Did you know that the average person in North America moves house 12 times in their life-time? Life Expectancy in Canada is close to 83 years, which means we move approximately every 7 years…
I personally find this stat a bit underwhelming given that I am approaching 29 and I have already moved homes 13 times in my life, granted this includes moving home with my family 4 times during adolescence and the rest were moving between rentals through student life in the UK and relocating cities twice since moving to Canada.
If there is one thing that I have learned… is how to do it EXTREMELY efficiently!
Whether you are leaving the nest for the first time, relocating to a new rental property, buying your first home, there are undoubtably stresses that come with a move… How will I get all my crap from point A to B? Do I need everything … do I want everything I have? Will my sectional fit in the new space, will it fit through the front door and it goes on from there …? What happens if I get to the new place and the previous tenants have left it a mess? Or the neighbors are antisocial… In review, there is an absolute overload of problems which only a seasoned mover can advise you on. So let's get to it!
PURGE, PURGE… and then PURGE AGAIN!
As a species, we are hoarders. We find silly reasons to hold on to unnecessary possessions due to their affiliation with a part of our past. Now, I’m not an overly sentimental person so I find this easier to do than some. But I’m not telling you to throw out the last photo you have of your childhood pet… I’m talking about that sweater you used to wear three days a week in high school that doesn’t really fit anymore and has a bleach stain on the sleeve, you know the one! Or your collection of DVD’s which I’m sorry to tell you, are now obsolete. It is time to purge.
Once you have deciphered what of your many possessions is junk, it is time to minimize the rest. THIS, is the hard part.
Now, I’m a fashionista, so I struggled for a long time to clear through my bottomless pit of designer clothes, especially knowing how much I paid for each item! I had already cleared out everything that didn’t fit or was reaching the end of its lifecycle, but what about the rest?
How I tackled this was to set a target for myself: to reduce my wardrobe by 40% or a bag a week! This seems like an aggressive tarte, however, my plan was to then sell this 40% of excess and put the money earned towards something new for my new place!
There are so many avenues to look to for selling your excess, after all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure …right?
Here are a couple of easy options for you to look at:
Ever moved into a new home, spent the day unpacking and in a hangry fit of rage realize you just ordered your favorite online food order to your old address? Hey, at least the new tenants of your old house are getting fed!
Go through EVERYTHING to make sure you have updated your address and cancelled any bills associated with your old house. And again, while going through this process, look at your subscriptions and ask yourself, do I need to subscribe to 6 different streaming platforms… probably not! (Side note, congregate your subscriptions with your family and friends, mom gives you her Netflix password, your best friend David gives you his Crave password, you give them both your Prime credentials)
Tell people that you are moving.
This one is particularly important for people like me. My family all still live in the UK, so my extended family usually reach out via messenger pigeon (I joke, but they do send me cards for relevant occasions)
Even if it is just a quick Facebook post, you don’t have to publish your new address, but let people know you are moving and if they care, they will message you for updated details.
Make a checklist
I’m somewhat known for a slight lack of organizational skill, but when it comes to organizing a move I am Leslie Knope (if you haven’t seen Parks & Recreation stop reading my ramblings and go watch it immediately)
Make a checklist of everything you have done, and have to do before vacating your old house. Worst case scenario you have wasted 15 minutes and just reiterated to yourself that you have done everything and are ready to move. Best case, your checklist has identified something potentially important that may have otherwise fallen through the cracks!
Know who your friends are… or if you don’t have any, rent some!
A friend in need’s a friend indeed, a friend with wheels is better!
Friends are great for socializing and stuff, but they make an EXCELLENT entourage when it comes to moving! Think about it, if selected carefully, friends will move your bigger items with greater care and consideration… because they have seen first hand what happens to people who don’t use coasters on your favourite coffee table, so they don’t want to know what happens if you dent that same coffee table maneuvering it through a doorway. Friends also make great (and cheap) painters! Beer, pizza and your delightful company SHOULD be enough to convince them. Side note, only pull out the hard liquor as a reward once the painting and moving has finished… we don’t condone moving injuries or sloppy paint jobs!
If you don’t have any friends that you trust with moving responsibilities… rent the pro’s! I’ve heard of 2 Burley Men that are apparently great at moving!
Lastly - Be proactive and engage with your new neighbors!
Now that you have successfully purged the possessions, bygone the bills and moved the mattress, you are set up in your new home… but what’s next?
Following my pop culture references throughout this entry I shall now quote the theme song from the Australian TV show that made Kylie Minogue famous (can you guess it?)… "That’s When Good Neighbors Become Good Friends”
Neighbors can make or break a home. So, MAKE AN EFFORT TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF!! Don’t let their first impression of you be the night you played a little too much Cindy Lauper until a little too late with maybe one too many Vodka ‘Crans’ in your system… Make a warm introduction when you first move in and maybe they will be there singing along with you rather than calling the fun police. (Maybe it’s the other way around and they are the noisy ones!)
Even if you don’t become besties, you are opening up a channel of communication with them. This quick introduction makes everyone feel more comfortable when it comes to bringing up any future issues, needs for assistance or even just small talk.
No one wants a passive aggressive neighbor.
Hopefully these tips have helped you to learn from my various mistakes… I hope I have learned from them, I guess the next move will tell!
I would love to hear about your move stories and please provide any tips to help us all ….
Author - Greg Berry
Head of Social Media & Marketing
Hripko Real Estate Team & CitySearch Rental Network