Making Moving Safe and Stress-Free

I have to move soon, and I dread it. I have a ton of stuff--too much stuff, to be honest. I am not very organized. I am a small person, so I’m going to have a tough time moving bulky boxes and stuff. On top of all of that, I have to move twice. My leases don’t overlap, so I’m going home for a bit before moving back into a new off-campus apartment for the coming semester.

My parents are going to help me, but I’m worried about that, too. My dad is getting older and isn’t in great shape, and last time he helped me move, he hurt his back. I don’t feel like we should spend the money on movers, but I’m hoping the experts have some tips for making moving a little less miserable. Can you help?

Moving is exciting, but it’s not something many folks consider fun. Moving is laborious, fraught with organizational problems, and difficult on both physical and emotional levels. Even when managed well, a big move can be exhausting and upsetting; when it’s done in a disorganized way, moving can be stressful and even dangerous to your health or physical condition. Some studies have shown moving to be even more stressful than a divorce!

Your attitude regarding your upcoming move suggests that you expect a very tough one. Perhaps you should reconsider hiring movers. Many college towns have a thriving and competitive moving business space. You may find that movers are cheaper than you expect in this area!

You can also recruit friends to help. A few strong friends could cut down on the amount of work that you and your parents must do. You could opt to pay your friends for their trouble or go with the classic pizza-based compensation system that is so familiar to many of us.

Whatever you choose, you should develop a plan to protect your parents. Moving often taxes your body, and you do not want to allow your father to get hurt. Compensation lawyers in Brisbane tell us that the losses associated with an injury can be far broader than many people appreciate--or, at least, fail to appreciate until it’s too late. Between hospital bills, lost income due to the inability to work, and (of course) physical pain and mental trauma, a bad injury can reverberate for months and even years. Attorneys also tell us that your father may bear these expenses himself. The folks behind moving equipment rental agreements and other DIY support services would only be liable if they were shown to be negligent. If your father injured himself because he made a poor decision, your family would be on its own. Saving a few bucks on movers will not offset major hospital bills, so be careful.

You can also cut down on the amount that you have to move by looking into organization and storage options. Can you downsize your possessions before the move? There’s no sense in moving things that you won’t use and will later throw out. Also, why not use local storage to minimize the amount of back-and-forth moving you’ll do between leases? Experts at Box-N-Go storage, which offers cheap storage units in southern California, tell us that it’s very common for college students to rent local storage units to prevent the sort of circular hometown-and-back moving that you’re talking about. There’s no reason to unload all that stuff at your home just to load it up again in time for the next semester when you could instead just leave it in a local spot (and save some gas money).

Last, be sure to plan your move out well ahead of time. You say you’re not the most organized person, and that’s okay--help yourself by giving yourself extra time to complete tasks like sorting items into boxes, labeling them, and shedding unnecessary possessions.

If you start early, rely on personal or professional help, and use local storage units, you will create a safer and less stressful situation for your big moves. We wish you the best.

“We carry our homes within us, which enables us to fly.” - John Cage

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