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Dear Storage Seeker:

We are preparing to move from our home of 15 years and into a new one, and we are thoroughly overwhelmed. We feel a bit stressed between staging our home for potential buyers walking through, finding a new home, and packing. Any advice you can provide us would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely: Feeling Crazy.

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Dear Feeling Crazy:

Your feelings are right on point! Numerous surveys have listed moving as one of the most stressful life events, alongside the death of a loved one or divorce. Home is supposed to be your safe place to wind down and feel at ease. Unfortunately, once disrupted, it’s difficult to find anywhere to sit back and relax after a long day. While we can’t keep your move stress-free (unfortunately, that goes with the territory), we can provide you with some helpful tips to keep your move running smoothly (alleviating any unnecessary stress). Here are some simple ideas:

1. Rent a self-storage unit.

We aren’t just saying to rent a self-storage unit because that’s our jam – we are letting you know that renting a self-storage unit can help because, by golly, it can! You can use self-storage to store your boxes and more oversized furniture items while you stage your home for potential buyers. Plus, if your new home needs repairs and is not ready to move into right away, you can keep your items safe interim. Best of all, once you move, you can leave items within storage that are not a priority to unpack so that you do not become overwhelmed.

2. Coordinate your boxes.

Create a running list of items you place in each box, clearly coordinating boxes to know what is within each. You can then unpack quickly and easily, tackling the boxes that have what you need. Plus, you will know what packages can stay within your self-storage unit until you are ready to unpack them so that you can maximize space within your new home.

3. Find reputable movers.

There is nothing worse than placing your items on a truck after being promised one price, to then have belongings held hostage until you meet a substantially higher price. Believe it or not, it happens all the time. Make sure you receive a written, itemized contract from the moving company you are using—interview several to determine who provides the best service in terms of cost and value. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and when looking at reviews online, read through each one of them thoroughly (to make sure they are legitimate). Any recurring themes within the negative ones? Choose someone else.

4. Create a restful space.

Ensure you have a space that feels restful, not constantly to feel as if you are living in chaos. Maybe before you move, you leave your bedroom (for the most part) intact so that you feel as if you have a place to retreat. Then, when you move into your new home, get your bedroom or one other space fully set up first so that you have an area to call “home” until your entire home is complete.

With a bit of planning, the use of a local self-storage unit, and a place that can serve as a refuge, your move will be a little less stressful for you and your family. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Happy moving!