it worse. Hire a professional. The other thing we did to help with the home odor was get a dehumidifier. This helps prevent mold from growing and aids the musty smell. In addition, I placed bowls of baking soda around the basement. After all that, the smell is gone! You can also try new charcoal briquettes. The fresh charcoal will absorb the odors. Take an empty coffee can or decorative container and fill it up with the new briquettes. Change them out every so often.
Step 2 in stress free moving: Good Drinking Water
This may sound simple but how to move stress free is to get your water working for you. Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this because we never had a problem before, but since we did this time, I felt I should address it. We moved from city water to well water. I was not prepared for the challenge of drinking water. Thankfully we were involved with heavy iron content, in which we would need an iron curtain. However, the new home has a water softener; this was something we were not used to. Drinking softened water is not my thing; my body clearly told me to stop. So now what?
To keep a long story short, after I tried many options including bottled water and various water filters, we ended up filtering the well water twice for our drinking water and I love it! I have a post on this if you want to learn more about how we did it, you can find it here.
6 Bonus steps I don’t want you to forget
Since recently going through this experience I didn’t want you to forget about a few small things that make a BIG difference in moving stress free. Here are an additional 6 items you want to pay attention to.
1. Kitchen cabinets – be aware!
Other issues in a home you should keep your eye on are the kitchen cabinets. Are they sticky? Do they have handles? Do they slam? A quick fix for us was a good scrubbing with Dawn Dish Soap and putting soft pads on the doors so they didn’t slam. We still don’t have handles, but we can easily add those later. If you’re handy you can install a soft-close on the cabinet door. The kitchen clearly stressed me out.
Be aware of the lighting. Where are the dark spaces? LED light bulbs or LED lights do the trick. Again, these are quick fixes until you get your more permanent plan. In a pickle? Grab a box of string lights and have fun with them. String lights also lighten the load and can reduce stress!
Clean everything. Everything should get cleaned unless you want to live with the previous owner’s dead skin cells. This includes the windows and the sills. If you can clean before you move in this would be ideal. If you can’t clean, hire it out or clean after you move. I know cleaning the house is not fun, but get a jumpstart on your housecleaning from the get-go!
4. Change the filters
Make sure you change the furnace filter and clean out the dryer. Change the refrigerator filter while you’re at it, then you know how long you have until it needs to be changed again. Please check the batteries on the smoke detectors.
5. Window coverings
A good clean of the blinds or drapes would be recommended if you have them. If you don’t have window coverings, do you want blinds or curtains? We lived in our house without window coverings for a good three months before we decided on curtains. Please note, we moved to the country.
One more thing about window coverings, natural light does wonders for your mental wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to open the shades during the day and allow light to come in. You can learn more about natural light in my post: How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps
6. Find your space. This is SUPER important!
One last critical step to how to move stress free is to find your space. This may sound silly, but everyone needs to find their private space in their home. This is a place where you can go and be yourself without judgment. For instance, I have a little room in the basement where I write my blogs and create my Etsy products. It’s a little messy but organized in my mind. It is my playground, where I can be without having to think about toys, order, and other house details. Be sure to set boundaries so you can have some time for yourself and relax.
Wrapping it up
Moving stress free is possible. When I move again the 3 things I would do differently is to have the mold guy come before we moved our stuff in. The second step would be to check the water. If I have the time, I would for sure take the time to clean the new empty house before unloading our stuff. Moving isn’t my first rodeo. I have moved at least 10 times in my life, however, this move was by far the most stressful!
Remember, you don’t have to change everything at once. This was hard for me to do in this stressful house. Be strong and live in the house for a while. Pay attention to your patterns. When it’s time, put your own spin on your new home. And don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors. Enjoy your new space!