Summer is moving season. Today, you get advice from the most experienced mover around – me!
Many of you know of my senior business. At Long’s Senior Transitions, we help folks make a change from their family home into their simplified new home, whether it is independent or assisted living.
Today, I’ll put on my other hat. I am a third-generation mover, and I own A-1 Moving & Storage, an agent for North American Van Lines. I bought the business from my parents, Jerry and Gladie Long, in 1999. Moving is in my blood.
Here is my advice:
1. If you will need a mover, call now. You say you haven’t listed yet? That is OK. If you get an offer quickly, you want to be ready. It is a process. Movers want to see what you have and give you an estimate. Do your homework and check out their customer ratings. Lack of planning means you must resort to picking whoever is available.
2. Be flexible on dates. Movers do 70% of our work each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Avoid the last week of the month for better pricing and better service.
3. Have a Plan B. It is a weird year. Builders are delayed. Maintenance people are behind schedule. Historically, our industry has been a great spot for students to work over the summer. Not this year. There is a labor shortage in the service industry. Allow extra time in your schedule for delays.
4. The stuff. Don’t take it all assuming that you can get rid of items on the other end if they don’t fit. What a waste of your time, your money, and your energy. Clear out ahead of time, not after.
5. Start packing now. Do a couple of boxes every day. There are many items you could pack ahead. (Although, if you can pack forty boxes ahead, ask yourself if they are items that you really need.)
6. Get help. Ask friends and family – but have a reasonable expectation of their time or hire a professional. Your back and your heart will thank you.
7. Know your limits. Don’t overestimate your stamina. This is a lot of work.
8. This is also a lot of stress. Making a move is one of the top stressors in a person’s life. Add to that whatever is causing you to move and you have the makings of a pressure cooker. Acknowledge that your spouse might irritate you. Acknowledge that you might be a bit irritating, too.
9. When you get to your new home, the first task should be to make your bed. Mom always said that if you can just go to bed, everything else can wait until tomorrow.
10. Finally, once you are settled in, get out and meet people. Make friends. Join a club. Volunteer. It won’t be home until you become part of your new community.
Don’t exhaust yourself or your spouse. Laugh. Remember. Enjoy. Moving to a new home can be an adventure.