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Keep peace of mind while moving

Published in General, For the Health of It Author: Maggie Manzke

It doesn’t matter where you are — moving can be one of life’s more stressful experiences. If you are downsizing, moving into a bigger home or just thinking about a possible future change — figuring out what to do with your existing stuff can clutter your whole mind.

Remember that everything you don’t get rid of or throw away before a move is something you will have to carry and/or go through later. Any move should be an exciting moment. And nothing ruins that excitement more than a pile of stuff from your old place that takes up space and reminds you of what you didn’t complete ahead of time.

With that in mind, review the following tips to help you keep your composure and avoid chaos while moving:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time. Some rooms can be notorious problem areas — like attics, garages and closets. Even if you don’t have a move in the near future, it’s not a bad idea to go through these rooms and think about what’s really needed.
  2. Be generous – but thoughtful. It’s nice to pass on treasured items for others to enjoy — but deciding who gets what can spark some of the biggest fights within a family. Be sure to talk with family members about what items are truly important to them. If several individuals want the same item — it’s a given that some will be disappointed. But by being proactive, you can at least explain your wishes to everyone and try to limit unexpected disputes.
  3. Think through your collections. Pay special attention to the following items that we tend to collect over time and then can become a burden to move:
    • Photos – Think about what photos from previous holidays, trips and occasions are the most important to you. For those you keep, you can try scrapbooking or scan and save them digitally.
    • Books – They take up space and are heavy to transport. If you have lots of books, consider donating them to libraries, senior centers or used bookstores.
    • Household cleaners – Toxic items should be properly disposed. In the St. Cloud area, paints, solvents and other hazardous products can dropped off at the Stearns County Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Waite Park.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Moving isn’t easy and you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to deal with large or cumbersome items. Know what items you will need help with and, if possible, work weeks or months ahead on them. Dealing with them ahead of time will help take a large weight off your mind as your moving date nears.
  5. Put together your short-term survival bag. On the day of your move, there are some items that you’ll want to keep close tabs on. Create a special bag or box that includes the following items, to make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle:
    • Medications
    • Important papers
    • A set or two of clothes
    • Basic tools
    • Payment for those who are helping you with the move

Source: National Association of Senior Move Managers,