If you go looking for new ideas to make a relocation to or from Seattle easier, it’s amazing how often the words “stress” and “relocation” appear in the same paragraph. The most universally agreed-upon method is to separate the two by hiring relocation professionals—not surprising since many of the most-read articles are authored by people involved in the industry. But the runners-up when it comes to relocation are either work-related (for those who are making the move to change jobs) or moving-related (the nuts and bolts of a household move).
Since I’m involved in moving-day drama reduction on behalf of my clients, some of the tips are those I’ve seen work wonders. The first one is something you can get started on long before any move is on the calendar:
1. Stockpile cartons, bubble wrap, padding paper—even those peanut-shaped plastic fillers. More and more, Seattle residents are buying everyday items online, so the shipping cartons and packing materials inside are a lot easier to come by. The only issue is creating an area where you can hoard them.
2. As relocation day nears, be sure to have the other basic packing materials on hand: those disposable heavy-duty Scotch shipping tape rollers and a couple of magic markers.
3. Within reason, try to sell everything you can (they’re not called ‘moving sales’ for nothing). Especially if you are moving out of Washington using professional movers, the weight saved can make a meaningful difference on the expense side. If you are fond of shopping, there’s even the bonus of replacing shopworn items with new ones at the other end of the move.
4. Think forward; pack backward. Imagine the ideal order for unpacking (label an “open 1st” box, “open 2nd” box, etc.), then line them up backward, so that the “1st” box will be first to be unloaded and easiest to spot.
5. In connection with that earlier “sell everything” tip, once ensconced in your new home, resist the urge to rush right out to complete every room’s decor. Experts agree that this is one of the most common reasons that relos wind up with expensive cost overruns. Relax for a few low-stress days as you unpack at a leisurely clip. Plan to give yourself ample time to figure out what’s really indispensable in your new environment.
The single extra “Top Tip” that most relocation counselors agree upon? It’s Number 6—to avoid falling into the trap of assuming that a simple Seattle-to-Seattle move doesn’t also take some degree of preparation. Above all, pack fragile items as carefully as if they were headed across the Washington border!