If you are going through the process of separation or divorce and you are the one who has chosen to leave the family home, stressed out doesn't do justice to the feelings you may be having. And although it might be the most financially sound decision, it doesn't make it any less physically or emotionally traumatic. Aside from the obvious stresses of having to leave your current home, there is the added concerns like figuring out where to move that is copasetic for your kids and former spouse, finding a new home that you can afford to live in, packing all the boxes, and then finally moving the boxes from your old home to your new one. It is overwhelming, especially if you're a single mom trying to juggle work and kids in addition to packing. Here are 10 tips to help alleviate a little bit of your stress:
1. Get organized
Being as organized as possible helps, suggests Resourceful Consultant and author of "Secrets of an Organized Mom," Barbara Reich. Oftentimes however, the thought of being organized can be as stressful as the move itself. One way to approach organization is by creating a schedule for one room of your house at a time. Packing one area in a methodical and orderly manner will help.
2. Label everything
Labeling all of your boxes with contents and room assignments may not make your packing easier, but it will certainly help you unpack. Once you are in your new home, you will need to get all of your belongings in their rightful places, plus you will need the essentials (toothbrushes, pajamas, and bed sheets) that first night. Labels like the ones Name Bubbles makes are a great way to keep your sanity once all those boxes arrive at your new home.
3. Pick the right boxes
When packing, you don't want to get stuck with flimsy boxes even if they don't cost you a penny because you've snagged them from the grocery dumpter. Cardboard boxes can be damaged easily, meaning your valuables might not survive the move. Companies like Bronko Box in Central Texas provide a cost effective, eco-friendly alternative to cardboard boxes. They rent plastic boxes that are waterproof, stack together neatly, and don't require tape. Renting from Bronko Box cuts your box expenses in half, and they even drop off and pick up, saving you valuable packing time.
4. Know your rights
Atlas Van Lines, one of the nation's leading movers, suggests becoming familiar with your consumer rights. Visit ProtectYourMove.gov to read up on the laws that protect you from unreliable movers. Reading up on your rights can prevent you from being a victim of moving fraud and safeguard your valuables. Knowing your rights can give you peace of mind when dealing with movers.
5. Avoid moving at popular times
When you move may be just as important as where you move. With kids school schedules it might be unavoidable, but summer is the busiest time of year for movers. According to Mike Glanz, founder and CEO of HireAHelper.com, moving companies with full calendars during the summer months often "subcontract their smaller orders to untrained laborers found on the street or in the classifieds," putting your move in jeopardy. If you are simply moving within 5 to 10 miles of your current family home, opt for a fall, winter, or spring. Also, the beginning and end of each month are busy for movers so plan your move for the middle of the month. Picking a good moving date can help make your move a breeze by ensuring you are your mover's number one priority.
6. Pick a good mover
Do your research before choosing a moving company. Opting for the cheapest mover might be the most economical option, but you get what you pay for, and going with big name movers may mean sacrificing customer service. A useful research tool is Unpakt, a website that allows you to compare different moving companies in your area. It functions similarly to Kayak or Expedia, but for people looking to move. Make sure to check the reviews and go with the mover that gets the most positive feedback. Look for movers like the Gentle Giant Moving Company based out of San Francisco that prides itself on employing people who are the epitome of professional.
7. Treat the movers well
The trick to getting good customer service (and a smooth move) is to be an appreciative customer. Jodi R. R. Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting suggests having a lot of $10s and $20s on hand for tipping. She also suggests buying the movers lunch because "they are so appreciative and it builds good will." A little bit of kindness can go a long way.
8. Don't forget your car
Most single moms won't be moving far from the family home, but sometimes, with new jobs or relationships, it's unavoidable. One thing to consider when moving across state lines is how you are going to get your car (or cars) there. You could take a road trip and follow the moving truck, but flying might make more sense with young kids. Shipping your car allows you to shorten the trip by flying instead of driving. Car movers like Dependable Auto Shippers (DAS) can save you the time and money a road trip requires.
9. Change your locks
Lost in the chaos of the move is the fact that people you do not know may have a key to your new home. The previous owners, housekeepers, gardeners, neighbors, and repairmen could potentially have a key, so make changing the locks a priority. You and your kids' safety are vital to a good moving experience.
10. Explore your new community
Once you are settled into your new home, you have a whole new community to explore (and a limited budget to do so). The ENTERTAINMENT® Coupon Book is the perfect way to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings, plus it offers great discounts for single moms. You can either visit their website Entertainment.com to purchase a book specific to your area or check with your kids' school. Oftentimes schools sell copies as fundraisers.
Whether you are moving down the street or across the country, moving can make any single mom feel on edge, but these 10 tips can help you take the stress out of moving.
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