Moving Soon Take The Stress Out

You are not the Lone Ranger if your face falls and your chest heaves at the idea of moving. As it turns out, 19 % of the folks who live in the United States move every year. And, according to the Employee Relocation Council, moving is third only behind death and divorce as the most stressful life event. Moving disrupts routines, lifestyles and friendships, and uproots families. Moving is physically exhausting. The anxieties of moving to a strange neighborhood, city, state or country can become overwhelming when you factor in the high cost of moving.

Don't become a victim of the high stress that comes with moving. Start making moving plans the day you know you will be moving. Create a "to do" calendar.

Call the utility companies. Fill out your change-of-address cards. Call for estimates from moving companies. Tell friends and family members to expect a call from you soon to help you move. Here are seven ways to take the stress out of moving: 1.

Do the math. The high cost of moving is a huge stress instigator. Do the math upfront to minimize your stress. Know that replacing household items sometimes is less expensive than moving them. You won't have to take the time and incur the expense of packing, then storing your unused items if you throw them out immediately before you get to packing.

You can take a deduction on your taxes for the items you donate to charity. 2. Simplify. Delegate moving chores to each person in your house, choosing taskmasters by their individual talents. For example, let the cleaning nut do all the cleaning.

Let the household mechanic make sure everything is taken apart and packed so that it can be easily put together again. You can take big chunks of the moving to-do list and break it down into smaller, more easily handled pieces. 3.

De-clutter. Throw away belongings that carry negative emotional baggage. Now is the time to carefully clean and pack those items you want to become family heirlooms. Mark these items, and pack carefully. Is anything else really necessary? If nothing else is necessary, just toss it out.

4. Label everything. For each box you pack, tape a piece of paper to the outside on which you have listed the contents, item by item. Color-code packing boxes by room. Color code the boxes from each room - red for bathroom; green for dining room - to let the movers see immediately where to put those boxes when they get to the new location.

5. Clean as you go. Every time you pack up a room, take a packing break by stopping to thoroughly clean that room.

Then close the door to measure your progress. Ditto with each closet and other measurable space in your house. 6. Enlist outside help.

If you can afford it, pay a cleaning company rather than exhausting yourself to the point of dangerous fatigue. Enlist friends or family members to help you plan, move and unpack. 7. Anticipate positives. Instead of worrying about the loss of old friends, neighborhoods and habits, anticipate new friends and new places for adventure.

Take a break from moving to investigate educational and fun places in the vicinity of your new home. Engage your family in discussions about the positives of your new place while you still are moving from your old place. Remember: Stress is contagious, but so is excitement.

Ruth Klein, America's De-Stress Diva™, is owner of the award-winning firm The Marketing/Time Source. With a master's degree in clinical psychology, Klein, an AOL stress management coach, also is the author of the best-selling Time Management Secrets for Working Women and five other books on business and lifestyle topics. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on branding and productivity.

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