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Once all the boxes are packed and the movers are scheduled, you have a moment of quiet to consider one of the most important things of the moving process: how are you going to move the pets? For most animals, moving is a stressful time. Their entire environment is turned upside down. All the furniture and items in the house that they are used to are now packed away in boxes, and who are these uniformed men with the big truck in the driveway? Even the most complacent animals can become stressed during this time, but there are ways to minimize the stress to keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy. Here are just a few things you can do to make their adjustment period shorter and less stressful:
Actually moving the animals can be scary for your pets too. Most dogs are good with car rides, but other animals, such as cats, are a bit apprehensive about getting in a carrier and going for a ride in the car. You can ask your vet for a sedative, to help make the transition and car ride easier for everyone.
When everything finally settles in, slowly let your pets roam about the new home. They have to get accustomed to the new soundings, so be sure to open all doors to let them sniff about and get used to the new space. Make sure some of their personal items like cat condos, chew toys or scratching posts are visible, so they recognize familiar items. For smaller animals, like fish and rodents, the move is not as difficult. Simply pack up their homes in the car and move them, but for cats and dogs, the transition can be trying, so make sure you have plenty of treats on hand to win back the affection of your four-legged friends.
Everything’s still packed from your move. You can’t find anything, your toothbrush eventually turns up in the box marked “rec room,” and you’re living out of boxes for weeks. It seems like that’s always the case after you move, but this doesn’t have to be how it goes! If you treat your move like you’re going on a trip, you can have a much easier transition into your new home.
When you arrive at your new home, you are going to need quick access to basic things, like toiletries, clothes, cell phone chargers, and the kids’ favorite toys. Instead of having to hunt through boxes to find everything you need, do yourself a favor and pack a bag for each member of the family. Have about a week’s worth of essentials packed for everyone so that you will have some time to settle before you have to start digging through boxes. When packing these bags, don’t forget sheets, pillows, and toilet paper — you’ll need these more quickly than you might think.
Packing up the kitchen can be a strenuous part of moving because there are so many little things and a lot of them are breakable. Once the kitchen is packed up, it also reminds us that we aren’t settled in to the new house yet. Instead of fretting about the inability to have home cooked meals, keep up the trip mentality. Even if you are moving just across town, use this as an opportunity to check out new restaurants and try foods that you might otherwise skip. Don’t rely on fast food for every meal—it will only make you feel bloated and uncomfortable while you’re unpacking.
Pets can sense the change around them, but they certainly don’t understand when you try to explain moving to them. If you are moving locally, one of the best ways to help them stay healthy and happy during your move is to board them at a kennel. Many kennels offer the equivalent of a kitty and doggie spa, so your pets can have a couple days off too. This will keep Fluffy and Fido safe while the movers are taking everything out, and it allows you to have your home a little more set up before you pick up your pets.
Having to haul your own furniture and boxes out of your former home and into your new one breaks the whole “vacation” vibe. This is a time that you should be spending with your family, learning more about your new neighborhood and getting acquainted with your new home; not a time when you should be sweating as you try to lug your belongings to and from a truck. By hiring a professional moving company, you can alleviate all of the physical strain of having to move, plus you will have the assurance that your things will be at the new place when you want them to be. That way, you can focus on the more important things, like getting yourself and your family settled into your new home.
When you’re moving, it can be very easy to forget that you have to also either move or get rid of your food in addition to all of your other things. Food is heavy and bulky, and it often needs special care like refrigeration to stay edible. It’s very difficult to move food, even over short distances, so your best option is to get rid of absolutely everything that you possibly can before moving day.
Use What You Can Before the Move
Once you know you’ll be moving, it’s important to start using up the food you have so that you don’t have to transport it. Go through items in your pantry and the back of your freezer and try to come up with creative solutions for how to use them. Limit your trips to the grocery store to force yourself to use up the food you have. Consider hosting a party to get rid of any alcohol, drinks, and food. If you don’t have enough to completely feed your guests, consider having a potluck and using up what you can in the dishes you offer.
Nonperishable goods like canned food and dried pastas, grains, and beans are all excellent candidates to donate to a food pantry. These can be some of the heaviest and bulky items to carry, so these are also the best items to get rid of through donation. Anything you absolutely cannot part with can be packed in a well-labeled box. However, when packing up your pantry, remember that most things are very easy to replace. Consider throwing away opened items, especially since they can easily spill during transit.
Refrigerated and Frozen Goods
You have two options with any refrigerated or frozen goods that you may have left over on moving day: keep or toss. Most food pantries are unable to take cold items due to their fragile nature. If you decide to keep cold items, be sure to have a cooler large enough to easily store them for transport. Keeping cold items is best left for short moves, preferably less than 6 hours away. You will have to keep these items with you to ensure that they are refrigerated as soon as possible when you arrive.
It’s never fun to throw away perfectly good food, but you must be realistic when moving refrigerated or frozen items. Condiments are easily replaced, and very delicate foods can be nearly impossible to keep safe. When packing your cooler, remember to toss what you can realistically part with and only take the essentials.
One to Two Weeks Before Moving Day
Pet and Plants
Other important details:
Two to Three Weeks Before Moving Day
Working With the Mover:
Preparing the Family:
Preparing Household Items:
Working With the Mover
Four to Six Weeks Before Moving Day
Places to Notify:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Have a “garage sale” or use an online auction service to dispose of unwanted items.
Donate unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations. Obtain receipts
showing the items’ approximate value for possible tax deductions.
Begin to use up supplies of canned goods, frozen foods and other household items. Buy only
what will be used before moving.